9.30.2008

Wonder who wrote this for him?

'Cause it ssssure doesn't read like anything else he has written.
Paul Gallegos Statement from the Measure T site...

Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights (ahem, Democracy Unlimited in disguise) Press Conference
10:00AM - January 20, 2006

First, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the hundreds of unpaid local volunteers who participated in this effort. Many actually spent their holidays petitioning in the rains to ensure that this initiative will be on the ballot in June. Such a demonstration of civic determination truly reflects the best spirit of Humboldt County. It is worth repeating that every person working on this campaign is a local unpaid volunteer--in marked contrast to the Recall effort, when outside corporations spent $8 per signature in an effort to overturn an election.

It is with great pride and pleasure that I offer my full endorsement and support of this important campaign. Out-of-county corporate political donations are a real and persistent problem in Humboldt elections, and the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights is providing a clear and straightforward solution.

Some have questioned whether the citizens of Humboldt County have the legal authority to pass such a law. Of course we do! The ability to protect the integrity of our elections is not merely our right - it is our responsibility.

In this respect I agree with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist's opinion in the case of Citizens Against Rent Control vs. Berkley when he wrote:

"The Supreme Court has always recognized that preserving the integrity of the electoral process, preventing actual or perceived corruption, and preserving citizen confidence in government is an interest of the highest importance in ballot measure elections."

As a lawyer, I am acutely aware that there are times when the courts have been wrong. And on those occasions, it is the responsibility of citizens to engage in the process to change such laws. Remember that the courts once held that indigenous people were not legally "persons," that Africans could be held in slavery, that women had "lesser" legal rights than men, that trade unions were a criminal conspiracy, and that Jim Crow segregation did not violate the equal protection clause of the 14 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Courts and judges were profoundly wrong in each of those instances, and thank goodness engaged and active citizens challenged those legal doctrines.

As an active and engaged citizen of Humboldt County myself, I am honored to be part of the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights. I look forward to working with them to pass this much-needed reform to protect our right to fair elections and local democracy.

Paul Gallegos is the District Attorney of Humboldt County.

Return to News
***

Gallegos quotes, and the Measure T/Democracy Unlimited in diguise people quote the "Belotti" case as a basis for their initiative
They quote Rehnquist.
No one questions it.

They should.

Rehnquist was the DISSENTING opinion.

It DOES NOT SUPPORT THEIR POSITION - they take it out of context

435 US 765 a 1978 case
It is settled law

Essentially he says that while contributions may affect or influence a candidate, where there might be a quid-pro-quo, it does not have the same effect on a measure.

9.27.2008

ER - Recall Proponent Makes More Accusations

“Tim’s a stud,” he said. “He really is; anyone would be stoked to have him.”

☛ ER Recall Proponent Makes More Accusations 1/29/04
by Christine Bensen

Tom Cookman, a vocal member of Recall Paul, the committee to recall Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos, and regular commentator on KINS News and Information’s Community Comment, made on-air accusations against Gallegos, Jan. 13.

Cookman, who publicly identifies himself as a “concerned citizen,” is also the co-owner of Mendes Supply in Eureka. Mendes specializes in the sale of janitorial and packaging supplies, fine paper and lumber-packaging materials, including lumber-wrapping materials as well as steel-and plastic-strapping tools.

According to Cookman’s commentary, “… Gallegos, the leading law-enforcement agent in our county, changed the parameters on medical marijuana growing. (A) person with a 215 card (can) now grow 99 plants instead of 10 plants.”

After much debate from community residents during the Jan. 20 meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, the board created a task force to further examine the issue. Headed by 2nd District Supervisor Roger Rodoni and 3rd District Supervisor John Woolley and made up of school and law-enforcement officials, the task force must report back to the board within 90 days.

Pending this report, the board will decide if it wants to keep the medical marijuana growing guidelines set by Gallegos or set new guidelines.

The guidelines currently in effect allow 215 cardholders or their caregivers to grow 99 plants in a 100-square-foot space, under 1,500 watts of light and possess up to 3 pounds of dried cannabis.

In May 2001, Sonoma County District Attorney J. Michael Mullins and Sonoma County law-enforcement Chiefs’ Association adopted the identical guidelines Gallegos adopted in January 2003.

“(Gallegos) hired Tim Stoen as our assistant district attorney. This position was vacant for 13 years. This position costs taxpayers over $100,000 per year,” Cookman said.

Mike Robinson served as assistant district attorney under former Humboldt County District Attorney Terry Farmer from 1986 through 1993.

He said he chose to leave in 1993 because he wanted to pursue a private practice and is now a defense attorney in Eureka.

Gallegos said the position remained vacant for 11 years and when he decided to hire Tim Stoen he had to have it approved by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.

“The position has been budgeted since Mike was gone,” Gallegos said.

In fact, Gallegos said the board voted unanimously to hire Stoen.

“Tim’s a stud,” he said. “He really is; anyone would be stoked to have him.”

Gallegos said Humboldt County employs a district attorney, an assistant district attorney and 13 deputy district attorneys. The 2000 U.S. Census lists Humboldt County’s population at 126,518.

In Mendocino County, which has a population of 86,265, the district attorney’s office employs two deputy district attorneys in its Willits office, two in its Fort Bragg office and a district attorney, one assistant and 14 deputies in its Ukiah office, which is 20 employees compared to Humboldt County’s 15.

“…Stoen filed a lawsuit against PALCO (The Pacific Lumber Co.) shortly after taking office. This lawsuit is loaded with the same information as an EPIC lawsuit that was dismissed in court,” Cookman alleged.

Gallegos said the lawsuit does not have the same information as the lawsuit filed by the Garberville-based Environmental Protection Information Center. He said if it had the same information, under the rule of “resjudicada” the same case cannot be tried again.

“(We are) bound by that rule,” he said.

In an interview with The Eureka Reporter, Cookman said he has read both of the lawsuits and said that parts of the lawsuit filed by the District Attorney’s Office are “verbatim” to the EPIC lawsuit.

“It legally could not be (the same) nor is it,” Gallegos said.

He said if it were the same lawsuit the defendants would have mentioned that in a demurrer, which is a claim by a defendant in a legal action that the plaintiff does not have sufficient grounds to proceed.

“Nothing in the PL lawsuit is taken from the EPIC lawsuit,” Stoen said.

He said this lawsuit is against The Pacific Lumber Co. for its alleged wrongdoing, while the EPIC lawsuit was focused on the state and federal government’s wrongdoing.

“He lied to his office about going home sick (and went surfing instead),” Cookman alleged.

In a previous interview with The Eureka Reporter, Gallegos said he had appointments later that day and would have made them if he hadn’t had his surfing accident.

“I’m an elected official; I have no vacation time or holiday time,” he said. “I squeeze time in when I get it. I don’t have a 40-hour work week. I don’t get overtime either.”

As for the accusation of telling his staff he was sick, Gallegos said he does not have to make excuses to his staff when he leaves the office.

“Who would I tell? That’s ridiculous,” he said.

“Well I’d like to know if the relationship between our DA and his surfing partner, an EPIC attorney, is personal or professional,” Cookman said.

“(The) rumor mill is that it is his (alleged) girlfriend,” Cookman told The Eureka Reporter.

He said although he has not been able to confirm that Gallegos’ surfing partner was a female, he intentionally puts “digs” in his commentary about Gallegos.

“I put that in there on purpose,” Cookman said.

“I was surfing with a friend who is a male,” Gallegos said, adding that his friend was the one who called 911.

Officers from the Trinidad Police Department were some of the first to arrive on the scene after Gallegos’ accident in April. Trinidad Chief of Police Ken Thrailkill told The Eureka Reporter Gallegos was surfing with a male at the time.

“How do you fine a tree-sitter only $10 for their crime?”

In a previous interview with The Eureka Reporter, Gallegos said that is the fine allowed by law. He said this fine has been in place since former Humboldt County District Attorney Terry Farmer was in office.

“…Gallegos has a strained relationship with our law-enforcement personnel,” Cookman alleges.

“I don’t know that I would call it a strained relationship,” said Fortuna Police Chief Kent Bradshaw. “It’s a working relationship.”

Bradshaw said he and Gallegos do not always see eye-to-eye on all issues, including the marijuana guidelines, which he said is no secret. He said Gallegos has always been receptive to his phone calls and pleasant to deal with.

“We have a working relationship,” said Humboldt County Sheriff Gary Philp.

Philp said he would not describe the relationship as “strained.” He said they do not necessarily agree on everything: “We agree to disagree.”

“My issues are one-on-one with the district attorney, as they were with Mr. Farmer,” said Eureka Police Chief David Douglas.

He said some of his officers and personnel may have different opinions, but he deals with Gallegos issue by issue.

Arcata Police Chief Randy Mendosa said he has had no problems working with Gallegos.

“He certainly has no strained relations with me,” Mendosa said.

“He set up a meeting with the heads of our local law-enforcement officials and he missed the meeting … because he had a tree-climber help him climb a tree to see what it was like to be a tree-sitter,” Cookman alleges.

Gallegos said the meeting “simply had not been (written on his calendar).”

He said the meeting attendees, including Bradshaw, Mendosa and Steve Pudinski, captain of the Arcata branch of the California Highway Patrol.

“They were not upset and understood the oversight,” Gallegos said.

Eric Schatz, owner of Schatz Tree Service, is hired by PALCO to remove trespassing tree-sitters from trees on PALCO property.

“I was with Eric Schatz climbing trees because he wanted me to understand how dangerous it is for him to climb up and pull trespassers out of the trees, so we could understand how their resistance to his efforts puts him and the trespasser in danger,” Gallegos said. “He offered and I accepted. It was all done with PALCO’s permission and with them present.”

He said he climbed one tree, and according to Schatz went a little more than 200 feet up.

“It gave me a better understanding on the risks inherent in pulling trespassers out of trees and how even minor acts of resistance can result in catastrophic injury to the climber and the trespasser,” Gallegos said.

“After his tree-climbing experience our district attorney called the tree-climber (hired by PALCO) at home on two separate occasions and told this law-abiding citizen that if any of the tree-sitters were hurt when he took them out of the tree that he would be prosecuted. Our DA threatened a citizen doing his job,” Cookman alleged.

“I told him if he broke the law he would be prosecuted,” Gallegos said.

Attempts by The Eureka Reporter to contact Schatz were unsuccessful.

“A deputy sheriff had his nose busted by an individual who was arrested on several felony charges. This person was arrested with six ounces of meth; he forged thousands of dollars in false checks. He vandalized the police car. He was on probation during the altercation and he only received a few months in jail,” Cookman alleged.

Cookman said the case he was referring to was prosecuted against Troy Miller.

The minutes of the case show that Miller pled guilty to misdemeanor violations of resisting an executive officer, false representation of self to a peace officer, vandalism, possession of methamphetamine as well as admitting to three violations of felony probation.

In what is called an “open plea,” no sentence was negotiated between the two sides, so it was up to the judge after hearing the arguments from both sides and reviewing the probation report.

One ounce is equal to approximately 28.34 grams and Miller was in possession of 5.9 grams gross weight of methamphetamine, meaning the total weight included the packaging it was contained in.

The fraudulent checks he wrote were his parents’ and they did not press charges.

Miller was sentenced by Judge Christopher Wilson on Aug. 13. He was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months in the California Rehabilitation Center which is part of the state prison system, but specifically designed for people who are considered to be in immediate danger of becoming addicted to drugs.


Related:
When Stoen talks about the PL suit, his complete confidence in its success is disarming. "I will win this case," he says. "If Paul's not recalled, I am guaranteeing you that we will win this case. I don't know what the penalties will be, but this case is as solid as a rock."

Belant - 4 articles

☛ TS Teacher's aide, assistant youth director arrested on molestation charges
03/04/2008 01:24:31 AM PST
Parents and parishioners were notified by officials after a man who worked as a elementary school teacher's aide and a junior youth pastor was arrested over the weekend on charges of child molestation.

Humboldt County Sheriff's detectives, assisted by investigators from the District Attorney's Office, arrested Andrew Brian Belant, 25, at his Eureka home Saturday after Child Welfare Services reported he had been accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to the Sheriff's department.

Belant, a teacher's aide at Jacoby Creek School and an assistant youth director at the Eureka First Presbyterian Church, was charged with two separate counts of child molestation involving a child under 14.

The Rev. Dan Price said the church's elected representatives will meet Thursday to discuss what steps the church will take next. Price said Belant had been working at the church for about 18 months. The church alerted members at a congregational meeting on Sunday.

”We were shocked and dismayed to hear about the allegations,” Price said. “Our hearts go out to the victims.”

Officials said Belant previously worked at Lafayette Elementary School and the Humboldt Child Care Council, and had been screened by multiple agencies before beginning his employment at both the school and the church.

Superintendent/Principal Eric Grantz said Belant had been employed for five weeks as an aide in a second grade class.

”He went through a very thorough background check, not only by us, but by Eureka City Schools and the Humboldt State University teaching program,” Grantz said. He added that currently, there are no known victims from the school.

All second grader's parents were contacted Sunday by telephone and a letter went out yesterday to the entire school community.

”At this point we're just waiting to see what the investigation turns up,” Grantz said. “He certainly won't be on campus until the issue is resolved and probably won't be on it again.”

Belant's bail was set at $300,000 and he is expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

For more information, parents can call Sheriff's Detective Troy Garey at 268-3643 or District Attorney Investigator Bill Honsal at 445-7411.

Jacoby Creek School letter to parents
March 3, 2008
Dear Parents,

On Saturday, March 1st, second grade teacher assistant Andrew Belant was arrested by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department for alleged molestation. Mr. Belant has been an employee of our district for the past five weeks, and as is our policy for all new employees, Mr. Belant's background check included fingerprinting, which indicated no prior criminal record. Additionally, there are no known victims from our school and I am taking steps to ensure that Mr. Belant will not have any contact with any of our students as an employee of this district until final disposition of the Sheriff's Department's investigation.

Events such as this serve as a reminder of the importance of talking with out children about personal safety. They need to know how to say “NO” both assertively and loudly, and they need to know the importance of seeking immediate adult help.

As this case unfolds, and when additional information becomes available, I will let you know. In the meantime should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

Sincerely,
Eric Grantz
Superintendent/Principal

Donna Tam can be reached at 441-0532 or dtam@times-standard.com.

☛ TS Alleged child molester pleads not guilty
 03/05/2008 01:15:46 AM PST

A teacher's aide and junior youth pastor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to six felony counts of child molestation on three victims, but more alleged victims are coming forward and more charges may be filed, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Andrew Brian Belant, 25, a teacher's aide at Jacoby Creek School and an assistant youth director at the Eureka First Presbyterian Church was arrested Saturday. The court set Belant's bail at $300,000. Belant did not waive time, so his preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 14.

”We expect to file numerous additional counts against him,” said Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison.
A call to Belant's attorney was not immediately returned.

Officials said Belant previously worked at Lafayette Elementary School and the Humboldt Child Care Council. He had been screened by multiple agencies, including Eureka City Schools and the Humboldt State University teaching program, before beginning his employment at both the school and the church.

Donna Tam can be reached at 441-0532 or dtam@times-standard.com.


☛ TS More charges filed against accused child molester
03/07/2008 08:56:53 AM PST
Andrew Brian Belant
A teacher's aide and junior youth pastor arrested on child molestation charges over the weekend was charged with four additional counts alleging the sexual assault or molestation of a child, and more may be tacked on as the case unfolds, officials said Thursday.

At Tuesday's arraignment of Andrew Brian Belant, 25, the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office amended the charges, including the addition of one with a special allegation of threatening to retaliate against a victim or another person. Belant pleaded not guilty.

Belant's attorney Patrik Griego didn't return calls seeking comment Thursday.

The Sheriff's detective investigating the case booked Belant on 15 additional charges Tuesday night, but the District Attorney's Office had not filed more charges against him as of Thursday afternoon.

Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison said there are multiple alleged victims, but would not give a specific number. Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Godsey said the case involves more than three children, but also wouldn't give a specific figure.

Due to the additional charges, Belant's bail was raised from $300,000 to $800,000 on Tuesday. On Thursday afternoon, the investigating detective was out interviewing people in relation to the case, Godsey said.

Belant worked as a teacher's aide at Jacoby Creek Elementary School at the time of his arrest and was listed as the middle school ministry director at the Eureka First Presbyterian Church on its Web site. He also previously worked at Lafayette Elementary School, the Humboldt Child Care Council, and the Triumphant Life Camp on Highway 36 just east of Bridgeville. He had been screened by multiple agencies before starting work at the school and the church, officials said.

Belant was employed at the Jacoby Creek site for five weeks as an aide in a second grade class. On Sunday, all of the second graders' parents were contacted by telephone and a letter to the entire school community was sent out Monday.

Belant is believed to have lived in Humboldt County for more than one year, Dollison said. Whether any of the allegations are related to his work is unclear.

”Our hands are really tied to protect the identity of the victims,” Godsey said. “The message we're trying to get out is to just really equip the parents and community with as much information as we're legally allowed to give out.”

The Sheriff's Office said parents with questions or concerns can contact Sheriff's Detective Troy Garey at 268-3643 or DA Investigator Bill Honsal at 445-7411.

Staff Writer Donna Tam contributed to this report.
Karen Wilkinson can be reached at 441-0514 or kwilkinson@times-standard.com.


☛ TS DA: Investigation into child molestation case could take two weeks
03/08/2008 01:24:11 AM PST

Investigators are continuing to interview witnesses in an ongoing child molestation case into allegations against a former teacher's aide and youth minister, officials said.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos said it may take up to two weeks to wrap up interviews with the children that Andrew Brian Belant was around at his various jobs.

”There's just a lot of work right now,” Gallegos said. “Because of the nature of it, we want to be methodical and make sure we've talked to every kid he's had access to.”

Belant, 25, was arrested March 1 on two charges of child molestation. Four more charges alleging the sexual assault or molestation of a child were added at his Tuesday arraignment, including one with a special allegation of threatening to retaliate against a victim or another person.

Belant pleaded not guilty to all charges. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 14.

Belant's attorney, Patrik Griego, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's detective investigating the case booked Belant on 15 additional charges Tuesday night, but the district attorney's office has not filed new charges.

Gallegos said he may file new counts next week, but his office isn't in a rush to amend the charges.

Belant was working at Jacoby Creek Elementary School as a teacher's aide in a second-grade class for five weeks. All second graders' parents were contacted Sunday by telephone and a letter went out Monday to the entire school community.

Belant was also working at the Eureka First Presbyterian Church as a part-time assistant youth pastor, the Rev. Dan Price said, and his responsibilities were with middle school-aged children. Church officials informed members of Belant's arrest at a congregational meeting on Sunday.

”It's a terrible shock, it's a complete shock,” Price said Friday. “This is shocking to us because we're pretty careful -- we have clear guidelines that we follow.”

Belant, who had been working at the church for 18 months, was placed on administrative leave without pay, effective March 1, after a Thursday night church elder meeting, Price said.

Officials said Belant previously worked at Lafayette Elementary and the Humboldt Child Care Council and had been screened by multiple agencies before working at the church and Jacoby Creek school.
Gallegos said the alleged victims are male, but wouldn't provide their ages or specify where they met Belant.

”It's pretty terrible on these kids,” Gallegos said. “It looks like it's a bona fide predator -- it's what he does, he puts himself in positions of trust.”

Gallegos said Belant's family is from the San Diego area, but it's unclear where he grew up.

Price said the church is fully committed to offering every resource it can to help the community heal.

”This is a first to us, it's quite humbling and shocking,” Price said.

Belant is being held at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on $800,000 bail.

Karen Wilkinson can be reached at 441-0514 or kwilkinson@times-standard.com

9.23.2008

Measure T Injunction issued - The Opinion - TEXT

United States District Court For the Northern District of California
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
MERCER, FRASER CO. et al.,
Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT, CALIFORNIA,
Defendant.
/
No. C 08-4098 SI
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND
PRELIMINARILY ENJOINING
ENFORCEMENT OF MEASURE T
OnSeptember 22, 2008, this Court heard argument on plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary
injunctionenjoiningHumboldtCountyfromenforcingMeasureT,aninitiativeordinanceadoptedby
HumboldtCountyvotersin2006. Measure T prohibits non-local corporations, labor organizations, and
non-profit groups from making campaign contributions and expenditures in Humboldt County local
elections. After carefully reviewing the parties’ briefs and the record, the Court hereby GRANTS
plaintiffs’ motion.
LEGAL STANDARD
Requests for preliminary injunctive relief require the movant to demonstrate either (1) a
combination of probable success on the merits and the possibility of irreparable injury, or (2) that
serious questions are raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in his favor. See Bernhardt v. Los
Angeles County, 339 F.3d 920, 925 (9th Cir.2003). The irreparable harm requirement can be met by
demonstrating the existence of a colorable First Amendment claim. See Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347,
373 (1976) (“The loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably
constitutes irreparable injury.”); see also Sammartano v. First Judicial District Court, 303 F.3d 959,
973 (9th Cir. 2002).
Case 3:08-cv-04098-SI Document 32 Filed 09/22/2008 Page 1 of 4
2
DISCUSSION
The Court finds that plaintiffs have demonstrated a colorable claim that Measure T violates the
First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Plaintiffs have demonstrated that Measure T likely violates the First Amendment because it
burdens corporations’ First Amendment right to make political expenditures and campaign
contributions, yet it is neither narrowly tailored nor closely drawn as the case law requires. The
ordinance is not narrowly tailored because, unlike the Michigan law at issue in Austin v. Michigan State
Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), it does not allow for corporate expenditures through
segregated funds. Even if Measure T did allow corporations to form segregated funds, it may also be
unconstitutionally underinclusive: Measure T regulates non-local corporations more stringently than
non-local incorporated unions. See§ 11. At the same time, Measure T is likely overinclusive: it
regulates corporations based on their status as “local,” incorporating its own peculiar definition of
“local,” see§ 5, but this distinction does not further the compelling goal of “preventing corruption,
avoiding the appearance of corruption, and averting the circumvention of provisions intended to combat
corruption.” See Jacobus v. Alaska, 338 F.3d 1095, 1110 (9th Cir. 2003). Finally, Measure T allows
no exemption for political corporations or for corporate speech on ballot initiatives. See§ 5. Nor is
Measure T likely to be found closely drawn, in accordance with the case law, because unlike the federal
law at issue in F.E.C. v. Beaumont, 539 U.S. 146, 157 (2003), it does not allow corporations to form
political action committees.
At oral argument, defendant urged that the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Jacobus would save at
least the ban on contributions, if not the ban on expenditures. This Court is not persuaded. The court
in Jacobus examined the constitutionality of an Alaska statute restricting various types of campaign
spending by corporations, unions, other business associations and individuals. The portion of Jacobus
on which defendant relies is its discussion of “soft money contributions” to political parties by
individuals, corporations, business associations, and unions. Jacobus, 338 F.3d at 1100. The court
labored to define “soft money contributions,” as opposed to other “hard money” contributions,
ultimately settling on “all money contributed to a political party not expressly earmarked to influence
the nomination or election of a candidate.” Id., at 1098. In this context, the court in Jacobus approved
Case 3:08-cv-04098-SI Document 32 Filed 09/22/2008 Page 2 of 4
1
Nor did the Alaska statute distinguish “local” from “non-local” corporations, labor
organizations and non-profits, as does Measure T. As already noted, these idiosyncratic distinctions
may independently cause constitutional infirmity.
3
Alaska’s ban on “soft money contributions” by corporations. However, the provisions of Measure T
are not limited to such “soft money contributions,” but rather apply across the board to all contributions,
including contributions going directly to candidates. Jacobus neither discussed nor approved such a
sweeping ban.1
Measure T is also likely to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
because it burdens corporations’ right to engage in political expression but, as described above, it is not
narrowly tailored.
Measure T contains a severability clause (§ 14), but this Court finds no way to render the
challenged prohibitions (§§5, 5(a), 5(b)) constitutional.
Accordingly, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 52 and 65 and Local Civil Rule 65.1, the Court hereby
ORDERS as follows:
Defendant, and its agents, officer, representatives and employees, are ENJOINED from
enforcing or giving legal effect to Measure T, until further order of the Court. The Court finds that the
preliminary injunction will require defendant to incur little or no monetary costs and that the injunction
is sought to vindicate constitutional rights and the public interest, so no bond or security will be imposed
under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 65(c).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: September 22, 2008
SUSAN ILLSTON
United States District Judge
Case 3:08-cv-04098-SI Document 32 Filed 09/22/2008 Page 3 of 4
4
Case 3:08-cv-04098-SI Document 32 Filed 09/22/2008 Page 4 of 4

Related:
The Complaint
Case Summary
The Decision
(POS) Measure T

☛ ER Judge rules for Injunction on Measure T
☛ TS Federal judge puts injunction on Measure T
☛ The Journal Fed Judge Issues Injunction against Measure T

BLOGS
☛ NCJ Blogthing Fed Judge Issues Injunction against Measure T
☛ Fred has it Breaking news!

9.08.2008

TS - Humboldt's enviro prosecutor dismissed

Article Launched: 07/12/2006 04:18:31 AM PDT

Humboldt's enviro prosecutor dismissed
John Driscoll The Times-Standard

The prosecutor who handled the bulk of the county's environmental cases for the past seven years was terminated Friday, apparently with the recommendation of District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

Paul Hagen's termination with the California District Attorney's Association came as a surprise for two of the three counties he worked for, part of an arrangement between the state, the association and four Northern California counties. Gallegos expected the termination, said Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat.

Gallegos is on vacation. But district attorneys for both Del Norte and Lake counties were not informed, and were left to shoulder pending cases.

Hagen will voluntarily finish a timber theft case in Del Norte County set to begin today.

Reached on Tuesday, Hagen would not comment.

”I cannot tell you why he was terminated,” Keat said, and referred the Times-Standard to the district attorney's association.

The nonprofit's Executive Director Dave LaBahn said he could not talk about the matter, citing personnel policy. He did say that the association planned to provide the counties with another environmental circuit prosecutor.

The association didn't inform Del Norte or Lake counties' district attorneys of Hagen's termination.

Del Norte District Attorney Mike Riese said many environmental crimes are specialized, labor-intensive cases. Having Hagen free of charge was an asset to the Del Norte office, Riese said, and an asset with a solid record of good resolutions.

”He believes in what he's doing,” Riese said. “It's going to be a loss I'm going to have to cope with.”

He wondered if Hagen's dismissal had something to do with Hagen's concerns about the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee's endorsement process, something denied by Gallegos in another media report.

At a March meeting Hagen opposed endorsing any Democratic candidate running against another Democrat, said committee member Claire Courtney. That happened to include his boss, among other candidates. But Courtney said Hagen was not pressing to endorse someone else over Gallegos.

”He was looking at the process,” Courtney said, “not at the person.”

The committee ended up endorsing Gallegos.

Hagen pursued complicated pollution cases against Louisiana-Pacific Corp. and Sierra Pacific Industries that led to significant settlements. He also recently brokered a $125,000 settlement with Stockton Pacific Enterprises, which was investigated for numerous pollution permit violations at the Samoa pulp mill.

Lt. Jon Wilcox with the California Department of Fish and Game called Hagen “critical” to Fish and Game. So-called hook-and-bullet crimes are frequently passed to the least experienced attorneys, Wilcox said, but Hagen was able to take up cases of particular concern to wardens. He said it is important to fill the position.

Lake County District Attorney Gary Luck said that he planned to inquire about Hagen's termination, and why the elected DAs he worked with weren't informed.

”Normally they provide us the courtesy,” Luck said.

9.07.2008

Times-Standard editorial

☛ TS Gallegos' case management
Humboldt County and its District Attorney Paul Gallegos have been through a lot together. When Humboldt County voters decided to oust longtime incumbent Terry Farmer in favor of the young surfer DA, it was with an eye on cultivating some fresh blood and adding an infusion of vigor and energy in the District Attorney's Office.

It was hoped that Gallegos would bring a new perspective, and challenge that status quo.

Gallegos has done that -- he's challenged entrenched powers, and he's certainly shaken up things in Humboldt County.

The problem, though, is that nearly every major undertaking by Gallegos has ended in failure, and with each of those has come a colossal waste of time and resources, as well as an increasingly divided community.

Whereas it was initially hoped that Gallegos would bring the community together by progressively representing the bulk of the county's voters, instead he has sponsored division and rancor in nearly everything he's touched.

The case against Pacific Lumber Co., which led to a huge battle in the community that included a recall effort against Gallegos? Dismissed. The case against Fortuna Councilwoman Debi August? The same.

The case against former Chief Dave Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti? Dismissed.

In hindsight, we fear that with each of these cases, Gallegos has tried to live up to his own progressive legend at the expense of critical thinking.

At times, Gallegos tries to hang major cases on legal minutiae, or rarely cited bits of law, that leave other legal scholars scratching their heads. Given the preeminence of his position, and the fact that he's gambling with public chips, he needs to proceed much more carefully in his remaining time in office.

He has wasted resources, directing attention away from his office's main task -- criminal cases -- and woefully divided the community with very little if anything to show.

This newspaper endorsed Gallegos in his last election, a decision we stand by given his competition at the time. But our support, and that of the public, will be much harder to earn the next time around, given that Gallegos sometimes appears too interested in attracting headlines for filing major cases that he almost invariably loses.

If he doesn't change his stripes and fast, a loss at the polls for Gallegos may be the only victory he can secure for the rest of us.


The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 09/07/2008 01:32:43 AM PDT

Related coverage Links to articles, letters and Op-Eds

9.03.2008

McK Press - On Measure T

A McKinleyville couple has accused the McKinleyville Union School District Board of Trustees of corruption and has asked them to invalidate Measure C, the recently passed school bond.

David Elsebusch stated at the Wednesday, Aug. 13, meeting of the MUSD Board of Trustees, that “the political process involved in Measure C has been corrupted by illegal campaign contributions that provided 90 percent of the campaign funds, without which the bond measure would surely have failed.”

Elsebuschs’ allegations were based on the fact that the school district had hired several consulting firms which contributed money toward the passage of Measure C, and which also benefited, or will benefit financially from the bond’s passage.

One of the firms in question is Kelling, Northcross and Nobriga (KNN), an Oakland financing firm. MUSD approved a contract with KNN at its Jan. 9 meeting. KNN performs the bond sales, and will be making about $80,000, which will be paid from the bond’s proceeds. If the bond had not passed, KNN would not receive any money. KNN contributed $7,000 on April 16, and an additional $1,500 on May 23 to Citizens in Favor of Measure C, the group which ran the political campaign.

Another firm in question is Jones Hall, a San Francisco financial consultant, which serves as the district’s bond counsel, advising them on legal issues, which will be getting about $45,000 from MUSD. Jones Hall contributed $5,000 to the campaign on April 16, and an additional $1,500 on May 23.

A third firm, Godbe Research, a consultant from Half Moon Bay, hired by the district in 2007, evaluated the community to see if the bond would be acceptable. Superintendent Dena McCullough said that this company has already been paid a fee of approximately $14,000. Godbe contributed $250 to the campaign on April 8.

A fourth firm, Siskiyou Design from Yreka, has been hired as MUSD’s architect. According to Dena McCullough, they will get between 11% and 14% of the project cost. Siskiyou Design contributed $1,500 on April 18.

The contributions of these four firms totaled $16,750, about 90% of the $18,600 raised by Citizens in Favor of Measure C. Most of the remaining contributions were made by top MUSD administrators, or their family members.

Details about the financial contributions were obtained from forms filed with the County Elections Office.

During an earlier MUSD board meeting held on Jan. 8, McCullough had pointed out that because the schools are not allowed to use public funds for campaigning, the money would have to be raised by a committee of volunteers. “Various groups would donate to this campaign, such as KNN, and other corporations that want to see the bonds passed,” she commented at that time.

At the Wednesday, Aug. 13, meeting, fiery exchanges erupted between David Elsebusch and Terrie Smith, the president of the Board of Trustees. Elsebusch asked who was personally involved with requests for campaign contributions from these firms, and asked, under the public records law, to inspect all documents related to communications with them.

He also told the board that he had requested the District Attorney to enforce the county’s ordinance, Measure T, which prohibits out-of-county corporations from contributing to local political campaigns, and to collect 10 times the amount of the contributions for the county’s coffers.

“I deplore that these people were solicited to provide a lot of money, because they knew that they were going to make a lot of money out of it. That is totally corrupt,” he told the board.

“Every person that made calls, that set signs out, that walked precincts, was a person who lived here. There was no outside influence as far as anybody else running the campaign.” replied Terrie Smith.

“Your board should recognize the fact that the process was totally freaking corrupt,” said Elsebusch. “If 90% of the funds received were illegal, that is corruption per se.”

Trustee Brian Mitchell asked if the penalties for violating Measure T included the invalidation of the election. Terrie Smith said that it did not.

“I don’t know how you can even think... ‘let’s go for the funds because we technically and legally can do it,’ when you know darn well that without that infusion of all that money… that you would not have gotten that 55.44%,” Elsebusch said.
Measure C needed a 55% majority to pass, and 55.44% of those who voted approved it.

“Every single person that campaigned are local community members, that were in it for all the right reasons,” countered Terrie Smith. “To better our community and to help our students have better facilities.

“Measure T – no one caught that,” she added. “None of the attorneys caught that. It was something that just slipped through. No, I don’t feel good about that. But do I feel we should backtrack all the hard work that we’ve done, and undo things? I don’t think so... I don’t feel that any member of that campaign committee did anything knowingly illegal, corrupt, wrong in any sense.”

The board unanimously voted to adopt a resolution certifying the election results to the Board of Supervisors.

Elsebusch and his wife Penny also took issue with the board over the formation of a facilities advisory committee, which Superintendent Dena McCullough said would not have to conform to California’s Brown Act. which requires public agencies to hold open meetings.

“This is not going to be an official appointment from the board,” said Superintendent Dena McCullough. “We’re going to establish an additional committee to review upcoming projects, prioritize those projects with the architect, as well as set up the phases for the project. This committee will be made up of Terrie, board members, as well as maintenance, transportation, operations, a business person, and myself.”

“Your architect has a serious conflict of interest,” said Penny Elsebusch, “because of his donations for the campaign contributions. The architect is going to make quite a bit of money. So it was in his best interest to contribute to push this through. Just like your bonding attorney, your financier ... they all have conflicts of interest now.”

“That may come under a RICO law,” she added.

“That’s racketeering?” asked Brian Mitchell.

“That’s correct,” said Penny. “You ask for money. You get it. That’s corruption and that’s RICO. That’s racketeering.”

“There’s no board member here that asked for any money,” Smith said.

“They just did it out of the goodness of their little hearts because they’re all going to make big mega-bucks, and they’re used to throwing the money at campaigns,” said Penny Elesuch.

“You said ‘no board member,’” said David Elsebusch. “You didn’t say ‘staff’ or ‘superintendent.’”

“I have another question about the Facility Advisory Committee,” he added. “Who selects them? How are they selected? On what basis? And will that be a standing committee that is subject to the Brown Act?”

“This is not a mandatory facility committee. This is an additional committee that we are putting place,” said Terrie Smith. “They’re not subject to the Brown Act. ”

The Brown Act, which requires that most governmental meetings be open to the public, does include advisory committees in its definition of governmental bodies, and only grants exemptions for advisory committees that are composed solely of members of the legislative body, provided that the numbers of the members is too small to constitute a quorum. Based on the description of the committee’s membership given by Dena McCullough, the Brown Act would seem to apply to the group.

Aug. 19

By Elaine Weinreb
Press Staff Writer