TS - Robin Bradshaw sentenced to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter of wife

Robin Bradshaw sentenced to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter of wife
Matt Drange/The Times-Standard
Posted: 06/30/2010 01:30:26 AM PDT

Family members of Monica Bradshaw remembered the woman who was killed and secretly buried by her husband more than two years ago during the sentencing of Robin Stuart Bradshaw on Tuesday.
”I love you more than my freedom, my home or my life,” read a letter written by Monica Bradshaw to her husband that was shared by niece Melissa Lawson in court. “Till the day I die I'll love you.”

Lawson said that the letters were typical of teenage lovers, and were not the foundation for a strong marriage. Along with the letters, Lawson brought a poster with photos of Monica Bradshaw.
”She was a gentle woman. She was beautiful, and he took her from us,” Lawson said, struggling to fight back tears. “In my opinion, the defendant is a coward. No prison sentence can restore Monica back to us. I often wonder now who she would have become had he not entered her life.”
Robin Bradshaw, 57, was sentenced to 12 years in prison as part of a plea deal with the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office. He was also ordered to pay $15,000 and was ordered to serve three years of parole following his release.

Robin Bradshaw was initially arrested June 12, 2009, and charged with the murder of his wife. But the District Attorney's Office did not feel that it could successfully prosecute Robin Bradshaw without the body of Monica Bradshaw -- his wife of some 30 years.

In exchange for the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, Robin Bradshaw revealed the location of Monica Bradshaw's body, which he buried after beating her with a metal bar. A forensic analysis later revealed blunt trauma to be the cause of death.

Judge Joyce Hinrichs made the decision to stick with the conditions of the plea bargain on Tuesday, citing the coroner's reports that did not dispute Robin Bradshaw's testimony of the incident. Hinrichs said she found Robin Bradshaw's actions after he killed his wife -- which included impersonating Monica Bradshaw over the phone in an attempt to submit an insurance claim on her car -- to be “despicable,” but said that she would go forward with the ruling for voluntary manslaughter.

”Justice is not always what one side or the other wants to be done,” Hinrichs said, adding that coming to the decision was not easy. “I make this ruling not because it is justice to the family, but because without it, there would be no justice at all.”

Robin Bradshaw's attorney Peter Martin said that his client took a polygraph test when he gave his deposition about the events of a fight between the couple, and that he complied with his end of the plea deal by revealing the location of Monica Bradshaw's remains.

”He is remorseful for the wrongdoing that he did,” Martin said. “He is here today to receive justice for the crimes he committed.”

Monica Bradshaw, 53 at the time of her death, was last seen by neighbors in mid-August 2008. She was never reported missing.

Caroline Sheffield, Monica Bradshaw's sister, said she remembered feeling dumbstruck when she got the phone call that her sister had been killed.

Sheffield detailed for the court the early life of her sister, who she said ran away from home at the age of 16 to live with Robin Bradshaw's family. The two married when Monica Bradshaw turned 18, and Sheffield said that her sister was too stubborn to get out of the marriage when things got bad.

”She only wanted to be loved,” Sheffield said, adding that the 12-year sentence was not enough. “It's a slap in the face. It's a joke.”

Sheffield said the plea deal reached between Bradshaw and the District Attorney's Office in December of last year was made without ever consulting the family. Sheffield said that she is “extremely disappointed” in District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

”It's a never ending. It's like a nightmare that we can't get rid of,” Sheffield said. “We just want this to be over.”

Matt Drange can be reached at 441-0514 or

TS - 11/26/09 Police seek missing woman - Christine Walters

Police seek missing woman
The Times-Standard
Posted: 11/26/2008 01:15:16 AM PST

The Eureka Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Christine Walters, a 23-year-old woman who has not been heard from in over a week.
According to EPD information, Walters has strawberry-blond hair and blue eyes. She stands 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs around 100 pounds.
After about 10 days of failing to contact family members, Walters' family reported her missing. Walters was last seen Nov. 11 in Eureka.
Authorities are asking for anyone with information regarding Walters to contact Police Services Officer Mary Anderson of the Criminal Investigation unit at 707-441-4300 or call the 24-hour dispatch number at 707-441-4044.


The Curious Case of Christine Walters - Missing Nov 2008 - Humbolt County, CA peace4missing.ning.com
Comment by Cherry Simpson on April 22, 2010 at 6:09pm
In a story by the Times-Standard:

What may seem obvious to the uninitiated has to be challenged by a career cop like Paris. Take the case of Christine Walters, a Wisconsin woman who went missing from Eureka on Nov. 11, 2008. The 23-year-old's backpack, wallet and ID were found just after her disappearance. A bank account with a few hundred dollars in it has not been touched. She was known to take long walks in the Arcata Community Forest by herself. She hasn't contacted her family.

It sounds highly suspicious. But of the 15 cases currently on Paris' desk, Walters is the one for whom he has the most hope. Surprisingly, it's not uncommon for people to leave possessions behind -- even money. Walters was supportive of the environmental movement in the area, and Paris has seen a photo of a young woman with strawberry-blond hair being shown how to climb trees at a Southern Humboldt activist camp.


TS - Gallegos "My Word" Universal justice is not universally popular

Gallegos campaign ad, I mean, "My Word"

Universal justice is not universally popular
Paul V. Gallegos/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 06/24/2010 01:37:11 AM PDT

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made our spring campaign a success. It would not have been possible without each and every one of you who volunteered, donated and endorsed. Thank you for all you have given and the many hours of hard work and dedication you selflessly gave over the last several months. It is the sum of your very efforts that made our campaign successful.

I am grateful for the votes and affirmation I received, and to those who did not vote for me, I want you to know that I have heard your voices and I intend to redouble my efforts to earn your votes in November.

Joanie and I moved here about 15 years ago, and fell in love with this remarkable community. Eight years ago I ran for district attorney on a platform of Justice For All -- including those historically neglected by the justice system such as children, victims of domestic violence, people of color, and victims of corporate fraud -- and for modernization. It's hard to believe now, but when I inherited the office, criminal case information was kept on index cards-- not computers.

Since then, my office has aggressively prosecuted the powerful -- even when it's been unpopular. My office prosecuted Maxxam/PL on evidence of fraud. We prosecuted Blue Lake's police chief for multiple felonies including illegal weapons. We prosecuted an oil company and won a major settlement to protect our drinking water.

But universal justice is not universally popular, and some would rather go back to how things used to be. This would be a mistake.

When I came to office, the murder of Blue Lake teen Curtis Huntzinger was still unsolved after 18 years. It was presumed to be unsolvable. But my investigators cracked the case and obtained a full confession from his murderer, Steven Daniel Hash.

During the campaign, one of my opponents made the disturbing accusation that I had let a child abuser off with a slap on the wrist. It was odd because she, under the previous office, had handled the case back in 2000, and should have known the original sentence was overturned on appeal; my office had to re-prosecute it anew in 2004, and the perpetrator was sentenced to eight years in prison.

I'll be the first to admit how much I've learned in the past eight years. Delivering justice to all is not easy. Behind the big publicity stories are thousands of small success stories and dozens of daily tragedies. We can't bring back loved ones -- but we can prosecute to the full extent of the law with the best evidence we have, which is what we do.

We cannot go back to how things were; the improvements and progress we've achieved over the last eight years are simply too precious to give up.

I ask for your support on my campaign as we move toward a November victory. For more information, go to votepaul.org.
Paul V. Gallegos is the Humboldt County district attorney.

Where to begin.


ER - Article on private e-mail sparks debate


Article on private e-mail sparks debate
by Glenn Franco Simmons
The Eureka Reporter
An executive of Rob Arkley’s said he is disappointed in the Times-Standard for publishing a private e-mail that Arkley sent to local political consultant Richard Salzman.

Fred Griffith, senior vice president of acquisitions/development at Security National Properties, spoke to The Eureka Reporter and Times-Standard Tuesday in Eureka because Arkley was out of town on business.

Arkley’s business, Security National, owns The Eureka Reporter.

“(The article) was intended to inflame,” Griffith said. “I think it diminishes the Times-Standard to print that sort of thing.”

He also objected to the large headline the Times-Standard used on the story, which was above the fold in the most-prominent location in the newspaper.

James Tressler, the reporter who wrote the article, said that he was unable to reach Arkley. Griffith responded by saying that Arkley was out of town on business and was unable to return his phone call.

“We are in the business of making money,” Griffith said, in reference to Arkley’s unavailability. “We work very, very hard. We’re very, very busy and these … e-mails and stuff like that have to be prioritized.”

Griffith asked Tressler if it was ethical to print the e-mail.

“I pulled some quotes about ethical journalists and it says a journalist should show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage,” Griffith said. “… It seems to me that what you’ve done here is you have gotten the Salzman e-mails and you used private information in private communication between two people with differing views and brought it out to sell newspapers. I just feel that is wrong. … If you are a journalist, this is unethical in my view.”

Griffith was referencing the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics (www.spj.org/ethics_code.asp).

Later in the interview, Tressler said, “Well, you guys stick to making money and we’ll stick to putting out the newspapers. I’ve been trained in journalism, have you?”

“I know ethics when I hear ethics,” Griffith said. “If I send you a bunch of e-mails and you and I are having a disagreement, for either one of us to run and take them to the press and having the press print all of those things, that is unethical in my view because you and I have a private disagreement. We agree to disagree.” Griffith said.

He said he would rather see the community focusing on solving problems.

“Let’s make this place a better place,” he said. “Let’s get out of the ‘he said, she said.’ If you start blaming people, there is no end to the blame. All of this good, healthy energy gets wasted. It’s negative energy. It’s bad.

“… The Times-Standard has an opportunity, as does The Eureka Reporter, to take partisan politics and throw it in the garbage, and we all can sit down … and make this the greatest city ever and the greatest county ever.”

When contacted by The Eureka Reporter and asked about the community working together, Salzman said in an e-mailed response, “We have to be able to come together and find common ground. That is the only way we will maintain a healthy community. That is why the tone and threats of Rob Arkley’s e-mails were both alarming and disappointing. Once an election is over, we need to set aside our differences and work for the common good. But we need to start by having an honest conversation. …

“When all is said and done, the 60/40 mandate that was delivered to Chris Kerrigan is a reflection of the changing demographics of Eureka. Not so much my influence or Rob’s influence as a financier but that the new residents providing the very growth that has fueled our economy is (bringing) a younger and more progressive electorate not interested in playing ball with the good old boys.”

In relation to the e-mail he received from Arkley, Salzman said, “I feel disappointed. Not so much that Rob, a former ally, no longer likes me, but disappointed that an opportunity to open a dialogue has been trashed and trashed on poor intelligence. I’m frustrated that Rob knows so little that is accurate about me and my work, and my history in California.”

Salzman (salzint.com) represents commercial illustrators who are commissioned by art directors and graphic designers in advertising, publishing and corporate communications.

He moved to the North Coast because he said he loves the weather, the lifestyle and fishing. He relocated here in 2000 after spending the previous 10 years living and working in San Francisco.

He has worked on the local campaigns of Paul Gallegos, to which Arkley gave financial support, Jill Geist and Chris Kerrigan.


Corporate 'right to lie'? Ludicrous

Corporate 'right to lie'? Ludicrous
David Cobb
Article Launched: 11/25/2006 02:13:35 PM PST

Last week, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos filed a brief in a pending fraud lawsuit against Maxxam Corp./Pacific Lumber.

The trial judge dismissed the case last year, asserting in part that Maxxam Corp. is a “person” with a constitutionally protected “right to lie” when petitioning their elected representatives. It's hard to imagine a more ludicrous argument. It would be laughable if the circumstances weren't so damned serious.

At the crux of the fraud lawsuit are allegations that the corporation intentionally submitted fraudulent and deceptive data in order to secure timber plans. At this point we cannot know if these claims are true. And as a result of the outrageous and ridiculous idea that a corporation is a “person” vested with constitutional rights, we may never know the truth.

Let's quickly review what we do know.

We know that after our elected district attorney filed the fraud lawsuit, Maxxam Corp. responded by contributing over $250,000 in an attempt to recall him.

We know that without this obscene amount of money, the effort to collect signatures for the effort would have failed miserably, because recall supporters were unable to collect sufficient numbers of signatures with volunteers.

We know that Maxxam's representatives originally insisted that they were not contributing to the recall -- which we now know was an intentional misrepresentation. We know that the people of Humboldt overwhelming rejected this heavy-handed corporate effort.

We also know that the courts and judges can be wrong.

Courts once held that indigenous people were not legally “persons.” Courts once ruled that slavery was acceptable and that women had “lesser” rights than men. Courts once ruled that trade unions were a criminal conspiracy and that Jim Crow segregation laws did not violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. We know that courts and judges can be utterly and profoundly wrong.

And we know that the doctrine of “Corporate Personhood” is wrong.

To quote from his order, the judge specifically acknowledged that he was basing his dismissal on “a constitutional privilege... of the right of citizens to petition their government.” He also writes that “the concept of representation depends upon the ability of the people to make their wishes known to their representatives.”

Think about that. This judge is equating a corporation filing timber harvest plans with a citizen petitioning elected representatives.

The U.S. Constitution is designed to protect flesh-and-blood people when they are exercising their political and civil rights.

That's good thing, because concentrated power and decision-making authority is a source of potential tyranny.
Of course, a corporation is itself a source of concentrated wealth and power. And corporations are increasingly wielding more decision-making authority over our lives.

And aren't elected officials elected by people to represent people? Or is the judge tacitly admitting that our government is increasingly representing corporations?

To be sure, every employee of a corporation has the right to sign petition recalls and to lobby their government. But they hold these political rights by virtue of their status as human persons in a democracy. No corporation can legitimately claim these political rights.

This unfolding scenario is just another example of the fact that unelected and unaccountable corporate CEOs have hijacked our government. They make public policy, but pretend that their decisions are entirely "private" corporate matters beyond the scope of our authority. And the courts are increasingly conspiring with the corporate elite to legitimize this usurpation.

So I join with others across the county in thanking District Attorney Gallegos for appealing the dismissal of the lawsuit. But in the court of public opinion, Maxxam has already lost.

It's time for “We the People” to assert our fundamental right to self-governance. It's time to abolish the doctrine of “Corporate Personhood.”

David Cobb was the Green Party candidate for president in 2004 and currently works for Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County. He can be reached at david@duhc.org.

Environmental Media Services Also known as a "project" of the Tides Center

Environmental Media Services
Also known as a "project" of the Tides Center
1320 18th Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036
Phone 202-463-6670 | Fax 202-463-6671 | Email ems@ems.org

If you’ve ever been advised to steer clear of a food, beverage, or other consumer product based on the claims of a nonprofit organization, you’ve likely been “spun” by Fenton’s multi-million-dollar message machine -- and Environmental Media Services (EMS) has probably been the messenger.

EMS is the communications arm of leftist public relations firm Fenton Communications. Based in Washington, in the same office suite as Fenton, EMS claims to be “providing journalists with the most current information on environmental issues.” A more accurate assessment might be that it spoon-feeds the news media sensationalized stories, based on questionable science, and featuring activist “experts,” all designed to promote and enrich David Fenton’s paying clients, and build credibility for the nonprofit ones. It’s a clever racket, and EMS & Fenton have been running it since 1994.

Tired of being nagged about which fish are politically correct to eat? Fretting about choosing the “right” catch of the day? You just might be under the influence of SeaWeb and the Natural Resources Defense Council (both Fenton clients), and their “Give Swordfish a Break!” campaign, communicated for over two years by the trusty flacks at EMS. Never mind that Rebecca Lent of the National Marine Fisheries Service said that Atlantic swordfish “are not considered endangered.” The point was to make SeaWeb and NRDC more believable and trusted when the next big enviro-agenda came along.

Freaked out about so-called “Frankenfoods”? Worried that biotech corn will make you glow in the dark? You’ve probably been exposed to something harmful, all right -- EMS’s anti-biotech message, approved and bankrolled by the large segment of the “natural” and organic foods industry that relies on Fenton Communications for its publicity. These include Whole Foods Markets, Green Mountain Coffee, Honest Tea, Kashi Cereal, and Rodale Press, a magazine publisher (Organic Style, Organic Gardening, and many more) that makes millions off of the misguided notion that organic foods are safer to eat than their conventional or biotech counterparts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s position, by the way, is crystal clear. Former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman has said that “[j]ust because something is labeled as ‘organic’ does not mean it is superior, safer, or more healthy than conventional food.”

Afraid to eat dairy products from cows that have been treated with hormones to produce extra milk? Scared that the hormone, which the FDA calls “entirely safe,” will make its way into your body and cause cancer or other irreparable damage? Beginning with a huge press conference in 1998, EMS pushed that very message relentlessly for over two years. And they did it on behalf of Ben & Jerry’s, a paying Fenton client. Why would Ben & Jerry’s care? Because their ice cream is made with hormone-free milk, and David Fenton calculated that a little health hysteria would drive customers to their “alternative” product quite nicely.

It’s called “black marketing,” and Environmental Media Services has become the principal reason Fenton Communications is so good at it. EMS lends an air of legitimacy to what might otherwise be dismissed (and rightly so) as fear-mongering from the lunatic fringe. In addition to pre-packaged “story ideas” for the mass media, EMS provides commentaries, briefing papers, and even a stable of experts, all carefully calculated to win points for paying clients. These “experts,” though, are also part of the ruse. Over 70% of them earn their paychecks from current or past Fenton clients, all of which have a financial stake in seeing to it that the scare tactics prevail. It’s a clever deception perpetrated on journalists who generally don’t consider do-gooder environmentalists to be capable of such blatant and duplicitous “spin.”

The first rule of this game is that it’s strictly pay-for-play. For a price, you too can promote your product by maligning the competition with junk-science smear tactics. To Fenton Communications, you’ll be a “client”; down the hall at EMS, though, you’ll join the ranks of its “project partners.” And nobody will be the wiser.

Surely by now you know that money makes the world go ‘round, and the globe doesn’t stop spinning for Environmental Media Services just because it calls itself “nonprofit.” EMS exists to make money. It turns a profit for Fenton Communications by improving the bottom lines of a wide variety of Fenton clients. Understanding how the money changes hands, though, requires a shift in focus from Washington to San Francisco, where the Tides Foundation is based.

The Tides Foundation is an unusual philanthropy in many ways, not the least of which is that it gives away other foundations’ money. Corporations, individuals, and other foundations can all use Tides as a pass-through vehicle, “designating” that their cash be funneled to tax-exempt third parties. Tides is also unusual in that it runs its own “incubator” for these nonprofit entities, a subsidiary called the Tides Center that runs the day-to-day operations of new activist groups so they can focus on making life difficult for the rest of us. The end result is a “foundation” that uses its own tax-exemption as a sort of blanket coverage for newly-formed nonprofits (all of them left-of-center), while funding them with money that originates somewhere else.

In this arrangement, startup activist groups don’t have to risk being turned down when they ask the IRS for tax-exempt status: they just ride piggy-back on Tides’s exemption, giving them the same privileges extended to churches and universities without having to satisfy any real requirements. And big-money donors with anti-corporate or anti-consumer leanings can readily fund the lunatic fringe without having to disclose where their money went. They only need mention in their tax returns that a donation was made to the Tides Center, and their legal obligations are fulfilled. One more curious side effect of this deal is that newly-incubated activist groups (what Tides calls “projects”) can appear to have absolutely no expenses of their own for employees, lobbyists, or fundraising contractors, as Tides officially cuts all the checks.

So while Environmental Media Services was started, and is still run, by staffers of Fenton Communications, it was officially instituted as a “project” of the Tides Center in 1994. This gave Fenton some plausible deniability and initially shielded him from the suggestion that EMS was just a shill for his clients. It has also provided a ready-made funding mechanism for foundations, “progressive” companies, and other Fenton clients who don’t want their contributions to EMS noted for the public record [Editor’s note: despite the logistical roadblocks set up by Tides, our research still has been able to reverse-engineer several million dollars in foundation grants to EMS].

Of course, anyone ingenious enough to invent such a scheme is also probably crafty enough to abuse it as well. Consider that the Tides Center paid EMS president Arlie Schardt over $115,000 in 1998. Fair enough, since he was technically a Tides employee, in addition to being the “Senior Counselor” at Fenton Communications and a board member at Friends of the Earth. But that doesn’t explain the $583,727 that Tides paid to Fenton that same year, which was designated as “public relations” expenses in Tides’s tax return. You see, Tides has never “officially” been a Fenton client, as that would appear to be a huge conflict. The Fenton Communications web site doesn’t list Tides as a current or former client either. So what was the half-million-dollar payout for?

We may never find out. But we do know that in the past three tax years (1998-2000), the for-profit companies “eGrants,” Seventh Generation, and Working Assets (which sells long-distance phone service and brokers credit cards), have each put over $1 million into Tides. They are all, by the way, clients of Fenton Communications. So are big-money foundations like the Pew Charitable Trusts, the David & Lucille Packard Foundation, and the John Merck Fund. Together, they have contributed another $1.6 million (that we know of) to EMS, using Tides as a money-funnel.

The big picture, then, is a quasi-money-laundering scheme worthy of a name like “Tides” (apologies to Procter & Gamble). Fenton Communications’ for-profit and foundation clients put massive amounts of cash into Tides, and enjoy a healthy tax write-off for their trouble. Tides turns around and makes huge “grants” to Fenton’s nonprofit clients, including the Environmental Working Group, Natural Resources Defense Council, and SeaWeb (just to name a few). Tides also funds EMS, which David Fenton uses as a mouthpiece in order to promote fear campaigns which benefit his other for-profit clients. EMS makes good use of the “experts” who haunt the halls of Fenton’s nonprofit clients. Tides pays everyone’s salary, and even sends the odd half million dollars to Fenton Communication for its trouble.

The remarkable thing here is that this is all legal, and that it takes this much concentrated duplicity to produce an effective food scare.

In December of 1998, Environmental Media Services (with several Fenton Communications staffers in tow) held a press conference with guests including activist representatives from the Center for Food Safety and the Consumers Union. Before news cameras and dozens of reporters, this panel of “experts” warned that “recombinant” Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) given to cows would render milk harmful to humans, and even cancerous. The Boston Globe, the New York Times, and ABC News (among others) all ran stories based on this “breaking news” event suggesting that American consumers should be suspicious of any dairy products associated with rBGH.

Not surprisingly, the press event produced by EMS made no mention of the fact that Ben & Jerry’s was both a Fenton client and a major stakeholder in the debate. Just one year earlier, Ben & Jerry’s had made headlines (again, with a wind-assist from EMS) with a legal settlement in which it would be permitted to use product labels touting its products’ lack of rBGH as an advantage for consumers. Back then, EMS was very open about its relationship with Ben & Jerry’s, sending out press releases touting the ice cream maker’s “legal victory.” Fenton Communications knew full well that its client was interested in painting rBGH-wielding competitors as cancer conduits, and EMS was happy to oblige.

What they never told you was that Ben & Jerry’s also had to agree to a disclaimer, which still appears on some ice cream cartons today: “The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated and untreated cows.”

Copyright © 2007 Center for Consumer Freedom. All rights reserved.

VIO does not work alone


VIO does not work alone
There is another lobbyist in the payroll of the Venezuelan government. In May 2004, VIO granted to Lumina Strategies, represented by Michael Shellenberger, a six-month contract amounting to USD 60,000, not including out of pocket expenses.

Lumina Strategies "is a consulting and communication firm working in the public interest." Its mission is cited "to help foundations, NGOs and corporations save the environment, grow the economy, and improve the quality of life for people worldwide through campaigns that change policies, transform attitudes, and shift markets." The work of Lumina Strategies has been related to the task of Global Exchange -a former client of the company. Based on a proposal reportedly authored by Shellenberger, his work for VIO covers strategic and communication advice. His duties and responsibilities include visiting Venezuela at least once in a month, writing op-eds, launching political campaigns in the Internet and coordinating events promotion with VIO and the Venezuelan embassy.

The revolution hires opinion makers to clear its image

The records submitted to the US Department of Justice detail VIO activities

The government funded Venezuelan Information Office, VIO, is a "private" initiative that gathers alleged journalists and political analysts to disseminate positive information on the revolution in the US media and among politicians



The Bolivarian government has been too busy with a campaign to spoil media negative coverage abroad, hence a company was organized for such purpose. The Venezuelan Information Office, property of VIO Investment Corp, a company incorporated in the State of Florida, has operated in Washington DC for over three years.

Based on the records submitted by its members to the US Department of Justice: "With the use of media tools, grassroots action and education and Congress speakers, VIO seeks to show the US audience a vision in line with the true current process in Venezuela, enter into strategic partnerships for the Venezuelan people, and prevent the US government from interfering in the Venezuelan democratic process."

VIO introduces itself as a source of true and educational information on the "social investment" of the Bolivarian government and ongoing political changes. It is defined as a group of US citizens willing to foster knowledge of Chávez' homeland. The VIO website states: "as US citizens, we ought to secure our government respect for the sovereignty of foreign democracies."

To ensure success of the campaign, VIO contacted in September 2003 Global Exchange -a US organization with a significant network of political activists in the United States. The agency has planned some of the world major protests, including the demonstrations against the forum of the World Trade Organization, held in Seattle in 1999. Short time ago, Deborah James, former directing manager of Global Exchange, was the VIO CEO.

Bolivarian green
Funding of the Office comes from the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Washington. In 2003-2004, it was allotted over USD 400,000. As reported by Kevin Borgadus in an article of September 22nd, 2004 for the US Center for Public Integrity, VIO closed suddenly in late February 2004 and opened again some months later with a new budget of USD 660,000. In that article, Borgadus also mentioned an agreement entered into by the Bolivarian government and the lobby firm Patton Boggs for more than USD 650,000 in 2004. Borgadus is a researcher for the Center for Public Integrity and has worked with CBS Radio and CNN.

The VIO staff is composed of six US and Venezuelan professionals who earned USD 3,000-5,300 monthly in 2003-2004.

VIO is included in the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). All foreign companies who act on behalf of and are paid by a foreign government should register there. The record also states that VIO activities are "political in nature." The Act was drafted by the US Congress in reply to political advertising by German-origin agents who operated in the United States before the Second World War.

Defense mission
VIO activities include denial of the alleged lies published abroad by foreign and Venezuelan media. This is done through e-mails, letters to the editor, articles, and supply of audiovisual documents, among others. Most of the time, they claim to write on their own and fail to clarify that they work for a company funded by the Bolivarian government.

One of the individuals responsible for this task is Nathan Converse, a "media analyst" at VIO. Converse has written a number of articles advocating for the government before the US audience, denouncing negative coverage and blaming US media for falsifying facts and subjective reporting.

Part of the VIO audiovisual campaign includes promotion of the documentary film "The Revolution will not be televised," a peculiar vision of the events of April 11, 2002.

VIO is also responsible for advocating the Bolivarian cause at the US Congress. One employee acts as the liaison officer with the US Congress in order to "educate" congresspersons and influence any decision on Venezuela. The VIO website also provides advice to those interested in sending letters or e-mails to the Congress and organization of face-to-face meetings with Congresspersons to discuss Venezuela related issues.

Organization and funding of "delegations of observers" that visit Venezuela to get familiar with the domestic situation is another salient activity in the office. This is why US Justin Delacour purported to visit Venezuela during the recall referendum. Delacour is named as a "political analyst" in the dossier submitted by the Ministry of Communication and Information, where the US media are charged with subjectivity and negligence. Delacour calls himself a militant and follower of Hugo Chávez. He has even declared: "I will remain with Chávez for better or worse, and I think that any progressive thinker would do the same if he knew what is at stake." VIO uses as an example for its readers a letter to the editor published in The Washington Post in October 27, 2004, and initialed by Justin Delacour, in reply to a reportedly negative editorial about Venezuela. The letter shows how to write pro-Chávez replies and, thus, influence media coverage of the Bolivarian rule.

The Eva Code
According to journalist Elizabeth Araujo, of TalCual daily, VIO has also been related to renowned US-Venezuelan attorney Eva Golinger -a New York resident and co-author, along with US journalist Jeremy Bigwood, of "The Chávez Code -Construing US interference in Venezuelan Affairs"

The Chávez Code includes papers of the US Department of State and Department of Defense, among others, whereby the CIA and the US government are presumably linked with the events in Venezuela in April 11, 2002. The papers were available thanks to the Freedom of Information Act. The book was launched in Cuba by editorial Ciencias Sociales and is expected soon in Venezuela. President Chávez himself recommended the book during his Sunday speech of March 13. Golinger and Bigwood are the "discoverers" of the financial contribution made by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED to Non-Governmental Organization Súmate. Then, they added glamour to the claims by noting that they were "declassified" papers. This turned to be untrue. Additionally, on several occasions, VIO has asked Golinger to write letters to the editors of some publications to belie the contents of articles and editorials contrary to Chávez.

VIO does not work alone
There is another lobbyist in the payroll of the Venezuelan government. In May 2004, VIO granted to Lumina Strategies, represented by Michael Shellenberger, a six-month contract amounting to USD 60,000, not including out of pocket expenses.

Lumina Strategies "is a consulting and communication firm working in the public interest." Its mission is cited "to help foundations, NGOs and corporations save the environment, grow the economy, and improve the quality of life for people worldwide through campaigns that change policies, transform attitudes, and shift markets." The work of Lumina Strategies has been related to the task of Global Exchange -a former client of the company. Based on a proposal reportedly authored by Shellenberger, his work for VIO covers strategic and communication advice. His duties and responsibilities include visiting Venezuela at least once in a month, writing op-eds, launching political campaigns in the Internet and coordinating events promotion with VIO and the Venezuelan embassy.

Translated by Conchita Delgado


“It’s an attempt by a mid-level bureaucratic political whore to b***h-slap me in public because he doesn’t like the way I vote,” Rodoni said.

by Nathan Rushton, 10/4/2006

It was a seemingly innocuous agenda matter scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to discuss who should represent the board at the Humboldt County Association of Governments.

Responsible for how state transportation funding is spent in the county, HCAOG’s eight-member board of directors — made up of a representative of each of the incorporated cities and the county — wields considerable power.

But fueled by the contentious issue of the Hoopa Valley tribe’s long-standing, but unsuccessful, efforts to become a member of the HCAOG board of directors, the supervisors’ meeting turned into a political struggle that threatened to disrupt the relative calm of the board, which has generally found agreement on almost every issue.

Board chair John Woolley said he scheduled the matter to seek clarification as to who should represent the board in light of HCAOG’s bylaws, which state it is the board’s chairperson who should fill that position.

What he got from 2nd District Supervisor Roger Rodoni, who has been the board’s delegate for 10 years, was a caustic charge that the matter was arranged by Woolley to get rid of him, which he described as a “low move” that would forever change the atmosphere of the board.

“It’s an attempt by a mid-level bureaucratic political whore to b***h-slap me in public because he doesn’t like the way I vote,” Rodoni said.

Woolley responded by saying that he wasn’t there to criticize Rodoni’s votes.

“I am just saying that this board took a stand and the representative — on the membership (issue) only — is looking at a different position right now,” Woolley said.

In January, the board unanimously approved, with Rodoni absent, to send a letter to HCAOG in support of its directors amending its bylaws to allow the Hoopa Valley tribe to gain a seat on HCAOG.

“I believe the issue of membership is really a board, not an individual, requirement,” Woolley said.

But Woolley said he had no intention of dictating to Rodoni or any other representative on the policies or issues facing the board, and “looking over that shoulder” of how a representative votes is not an effective use of government.

No action was taken to replace Rodoni.

First District Supervisor Jimmy Smith said he didn’t want to see the matter go sideways and asked that a subcommittee of Rodoni and 5th District Supervisor Jill Geist be formed to look at the issues and to come up with answers.

That motion was passed by a unanimous vote.

Smith said he hoped the HCAOG board would look at the matter more comprehensively and develop a strategy for establishing criteria that welcomes new members that meet the test.

Asked by Smith whether he would support the development of those criteria, Rodoni said that if the tribe came to the board as an equal, then it would be different.

“With the way it is right now, I would say no,” Rodoni said. “Those issues have not been addressed and those have not been settled to the point that everyone can agree.”

As sovereign nations, Rodoni said tribes don’t have to play by the same rules as other forms of elected governments.

In an interview following the meeting, HCAOG Executive Director Spencer Clifton said there has always been a political conflict over whether individuals representing a board can vote their conscience or if they should represent their board’s will.

But if each of the eight HCAOG directors had to go back to their respective boards for direction on each vote, Clifton said it would paralyze the agency.

Clifton said that when HCAOG’s charter was drafted, it was with the understanding that the board’s chair changed annually and that it allows the chair the flexibility to be the representative or to appoint a designee.

Although he said he doesn’t play favorites, Clifton said HCAOG has relied on representatives who have the transportation experience and background to make decisions and that the learning curve of bringing on a new member could occupy half of the time they serve.

“That is a significant issue for me,” Clifton said.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

HCAOG meeting derailed over conflict of interest concerns

HCAOG meeting derailed over conflict of interest concerns

by Nathan Rushton, 11/17/2006

It came to a screeching halt before it ever really began.

The meeting of the Humboldt County Association of Governments’ board of directors convened Thursday afternoon solely to discuss the proposed criteria for how the joint powers transportation funding agency — made up of the seven incorporated cities and the county — would add new members.

But the meeting was immediately derailed within minutes when concerns over a conflict of interest were raised by the county’s representative, Supervisor Roger Rodoni, over a campaign contribution to Eureka Mayor and HCOAG Board of Directors President Peter La Vallee.

Rodoni said the $2,100 contribution to La Vallee’s recent election campaign from the Hoopa Valley Tribe puts La Vallee into a “considerable conflict” with state law.

Although the Hoopa Valley Tribe isn’t specifically mentioned in the generalized membership criteria the HCAOG board has been wrangling over in recent months, the tribe’s unsuccessful attempts for nearly a decade to secure a seat on the board have been a hotly contested topic that has been central to all of the membership discussions.

David Tranberg, legal counsel for HCAOG, agreed that Rodoni cited the correct Government Code Sec. 84308 and agreed that La Vallee should be disqualified from participating in the matter that could affect his campaign contributors.

La Vallee, who admitted and reported the contribution, said he wasn’t surprised by Rodoni’s move, which he called “a grasping at straws to kill the process.”

Ironically, La Vallee tried to secure an alternate to move ahead with the meeting and phoned fellow Councilmember Virginia Bass, who La Vallee is defending his mayoral seat against and who was on the receiving end of criticism by La Vallee for not reporting in a timely manner plane flights she received from Security National owners Rob and Cherie Arkley.

“I reported by law and put forth what is going on,” La Vallee said. “I think it is a little different in that we weren’t really voting on the membership of the Hoopa tribe today, we were voting for membership.”

La Vallee said his position in support of the tribe’s gaining a seat on the HCAOG board was well-known long before the contribution.

“They didn’t approach me, I asked them,” La Vallee said.

But Bass declined to fill in for La Vallee because of previous engagements, so Rodoni moved and Arcata City Councilmember Dave Meserve seconded the motion to postpone the meeting, which passed by a 7-1 vote, with Ferndale City Councilmember Carlos Benemann voting against.

Although Meserve, who didn’t survive a re-election bid for his Arcata seat, joked that it was the first time he had seconded anything Rodoni had proposed, Rodoni may get the last laugh because Meserve will not be returning.

Meserve said one of his biggest disappointments of losing the election is not being able to continue to fight for the Hoopa Valley Tribe to gain membership on the board.

Rodoni, who has himself been the target of conflict of interest allegations, said in response to La Vallee’s charge that he was trying to derail the process and that La Vallee needs to be reminded of the law.

“This contribution — especially under these conditions — could be construed by some as a bribe,” Rodoni said. “That is why we have the law to avoid those kinds of things.”

HCAOG’s next meeting will be held Dec. 14, but it is unclear if the membership criteria will be on the agenda.

(Rob and Cherie Arkley own Security National, which owns The Eureka Reporter and the Balloon Track.)
Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

HCAOG discusses member criteria

HCAOG discusses member criteria
by Nathan Rushton, 10/28/2006

After several hours of wrangling, the Humboldt County Association of Government’s eight-member board of directors inched closer Thursday night to finalizing the steps necessary for how the county’s transportation funding planning agency can add new members.

Although directors have been working for nearly one year on how a hypothetical new member might be added, the discussions keep coming back to the Hoopa Valley Tribe, which has been trying unsuccessfully for more than a decade to gain a seat on HCAOG’s board.

In often heated discussions, which have repeatedly ended in deadlocked votes, the board has battled over concerns that the tribe’s form of government is too different compared with the governments of other members, which represent the county and the seven incorporated cities.

But the directors cleared the deadlock roadblock and approved 3-5 to have HCAOG’s attorney work with his Hoopa Valley tribal counterpart to draft amendments to HCAOG’s bylaws aimed at eliminating concerns about the tribe’s sovereign immunity status and its form of representational government, which is based on lineage, not geography.

Councilmembers Dave Meserve of Arcata, Adelene Jones of Blue Lake, Carlos Benemann of Ferndale, Chi-Wei Lin of Trinidad and Eureka Mayor Peter La Vallee voted in favor of the plan, while Fortuna Mayor John Campbell, Rio Dell Mayor Bud Leonard and Humboldt County Supervisor Roger Rodoni voted in opposition.

Thursday’s proposed amendments add to the already agreed-on criteria for new members, which include having at least five miles of public lands, a population of 300, regulatory and statutory contract conformance and open meeting laws.

Part of the problem for HCAOG is that its charter doesn’t include a section that addresses a mechanism for resolving disputes among current and future member agencies.

Grett Hurley, a senior tribal attorney with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, agreed to work with HCAOG legal counsel David Tranberg to draft dispute resolution language for HCAOG’s charter that he said would cover the tribe’s sovereign immunity sticking point and would likely address all of the other concerns directors had.

Although he said he could solve some issues, Hurley indicated the tribe wouldn’t budge on other aspects.

“I’ve said it in a memo and I have said it before,” Hurley said. “Hoopa will not change its form of government.”

The dispute resolution language is anticipated to be brought back before the board for consideration in an as-yet-to-be-determined special meeting in November.

Besides the sovereign immunity and representation issues, campaign contributions to political candidates by area tribes was another concern for several directors.

Although Benemann called the campaign contributions issue a “red herring,” Rodoni called it a $25,000 red herring, apparently referring to the recent contribution by the Blue Lake Rancheria to Supervisor Bonnie Neely in her bid for re-election.

In repeated questions that went unanswered, Meserve asked fellow directors what the negative or positive effect would be on the board if the Hoopa Valley Tribe had a seat.

In response to other questions, Rodoni said he wanted an equal playing field among representatives and said Native American tribes, which he called “quasi-for-profit business,” get to play both sides of the fence, which included contributing to political campaigns — something that no other government representative could do.

But Tranberg agreed with Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairperson Clifford Lyle Marshall, who said as long as California laws permitted it, it was perfectly legal.

Another idea pitched by Tranberg in an effort to move the process forward, which initially received a less enthusiastic reception by most of the directors, was the possibility of bringing the Hoopa Valley Tribe on as a trial member to see how the relationship worked before taking the full membership leap.

Meserve called the idea “repugnant,” but agreed to at least consider the proposal if it was a short trial period.

The directors passed the motion 6-to-1, with Rodoni casting the only no vote, to have the attorneys explore that idea.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.


by Nathan Rushton, 1/3/2007

In her first meeting as board chair, 4th District Supervisor Bonnie Neely kicked off the newyYear by leading the five supervisors into a discussion on the year’s appointments to the board’s various commissions, committees and task forces.

While Neely readily offered up her seats on several key committees, including her seat on the county’s finance and budget committee and Workforce Investment Board, it was her desire to replace 2nd District Supervisor Roger Rodoni as the representative on the transportation funding agency Humboldt County Association of Governments that sparked some friction.

HCOAG, which is made up of the seven incorporated cities and the county, has been embroiled in ongoing turmoil over the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s nearly 10-year unsuccessful effort to gain a seat on HCAOG’s board of directors, which Rodoni has voted against in several votes last year despite the board’s 4-1 vote in favor of the tribe’s inclusion.

Because of the complex nature of HCAOG, Rodoni said changing the representative yearly would be putting the county at a disadvantage.

Rodoni also questioned the “wisdom of terminating his tenure” as the HCAOG’s representative, although he acknowledged that the ultimate choice was up to the board.

In offering a historical perspective, Rodoni said the 2nd District supervisor has usually represented the board on HCAOG, with the 1st District supervisor as the alternate, for one “simple reason”: that is where most of the county’s roads, as well as the majority of its transportation issues, lay.

“Supervisor Neely — on the other hand — represents primarily the city of Eureka,” Rodoni said. “I don’t recall too many county road miles, culverts, bridges or other problems that arise relative to interests of the county which occur in the 4th District.”

In voting on the tribal issues at HCAOG, McKinleyville resident David Elsebusch raised concerns that if Neely were to assume the HCAOG representative seat, she might be vulnerable to the perception of a conflict of interest for accepting a $25,000 campaign donation from the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe during her re-election bid.

Defending allegations that it was politics at play, Neely said her desire to be HCAOG’s representative was to be consistent with HCAOG’s charter, which states the “association shall consist of the chairperson of the Board of Supervisors and the mayor of each city.”

In an e-mail correspondence following Tuesday’s meeting, Neely addressed the conflict of interest issue and reiterated her pledge to bring back for the entire board’s consideration any new membership proposals hashed out at HCAOG.

“The tribe pursuing a seat on HCAOG is the Hoopa Valley Tribe,” Neely said. “I have not received a contribution from that tribe.”

Adding to 1st District Supervisor Jimmy Smith’s recommendation that the list of appointments be looked over thoroughly by staff to see whether some of the defunct committees needed to be eliminated permanently, 5th District Supervisor Jill Geist offered her suggestion that now is also a good time to examine the board’s representative seats on all of the various joint powers agencies, such as HCAOG.

The matter will be brought back before the board at its next meeting on Jan. 9.

In other business, the board unanimously voted to approve a resolution declaring a potential or existing water pollution problems in Orick that makes the unincorporated area more competitive for high-priority state infrastructure funding to deal with the failing on-site wastewater systems.

County health officials indicated that the failing systems could lead to the abandonment of commercial properties and residences if something such as a community sewer system isn’t implemented.

Orick had been targeted in the county’s abandoned redevelopment plan and was slated to receive funds for the development of an improved wastewater facility.

Karla Cummings, the administrative assistant for the Orick Community Services District, said the resolution wouldn’t force a moratorium on building.

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

Neely in, Rodoni out


Neely in, Rodoni out
by Nathan Rushton, 1/10/2007

Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Chair Bonnie Neely will replace 2nd District Supervisor Roger Rodoni as the county’s representative to the increasingly controversial Humboldt County Association of Governments’ board of directors.

The decision was approved by the board 4-1, with Rodoni opposing, during a discussion of the 2007 committee appointments at its meeting Tuesday.

HCAOG, an eight-member agency made up of the seven incorporated cities and the county, is the designated regional transportation planning agency responsible for programming state highway programs, road improvements and transportation resources.

Who represents the county on HCAOG’s board has become inseparable with and as controversial as the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s nearly decade-long efforts to gain a seat at HCAOG’s table, which has been voted against by Rodoni despite the other four supervisors’ support for the tribe’s inclusion.

Neely said her justification for replacing Rodoni was to be consistent with HCAOG’s charter, which states the board chair shall hold the position.

“I am no stranger to transportation issues or securing funding for transportation issues in Humboldt County,” Neely said. “I was part of the task force that secured $72 million for the Confusion Hill bypass on (U.S.) Highway 101.”

While he is out of the county’s top HCAOG spot, Rodoni accepted the alternate position.

Rodoni, who has joined with three other HCAOG members to oppose the tribe’s inclusion in several deadlocked votes last year, said the one looming argument put forward by the opponents is that tribes are for-profit, private corporations that are able to do what is in their best interest, including forking out money to political candidates — something no other member entity can do.

While the issue of a possible conflict of interest was raised during last week’s meeting in light of Neely’s $25,000 campaign contribution from the Blue Lake Rancheria, Neely dismissed that concern because she said it was the membership of the Hoopa Valley Tribe that has been before the HCAOG board.

There has been a significant shakeup of representatives to HCAOG’s board.

When the proposed membership criteria amendments to HCAOG’s cooperative agreement are brought before its members later this month, the new makeup of the board is likely to bring a fresh perspective to the issue that has dominated meetings and bogged the members down in recent months.

Neely will join with three new representatives on HCAOG’s board, including Eureka Mayor Virginia Bass, Arcata Mayor Harmony Groves and Ferndale Mayor Jeff Farley to replace Peter La Vallee, Dave Meserve and Carlos Benemann, who did not run for or didn’t survive the election in November.

An attorney representing the Hoopa Valley Tribe made a brief appearance to express the tribe’s support for the board to follow the joint powers authority’s agreement to place the board chair as the HCAOG representative.

Also addressing the board, although he said he wasn’t there advocating for who should represent the supervisors on HCAOG’s board, was HCAOG Executive Director Spencer Clifton.

Responding to questions about the “steep learning curve” Rodoni mentioned last week as a big reason not to replace him, Clifton said some of HCAOG’s transportation funding mechanisms were rivaled in complexity only by the state’s school systems, but offered his staff’s help to bring new members up to speed.

“We have membership changes at HCAOG,” Clifton said. “It doesn’t cripple the organization.”

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

AE - New DA unit to take up Hagen's work

New DA unit to take up Hagen's work
dated somewhere around 1/3/07

This week, in Daniel Mintz's article in the Arcata Eye, McKinleyville Press and The Independent, Gallegos announces that he is planning to put together an "environmental crimes unit.

“The idea is that we would be a leader, a hub in northern California for top prosecutors,” said Gallegos.
Staffing would be modest at first, he continued, possibly beginning with a prosecutor that he would hire and the CDAA would pay for. As the unit progresses, fines culled from successful prosecutions might allow further staffing.

“If someone is ripping people off or engaged in unfair business practices, they can expect to be prosecuted as criminals, or sued civilly, or both,” Gallegos said. “And if they’re creating a dangerous work environment – same thing.”"

More code words that say, in no uncertain terms, that Gallegos continues to try to implement Salzman's Plan. Using taxpayer's money to fulfill the activist's agenda at the expense of the People's business.

The purpose of the so-called "Alliance for Ethical Business" was "to promote corporate
responsibility and to ensure that fraud and illegal business practices are
prosecuted in a court of law."

Code words for "get Palco."

read the full article at
New DA unit to take up Hagen's work
Also posted the FIRST COMMENT on this post.

Big box vs. local entrepreneurs My Word by Richard Salzman

Big box vs. local entrepreneurs
My Word by Richard Salzman, Jan. 12, 2006

Article Launched:01/19/2006 02:48:00 PM PST

I want to thank my friend Cletus Isbell for furthering the discussion on big-box stores in his My Word of Dec. 23. I do, however, want to respectfully disagree with three points he makes.

First, I disagree that those consumers now comfortably buying items off the Internet (and getting them home-delivered) will switch to the big boxes.

Instead, the big box's customers will mainly be those of us who now frequent locally owned and operated brick-and-mortar stores.

The second and third reasons have to do with the intertwined subjects of jobs and taxes, and can perhaps be best illustrated with the example of Home Depot, a timely subject coming before the Eureka City Council in the form of a zoning change request for the Balloon Track. A Home Depot would have a devastating effect on everyone who sells everything from appliances to flooring, hardware to cabinets, lumber to home heating. The list goes on and on (and a Best Buy — another possibility — would include everyone in music and home electronics). Since Home Depot now also does installation, work would be snatched from all sorts of contractors and tradespeople, too.

Yes, some driven out of business will be able to get jobs at the Home Depot, but the ripple effect on our community will be devastating. The key difference is that Home Depot spends most of its money with out-of-the-area suppliers — and sends all of its profits back to corporate headquarters.

Whatever short-term gains there may be in the tax base would pale in comparison to the money drained from our local community. Because whenever a dollar is spent at a locally owned company, it recirculates several times through the local economy. The county has already acknowledged this economic fact of life in a comprehensive study called “Prosperity — The North Coast Strategy” (available at www.northcoastprosperity.com), which the city of Eureka signed onto.

I urge readers to just do a Google search on “big box impact” and read any of the myriad studies detailing the disastrous effect these stores can have on the economy of areas with a limited population like ours. Our locally owned and operated small businesses are the lifeblood of what has proved to be a vibrant and resilient local economy, but there are limits to how much more impact we can sustain.

The loss of extraction-industry jobs already has been hard on us, and small businesses are the best hope for living-wage jobs. Yet even those businesses which might survive the initial impact and aren't forced to close down will have to cut back: Cut back on their workforce and downsize their American dream. There is simply not enough business in such a small community to support both the big box and the local entrepreneur.

I don't know that the government could or should stop a big box from coming to town, but business owners, tradespeople and all their customers and neighbors alike ought to tell their elected officials, starting with the Eureka City Council, not to facilitate the process through zoning changes or the rejection of study grants.

Richard W. Salzman, an artists' representative for illustrators working in advertising and publishing, has long been active in
local Democratic politics. He lives in Trinidad. (Note: he is MUCH MORE than that)

The opinions expressed in this My Word piece do not necessarily reflect the editorial viewpoint of the Times-Standard.

Exodus, Eureka City Government

I expect you'll see up to a dozen more leave. many have told me privately that if Tyson goes they will go, the situation at City Hall has been unnecessarily tense as certain factions have pushed to force Tyson out. Progressivism at its finest.

Eureka finance director to resign

Finance Director Valerie Warner turned in her resignation on Thursday, opting to take job in Oregon near her family. Warner has worked for the city for about three years and will leave the city officially on July 16, said City Manager David [Full Story]

Eureka city attorney announces resignation: Schaffner agrees to take post in San Ramon
06/05/2010 - After nearly four years with Eureka, City Attorney Sheryl Schaffner announced Friday that she will be resigning her post next month. Schaffner, who was hired on as the city's legal counsel in September 2006, said that she has accepted a job offer to fill the same capacity for the city of San Ramon. She said she is making the move to be closer to her family, especially her parents and new grandson, all of whom live in the San Francisco Bay Area....

Tyson to retire from Eureka city manager post in January
Eureka City Manager David Tyson announced Tuesday he is retiring from the position after 10 years service, effective Jan. 1.
In his letter to the mayor and city council, Tyson did not give a specific reason for his decision, but stated he would stay on board to follow through with a number of issues facing the city -- including a projected $4.3 million budget shortfall, which has resulted in contentious discussions on how to fill the gap. His current contract ends in December.
There is no successor lined up for his position. He said on Tuesday that his primary goal when he became city manager was to bring stability to the city and after 10 years, he felt that had been accomplished.

Tyson to retire from Eureka city manager post in January (66%)
05/19/2010 - Eureka City Manager David Tyson announced Tuesday he is retiring from the position after 10 years service, effective Jan. 1. In his letter to the mayor and city council, Tyson did not give a specific reason for his decision, but stated he would similar results n


With Hurwitz, FDIC got more than it bargained for

HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section:
July 1, 2004, 11:42PM

With Hurwitz, FDIC got more than it bargained for


Charles Hurwitz showed up in court Wednesday wearing a tie with a horseshoe pattern because, he said, he was feeling lucky.

He had good reason.

After almost a decade, Hurwitz is on the verge of prevailing in his efforts to extract as much as $61 million in sanctions from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Hurwitz claims he has been the target of a government conspiracy to force him to settle a lawsuit with the FDIC by surrendering a redwood forest his company owns in California. The FDIC's case stemmed from the $1.6 billion collapse of United Savings Association of Texas in 1988,
the country's fifth-largest savings and loan failure.

The FDIC, which is used to playing the role of the taxpayers' champion, has found itself with few allies. Judge Lynn Hughes criticized the agency's attorneys for not being careful about the details of their testimony, he implied the FDIC may not have followed proper procedure in voting to sue Hurwitz in 1995 and even suggested one government lawyer
may have perjured himself.

The FDIC approaches failed S&L cases with a presumption of guilt for all involved. After all, savings and loan deregulation allowed scores of developers and wheeler-dealers to loan money to themselves under
ridiculous terms, all guaranteed by the government. Stories of excess are legion — prostitutes at board meetings, secretaries put up as bets in a $5,000 game of quarters, 12-year-olds given vintage Ferraris.

But the Hurwitz case had none of that. Whatever his business
transgressions, Hurwitz didn't lead a flashy lifestyle.

What's truly stunning about the case is the flimsiness of the government's claims. It doesn't accuse Hurwitz of fraud or that he enriched himself by looting United Savings. In fact, as close as it comes is making an argument for what could best be described as

It claims Hurwitz enriched himself not by taking money out of the thrift, but by not putting money in when the S&L was failing.

The government, though, has been unable to prove Hurwitz or his company was required to do so. Hurwitz, being the savvy deal maker he is, put several layers of interlocking companies between Maxxam and the thrift.

Massive investigations and legal proceedings by two government agencies over 15 years at a cost to taxpayers of $13 million, and this is where we end up: Hurwitz enriched himself by not spending money.

In the end, Hurwitz paid about $200,000 and agreed to be banned from the banking industry by the Office of Thrift Supervision, which settled that agency's arm of the case. The payment came after the office's administrative law judge recommended that the case be thrown out. The FDIC, after seven years in court, dropped its proceeding a month later.

With the original cases over, Hurwitz turned around and sued the government.

Hurwitz sat stoically with his wife, Barbara, during most of the proceedings, but his outrage boiled over after one memo from an FDIC attorney said the agency should "cause Hurwitz some pain."

"They want to cause me pain?" he said later. "This is the federal government talking. They should be embarrassed to be here."

Embarrassed? No, the FDIC's people seemed more annoyed. They know the case is going badly. They roll their eyes at Hughes' rulings, which in the past have gone so far as to liken their methods to the Cosa Nostra. Hughes, of course, is no friend of the government, but the FDIC isn't doing itself any favors.

The FDIC says Hurwitz's lawyers have selectively extracted pieces of documents to stitch together a conspiracy theory, but they have produced little evidence that cuts through the tapestry. They bristle at having their tactics turned on them.

A final ruling is weeks away, but Hughes gave a strong indication of his views.

"I think the FDIC is through picking on Mr. Hurwitz," he said Wednesday.

There aren't many people who feel sorry for Charles Hurwitz. A quick
Google search on his name reveals how intensely he is disliked, especially among environmentalists. He has a Web site in his honor, www.jailhurwitz.com, that shows a likeness of him behind bars.

His takeover gambits in the 1980s are reminiscent of the Gordon Gekko character in the movie Wall Street. He raided the employee pension plan at Pacific Lumber to fund his takeover. When he increased logging to raise revenues, protesters climbed the ancient redwoods on Pacific Lumber's land and lived there to keep them from being cut down.

Internal memos unearthed in the various investigations show FDIC lawyers knew they had a poor chance of winning, yet the agency filed the case anyway. That decision coincided with pressure from environmental groups on the Clinton administration to get control of the redwoods.

The agency says it didn't bow to political pressure, but the pressure clearly was there, and Hurwitz's track record made him an easy target.

The FDIC, though, didn't expect Hurwitz to fight. Most S&L figures, guilty or not, settled so they could get on with their lives. In Hurwitz, the agency confronted a formidable combination of wealth and stubbornness. As a result, it's been outsmarted and outmaneuvered at every turn.

Before this week's hearings began, one of the FDIC lawyers said I must think they wear the black hats in this case. He's wrong. I think they wear the dunce caps.

Loren Steffy is the Chronicle's business columnist. His commentary appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Contact him at loren.steffy@chron.com



October 1999

Congress Should Hold Hearings on FDIC Abuse of Citizens
by Amy Ridenour

Innocent until proven guilty, right?

That's what it says in civics textbooks. But in the real world, sometimes government officials want you to be guilty. If that happens, even if you are innocent, you can be in big trouble.

Take the cases of Charles Hurwitz of Texas and Glen Garrett of Missouri.

In Hurwitz's case, the government wanted valuable land owned by Hurwitz's company. Hurwitz was willing to sell, but as the land carried a high fair-market value, it was expensively priced. Rather than buy the land in an honest transaction, the government sued Hurwitz's business over an unrelated regulatory matter under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Essentially, the government said: Give us the land; we'll settle the suit.

In other words, blackmail.

On that day, the Founding Fathers rolled over in their graves.

Internal documents show that the land-confiscation scheme, unconstitutional though it was, had the approval of government officials as high as the White House. On March 21, 1995, then White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, in fact, wrote a letter on White House stationery endorsing this scheme, saying, "Budgetary constraints have made it impractical to acquire such an expensive tract of land through outright federal purchase."1

Even more chillingly, after a federal judge forced the FDIC, over its protests - including an appeal to another court,2 to make public some of the FDIC's internal documents, it became clear that the FDIC knew perfectly well that it had little chance of proving Hurwitz guilty. Although FDIC policy prohibits the agency from pursuing cases unless it is "more than likely to succeed," in its zeal to acquire the land, the FDIC ignored its own policies and proceeded with a suit it knew lacked merit.3

Hurwitz refused to be blackmailed, but he did fully cooperate with investigators4 and he sold the government the land for a price lower than its value. The banking agencies were not grateful. Instead, the FDIC continued its case against Hurwitz in a federal court, where the government is unlikely to win. It also opened a "second front" against Hurwitz by way of an internal government Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) regulatory hearing, paid for by the FDIC, where Hurwitz's rights are limited and where his guilt will be determined by administrators paid by the prosecutors.

According to the journal of the American Bar Association, the proceedings in this chamber are so greatly in the government's favor that one of the administrative judges has never once ruled against the government.5

Reportedly, the government hopes to force Hurwitz to surrender some additional land that was not included in the sale. A federal district judge called the case a "manipulation of the court system."6

So far, Hurwitz and his companies have spent over $20 million in this case7 and taxpayer expenditures are similar.8

The Oxford English Dictionary refers to the infamous "Star Chamber" as a court whose "rules of procedure... rendered it a powerful instrument in the hands of a sovereign or ministry desirous of using it for tyranny."9

We like to think we've come far since the 15th-17th century Star Chamber, but we obviously have not.

The story of small-town Missouri banker Glen Garrett is different, but no less alarming to those who believe that Americans who are innocent of any crime have the right not to be hounded by their government.

Garrett was the subject of an anonymous, ill-founded and false accusation of dishonesty against him made to the state bank examiners, who passed them on to the FDIC. It was later shown that the false charges were made by one of Garrett's business competitors, hardly an objective source.

The FDIC began an exhaustive investigation that would eventually take almost a decade to resolve. Despite finding insufficient evidence of any wrongdoing, the FDIC was undeterred. Worse, an FDIC senior management official demonstrated extreme bias, saying, "Glen Garrett should be castrated."

Rather than find proof of wrongdoing by Garrett, however, the FDIC racked up an impressive list of wrongdoing of its own. Among them:

* An FDIC official asked an officer of Garrett's bank to lie about the investigation. When the officer refused and the bank complained to the FDIC, no action was taken.

* During the investigation, a government official told another banker false derogatory information about Garrett's personal confidential financial affairs. It is a violation of criminal statues for government bank examiners to release personal financial information they learn during a bank examination to another banker. Again, no action was taken.

* The FDIC attempted to incite a U.S. Attorney to bring a criminal indictment against Garrett by sending the U.S. Attorney a written referral which contained numerous false and unsubstantiated allegations against Garrett, which the FDIC labeled as "facts," not "allegations" or "suspicions." The FDIC has conceded that they made false allegations.

* During a hearing Garrett subpoenaed two FDIC officials to testify about their knowledge of the case. In a blatant attempt to subvert Garrett's rights in court, the FDIC responded by sending letters to its own employees threatening them with criminal prosecution if they testified.

In the end, and after Garrett was forced to spend almost $2 million to defend against the false FDIC allegations, the FDIC decided to withdraw and dismiss (with extreme prejudice, which means they can never resurrect the charges again) all charges it made against Garrett, thus totally vindicating him of all wrongdoing. But even here, the FDIC required one last tribute from Garrett: he had to pledge not to sue the FDIC for wrongful prosecution.10

On October 11, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan delivered a major speech to the annual convention of the American Bankers Association on the need for changes in the banking regulation system, but he said not one word about the urgent need to correct abuses like these.11 This was wrong.

One of Thomas Jefferson's complaints about the British government in the Declaration of Independence was that King George III had "depriv[ed] us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury." The Declaration of Independence retains a powerful resonance because it speaks of timeless, universal truths. The regulatory process should never be used as a substitute for objective adjudication by an impartial tribunal.

Our government today needs to reaffirm its commitment to these truths, which remain as important today as they were to our citizenry in 1776. Congress should hold hearings to look into these events, and develop policies to prevent future such abuses.


1 Bob Sablatura, "Redwoods, Not Red Ink, May Have Motivated FDIC Against Hurwitz; Documents Show Agency May Have Tried to Hide Truth in Pursuing Suit Against Financier," Houston Chronicle, July 19, 1998, p. A1.

2 Sablatura, p. A1.

3 Sablatura, p. A1.

4 Letter of U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip Tom DeLay to The Honorable Donna A. Tranoue, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Mr. Gaston L. Gianni, Jr., Inspector General, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, February 3, 1999.

5 Terry Carter, "Banking and Fear," ABA Journal, July 1999.

6 United States District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, "Opinion on Dismissal of The Office of Thrift Supervision," Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of Thrift Supervision v. Charles E. Hurwitz, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Civil Action H-95-3956, October 23, 1997.

7 Sablatura, p. A1.

8 Quoted in "Charles Hurwitz is No Sap," by Kathryn Jones, Texas Monthly Biz, June 1999, Charles Hurwitz estimates the combined expenditures of Hurwitz and his companies and the government at $50 million.

9 The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971.

10 Information about the story of Glen Garrett was obtained from the following sources, among others: Terry Carter, "Banking on Fear," ABA Journal, July 1999; Interviews with Stephens B. Woodrough, legal counsel for Glen Garrett and former FDIC litigator, conducted in September and October 1999; Woodrough, Stephens B., "The Abuse of Regulatory Power - A New and Powerful Antidote," (unpublished); Prepared testimony by Stephens B. Woodrough before the Small Business Administration Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Board, St. Louis, Missouri, June 8, 1998; Testimony of Paul G. Fritts, former FDIC Executive Director of Supervision and Resolutions before the Small Business Administration Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Board, St. Louis, Missouri, June 8, 1998.

11 Prepared text of speech delivered by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to the American Bankers Association in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 11, 1999.

# # #
Amy Ridenour is president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Comments may be sent to ARidenour@nationalcenter.org.

Is Stoen trying to intimidate the media?

Is Stoen trying to intimidate the media?

One would assume that an attorney with decades of experience who has been in the spotlight and weathered his fair share of controversies would understand basic libel law. Or, at the very least, he would open a law book before accusing media outlets of libel.

But that doesn't appear to be the case with Assistant District Attorney Tim Stoen, who recently demanded that the Times-Standard and News Channel 3 retract what he considered libelous statements.

The problem is that the statements were not libelous. They were the truth.

As the newspaper and TV Station reported, the county investigated a sexual harassment claim made by a staff member in Stoen's office. The investigation concluded that Stoen did not violate the county's sexual harassment policy, so he was exonerated.

The false accusations were undoubtedly embarrassing for the assistant D.A., but they weren't libelous, and in the end, his name was cleared.

So why is Stoen essentially threatening media outlets with libel suits? It's unlikely that he's woefully ignorant of the law, so what other reason could he have for making such threats? Could he be trying to intimidate the media with the hopes that the reporters will shy away from making negative comments about him out of fear that lawsuits will ensue?

That may sound conspiratorial, but look at what's happening to Fortuna City Councilwoman Deborah August. The rookie councilwoman is a critic of Stoen's fraud suit against pacific Lumber Co. She even went as far as to compare the lawsuit as an attack on her community equal to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 - a stupid comment indeed.

However Stoen has since charged her for alleged corruption with regard to a development in Fortuna. Several of the charges against her were dropped, but some remain.

Some say that the charges are politically motivated, while Stoen maintains that he's pursuing the charges at the behest of the Humboldt County Grand Jury. the courts may ultimately determine who is right and wrong.

But, given Stoen's furor over the media's reporting of an investigation into allegations against him, why isn't he complaining about the media's coverage of as yet unproven allegations against August? After all, those allegations and the subsequent media coverage were instigated by Stoen himself. Sounds hypocritical to say the least.

Neither the Times Standard or Channel 3 have issued retractions. When the sexual harassment investigation began, Stoen proclaimed, "The truth is my friend." Should he pursue a libel suit against the media, the truth- and the law - will be his enemy.

Stoen should exercise better judgement in the future. In the meantime, he should rescind his demand for a retraction and issue a public apology for his foolishness.

Tuesday June 29th issue McKinleyville Press page 6

Let him know what you think! news@mckinleyvillepress.com

Investigation Into Assistant DA Harassment Charges Complete

Investigation Into Assistant DA Harassment Charges Complete

Posted: 06/15/04


Humboldt County’s investigation into the alleged incidents of sexual harassment involving Assistant District Attorney Tim Stoen and a member of his clerical staff has apparently been completed and no formal charges or further action is to be taken.

This is according to county officials who will not appear on camera and cite personnel privacy concerns for not being more forthcoming with details or further explanation of the alleged incident.

Meanwhile, Stoen has been firing off demands for retractions and corrections to members of the local media, including News Channel 3, and has reportedly sought to subpoena the results of the county’s investigation; a report that county officials will not share with the Assistant D.A. It was originally reported that Stoen was on administrative leave, but while District Attorney Gallegos apparently did suggest that he not come to the office until the matter was settled, a formal leave may not have been the case.

Stoen was contacted Tuesday at his office by News Channel 3, but he declined comment on any issues surrounding the alleged incident or the investigation.

Soliciting letters against Debi August.

This is Richard Salzman soliciting letters against Debi August.



"Michael Twombly"   Add to Address Book


Wed, 9 Jun 2004 16:41:12 +0000

From the Vote Gallegos listserve:
To: Friends of Paul Gallegos
From: Richard Salzman

There have been several letters to the editor in support of Fortuna City Council member Debbie August (in the Times Standard and the Beacon) and they have all accused the DA's office of prosecuting her for revenge because she was a vocal supporter of the recall effort.

First) This investigation was initiated by the Grand Jury and the DA is obligated to pursue it.

Second) Is anyone who supported the recall to get a free ride on any future violations of the law, that the DA should NOT prosecute them as it might appear to be vindictive in nature?

Third) Might it be that those who are guilty of corruption are particularly unhappy to have Paul in office exactly because he will not turn a blind eye activities that other DAs might and that is why they supported the recall.

It would be great to see some letters that address any or all of these issues.

Is this any way to write a help wanted ad?



The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office is recruiting for a top-flight
prosecutor, with at least 5 years felony experience, who is able to "pick up a file at a
moment's notice and run with it." The opening derives from one of its deputy district
attorneys being appointed a federal magistrate.

The Humboldt County DA's office is one of the most exciting prosecutorial
offices in California.

Its District Attorney, Paul Gallegos, is willing to charge anyone who commits
wrongdoing--no matter how wealthy, sacrosanct, or ruthless. He believes in total equality
before the law. He also plans to be innovative in promoting programs of prevention and
treatment. He wants to make it the best prosecutorial office of its size in the nation.
As an example of willingness to take on the powerful, the office filed, in February
2003, a major fraud suit against Pacific Lumber Company under the Unfair Competition
Law. This led to Pacific Lumber's funding a recall against the DA, on which it spent
$220,000 despite Humboldt being a rural county of only 140,000 people.
On March 2, 2004, the voters in Humboldt County gave Gallegos an emphatic
vote of confidence--over 61% of the vote despite a massive barrage of false advertising.
Humboldt County is considered one of the most beautiful counties in the nation. It
has an extensive coastline on the Pacific, contains rugged mountains for hiking and
scenic rivers for fishing, and is home to the most cathedral-like redwoods in the world.
Eureka-Arcata has an airport with regularly scheduled service to San Francisco
and Sacramento and elsewhere. It contains Humboldt State University, which reportedly
sends the highest number of graduates into the Peace Corps of all colleges and
universities in America.

The salary schedule for this position is per year, plus health and dental insurance
benefits. Cost of living in Eureka-Arcata is less than in California's urban areas.

Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney, 825 5th Street, 4th Floor,
Eureka, California 95501. Phone: 707-445-7411. Fax: 707-445-7416. Email:

Gallegos' listserve


"Michael Twombly"    Add to Address Book


Thu, 8 Jan 2004 02:04:52 +0000

From the Vote Gallegos listserve:
To: Friends of Paul Gallegos (FOPG)
From: Michael Twombly
Re: Request for Volunteers!

The FOPG Campaign Headquarters is now in full swing after the
holidays. We are located at 507 H Street in Eureka, 444-6220 and are
fully staffed from 1 PM through 9 PM Monday through Saturday.

Come by and see the operation!


From 6PM to 9PM every evening, M-F and all day Saturday, we are
training and running phone-bank teams of 12, and we are scheduling
phonebanking teams through the end of January now.

Call 444-6220 and take a shift or two with a team of friends!

Letters to the Editor:

The FOPG Campaign would like to see "Letters to the Editor" in
issue of every daily and weekly newspaper from now until March 2nd, and
we encourage you to express your support for Paul and your opposition
the recall by writing to all local papers.

We will be publishing your letters (whether they appear in the
newspapers or not) on this listserve, along with ideas and hints about
getting published.

Contact me if you'd like any assistance, and let's all try to get
few letters going this week!

Michael Twombly
FOPG twomblym@cwo.com 444-6022

TS - Dikeman shaping up to be law enforcement's DA

Dikeman shaping up to be law enforcement's DA

James Tressler The Times-Standard
Tuesday, December 23, 2003 -

EUREKA -- Worth Dikeman says he only wants to be Humboldt County district attorney if his boss, Paul Gallegos, is recalled in March.

But whether he really wants the job or not, it appears the veteran prosecutor is mounting a vigorous campaign, one that is already looking to get strong backing from the law enforcement community.

Several area law enforcement officials, both active and retired, showed up at Dikeman's campaign kickoff press conference at the Eureka Inn Monday.

"You wait and see -- law enforcement's going to get behind Dikeman," said Steve Knight, a lieutenant with the Sheriff's Department who said he was at the press conference strictly as a private citizen. "He's probably the best DA in this county."

Other law enforcement officials at Monday's press conference included detectives Dave Parris and Kevin Lawson with the Eureka Police Department, Deputy District Attorney Heather Gimle, retired District Attorney investigator Dave Walker and Paul Hagan, an environmental prosecutor with the District Attorney's Office.

In his speech, Dikeman reiterated much of what he already said when he filed last week. He touted his quarter century of experience as a prosecutor, and then reaffirmed his support for Gallegos. Dikeman said he's only running in the event that if Gallegos is recalled in the March election, someone whom he feels is qualified will be on the ballot as a successor.

"I'm that person," Dikeman said.

Dikeman added he will seek support from law enforcement, but declined to speculate on whether such actions would help or harm his boss.

Already the two largest law enforcement unions in the county, the Humboldt Deputy Sheriff's Organization and the Eureka Peace Officers Association, have publicly supported the recall. These unions criticize Gallegos as being "soft on crime," accusing him of mishandling several high-profile cases in his first year in office -- criticisms Gallegos has denounced.

Perhaps showing the shrewdness that has earned him nearly universal respect from law enforcement, Dikeman carefully stepped around questions regarding Gallegos' policies and focused his remarks on the need to have a viable back-up candidate should the recall succeed.

For instance, Dikeman declined to comment on how he would handle the district attorney's controversial lawsuit against Pacific Lumber Co., saying the matter is before the court and he doesn't want to say anything that would jeopardize the case. Dikeman was equally reticent when asked his opinion of Assistant District Attorney Tim Stoen, whose association with cult figure Jim Jones in the 1970s, as well as his recent short-lived run for U.S. Senate, made him a favorite target of recall supporters.

"He's the assistant district attorney -- and he's my boss," Dikeman said.

Another reporter asked Dikeman to assess Gloria Albin Sheets, a former prosecutor who was laid off from the District Attorney's Office earlier this year and who is running against Gallegos.

Dikeman described Albin Sheets, with whom he worked throughout her nearly nine years with the office, as a nice person and a competent attorney, but added he has many more years as a prosecutor than his former colleague.

Asked about Albin Sheets' comment that morale has dropped in the office since Gallegos took over, Dikeman said, "My morale is fine."

Dikeman emphasized his role as "a very reluctant candidate," a phrase he used when he entered the race last week. He said he doesn't want the campaign to interfere with his duties as prosecutor, and said if the recall fails, he'll gladly return to his role as "a foot soldier" in the office.

"I never wanted to get into politics," Dikeman said, summing up his candidacy. "But it needed to be done and it needed to be done for the right reason."

If he is elected, Dikeman said his first priority would be to patch up relations with law enforcement, relations that quickly became rocky when Gallegos took office in January. Law enforcement officials present at the press conference stayed behind afterward to shake hands with Dikeman and offer their support.

"We are excited Worth's running, we believe he'd do an excellent job," Parris said.

Arcata attorney Steven A. Schectman, a recall candidate who also says he supports Gallegos, is on vacation out of the area for the Christmas holidays.

Albin Sheets on Monday said she can understand why Dikeman is getting a lot of support from law enforcement, saying Dikeman's earned his reputation as a top-notch prosecutor. However, Albin Sheets said she's also getting some law enforcement support.

"Anything positive anyone says about Worth -- they're right," Albin Sheets said. "He is an excellent prosecutor who has a lot of respect in the community. The only difference I see between him and me is he is supporting Gallegos and I'm not."