◼ 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.