10.18.2010

Gallegos says he is a professor at HSU on candidate questionnaire

Last time he didn't answer the questionnaire - this time his answers are very interesting - he's suddenly found Jesus, for one, he's calling himself a PROFESSOR (he isn't) and again repeating his claims to have established/created key programs (he didn't, they predate him by many years, and this is proven by various documents including Board of Supervisors meeting agendas and minutes)

link
1. Name:
Allison Jackson
Paul Gallegos

2. Age:
Allison Jackson: -
Paul Gallegos: 48

3. Marital Status:
Allison Jackson: Married
Paul Gallegos: Married

4. How long have you lived in Humboldt County?
Allison Jackson: Since 1994
Paul Gallegos: 16 years

5. Organization affiliations:
Allison Jackson: California State Bar Association.  Friends of Cal-Ore Fish.
Paul Gallegos: California State Bar, Humboldt County State Bar, California District Attorneys Association, National  District Attorneys Association

6. Why do you feel you would be the best choice for office?
Allison Jackson: Experience, tenacity and integrity.
Paul Gallegos: Under my leadership as District Attorney of Humboldt County, despite budget cuts and the resulting decrease in staff, crime has dropped significantly countywide, (uh, no it hasn't) prison commitments and asset forfeitures from drug crimes have gone up and we have increased the use of non-custodial alternatives such as drug and mental health treatment.  We established our Criminal Investigations Unit, the Environmental Crimes and Consumer Protection Unit, the Sex Crimes Unit, the Worker’s Compensation Fraud Unit, the Domestic Violence Unit and the Bad Check Program.  (uh not exactly) We have solved cold cases, make a practice of prosecuting difficult ones and improved our courtroom effectiveness by utilizing the latest technology to identify and investigate crime, track cases and individuals, communicate with witnesses, victims and law enforcement officers, share information and present courtroom visuals to assist the court and the jury in arriving at just decisions   We have promoted confidence and reliability in the justice system by purchasing and promoting the usage of digital recorders to record all witness, victim and defendant statements by law enforcement countywide and by displaying a willingness to prosecute difficult and controversial cases.  We have also worked to make Humboldt County a leader in the North Coast by providing both support and training to law enforcement throughout the North Coast.  I am proud of the People that I work with and work we have done to improve public safety, promote and protect the liberties and protections of the United States Constitution and to further the general welfare of all people in Humboldt County and the State of California.

7. What are the duties and responsibilities of the position?

Allison Jackson: Administer the D.A.’s Office in a manner that demonstrates competence, leadership, preparing cases and charging appropriately for the crime
Paul Gallegos: The District Attorney is a state official, elected in a countywide election.  The District Attorney fills the executive branch in the County in which he or she resides and is charged with enforcing the laws of the State of California while giving everyone the protections of the United States Constitution.

8. Please indicate the top three issues or themes selected for your campaign.
Allison Jackson: Holding those who have committed crimes fully accountable for those crimes according to proof;  protecting and enforcing the constitutional and statutory rights of the accused and;  vigorously protecting the constitutional and statutory rights of victims and victim’s families.
Paul Gallegos: Under my leadership, we have made Humboldt County safer, we have promoted, encouraged and participated in crime prevention efforts and programs, we have expanded victim services (uh, no, he has lost Victim Witness grants and positions) and we have made the office more effective, more efficient and more accessible to the People of Humboldt County.

9. Please name your sponsors and principal supporters.
Allison Jackson: I am proud to be supported by people from across political and ideological spectrum, as this is a non-partisan office.    A partial list of supporters is attached.
Paul Gallegos: My supporters are and have been the citizens of Humboldt County.  That support has been and is broad based without regard for party affiliation. A list of endorsements is attached.

10. Do you believe that the position should be affiliated with a political party?
Allison Jackson: No.
Paul Gallegos: No.  Unlike a legislative officer, my job is to enforce the laws of the State of California whether I agree with them or not.  My position is non-partisan. (funny then why do you have your supporters attacking her party affiliation?)

11. Would you describe your political views as liberal, moderate or conservative?
Allison Jackson: Some of each.
Paul Gallegos: My political view is the promotion of the ideas and goals of the Declaration of Independence and the protections and the limitations of the United States Constitution.  I believe that the United States Constitution was intended to be a celebration of the individual as a member of a society.   It is not, and cannot be, the triumph of the individual over society as that is anarchy.  Neither can it be the triumph of society over the individual as that is tyranny.  I believe in and support my country and my government and believe it is, as described, a government of the people, by the people, for the people. (NOTE: his supporters support him because he is progressive and they seek to accrue a progressive power structure, clearly stated, not even hidden)

12. What is the proper role of county government?
Allison Jackson: To represent and serve county residents and interact with state representatives.
Paul Gallegos: (another lecture) County government, like state and federal government, is separated into three branches.  Each has a different function and responsibility.  The District Attorney is a state officer that enforces state laws and county ordinances within the geographic boundary in which he or she is elected.

13. Are you concerned with the present level of local government spending versus revenues and, if elected, what role will you play in dealing with the situation?
Allison Jackson: I will budget responsibly, spend judiciously.
Paul Gallegos: Yes.  Profoundly.  I have dealt with this issue for seven years.  I have always worked within my budget and, despite recurring budget cuts, have insisted that we continue to provide and expand our services to this community. (uh, no, his budget has gone up not down)

14. Who do you see as your ultimate boss?
Allison Jackson: The residents of Humboldt County, especially victims of violent crimes.
Paul Gallegos: Personally: God.  Politically: the People. (do you think he was laughing as he answered this?)

15. When was the last time you read the Constitution of the United States and do you agree with its principles or do you consider the Constitution to be outdated?
Allison Jackson: I keep a copy in my purse, read it regularly, and consider it to be the ultimate and guiding law of the land.
Paul Gallegos: I studied the United States Constitution in the law school, I taught the United States Constitution when I was a professor at Humboldt State University, (NOTE: He is NOT A PROFESSOR) I read it and discuss it with my friends, with my colleagues, with the Courts and almost every time I am asked to speak to students and members of our community.  The United States Constitution is the framework of all discussions regarding criminal law.  The United States Constitution, unlike many systems of government, seeks to balance the competing interests of the individual and society by protecting society from the individual while protecting the individual from society.  There is little, if anything, that is done in our criminal courts that does not involve discussion of the United States Constitution.  Therefore, I have to be familiar with it, with case law that has explained it, and on the groundwork upon which it was created such as the federalist papers.  My job also requires me to support and uphold it and I do every day.

16. How do those principles relate to the office you are seeking?
Allison Jackson: Those principles define it and guide it.
Paul Gallegos: I am sworn to uphold and defend the United States Constitution and I do every day.

17. What is your position regarding respect and allegiance to the Flag of the United States?
Allison Jackson: This question does not pertain to the functioning of the D.A.’s Office, but on a personal note I would say that pledge is more than words, it is an affirmation of support for our country and its citizens.
Paul Gallegos: I respect and have sworn allegiance to the flag of the United States.  My father, my uncle, my grandfather are buried in Arlington National Cemetery as a result of their commitment to this country and my family has fought for and served this country for well over a hundred years.  The flag is symbol of this country and the sacrifices that others have made on behalf of it.  Therefore, while I do not see it as holy, I do see it as immense and powerful symbol of our country and the sacrifices of those that serve it.

18. What is your position on public prayer?
Allison Jackson: This question does not pertain to the functioning of the D.A.’s Office.
Paul Gallegos: I believe in private prayer.  Our constitution separated church and state for a reason.  I do not believe God needs government support and I do not believe we need to have a government supported religion forced upon us.

19. Do you support the military in both its peacetime and wartime commitments?  If “NO” what are your reservations?
Allison Jackson: This question does not pertain to the functioning of the D.A.’s Office.
Paul Gallegos: I support the people that serve this country.  That necessarily includes those that serve in the military.  My family has a long and extensive history of public and military service.  The United States Military supports our government.  There are times when I do not agree with what our government asks our military to do.  I think it is fair to add that, should our military ever fail to serve our duly elected government, I would not support our military.

20. Do you support federal government bailouts of our nation’s most important industries?
Allison Jackson: This question does not pertain to the functioning of the D.A.’s Office.
Paul Gallegos: It depends on the circumstances.  There are times when it may become necessary.  However, I believe it should be the exception and not the rule and should be only as and if necessary for the welfare of the country.

21. If elected, what will you do to limit the size and scope of county government?
Allison Jackson: This is not a function of the District Attorney’s Office – however, as a Department Head, I would look for and implement efficiencies of scale, stay within budget and work to improve core functioning of staff.
Paul Gallegos: I am an executive officer.  I get little or any say in that decision.  My office is underfunded and understaffed as a result of that underfunding.  My office has dealt with budget cuts after budget cuts while others have not.  I think that adequately funding my office should be priority. (That us a categorical lie)

22. If elected, what will you do to reduce fraud and abuse of taxpayers’ money?
Allison Jackson: Prosecute those who commit fraud and criminally wrong taxpayers.
Paul Gallegos: We actively prosecute fraud.  We have a Worker’s Compensation Fraud Unit and a Consumer Fraud Unit.  Government money belongs to the People it should be used to serve the People.  If we have sufficient evidence that someone is taking government money for  their own personal use, we work to create a disincentive for them and others  that would engage in that type of behavior.  

23. What is your position on legislative earmarks?
Allison Jackson: This question does not pertain to the functioning of the D.A.’s Office.
Paul Gallegos: I am an executive officer.  Much associated with the legislative process annoys me.

24. How long have you practiced law?
Allison Jackson: Since 1991.
Paul Gallegos: Since 1992.

25. Please name the types of law: (criminal, personal injury, etc.) that you have practiced and for how long?
Allison Jackson: Resume attached.
Paul Gallegos: I have practiced criminal law for the entirety of my legal career and practiced civil law for the entirety as well.  In the civil arena, I have handled all types of civil cases that our office handles and, while in private practice, handled a wide variety of civil cases from insurance defense to personal injury and civil rights and government liability cases.

26. Does your legal practice try civil and /or criminal cases?  If so, what court do you regularly appear before?
Allison Jackson: Both civil and criminal. I regularly appear before both state and federal court.  My jury trial experience is extensive and very successful.
Paul Gallegos: I am before all of our courts on a regular practice and have tried cases before all of our judges.

27. Overall, how many civil and criminal cases have you tried, and how often have you won those cases?  How many cases were before juries?
Allison Jackson: I was a Senior Felony Trial Prosecutor until 2004.   Most, if not all cases were  tried before juries, with an overwhelming success rate.  I have tried so many cases, it would be impossible to even begin to list.
Paul Gallegos: I think a conservative estimate is that I have tried somewhere between 70 to 100 plus jury trials to verdict.  I suspect it is over 100 but don’t keep such records and that number is based on an average per year over my career.  I have probably lost at least 10 trials.

28. How do you define your relationship with local/state/federal law enforcement?
Allison Jackson: Exceptionally good.
Paul Gallegos: As indicated above, I am a State Officer charged with enforcing the laws of the state of California.  I must do that without fear or favor.  While I strive for and we have a very good working relationship with local, state and federal law enforcement, it must always be an independent relationship and my decisions must be made independently.

29. If elected, would you keep the deputy district attorney positions in their current “at-will” status or change them to civil service positions?  Why?
Allison Jackson: I firmly believe they should be classified as civil service positions. It is unfortunate and has been detrimental to this community not to have had job security in the District Attorney’s Office dependent upon experience and success as opposed to politics.  The lack of civil service status for the attorneys has resulted in the loss of so many seasoned and experienced deputy district attorneys due to politics and it has severely impacted the administration of justice in this community. 
Paul Gallegos: I would keep them in their current “at will” status.  I have learned from my colleagues how important that is to the effective administration of justice.  

30. Which department head should be in charge of the Code Enforcement Unit?
Allison Jackson: County Counsel.
Paul Gallegos: I don’t think it matters where it is so long as there clear lines of accountability

31. Could you support the consolidation of detectives from incorporated cities and the Sheriff’s Office into one bureau to help cut costs?
Allison Jackson: Not my decision. That would be intruding on the Constitutional Authority of another elected official, in this instance the County Sheriff and City Council Members.
Paul Gallegos: No.

32. There are those who believe law enforcement cannot fairly and objectively investigate acts of alleged police misconduct and officer-involved shootings.  Inasmuch as the district attorney could ultimately end up prosecuting an officer if the facts point in that direction, do you think the district attorney has a similar problem with fairness and objectivity if he or his staff is involved in the investigation?
Allison Jackson: No. First of all, the Critical Incident Review Team investigates officer involved shootings.  The Critical Incident Review Team is made up of various agencies in order to ensure objectivity.  Second, as D.A., you should be following the law, and the laws that apply in officer involved shootings are clear. Unfortunately, recently we saw the D.A.’s Office used in a political manner in a case involving an officer involved shooting.  In that case, I believe that the findings of the Critical Incident Review Team were ignored by the District Attorney who proceeded on his own.  That matter was ultimately dismissed by the reviewing judge with some rather stern criticisms of the District Attorney’s role in that matter.  Third, if a conflict arises, the D.A.’s Office must recuse itself from the investigation or prosecution.  And speaking of D.A.’s investigators, when elected, one of my first acts would be to remove the arsenal of semi-automatic weapons and SWAT-like outfits from the DA’s Office.
Paul Gallegos: The problem with any agency investigating itself isn’t a problem of bias, it is a problem of the appearance of an impropriety.  Our system has checks and balances in place to make sure there is always someone put in place as a check of potential abuse.  If assisting in the investigation created a conflict in prosecuting cases, we would be precluded from prosecuting approximately 90% of all our cases.  The majority of the cases we get requires and receives additional investigation of some sort.  Further, the District Attorney is a State Officer with investigative responsibilities and duties.  Whether we are invited or not, we are responsible for investigating all law enforcement shootings.

33. How important is (or would) diversity be in your hiring and promotional policies when balanced against qualifications and merit?
Allison Jackson: Diversity is always important but hiring and recruitment must always be based upon merit and ability. 
Paul Gallegos: Diversity is nice.  Competency is a must.

34. Do you believe the District Attorney’s percentage of criminal convictions is a reliable criterion for judging effectiveness?
Allison Jackson: No. If you simply use conviction rates, this ignores cases which were drastically plea bargained to obtain the conviction, or cases that were greatly over charged,  or those in which the punishment does not fit the crime.   For instance, when a rape charge is plea bargained to trespassing, you do get the conviction, but the punishment does not fit the crime.   If you are charged with first degree murder with premeditation and you get a plea bargain to manslaughter, you would have the conviction, but again, the punishment does not fit the crime.  These types of plea bargains have been unfortunately occurring with increasing frequency in this county thereby undermining the public’s trust in the administration of justice.
Paul Gallegos: No.  I believe that using conviction rates to measure performance results in errors in each direction.  It makes prosecutors timid and/or dishonest and it makes doing the right thing irrelevant.  Prosecutors must be willing to take tough cases so they must be willing to lose.  They must also be willing to do what is right and sometimes means they must dismiss cases.  In short, if arresting someone or charging someone with a crime was evidence of guilt, we wouldn’t need juries.  We have judges and juries make decisions of guilt instead of leaving it prosecutors.  I believe in that separation of power.

35. In general do you believe it is better to prosecute a difficult case for a serious felony or to accept a plea bargain for a lesser offense?
Allison Jackson: Prosecute. Prosecute. Prosecute.   It is imperative to prosecute a difficult case for a serious felony.   A District Attorney does not do his job to accept a plea bargain for a lesser offense when there are questions regarding the quality (not quantity) of evidence.  Those cases must be presented to a jury.    Plea bargaining was severely limited by the voters of this state in 1982 with the passage of the “Victims Bill of Rights.”    Since then the law is clear and it limits the plea bargaining and dismissal of charges to only those cases where: 1) there is not the evidence to prove the crime or; 2) a material witness is lost or; 3) the plea won’t result in a substantial difference in punishment.  To put it another way, if the D.A .follows the law, then she must prosecute a difficult case for a serious felony and not accept a plea bargain.
Paul Gallegos: It depends on the cases.  I think it is important to try tough cases.  I think it is also important to make tough decisions.  Sometimes that means you don’t try a case that you would like to try or others think you should try.

36. Considering the boundaries of prosecutorial discretion, do you believe it benefits the community more to take an extremely aggressive position toward corporations or seek justice through a more even-handed position?
Allison Jackson: Crimes must only be charged when the evidence will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty, not based upon who the person is.  It is a breach of ethics to charge a case against someone  to “send a message,” or to target any individual or group based upon politics.
Paul Gallegos: I don’t think anyone or any group should be singled out for a extremely aggressive position merely based on their status within that particular group.  We punish conduct regardless of the individual or individuals engaged in it.   Neither I nor my office take a particularly aggressive or favorable position as it relates to corporations.

37. What circumstances, if any, do you think it appropriate to make an effort to try a 16 or 17-year-old as an adult if he is charge with a serious offense?
Allison Jackson: That would be a case by case decision based upon the crime, the evidence and the law.
Paul Gallegos: Those circumstances are codified.  We follow the law.

38. What circumstances, if any, would mandatory treatment for a crime involving substance abuse (including DUI) be better than criminal prosecution?
Allison Jackson: Again, this would be decided on a case by case basis, but violent  and serious crimes should always be prosecuted.   Mandatory treatment already exists for substance abuse crimes.
Paul Gallegos: Probably many.  However, if someone violates the law and we have sufficient evidence of it, they are probably going to get prosecuted by us.  We have no problem with them receiving treatment instead of custody.  In fact, I believe in treatment and think it is a much better way to deal with addiction (generally) than custody.  However, what makes it mandatory is involvement.  Up until that point, it is voluntary.

39. If elected, what would your policy be for handling illegal aliens who have committed no crime other than illegally entering the country?
Allison Jackson: Immigration issues are Federal crimes and are handled at the Federal level and not on the county level.
Paul Gallegos: Immigration is a federal issue.   ICE notifies INS and we operate on the assumption that they are doing their job.

40. If elected, what would your policy be for handling illegal aliens who have also committed a crime in addition to entering the country illegally?
Allison Jackson: I would prosecute them like anyone else.
Paul Gallegos: We prosecute people who commit crimes.  If they are here illegally and commit a crime, they are in trouble with both us and the US Attorney’s office.

41. Should marijuana be legalized and taxed?
Allison Jackson: The state needs to either correct the current law or legalize marijuana.  
Paul Gallegos: I think whatever the legislature wants to do they should do.  The current hybridized system helps no one and law enforcement even less.  I, personally, do not believe we should criminalize responsible adult behavior.  I define responsible adult behavior generally as behavior that someone else engages in that I do not have to pay for.  If they can use marijuana and I, or others,  do not have to suffer or pay for their conduct, I do not believe the state should be involved in criminalizing it.

42. Homeless encampments are a problem in Humboldt County, especially from a health and safety standpoint.  If elected, how will you handle the problem?
Allison Jackson: Coordinate with Health and Human Services, continue utilization of Homeless Court and work with law enforcement to respond in a way that balances public safety, public health and human decency.
Paul Gallegos: If homeless people are committing crimes and we have sufficient evidence of it, they will get prosecuted.  If they are not, there is little that I, as an executive officer, can do about it.  I believe the homelessness issue, as with many other issues, are issues that must be addressed by our County Board of Supervisors or our City Counsels.  I believe there are solutions if people are willing to tackle the problem.

43. Humboldt County’s interpretation of the 215 law has spurred growth in marijuana production in residential communities that has seen increased fires and crime.  What is your viewpoint on the illegal activity associated with the 215 laws and, as D.A., what will you do to ensure that the public and their property is protected?
Allison Jackson: 215 was poorly drafted and the current D.A.’s policies have made it worse. I would focus on large commercial grows and neighborhood grow houses.   I would also focus on the destruction of private property (rentals) by vandalism or arson associated with commercial grown houses in neighborhoods and with the increasing environmental damage associated with it.
Paul Gallegos: When we have sufficient evidence of illegal activity, we prosecute those people.   I do not have any actual documentation or evidence that supports the conclusion that there is either more crime or are more fires as a result of the Compassionate Use act.  I would hope that the investigating agencies would forward any and all reports regarding such activity to us for possible prosecution.  If they did, and there was sufficient evidence to prosecute those people, they would be prosecuted.

44. Do current “Driving Under The Influence” laws include both alcohol and cannabis?  If so, what is the threshold for determining driving impairment when using cannabis and are both treated the same when charging a person?
Allison Jackson: Yes, the current DUI laws include alcohol, marijuana and all other drugs. The threshold for determining impairment is whether the evidence demonstrates to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was actually impaired.  Paul Gallegos: Regardless, if a person is pulled over due to erratic driving, whether alcohol, prescription drugs or controlled/uncontrolled substances and found to be impaired, they can pose a risk to passengers and the public at large.  As such all cases of driving while impaired are treated the same.
Yes.  The threshold for determining any criminal case is whether there is sufficient admissible evidence to convince a neutral jury of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.   To us, driving under the influence is driving under the influence.  However, proving that someone is driving under the influence does change based on the substance that they are under the influence of.