Jeff Schwartz: Paul Gallegos Is The Only Logical Alternative For Hagen Supporters – October 23, 2010

What does Pat Higgins have to do with Hagen, Gallegos and the DA race? When Higgins lost the June primary election to Patrick Cleary I was very disappointed because I was a compassionate supporter of Pat Higgins. The next day I became a strong supporter of Patrick Cleary and have not looked back.

Why? Because Cleary, while not my first choice, has some of the same progressive interests, goals and values as Pat Higgins. Ryan Sundberg has none. If I and all the other Higgins voters stand their ground and refuse to vote for Cleary then the conservative candidate wins and puts us on a path back to the dark ages of Humboldt County.

It is very much the same for the Gallegos/Jackson race. Gallegos might not be the progressive candidate you wanted, but he is a progressive candidate. Allison Jackson and her supporters will eviscerate all of the progressive gains over the last dozen years. If we also lose the Neely/Bass and Sundberg/Cleary races, forget about it.

Hagen supporters need to vote for Paul Gallegos in this election. If not, you risk putting back into power those same people who supported clear-cutting our forests, overfishing our waters, and polluting our land. You fought hard for many years to transform Humboldt County from a place where politicians begged for nuclear plants and accepted the likes of Maxxam Corp and Charles Hurwitz. Right now because of the old guard who cared little about the environment, we have a dismantled PG&E nuclear plant that sits on the edge of Humboldt Bay; nuclear rods float in a vat of liquid as they wait to be buried where they stand at the intersection of three tectonic plates. We have an old electric generating plant so radioactive we can’t get rid of it. I don’t need to mention what happened to Pacific Lumber when Charles Hurwitz was welcomed with open arms.

It was the likes of Tim McKay and Greg King of Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC), and land preservationists such as Alex Stillman, Mark Lovelace, Arcata’s Mark Andre and others like Chris Kerrigan, Larry Glass and the list goes on and on that changed our landscape from nuclear power plants and mega-stores to bicycle lanes and community forests; and; yes, Paul Hagen and Paul Gallegos who challenged the old guard to clean up their environmental disasters.

Since 2001, huge strides have been made to move us away from the we-want-your-nuclear-plant crowd to the majority of us who want to protect our environment, clean up our polluted waters and bring egalitarian principles to everyone.

The countywide district attorney race is the focal point in continuing a steady forward thinking community. Gallegos enforces environmental laws and prosecutes bad business practices. Whether he gets a conviction or not, the abusers know he’ll go after them, and they will pause. If the conservative opponent wins, the Humboldt County environment and much more goes down the drain.

Environmental and business crimes are not in Allison Jackson’s vocabulary. At the last debate, the conservative candidate scoffed at Paul Gallegos for going after a national corporation (Skilled Nursing) that was running nursing homes in deplorable conditions abusing our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly, mentally ill and disabled. He won the case and brought a million bucks into the coffers of Humboldt County.

I ask, I implore, I beg those progressive leaders who supported Paul Hagen to endorse Paul Gallegos. I ask all of you Hagen voters out to vote for Gallegos even if he was not your first choice. Staying home or not filling in the square because you did not get exactly who wanted will only put us on a path you don’t want to go down. You can bet on it that the nuclear-plant crowd will stick together and take Humboldt County back to the dark ages.

Jeffrey Schwartz is an Arcata attorney. He can be reached at [email protected]


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  1. Robert Benson said:

    DISCLAIMER: “Just get a gun and serve it yourself.” was purely parodical satire. Do no attempt unless in grave danger.

  2. Pingback: DA race heats up at the Arcata Eye « Sohum Parlance II

  3. Robert Benson said:

    As, at the time of prosecution, Gallegos’ wife was representing Police Chief Gunderson’s wife in their divorce; the issue of conflict of interest is forthcoming, as is Gallegos’ ethics. As Gallegos’ PALCO fiasco never made it passed the pleading phase, it appears to have been for the headlines. I grow tired of the insults to my intelligence. Aside from the misinformation, what has Gallegos done? Every purported accomplishment, by Gallegos, is an act of deception. Where is the accountability? Where is the good faith? Gallegos is a derelict perjurer, in the strictest sense. Humboldt would be better off without a District Attorney, at least then the People would not rely on these derelicts to find justice. Just get your gun and serve it yourself. Good luck!

  4. JUL said:

    It is said that the late Roger Rodoni used to ask the constituents who came to him in support of a project, “Who’s against it?” This is a good question because often the merits of a project or a candidate are more apparent from the nature of the opposition than from statements of supporters.
    Who is opposing District Attorney Gallegos? A woman whom he fired from the DA’s office, who has falsely claimed endorsements that were not made, who rails against the practice of plea bargains but has not brought forward any fresh ideas for coping with the office’s workload, and who is willing to exploit the grief of victims’ families in order to win this election.
    Approximately 11,000 cases a year cross the DA’s desk in this county. Inevitably, with that volume, someone will be dissatisfied with the outcome of a case, but Paul Gallegos has stood up to the giant corporations in the timber and healthcare industries, has led the effort to administer marijuana law in a compassionate and responsible manner, and has when necessary prosecuted law enforcement officials, Ms. Jackson’s most visible supporters. Please join me in re-electing Paul Gallegos, a District Attorney for ALL the people.

    Julie Timmons

  5. Angela said:

    Here is who I vote for:

    * My daughter’s recovery;
    * Student Representation;
    * All the victims that have been unprotected and misrepresented by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office;
    * Justice To Be Restored” by holding even the District Attorney’s Office to the highest standard of law; and
    * “Integrity” for any candidate that runs for office.

  6. Rose said:

    Pretty funny. Gallegos told the entire Rotary that he didn’t “know” if he had any donations from GROWERS.

    But, his latest fundraiser is SPONSORED by the newly minted “growers association.”

    After all his waxing poetic about having to keep his distance from law enforcement because – gasp – he might have to prosecute them – he sure has none of the same scruples when it comes to the growers.

    Just another example of his words meaning nothing. And we all know the pretend scruples were just spin to cover for the fact that he can’t get the endorsement of the people who have to work with him.

    Spin. Like losing grants is “weaning himself.”

    You have to ask yourself, is there anything he has told the truth about yet – claiming to be a Professor, claiming to have created programs he didn’t create, cobbling together crime stats from years he wasn’t in office, trying to play Mr. Law&Order, sneaking self congratulatory campaign propaganda into a Bd. of Supervisors proclamation that was supposed to be honoring the workers..

  7. Robert Benson said:

    I forgot to mention the perjured declaration that Gallegos admitted in CP100272, which covered up the law librarians criminal unauthorized practice of the law and deprived me of my right to redress of grievances. I had given Claim for Damages letters to the law librarian, for sabotaging my computer; and Gallegos, for deliberate indifference to reports of crime. Subsequently, the law librarian conspired with Gallegos to obtain a restraining order for me to stay away from the law library, so I could not research prosecuting them, civilly. The judge (Brown) was a retired visiting judge who has failed to respond to the Motion for New trial or competently answer a declaration of disqualification (recusal); the judge was unabashedly biased against me.

  8. Robert Benson said:

    Oh, I almost forgot the perjured declaration Gallegos admitted in CP100272 to cover up the law librarian’s misdemeanor unauthorized practice of law and to deprive my right to redress of grievances. After I gave the law librarian a Claim for Damages (for sabotaging my computer) she got a restraining order for me to stay away from the law library. Now I have no competent access to the law to research prosecuting her or Gallegos, civilly, for damages. I had also given Gallegos a Claim for Damages for deliberate indifference to reports of crime. Gallegos is a criminal, who covers up for criminals. Get em’ Allison.

  9. Robert Benson said:

    The following is an excerpt from the bold and beautiful work of regarding Gallegos’, currently running, FALSE advertising campaign:

    “Looks like the press release was already written BEFORE the proclamation was approved. Gallegos tried to use the Board of Supervisors process to sneak in a paragraph giving himself credit for creating a program that we all know he did not create. Then, thinking it was approved AS WAS, they trumpet this as PROOF that he created the program, NOT KNOWING THAT THAT PARAGRAPH WAS DELETED PRIOR TO APPROVAL BECAUSE IT WAS NOT FACTUAL AND EVERYONE KNEW IT.

    This is yet another well-orchestrated LIE.

    And Bonnie Neely agreed to participate in this knowing that she was throwing her own husband under the bus, knowing that the credit for this program belongs to her husband, knowing that this was false.

    This is despicable and disgusting.”

    Did I mention that Gallegos has turned a blind eye to three threats on my life, pursuant to my peaceful protesting and seeking redress of grievances; to a county law librarian sabotaging my computer on behalf of Children’s Welfare Service to destroy evidence of a psychologist’s false testimony; to an assault by one who threatened my life for seeking redress of a grievance against the law librarian; and several other crimes. Hello! DA is for District Attorney, not Defense Attorney.

  10. Rose said:

    Why don’t we hear “professor” Paul tell us personally about these things?

    Because “professor” Paul is running on other people’s records, pretending he created programs that were provably in existence long before he ever came along, trying to take credit for the work of others in the Skilled healthcare case, trying to use the years Terry Farmer was in office to skew his crime stats (and by the way, much as his handlers try to use the buzz phrase “you don’t want to go back to the days of Terry Farmer” it is Terry Farmer’s work he is trying to take credit for.

    Calling himself a “professor” – False claims, carefully orchestrated, hoping you don’t know any better – that’s so “progressive.”

    Also, someone oughtta ask Jeffy “” Schwartz about the extra pay he got for being put in charge of child abuse cases, and just how many cases he took to trial.

  11. Capdiamont said:

    The problem with Paul is the Judges should be making the decision, but if the judges aren’t getting all the evidence, and history of the offender, they get light, if anything for sentencing. Listen to the last “Happy Trails” podcast. Paul didn’t even talk to the officers involved, or to many of the witness on two bicycle cases. Why don’t we hear “professor” Paul tell us personally about these things?

  12. Dave Kitt said:

    Why would the people who voted for Hagen vote for Gallegos? It doesn’t make sense to vote for the person you didn’t want to see reelected.

  13. Woody said:

    ..and, Mr. Hoover, who would those aforementioned parties be? The players you refer too…come up with some names or it just sound like a lot of innuendo…(and by the way, I do think it is inappropriate for publicly funded agencies who serve the public to seek to influence the electoral process (yes, including teachers, firefighters, police and other bureaucrats) for their own interests.

  14. kevpod said:

    How does that not apply to Gallegos as well? He also has influence-seeking donors. Is it that you’re comfortable with his backers but not Jackson’s?

    If so, there’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t think there aren’t people with money who want to play both candidates.

  15. Woody said:

    Ms. Jackson’s largest financial contributors are the Humboldt County Sheriffs Political Action Committee. That does make me a little uncomfortable as they are a publicly funded bureaucracy that seeks to influence the agency (DA’s office ) that regulates them. While I have utmost respect for our individual deputies, I truly do not trust Ms. Jackson’s agenda and question whether she represents the people (all of us) or various private power cliques servicing her own thirst for power.

  16. RangerX said:

    Mr. Schwartz’ argument that Hagen supporters have a natural home in the Gallegos camp is based on a false assumption that politics is the important factor in choosing a District Attorney, not the competence of the office-holder to perform their appointed duties.

    In 2002 I voted for Gags – it was clearly time for a change. Though I was unimpressed by Gags first 2 years in office I voted against the recall – it was ill-advised and politically motivated. In 2006 I held my nose and voted for Gags again – as unimpressed with him as I was, Worth Dikeman just seemed like a bitter return to the Farmer days.

    Here we are in 2010, and once again we have a choice to make. First off, let’s keep in mind that the District Attorney’s office is officially a non-partisan position, one that, in my mind, should be as divorced from politics as possible. The purpose of the DA’s office is to prosecute criminals – period. Political agendas should have no place in criminal prosecutions. Of course, that’s not always possible, but it should be the standard by which a DA is judged.

    The DA should review the information that is forwarded from law enforcement and make an impartial decision whether (a), a crime has been committed, (b), whether the person charged committed the crime, and (c), whether there is enough evidence to ensure a successful prosecution. Whether it’s a crime against a person, a property crime, or an environmental crime, the DA needs to impartially decide whether the three items above are in place.

    Gags office has played politics since day one, pandering to the marijuana growers whe helped get him elected and to the green movement that is his base. The lack of prosecution of grow houses is one symbol of this, and the Pacific Lumber prosecution another. Believe me, I’d love to have seen PL held to answer for their many crimes against the environment, but the case as laid out by Gags office was at best incompetent and, at worst, a political act to please his base voters. The case against Douglas and Zanotti for the Moore shooting was absurd, and ridiculed across the country as not based in law and clearly agenda-led.

    Everyone knows where Gags stands in his politics, most people have a good idea of Hagen’s. Where does Jackson stand? She is a self-described Democrat, and beyond that…..? My point exactly, she is not making politics a part of her campaign, she is making competent prosecution of criminals her entire campaign.

    My personal politics are pretty close to those of Gags and Hagen, but I’m placing my enthusiastic vote for Jackson, because I want to see a well-run DA’s office. I want to see a DA’s office where the facts of the case, not the type of crime or the politics of the person charged, leads the decision making process.

    Gallegos has had eight years to make his office work efficiently and fairly, and he has failed. Jackson is not a return to the Farmer days, she isn’t some goblin – she’s a competent professional who deserves your vote.

  17. Angela said:

    Hagen supporters need to vote for the victims of serious crimes that have either been “misrepresented” or “unprotected” by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Paul Gallegos. The Hagen supporters need to vote for “justice” and “honesty” by restoring and holding even the District Attorney’s Office to the highest standard of law be it environmental, business or criminal crimes. It’s not just about winning cases. “Integrity” should be your first priority.

    On August 18, 2010 a letter was sent by Edmund G. Brown Jr., Attorney General, to my address regarding a pending investigation of Paul Gallegos Office. They requested a copy of the investigative file to be forwarded to their office for review. The content of our letter focused on deceit and dishonesty.

    My intent is not political as I am from a different county. I could care less about your election, however, judging from my research of cases generated from Gallegos Office based on the interest involving a family member’s case, he lacks the global perspective needed to keep the department operating efficiently. The last conversation I had with Paul Gallegos he could not finish a complete sentence, his thought process flucuated from incomplete thoughts that made no sense to me, typically of a person with a severe mental health disorder on pyschotropic medication (that can happen when your not telling the truth too).

    Encourage the people to vote on “Integrity”.

  18. Richard "Rick" Khamsi said:

    Whatever else the candidates for District Attorney have said this year, one thing frightens me most. Allison Jackson ran paid ads in the Senior News stating that her goal as D.A. would be to prosecute and imprison every person accused of crime by law enforcement agencies. That is not how our system of law and justice works in America. My father came from a country half-way around the world where the government could take your freedom or your life without due process of law. My mother’s ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War to free America from the rule of Kings. Allison Jackson is attempting to use the fears of elderly people to scare them into voting for her. That is just wrong. I will be voting for Paul Gallegos for District Attorney.

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