Kevin Hoover: We Need A Real District Attorney – October 30, 2010

Paul Gallegos’ listless DA Office leadership is defined mostly by constant explaining and excuse-making, a supposed law-and-order DA with an uncanny knack for letting bad actors off on technicalities.

The other salient feature of the Gallegosphere is strenuously projecting progressive-hipsterism while running a very traditional, fairly brutal politics-as-usual machine.

Any one of the infamous criminal cases which ended with wrist-tap outcomes might have a quasi-feasible rationale, but Gallegos' record has never added up to more than typical rural mediocrity. Very, very hip though, and certainly we’re all thankful for that.

Gallegos’s DNA is that of an extremely adequate defense attorney. He’s reliably malleable and dominated by the much-stronger personalities who manage him as a figurehead, including Master Ethicist Richard Salzman and Christina Allbright. These folks provide, in turn, political brains and ideological cover for their enterprise.

That’s good for Paul, because the man can’t speak for himself. Not even intending to, John Matthews of KSLG tripped him up just by asking his stance on Prop 19.

Gallegos is voting for Prop 19, you see, but he doesn’t endorse it. All John wanted to know was why you’d vote for something you don’t endorse.

Listen to the audio clip and be mortified as you hear our county’s top courtroom talent hem and haw, squirm and weasel as he tries to address this obvious contradiction while having it both ways, and fails.

Can any of the passionate Gallegos supporters please translate what their candidate is trying to say? It's easier to understand dolphins than Gallegos-speak. "How many more people have to be killed?" the DA rightly wonders, alluding to that the strife the current nonsensical cannabis laws cause. But he won't endorse Prop 19 "for a multitude of reasons," none of which he will name.

The elephant in the room is that Gallegos isn’t allowed to endorse Prop 19. Cannabis legalization would undermine the business interests of his major supporters, who are fully invested in the broken status quo. But like any industry-approved politician, he can’t say that, so gasping and tense silences have to do. Does it really matter that the controlling industry is Big Cannabis and not pig ranches or a chemical factory, as in other places? It’s no surprise that Humboldt’s defense attorneys are just thrilled with Paul Gallegos. He's always been and always will be one of them.

Rap artist Tone Loc appeared at a Gallegos campaign benefit in May, resulting in this Arcata Eye cartoon by artist Dave Held ( Gallegos liked it so much he had it autographed.

The cannabis industry-friendliness and vacuous environmental and social justice talk are why, when you call Gallegos HQ, a young, no doubt idealistic volunteer will probably answer the phone. These folks evidently think they're helping advance social progress or environmental ideals in some way. But what has Gallegos really accomplished over the years on any of these scores other than mouthing words? The campaign volunteers could better spend their time helping at the Food Bank, or planting trees along a creek in Arcata some weekend.

For all its well-polished Hipster Moderne image-building, Gallegos is the figurehead for a hopelessly old school political machine. It's one which fires dissenters, hires sycophants and verbally shreds enemies. In the latest example, the campaign manager's Eye column attempts to conflate the Gallegos brand with Progressivism itself while concern-trolling accomplished environmental prosecutor Paul Hagen as some sort of witless tool of the Right.

Inevitably, Biblical scripture is invoked to cement this point. There's nothing cynical or manipulative about this, mind you. After all, the question just has to be posed: Does Paul Hagen challenge the Bible?

It’s funny how only soulless monsters ever speak out against such a pleasant fellow as Paul Gallegos. Remember when dapper gentleman Worth Dikeman turned out to be a cop-lover and a racist? Now Allison Jackson is a drunken rageclown and enemy of civil rights. “We have to defeat the fascist,” said one frightened Gallegos supporter. Another one spoke with conviction that Paul Hagen is a "spy," because he is seen at some of the same public events that person attended. So many enemies.

Given this progression, and with the Gallegos campaign's newfound affinity for the Bible in mind, one can scarcely imagine what kind of morally bereft Spawn of Satan his next opponent would inevitably turn out to be four years hence. Happens every time.

It's hard to envision Paul Gallegos masterminding the systematic discrediting of all opponents that marks his campaigns (or masterminding much of anything else, for that matter). For this kind of wet work, he has people.

The Gallegos campaign projects idealism and progressive values while funneling cash in the four figures to the likes of Richard Salzman. Political dialogue these days is toxic enough without this character going around throwing gasoline on it. But, as only a lying political hack can do, he's managed to con a number of local politicians into thinking that he's somehow essential to their political survival. "I am completely happy with the people that I work so closely with and I trust their integrity," says Gallegos campaign manager Natalynne DeLapp.

At this point, many of us are weary to the bone of the enduringly mediocre performance of the Humboldt County DA's Office, and even more fatigued with the frenzied flim-flamming and fakery that strives to mask it. These features, plus the scorched-earth attacks on any who question Gallegos, are the true hallmarks of his tenure in office.

Allison Jackson will run a streamlined, no-excuses DA’s Office. If you’re innocent, resources won’t be misspent on futile prosecutions. But if you beat your wife, kill a kid, steal a purse, torture an animal, dump toxic waste, wreck a neighborhood or spew diesel into a creek with a dope factory, you’re going to jail, dude! Have a nice day.

With a real district attorney, law enforcement will have confidence that their work in putting together solid cases won’t sit around getting stale as statutes of limitation expire. I’ve had police ask me to phone the DA’s Office for them about cases, hoping the press would merit the returned call that they don’t. It's widely known, if not accepted, that politics, not prosecutions, is the currency of the Gallegos DA's Office.

If Jackson turns out to be just another phony politico like Gallegos, if she impinges on civil rights in any way or if she simply doesn't live up to the campaign pledges she's making, she had better know that people like me will be all over her. Probably with redoubled, disappointment-driven commitment, since she's the one selling a message of relief and straight-up performance. Read this and know, Ms. Jackson: we're looking to hire a serious attorney here, one who will work on behalf of the long-suffering citizens of Humboldt County, one who will protect the innocent, convict the guilty and protect the rights of everyone without fear or favor.

The Gallegos/Salzman franchise is the establishment – the sick, unresponsive machine whose main function is self-preservation. It has become the problem. Allison Jackson is a strong woman and compassionate attorney. She can talk. We’re so ready for that, for a positive change.


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  1. Robert Benson said:

    The People may have made the right decision, here. I don not know. Time will tell. Your insinuation, that accountability and credibility were the motivating factors behind Gallegos supporters, in my opinion, ignores an overwhelming host of obvious facts. I do share your hope that Mr. Gallegos will get some work done. I have never been to a place where rape and child molestation is so forthcoming; let alone, as blatantly obvious, as around here.

  2. Labuelita said:

    The people made the right decision here. Accountability and credibility. Now hopefully Mr. Gallegos will realize the 3% point reality and get some business done.

  3. woody said:

    Well, I don’t know about that ..perhaps you do have secrets; however keep stirring the cauldron as there is certainly abundant malfeasance about…at the end of the day, I am glad we have a local paper (and a public forum) despite it’s inherent biases and editorial excesses. All the best, Kay-Pod

  4. Woody said:


    The people have spoken. Despite all your lies (Kevin) and diatribes and egotistical boasting, a decent man is still in office to work for the people of this county. Thank God for the democratic process. I assume you will go and sulk in your dank cave, plotting revenge. I wish we had a better paper in Arcata but who has the funds to keep such an enterprise afloat. How do you do it, Kevin, where do you get your funding?…

  5. BYE BYE PAUL said:

    say goodbye Paul, and please pick up your bong and surf board that you left at the front door of the DAs office… I dont think Allison will be needing them … And KEVEN 2 thumbs up ….

  6. anonymous said:

    End The Spin Patrik

    what are you talking about Whitmill was out twelve days prior to the wreck he did appx. 8 months for a 16 month sentence for evasion. Had Gilligan added his previous felonies he would not have been on the streets. You need to go back to the courthouse and review Whitmills file and brush up on your law.

  7. Robert Benson said:

    Should we establish and bestow the Hammer and Nail Journalist Award upon Kevin Hoover for this article?

    Christina Albright,
    Perhaps, I misquoted you verbatim; though, clearly, the intent of your unsolicited advise was “if you associate with Angela Barff-Eib, you will go down.” Please, tell me what was ridiculous about my demands. As I did not know who you were and had never spoken to you before you threatened me and as I had, recently, met up with Angela Barff-Eib for the first time in months; please, inform me of the proper context of your purported helpful intentions. Our “conversation” consisted of you advising me that I may go down for associating with Angela and me warning you not to threaten me. I, subsequently, demanded who Angela had taken down and you refused to respond, then, and to two letters I admitted to your office. While we are on the subject, was Angela’s appointed attorney the spouse or significant other of the adoption agency’s employee? or is that a CONFIDENTIAL conflict of interest?

  8. anonymous said:

    End the Spin says:
    November 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

    With all due respect to Mr. Quigley, … the numbers don’t add up and the argument makes no sense.

    First, prior felonies in and of themselves do not result in additional prison time. Assuming the blogger means prior prison terms, two prior prison terms would have only resulted in one year of actual additional time, meaning that Whitmill would still have been out of jail long before the tragic accident even if they had been charged.

    Second, there is no evidence that Gallegos “forgot” to charge prior felonies. There are many legitimate reasons prior “felonies” are not charged and for Jackson to mislead this poor family into believing it was just an oversight or mistake is parasitic.

    It seems that Jackson should tell her supporters (or her bloggers) the facts rather than let them cast false blame to exploit tragedy for political gain. Sad.

  9. anonymous said:

    From: Bob Cloud,
    Kelsey, CA

    For over a decade I a was resident of Humboldt County, a businessman who served the criminal justice systems in Humboldt and surrounding Counties and a business associate of Paul Gallegos.
    From experience working on criminal cases as a peace officer, federal investigator and defense investigator, I’ve observed Paul consistently exhibit the best in integrity, knowledge of the law and the ability to making common sense decisions for what is right under the law. Paul stood firm when he and I were being threaten with arrest inside the SHU at Pelican Bay by prison officials for calling them out for illegal acts by the prison officials; Gallegos litigated discovery motions against the State AG’s office when they did their best to suppress exculpatory evidence that prison officials said did not exist and to his credit and integrity, he never failed to apply the law equally in all matters before us.

    His opponent has a long history of disregarding sensible resolutions of matters at a great cost to the taxpayers and exhibited little in the way of leadership qualities.

    Gallegos took and maintained the high and ethical road following his election and had to fight off the organized undermining interests of bitter rivals and their associates from within and still managed to provide competency and efficiency in the prosecution of criminals as well as showed effective management and retained honor in the face of such distractions.

    I urge the voters of Humboldt to re-electing this man of honor as District Attorney.

  10. Ken Quigley said:

    One more time I want to remind voters that back in early 2008 Mr. Gallego’s forgot to add Jason Whitmill’s two prior felonies at his sentencing for evasion allowing Whitmill out of prison two years early aqnd telve days before he decided to race down hiway 299 at 113 mph Drunk and on meth causing the horrible wreck that killed Nicole Quigley and almost killed her mother. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS KIND OF ICOMPETENCE. Please Vote Allison Jackson on Nov, 2.
    Kenneth A. Quigley

  11. anonymous said:

    If Susan McGee thinks that Kevin Hoover is a journalist, then she has no business teaching any classes at HSU or anywhere else.

  12. Susan McGee said:

    Maybe someone wants to take the community organizing class I teach at HSU with the major section on “demonizing one’s enemies.”

  13. Susan McGee said:

    Kevin, you are a great truth-teller and a gift in this community. Keep it up. You’re a dying breed – a real, ethical journalist.

  14. anonymous said:

    “…a lying political hack…”

    not meant to demonize, just Kevin’s opinion.

  15. anonymous said:

    “demonization is counterproductive to civilized debate.”

    -Kevin Hoover as humorist, absurdist, or just a hypocrite

  16. history said:

    What has happened with the ruling from the CA AG’s office on the alleged rape case? The TS reported that the spokeperson from AG’s office should have a decision at the end of last week (10/29) on I think it was “abuse of discretion” charge on the DA’s office.

  17. kevpod said:

    “her unethical, ends-justify-the-means attitude.”

    What, specifically, are you referring to? I and others might agree with you, given some evidence.

  18. Christina Allbright said:

    I guess it depends on what the definition of “pal’ing” is, but you’ll probably characterize that as a lawyer response. I will not deny that I have been at events where he has been. I have spoken to him, Paul, his campaign people and anybody that cares to listen about my opinions. I have not said police are corrupt. I have not said she would jail innocent people. I have repeated what she has said and voiced my concern about her unethical, ends-justify-the-means attitude. I come from a background advocating for victims of sexual assault and abuse. I have represented many victims. I do not believe Ms. Jackson is the best candidate for the position.

  19. Guantas Zaragoza said:

    Thank you for putting it so concisely! I voted for Gallegos, campaigned against his recall, but then had my opinion turned 180 degrees during his gross mishandling of the Alan Bear case. For Bear to not have been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter is a travesty. The lack of testicular fortitude on the part of our DA is appalling.

  20. kevpod said:

    Christina, demonization is counterproductive to civilized debate. But frank discussion of the people who wish to govern us, and their associates, is helpful.

    Painting Jackson as someone who will jail innocent people, in some kind of unholy alliance with what would have to be corrupt police, arguably qualifies as the kind of demonization we all oppose.

  21. Ben said:

    Nope. Christina you have been pal’ing with him and meeting with him trying to get us to vote for Paul. Deny it? Try. .

  22. Christina Allbright said:

    Because someone put my name in an editorial w/Salzman, I “hang” with him? I’m proud to be among the many attorneys, of all political parties, defense and prosecution, private and public, who endorse Paul. Quit demonizing people and focus on the issues. We all care about victims and children. We all want a safer community.

  23. Mana said:

    You hit all the nails on their heads! Thank you for you forthgright article.

    Like Richard Salzman, Steve Schechtman was also a willing toadie for Paul. His only purpose as a candidate was to help annihilate Worth Dikeman and split the vote. I’m sure Paul has repaid Mr. Schechtman very well for his efforts. Perhaps that’s one reason Schechtman’s son volunteers in the D.A.’s office? Just sayin’.

  24. Capdiamont said:

    You don’t get the point do you? A large number of Paul supporters are quick to both dismiss every legitimate claim that Paul is unfit for the job, and quick to deride every opponent on minor issues.

  25. Christina Allbright said:

    It’s two “l’s” in my last name, Mr. Hoover. At least give me that courtesy, since you didn’t bother to ask me in what capacity I support Mr. Gallegos. I certainly do not believe I have any control over him, as your editorial suggests. I have spent time and energy gathering support for him because I do believe he is the better candidate. I make no bones about the fact that I believe Ms. Jackson unethical and not suited for the position. I don’t say that because I agree with everything Paul does or because he has made my job easier. I say that based on years of my own and others’ experiences with both candidates. Anyone who takes the time to learn anything about me realizes that I cannot be compartmentalized as easy as Mr. Hoover does. As for Mr. Benson, I am misquoted and have chosen not to respond to his ridiculous “demands”. I regret ever speaking to him. As those witnessing our conversation said to him at the time, I was just trying to be helpful and I’m sorry that it wasn’t taken that way.

  26. so nothing said:

    On the CDAA/skilled healthcare admonition, nothing on the dropped rape case at HSU. Nothing on WHY the DA has the wholehearted support of the defense bar, while Jackson has the wholehearted support of law enforcement. Ok. Thanks for clearing that up.

  27. Natalynne said:


    I care deeply for this community as I am sure you do. We have a serious disagreement with respect to which candidate for District Attorney will best serve the citizens of the County we love.
    The passion in your letter is indicative of a strong divide in this community over who should wield the discretion afforded to a District Attorney. Ms. Jackson has the support of many persons whom I respect, including many officers in various police unions. Likewise, Mr. Gallegos has the support of many respectable persons in this community, including the majority of the Humboldt County Bar Association, as well as many esteemed community members such as Wes Chesbro, Patty Berg, John Wooley, Connie Stewart, Bob and Susan Ornelas, the Humboldt County Green Party and the North Group Sierra Club. And equally important are the hundreds of endorsements Mr. Gallegos has received by equally intelligent but lesser known persons throughout our community.

    To claim that the many respected supporters of Mr. Gallegos are doing so just because Mr. Gallegos is hip or that they have been hoodwinked by a political machine does a disservice to the intelligence and independence which marks these individuals and groups. I could buy that some voters would be so influenced in some parts of this country, but not Humboldt County. Many of the persons supporting Mr. Gallegos have worked closely with him and his opponent for many years and obviously disagree with your assessment regarding his skills.

    Like Mr. Gallegos, his attorneys, investigators and his staff work every day to protect our community and your letter does each of them a disservice. With respect to Mr. Gallegos’ honor and integrity, I thank you for not challenging those characteristics, which have largely gone unchallenged by those other than the most ardent of Ms. Jackson’s supporters.

    The reason I decided to even respond to your letter was because of your attack on the volunteers who are volunteering their time here today. The volunteers who are at Mr. Gallegos’ headquarters today were outraged by your claims that they are no doubt young, idealistic persons who mistakenly think that they are advancing social progress or environmental ideals and that they could “better spend their time planting trees or working in the food bank.” I invite you to come to our office and talk to the volunteers, who are as diverse as this County — young, middle aged, elderly, and all quite capable of independent thought and critical thinking. The fact that they are here working for who they believe to be the best District Attorney candidate is encouraging for our democracy as there are too many persons sitting behind computers hurling insults as a means of political discourse.


    Natalynne DeLapp

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  29. Capdiamont said:

    Then why didn’t he just come out and say he wasn’t allowed to do by national policy? Does this somehow only apply to the DA or would it apply to other elected officials? Why now is this coming out? Wouldn’t his campaign manager have said so soon after his messed up interview?

  30. Mark Sailors said:

    And just to be realy really clear, The ONDCP, are not “dope growers”, and it would be the ONDCP that has forbiden Paul to activly support Prop 19, by law.

  31. Mark Sailors said:

    According to the ONDCP advocating for any type of legalazation is forbiden. And i would assume that they Justice Dept. has made it clear that they frown on elected DA’s advocating for specific cannabis legalazation efforts.

    Anti-legalization Policy

    By law, the drug czar must oppose any attempt to legalize the use (in any form) of illicit drugs.[11]. According to the “Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998″[12] the director of the ONDCP

    (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that– 1. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and 2. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

    Application of Anti-Lobbying Laws to the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Open Letter to State Level Prosecutors, B-301022, March 10, 2004[13]

    Finally, apart from considerations of whether any particular law has been violated, you have asked whether the Deputy Director’s letter disseminated misleading information in connection with statements relating to the debate over legalization of marijuana. Clearly, the Deputy Director’s statements reflect one perspective regarding marijuana-a perspective that is disputed by others with different viewpoints. However, ONDCP is specifically charged with the responsibility for “taking such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use” of certain controlled substances such as marijuana /11/ -a responsibility which logically could include the making of advocacy statements in opposition to legalization efforts. /12/ The Deputy Director’s statements about marijuana are thus within the statutory role assigned to ONDCP. Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director’s individual statements in detail. /13/

    Just Sayin’

  32. Paul Hooker said:

    Kevin, thanks for this posting. I’m surprised. though, that you didn’t mention what Gallegos had to say about Rose, being institutionalized and all. It should be no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that Gallegos is an unfit DA. We can just hope that Allison gets elected, and move forward from there. P.S. I had two people ask me for Jackson signs today.

  33. On the Inside said:

    Very well written. Many people share your views. You have nailed it.

  34. firefly said:

    Let’s give Kevin Hoover the Bret Harte award this year for speaking the truth in Union-town.
    “Good night and good luck” to you, Kev-Pod.

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  36. Robert Benson said:

    I’ve said it before…when you are right, you are right! What piercing insight? Truly remarkable article. Thank you, Kevin Hoover, for setting this matter straight. You are a gentleman. May joy, upon joy, find it’s merry quarters in your heart.

    P.S. Christina Albright has refused to answer two letters from me, in which I alleged that she threatened me for associating with Angela Barff-Eib, who is the victim of local official kidnapping/child stealing; saying, “You should be careful of who you hang out with, they may take you down.”, and, subsequently, identifying Angela as the subject of the warning. Just an example of tactics.

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