Political ‘Harassment’ Claim Refuted – May 29, 2010

Daniel Mintz

Eye Correspondent

HUMBOLDT – A DA candidate’s belief that Eureka humanitarian Betty Chinn was the target of politically-related “harassment” has been refuted by Chinn.

Chinn had been listed as one of DA candidate Allison Jackson’s endorsers on her campaign website but Chinn’s name was recently removed from the list. Asked why, Jackson e-mailed a statement explaining that Chinn’s “public support was impacting her personally” and so her name was removed.

I am deeply troubled that she has had to endure any type of harassment due to her support of me in this election,” said Jackson.

But Chinn said that she asked that her name be removed because she didn’t intend to be an endorser. “I stay out of politics,” she said. “It’s not my area, my area is helping the poor.”

Chinn also wants to clarify that she hasn’t had to deal with any harassment. “This is a loving community and to come out and say that I’ve been harassed is not true,” she said. “I came here from communist China, I’ve never felt that I’ve been mistreated by anyone here.”

The first and only time Chinn met Jackson was at an event last February, Chinn continued. “I never said I support her, I did say that I admire her and what she’s doing,” she said, adding that the feedback she got after being listed on Jackson’s website was benign.

“Some people did tell me, ‘Betty, I know you never get involved in politics,’” Chinn said.

How did the supposed endorsement emerge and what constituted the perception of harassment? Jackson said that Chinn was with Rex Bohn, one of her friends, when they met last February. “I asked Rex to contact her to ask if I could use her name and was told that she supports me,” Jackson continued.

She said that in mid-May, Chinn left a phone message indicating she wanted her name removed. When Jackson asked Bohn about it, “All I was told was that she’d received numerous contacts who told her it could jeopardize her work,” Jackson said.

She said she wrote Chinn a letter thanking her and explaining that “I felt ill that anything from this could affect her work because I care about her so deeply,” Jackson continued.

Attributing the situation to miscommunication, Jackson emphasized that she truly believed Chinn had endorsed her and that after hearing she’d gotten numerous phone calls about it, she was concerned for her.

“I am deeply saddened by all of this and the way it’s been spun,” said Jackson.


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  1. kevpod said:

    I have a question for “Factcheck,” who has previously commented as “Richard.” Whoever you are, why do you hurl your fireballs under contrived names? Why not just identify yourself? Others of us do. Is it just force of habit or what?

  2. Fact check said:

    Francine Schulman says:
    October 21, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    Yes, I spoke with Hank Sims today and confirmed that Ms. Jackson had used my name in her ad without my permission. Yes, I thought it might have been some kind of misunderstanding. Yes, Mr. Sims and I agreed the letter would not be printed in his paper but not because the letter was somehow untrue. I didn’t want the letter to be printed for selfish reasons.

    I stand by the letter because everything in it is accurate. I retracted the letter because I panicked during my conversation with Hank. As I told him, I am a full time Nursing Student in my first semester of studies. I don’t have time for this stuff. Though it was important to me to write a quick letter to the editor regarding Ms. Jackson’s false endorsements, I was not ready for the immediate pressure I began to feel building inside me once Hank called. Though I was angry with Ms. Jackson – and still am, for using my name inappropriately in her campaign, I could feel the distraction of this potential maelstrom taking me away from my school work. I need to study and not be talking about the DA race.

    More importantly and personnaly, while taking to Mr. Sims, I began to recall the last time I dealt with a North Coast Journal Reporter. She was a young woman who wanted to talk about the murder of my daughter in 1994. This woman would have been around my daughter’s age if Amber was still alive. These sad memories returned while taking to Hank. I could feel my panic levels continue to increase. I felt like I could not allow these dredged memories to distract me from my school. Consequently, I retracted the letter.

    While writing this response, I realize that I must go forward and open this Pandora’s Box. The letter presented to Mr. Sims at the North Coast Journal today is accurate and I will call his tomorrow to request, once again, that the letter regarding the false endorsements be printed. It is the right thing to do.

  3. Fact check said:


    Jackson lies about yet another endorsement

    [Letter from Francine Slaughter Schulman to the Times-Standardand North Coast Journal.]

    I want to report another false Allison Jackson endorsement. An advertisement in both the Times-Standard and the North Coast Journalincorrectly and inappropriately listed me as an endorser of Ms. Jackson. The false ad may have also been included in other local papers.

    Not only do I not endorse Ms. Jackson at this time, I specifically told Ms Jackson, with her campaign manager present and with several days before the ad was published, that I was not prepared to endorse her in the race against Paul Gallegos for the position of District Attorney. Consequently, I was shocked, disappointed and remain upset that Ms. Jackson would have the audacity to put my name on an advertised list without my permission. Because of my history as a victim of crime, she should be doubly ashamed of herself. Then there’s the question: How many others on the list have not endorsed her? Unfortunately the damage has already been done. Ms. Jackson let this ad be published with full knowledge of my position. This is not the type of leadership I want in my District Attorney.

    While looking into this issue of false endorsements using the same papers that ran Ms. Jackson’s current false ad, I was reminded about a similar endorsement debacle involving Allison Jackson and Betty Chin during the primary DA elections [see Jackson blows it with Betty]. At that time, it was the wonderful Ms. Chin who was erroneously listed as a Jackson endorser. When Ms. Chin asked for her name to be removed, Ms. Jackson bizarrely tried to cover it up by claiming that Ms. Chin was somehow politically harassed into removing her name, which proved untrue. “Cover up” is not a term I want to use when describing my District Attorney.

    Although it is very close to election time, I request Allison Jackson be required from this point forward to specifically confirm that the people she features in her ads are actual supporters and not just passing acquaintances. I want my District Attorney to base decisions on evidence, not convenience. I want my District Attorney to be a truth seeker. I want my District Attorney to be a fair-minded leader whose ends do not justify the means. I want my District Attorney to not prey upon the innocent.

  4. Rose said:

    It’s time for both of us to go, Richard. Stop trying to smear a good woman in your quest to keep Paul Gallegos in office.

    There’s alot of talk of negative campaigning – often directed at anyone who points out his inadequacies.

    It’s time for this to end.

  5. kevpod said:

    Tonight I was told that Richard’s political colleagues are aware of his tawdry excesses, but that he’s just so good at the campaigning that he’s sort of a necessary evil.

    I wonder if his legend isn’t outsized for his actual capabilities. Maybe he just talks a good game to someone as malleable and manipulable as our good DA.

    Two things: 1. I never heard of Karl Rove or David Axelrod sticking stickers on parking meters, or shitting on their enemies via anonymous letters and blog posts. That’s a wanker errand if there ever was one. 2. If he’s so good why isn’t he in Sacramento working for some high-powered Democrat and making real money?

  6. Hank Sims said:

    It’s “the end justifies the means,” except that it’s hard for Richard to remember what the end was supposed to be.

  7. Jack Durham said:

    It’s a very fair question. I think he (Gallegos) ignores the ethical “lapses” in favor of one thing – kickass skills when it comes to phone banking, or whatever the he’ll they call that crap. Apparently he’s pretty good at organizing that stuff. Or so I’m told.

  8. kevpod said:

    And then there was the time he got caught putting anti-Arkley sticker on the parking meter. Always with the picayune tactics, that guy.

    What a strange cocktail Richard Salzman is – high-flown idealism in his public utterances with all kinds of petty political dirty tricks on the side. What does he really stand for? Stomping your way to the peacable kingdom?

    And what does it say about our District Attorney that he has this piece of work as his Senior Campaign Advisor? It’s a fair question.

  9. Jack Durham said:

    Richard was the fellow who anonymously circulated the “Dump Geist” bumper stickers in the 5th District after Jill voted against Gallegos’ proposal to hire an outside attorney to sue PL, rather than have Gallegos handle the case in-house. Apparently, not toeing the line was insulting to Salzman. But, at least publically, that issue took a backseat to his campaign of deception via letters.

  10. Terrence McNally said:

    Probably the idealistic rainbow-colored sock that wants to work for change… until becoming desperately cynical watching Richard make the sausage.

  11. kevpod said:

    Either R. Trent or another in his stable of handy-dandy sock puppets. Maybe the argyle one with the button nose.

  12. Terrence McNally said:

    That was classic. Turd blossom politics at its finest.
    You think Williams typeset that print story for him?

  13. kevpod said:

    In Richard’s defense, he signs his writing. Don’t you remember R. Trent Williams?

  14. Terrence McNally said:

    At least he put his name on a post this time…

  15. kevpod said:

    Mr. Nice, er, Richard, why did you edit the byline and dateline out of the story? And why don’t you post some of our lovely correspondence from the last few days? I mean, if you want to provide a complete picture.

  16. Richard said:

    Here is the original story copied from the printed page of the Arcata Eye:


    (photo of Betty here, with the word: HARRASSED printed below her name)

    The removal of the name of one of DA candidate Allison Jackson’s endorsers from her website has sparked speculation and Jackson has said it was done to spare the endorser from politically-related “harassment.”

    Political observers have noticed that Betty Chinn’s name has been removed from Jackson’s endorsement list. Chinn’s efforts on Eureka-based free food programs and a new shower facility have gained widespread attention and she’s one of Jackson’s more well-known supporters.

    But when her name was removed, it seemed as if her support was withdrawn. Contacted about it, Jackson said the removal of Chinn’s name was done to shield her from reactions to the endorsement.
    “While I am honored to have Betty’s support, when I became aware that her public support was impacting her personally and may have impact on her work for those who need our compassion in this community, I removed her name as a formal supporter so as not to have it impact either her or her work,” said Jackson.

    She added, “I am deeply troubled that she has had to endure any type of harassment due to her support of me in this election. I have thanked her privately and will continue to thank her for her private support.”

    Attempts to contact Chinn were unsuccessful.

  17. Richard said:

    The only “spin” here has been by Ms. Jackson herself.

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