Home > Uncategorized > Measure T heading to court

Measure T heading to court

Oh, the irony.

Oh, the irony.

A lawsuit challenging the 2006 “Measure T” ordinance blocking campaign contributions from outside corporations, has been filed in Federal Court.

The plaintiffs are — by many standards — local businesses; Mercer-Frasier and O&M Industries are barred from contributing to local elections due to some company shareholders residing outside Humboldt County.

Mercer-Frasier and O&M are represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation which inspired the humorously appropriate Sac Bee headline at right upon the lawfirm’s founding.

Measure T authors, the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights, anticipated the legal challenge when they campaigned for the ordinance.  They said Constitutional law expert John Bonifaz agreed then to represent them in court if needed.

Ordinance proponents released the following statement:

Voters enacted Measure T based on a legitimate concern that corporate influence in elections is undermining the integrity of our elections. It is our community’s right to protect itself from threats to our democracy. The idea that a corporation’s so called “rights” are more important than those of our community is unjust and illegitimate.

Measure T ensures that owners of corporations will operate as individuals in the political process, just like every other citizen, rather than gaining undue influence through their corporations.

We are not surprised by this action, but we are certainly disappointed that these companies have so little regard for the will of the people of Humboldt County.

  1. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I wonder if and how this will effect the story broke by the McKinleyville Press that says Corporations that funded McK campaign for Measure C to benefit financially from the passage of the measure. The claim is made by McKinleyville residents David and Penny Elsebusch that Measure T was violated by outside the county corporations.
    The Article in the August 19th edition says that the companies involved were KNN, and Oakland financing firm that would receive 80-thousand dollars if Measure C passed. Another firm is Jones Hall, a San Francisco financial consultant which would get about 45-thousand dollars from the measures passage. Godbe Research, a consultant from Half Moon Bay has been paid 14-thousand dollars already and Siskiyou Design from Yreka was to get 11 to 14 percent of the project cost for the implementation of Measure C the school bond initiative passed by voters in McKinleyville earlier this year. All four firms gave money to the yes on Measure C campaign. According to Elsebusch, 90 percent of the campaign funds were illegal.
    For More information, contact the McKinleyville Press at http://www.mckinleyvillepress.com

  2. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Well Heraldo, again I think you are misinformed. First, the county has to do the defending. Measure T people don’t have any standing to defend this piece of cr*p in court. So it will be left to county counsel or to Gallegos (who I believed weighed in on the measures legal correctness – now thats a hoot after the douglas zanotti fiasco) or they can hire outside counsel. I sure don’t think that Mr. Bonifaz is going to do this as he isn’t licensed to practice in this state.

    Last time I checked this was a democratic republic which guarantees certain rights can not be taken away. One of those is the first amendment and while not absolute, it sure protects against this outrageous measure. Nope, this thing will go down in flames because it is far too over-reaching, is in stark opposition to settled law and is so arbitrary and capricious in its designations of what is and isn’t corporate and local.

  3. August 28, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Oh, that is funny, heraldo – you watched the video and included the shot above – but not the story.

    They (PLF) showed that headline which came out when they formed, but followed it by saying once they had been around for awhile, and had a track record, the Bee wrote an entirely different story. Because that WASN’T what they were about.

  4. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Anonymous, settled law as in corporations are people, and therefore they have the right to free speech? If corporations don’t die in 6o to 80 years like people do, then they aren’t people and don’t have the same rights as people. The decision that gave corporations the same rights as people was not made by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was an addendum or note made by a clerk of the court that later was argued by Southern Pacific Rail Road in it’s lawsuit with Santa Clara in 1886.
    Wikipedia says this about the case.
    The Supreme Court never reached the equal protection claims. Nonetheless, this case is sometimes incorrectly cited as holding that corporations, as juristic persons, are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.[2] Although the question of whether corporations were persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment had been argued in the lower courts and briefed for the Supreme Court, the Court did not base its decision on this issue. However, before oral argument took place, Chief Justice Morrison OR. Waite announced: “The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”[3] This quotation was printed by the court reporter in the syllabus and case history above the opinion, but was not in the opinion itself. As such, it did not have any legal precedential value.[4] Nonetheless, the persuasive value of Waite’s essentially ultra vires statement did influence later courts, becoming part of American corporate law without ever actually being enacted by statute or formal judicial decision.[5] For these reasons, it is considered a turning point in the extension of constitutional rights to juristic persons.[6]

    You see how corporate bastards grab power that they don’t actually have in a free society and use it to oppress the people.
    You are probably right Anonymous, I just had to let other people know that even though the law might be on the side of the corporations in this thing, they stole it and didn’t get it legitimately.

  5. August 28, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Tom, I would venture that Google is a corporation and it provides you this FREE venue.

    There are many businesses in Humboldt County that are corporations. Maybe even the one that employs you.

  6. Eurekev
    August 28, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Wow, the strict constructionists at PLF are going to defend the constitutionality of corporate personhood! I think they’ll find everything they need right there in the constitution, just after the part about aiming a gun while talking on the telephone, and the part about how the president can do whatever he needs to, because we’re at war, dammit, even though it hasn’t been declared against “terror” yet.

    What great minds!

  7. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Corporations are a creation of the state and because of this, their power is limited to what the state of incorporation allows. If the corporation I work for tried to say that it was a chicken and had all of the rights of a chicken does that make it a chicken? No. It is still just a made up contract with a state. When corporations think that they are people, drastic measures need to be enacted. Corporations have limited liability, people don’t. There is a difference.

  8. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Does an attorney have to be licensed in California to appear in federal court in California?

  9. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    In re Desilets, 291 F.3d 925 (6th Cir. 2002).

    The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that state law cannot prohibit an attorney from practicing in a federal court in that state even though the attorney was not admitted to practice law in the state.

  10. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I have seen John Bonifaz testifying before congress on constitutional issues. He is fkn BRILLIANT!

  11. August 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    My objections to Measure T then and now are:

    1) It purported to be campaign finance reform, but was only a thinly disguised special interest power grab that disenfranchised some to the advantage of others.

    2) It did not address the public’s real concern … the need to cap campaign donation from ANY source.

    So after PLF rightly s–tcans the ordinance, we should work on the details of true campaign finance reform.

    Wouldn’t THAT be **progressive**!!

  12. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Not allowing corporations to donate to political campaigns in no way denies them equal rights. The individual share holders of corpoprations have the same rights as every other individual and can donate to whom they wish. Granting them additional rights as a group is giving them unequal rights above and beyond what regular citizens have. Corporations are by design sociopathic entitites. Their only concern is what is best for their shareholders even when it is harmful to the community, state or country in which they do business.

  13. August 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think how a business is organized has anything to do with the main issue here. Seems to me this whole thing is about limiting political contributions from one entity (corporations) on one side while not limiting them from a similar entity (unions, for one) on the other side.

    I almost of the mind that the constitution be damned in regards this. It’s patently unfair and is a blatant attempt of one side to limit political activity of the other side.

    Kaitlin S-P even said so herself, imo. When asked why unions were allowed to contribute while corporations weren’t (I’m simplifying the question here) she said, to paraphrase as best I remember: “Unions do good things. Corporations don’t.”.

  14. August 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    “Not allowing corporations to donate to political campaigns in no way denies them equal rights.”.

    It does when their equal on the left side is allowed to donate politically.

  15. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Fred, their equal on the left, Unions are a democracy and corporations are not. Unions are an agreement of the majority of workers, corporations are what ever their charter says.
    Share holders in a corporation don’t pay dues, they get paid dividends. Workers have unions to represent them and corporations have Elaine Chow, the U.S. Labor Secretary. She almost never sides with labor.

  16. August 28, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Corporations represent millions of people from shareholders to employees. Shareholders may not pay dues, but they vote and can lose dividends and share value. I feel safe in saying that corporations represent more people than unions do, especially nowadays.

  17. SoHumPatriot
    August 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm


    Since when are unions democratic?

    Have you ever worked for one where you had a say on who or what they can contribute to politically?

    I am a long time union member. I think unions are a good thing – in general. However, to think you – an individual member – have any impact on what the leadership does shows you need to put the pipe down.

  18. Walt Frazer
    August 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    First, in case you hadn’t heard, the constitution has been suspended for the duration of the “War” on terror, which means forever. Cheney, Addington and Wu have in effect written it into law, and Pelosi wouldn’t let it be challenged, or even argued.

    Second, to change the definition of “person” back to viable, living organism would now take a constitutional amendment. The anti-abortion folks say life begins at conception, and since corporations are a concept, they are persons.

    Third, regardless of what can be argued in court (or here), corporations run the country, they say they are entitled to all the rights (and more) of persons, and it is so. Dixit.

    Of course the only way to equitably solve the issue of whose favorite non-person can donate is to do away with donations. Donations are not speech, not mentioned anywhere in the constitution, and since some folks have a whole lot MORE to donate than others, that effectively gives them more “speech” than others. The answer is that elected officials get NOTHING beyond their salaries, not a library, not a haircut, not a shoeshine.

    That scenario is THE ONLY real reform. . .all the rest is partisan politics. And it will never happen because the folks who benefit from the status quo are the ones who decide what happens: Superpersons.

  19. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    All members of unions vote for their leadership. That isn’t true of corporations. Most shareholders don’t have any vote.

  20. SoHumPatriot
    August 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Shareholders all have the vote – that’s what being a shareholder means you nimrod and have the same impact on the leadership of a corporation as union members have on theirs – NOT MUCH.

  21. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    So Hum Patriot, the problem with a democracy is that the majority rule. That is why we live in a democratic republic. Union members elect their representatives in a democracy not a republic. I am a former member of the Bakery Tobacco and Confectionary union and learned first hand the good and bad of unions.
    As for your last remark I have never been a member of the pipefitters union.

  22. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    So Hum Patriot, I have family members that have tried to have influence over the corporations they own stock in to no avail.

  23. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Corporations lobby our congress without the consent of the shareholders that is one reason unions exist. It is to counter balance the awsome power that international and American corporations have over working conditions.

  24. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    You guys are pretty funny. I will wait and read the legal briefs. What really disturbs me is that many of you call your self liberals but really detest liberalism. You only think free speech applies to you and not your opponents.

    Man, you folks are an embarassment. What do you do for kicks, burn books?

  25. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    You are just wrong SoHum. Only people with voting shares get to vote and that isn’t most people.

  26. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm
  27. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    What is liberal about giving a made up entity the same powers a person has?

  28. Anony.Miss
    August 28, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    My mother-in-law was right. She said it all comes down to the “haves” versus the “have-nots”. Neither of them trust or like the other.

  29. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I believe that all people should have equal free speech. No one is trying to deny individuals who work for or own corporations their free speech. Corporations aren’t people, they are owned by people who have the same speech rights as everyone else.

  30. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Corporations also have K-Street lobbyists and that is why workers form unions, so they can also afford K-Street lobbyists. Companies that have unions almost always deserve them. Companies that treat their workers well seldom end up with a union.

  31. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    I am a stock owner, have been for years. I have never gotten to vote for anything. Mutual fund share holders don’t get to vote either.

  32. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Anonymous 3:54pm, sounds like an oligarchy not a democracy to

  33. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    to me.

  34. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Speaking of campaign contributions… Deployed soldiers are donating to Obama 6:1 over McCain.

  35. Tom Sebourn
    August 28, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    nonymous 3:59p, I saw that statistic and it goes to show that the polls may be seriously flawed during this election. That alone flys in the face of most polls. What is not being considered is that most young people are for Obama and they dont’ have a land line phone to be called for polling. Most youngsters have cell phones.

  36. SoHumPatriot
    August 28, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Owning mutual funds is not the same as being a shareholder – the fund votes for you. If they are not voting your shares the way you approve, sell the mutual fund. There are thousands of funds to chose from – many VERY progressive and ethical. I own shares directly in many companies and vote every year and have for decades. Do I have an impact with my few hundred shares versis organizations like CalPERS which vote millions of shares? Of course not, but that’s not the point. I vote, just like I will this November. Since Obama will win California will my vote count in the great scheme of things? No, but I vote never the less.

  37. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    You should do a little checking before you embarrass yourself further, Sohum Patriot. There are voting shares and nonvoting shares. You are the dense and arrogant one.

  38. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Non-voting stock is stock that provides the shareholder very little or no vote on corporate matters, such as election of the board of directors or mergers. This type of share is usually implemented for individuals who want to invest in the company’s profitability and success at the expense of voting rights in the direction of the company. Preferred stock typically has nonvoting qualities.

    Not all corporations offer voting stock and non-voting stock, nor do all stocks usually have equal voting power. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway corporation has two classes of stocks, Class A (Voting stocks -Ticker symbol: BRKA) and Class B (Non-voting stocks – Ticker symbol: BRKB). The Class B stocks carry 1/200th of the voting rights of the Class A, but 1/30th of the dividends.

  39. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Right on 12:50. I wonder how people can discuss this lawsuit without mentioning the existing violation of Measure T that was revealed in the McK Press. Jack seems to be a lone voice on this one. Why are the other journalists ignoring the violation?

  40. Walt Frazer
    August 28, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    In reality no one has a vote in a corporation unless you have enough shares to outvote the executives, directors and majority stockholders. You and your friends who want Exxon, say, to divulge which first district congressman they’ve bought, so you vote 40 shares that way. But Exxon’s CEO votes 40 million shares the other way. . .and the majority rules! Democracy in action: 40 million “persons” outvote 40 “persons.”

  41. kateascot
    August 28, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    that is corporate power, not really democracy, capitalism is not democracy…

  42. August 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    The question here is whether this lawsuit will move up to the Supreme Court for a broader ruling on corporate personhood. Likely not, in my opinion, cause I don’t think the county would want to foot the bill for such a large enterprise. They might even be willing to flat out settle and overturn the law rather than go into a long legal battle.


  43. August 28, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    3:54 wrote: “I am a stock owner, have been for years. I have never gotten to vote for anything. Mutual fund share holders don’t get to vote either.”.

    If you’d paid attention, you might have been able to vote.

    I own one share of Conagra (CAG). I was stunned the last time I received a letter from them that offered me the chance to vote on nearly everything within the company. Never saw that happen before.

  44. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    40 million “persons” outvote 40 “persons.”

    So mobilize and own more shares than the current majority holder.

  45. August 28, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Kateascot wrote, “capitalism is not democracy…”.

    Capitalism is choice.

    I might remind you, as a wise man once said:

    “Fifty one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic”.
    – Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

  46. Eurekev
    August 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    One part of me wishes it would go to the Supremes just to see Scalia’s latest clueless diatribe. I can only imagine how the genius would find corporations with limited legal liability to protect the officers and shareholders described as persons. I guess they meant to say “We The People and Corporations”, just a typo.

    Ah, Scalia, the strict constructionist who found all kinds of things in that ol’ constitution: handguns, telephones, KY jelly…..oh wait, that last one was in his desk, not in the constitution. My bad.

    Of course, while it makes funny theatre it does screw up the country.

  47. HumRed
    August 28, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Let’s see he is a Supreme Court Justice and you are what?

  48. Eurekev
    August 28, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Uh, an American.

    I guess I’m unworthy to comment on such a great man in the new Amerika.

    What are you, HumRed? You seem to be something closely related to athlete’s foot.

  49. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Good point Fred. In a true democracy, the homeless would quickly find themselves far worse off, truly oppressed by the majority.

    Some claim to be oppressed today, but they have no idea how good they have it. I’d take being homeless in America today over being homeless in two-thirds of the countries on Earth (probably more, actually).

  50. Eurekev
    August 28, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Fred, have you heard this similar saying: “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.” That one cracks me up. I guess it’s not certain who said it first, although it is falsely attributed to Ben Franklin.

  51. August 28, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Yep; Heard it, and it seems to be true. Used it myself a few times.

  52. Eurekev
    August 28, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    You might as well lay claim to it. It seems to be open. I’d rather attribute it to you than Anonymous. No offense, Anonymous.

  53. Dog
    August 28, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    It was James Bovard. The actual quote is “Democracy should be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

  54. Eurekev
    August 28, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Good Dog!

  55. August 28, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Bonifaz is the guy in the video on the Measure T site. I forget. “nuther one of those SOUNDS SO DAMN GOOD! kinda guys, says all the right things, gets your juices goin’ – oh, those evil E-V-I=L corporations! if it wasn’t for them, why the world would be peach-y keen.

    Yeah – this one is going to be highly entertaining.

    I HOPE Gallegos is the one to defend it. It’s his baby. HIs pony, actually.

  56. Eurekev
    August 28, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Here’s one that I just made up:

    The internet hasn’t brought us together very well, but it makes a great blind to shoot at each other from!

  57. August 28, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Rose, you use the word “evil” more than any opponent you dream up.

  58. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    No H, I’m pretty sure there are activists in our county who call corporations evil.

  59. SoHumPatriot
    August 28, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    With Gallegos’ track record. Measure T stands for toast

  60. August 28, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    :) I was thinking the same thing 9:00 – actually along the lines of “you know the guy is Toast when even Heraldo writes up such a glowing endorsement of him.”

    The ruling is another giant black eye to District Attorney Paul Gallegos whose string of high-profile cases have crashed and burned before getting to trial.

    Cracks me up.

  61. The Monitor
    August 28, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    This national election is, in part, about this very issue. The republicans fear most, corporate power being deminished. The Dems would like personal rights to hold sway over corporate POWER. It is pretty clear, and what a donnybrook it is going to be until Nov.4th. It is a pivital moment and many feel the threat, on both sides.

    I for one will be overjoyed that a more than qualified black man, with vision,will hopefully sit in the office where Abe Lincoln signed the emancipation proclimantion. It took 156 years and a lot of American blood, sweat, and tears to get this far. I am grateful to have lived to see it.

  62. August 28, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    What does “glowing endorsement” have to do with the over-use of the word “evil”?

  63. August 28, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    The Dems want personal rights to hold sway? HIlarious. Have they shown you this with any of the bills that have been put forth? Any of the votes that have been taken?

    Maybe it’s just a funny way of looking at things, but I kinda think of being able to decide when I turn my windshield wipers on as being a personal right… little things like that.

  64. August 28, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Your windshield wipers are under attack? No wonder you like the word “evil.”

  65. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I guess I’m a Dem because I prefer my civil liberties over the choice of whether or not to wear a seat belt, turn on my lights in the rain, and use a hands free cell phone just to make the highways safer.

  66. McK_Soccer_Mom
    August 28, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Please understand that David and Penny Elsebusch are a couple of tightwads who are mad that they couldn’t stop the school bond election. They would prefer our local children learn in an environment with leaking roofs, inadequate facilities, etc. as long as they don’t have to pay any additional taxes on the “multiple houses” they own in McKinleyville.

    Boo Hoo for you; elections have consequences.

    They are trying to use Measure T as a way to undo the vote of the people of McKinleyville. Even if outside corporations did contribute funds to the election, and even if Measure T were constitutional, the penalty would be a fine owed by the contributor, not the invalidation of the certified election results.

  67. anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    As long as corporations don’t mess with Rose’s right to those small pleasures afforded her through a narrowly defined emancipation, then Measure T and the usual suspects be damned! Power to the… er, uh hem, good guys?

  68. The Monitor
    August 28, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    That would be like the certified election results in Florida? If you defend it for one side you have to defend it for the other.

  69. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    a couple of tightwads who are mad that they couldn’t stop the school bond election.

    Yeah, it couldn’t be that they’re mad because of a flagrant violation of the law. That would be silly!

  70. August 28, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    David and Penny won’t be able to change the election results, despite their efforts.

    Assuming that all their allegations are true, which has yet to be determined, the most extreme thing that would happen is that the corporate donors would have to pay a fine. That’s it.

    By the way, according to the school district, McKinleyville students are NOT learning in leaking classrooms. The MUSD has a maintenance department which fixes these problems. Children are NOT falling through floors. There’s a maintenance department that keeps facilities in good shape.

    I also don’t consider the educational facilities to be “inadequate,” unless the MUSD has a leaky dungeon that it’s hiding from us.

    That’s not to say that the MUSD doesn’t need money to improve and upgrade facilities. There was a consultant’s report that, in my opinion, included lots of worthwhile projects.

    But let’s not make this a choice between adequate classrooms and leaky rat-infested hell-holes. That’s not what it’s about, unless the district is hiding something, which I doubt.

    We have decent facilities which could use some upgrades.

  71. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    just to confuse the black and white view of things, the unions are BY FAR the strongest voice in favor of the port and railroad boondoggle. You shoulda seen those guys getting the backslap from the stevedore in the back of the room after they made their remarks. One guy told me he got 3 phone calls today from his union to get to the harbor District meeting. Those guys ought to be ashamed of themselves, prostituting themselves like realtors at a General Plan Update hearing–build, sell, build, sell! Some of them would sell their mothers to make a buck.

    The argument about non-profits though is rather hollow since so few non-profits can lobby. There are actually rules about that. Maybe we need corporations to have special incorporation status to be allowed to lobby?

  72. Anonymous
    August 28, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    But Jack, everything has to be black-or-white or it’s too complicated!

  73. August 28, 2008 at 11:15 pm


    Will he defend it in court. He’s already said he thinks it is consititutional and will withstand any challenge. And we know what a legal scholar he is.

    It’s the pony he rode into office. His slogan the time before was justice for all, no matter how ruthless or sacrosanct – so let’s see him prosecute this one. Put his money where his mouth was, so to speak,

    Better yet – I hope to God he is the one who has to defend it against PLF. THAT will be a show to see.

  74. August 28, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    It’s the pony he rode into office.

    Gallegos was elected in 2002. Measure T passed in 2006.

  75. August 29, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Yes, but he was a strong supporter of the measure.

  76. Anonymous
    August 29, 2008 at 7:06 am

    the most extreme thing that would happen is that the corporate donors would have to pay a fine. That’s it.

    That makes Measure T meaningless. The people being fined can well afford it, and after their deeds are made public, well, too late, the election is over. Measure T is a joke, and it doesn’t matter if it gets overturned in court.

    Jack, what’s your take on why your colleagues are ignoring this news story?

  77. Anonymous
    August 29, 2008 at 7:09 am

    The people being fined

    And when I write that, I mean in a general sense, not just the alleged violators this time around. And I deluded myself by writing “people” when I meant out-of-area corporations.

  78. August 29, 2008 at 7:19 am

    You can judge someone by who their enemies are. Who is against the Measure, and why? Local measures have been a clever way to put the power back into the people’s hands. But throughout history the corrupt court system has come to the rescue of those corporations and governmental organizations who stand to lose their hegemony over the people.

  79. HumRed
    August 29, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Your knowledge of history is about as good as your political ideas. Measure T was ill conceived and will will be shot down. Hope Paul gets to defend it, I woul love for the public to see him in action. Will you ever get past that bullshit ” the people “, people are individuals, thats what this county is about, “hegemony” I’m impressed. What, got a kid in high school.

  80. Anonymous
    August 29, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Moviedad, that idea doesn’t hold up. Look at the first ballot measure accused of having illegal donors… not what you would expect, not some evil Wal-Mart trying to invade our town, but instead a school district.

  81. Anonymous
    August 29, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Heraldo, PVG used measure T as one of his campaign issues during his reelection campaign in – 2006. I think you know that.

  82. August 29, 2008 at 9:36 am

    7:43, You bring up a good point. Any measure that restricts the actions of identified groups, is a two-edged sword. If we stop Wal-Mart from interfering, then we stop “Americans For Puppy Love” also.
    I don’t know much about the “Measure T” issue itself. But isn’t it true that it wouldn’t be necessary if the laws protecting communities from undue influence were enforced?
    It seems like we just keep stacking new laws on top of laws that are ignored.
    And what about the WTO rules? If, say….Carhart Inc. wants to influence McKinleyville’s election concerning whether the clothes should be mandatory for MCSD’s employees. and is prevented by Measure T, then isn’t that illegal under the WTO, since it prevents them from making a profit in McKinleyville’s Market?
    Silly I know, but a lot of Corporations have been able to use the WTO to get into markets where the local Governments have tried to restrict them to protect their own. Do you think that could be a possible strategy in this case?

  83. August 29, 2008 at 10:59 am

    “Jack, what’s your take on why your colleagues are ignoring this news story?”

    Jack: They dailies are under-staffed, there’s confusion about who should cover the McK school beat and it’s vacation time. That’s my guess.

  84. Anonymous
    August 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    The former campaign manager for the passage of Measure T is running for reelection to the water district board this Nov. Who is Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap’s opponent? I haven’t read a thing about that race in the local papers.

  85. Not A Native
    August 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    I’d say the reason that the other media ignored the “story” is because it wasn’t news worthy to print.

    The ER on Wed. and TS reported yesterday on the lawsuit filed against measure T. According to the ER, the complaintant said the suit has nothing to do with Measure C in McK.

  86. Anonymous
    August 29, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    redwoodnww had it right:

    The question here is whether this lawsuit will move up to the Supreme Court for a broader ruling on corporate personhood.

    This is the only reason to have passed the measure in the first place, as it is meaningless as to it effect on local elections. Anyone who wants to influence campaigns bad enough will just give the money directly and the backers of the measure knew that, they put this forward hoping that it would be challenged as the issue they want to focus on is corporate personhood (and to promote themselves).

  87. Auntie Arkley
    August 29, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    These assholes from the corporations don’t want fairness, they want ADDED influence. They can contribute as individuals AND as corporations. What they really want is recognition that their corp. donated so they can get special favors after the election.

    We need to fight corporate personhood vigorously. How can a corporation be a person? Too much corporate/government foul play for me. Just shows who the government is looking out for; and I don’t think it will change with a different party in power. The government is FUCKED, but only because the republicans since Reagan have made it so.

  88. Not A Native
    August 29, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    ‘Money can’t buy everything, its true”
    “But what it can’t buy, I can’t use”

    “So give me mo-ney, la la la, lots of mo-ney, la la la”

    “Thats what I waaant ah ah uh, thats what I want !”

    People want political power. If money couldn’t buy political power, among other things, people wouldn’t be as incentivized to work hard for it. So, if an economy based on monetary wealth is to be maximally effective, it has to permit wealth to purchase political power.

  89. bonifaz?
    August 30, 2008 at 9:31 am

    No more reference to bonifaz on that site.

  90. Mercer-Fraser violated T
    August 30, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    this is probably a good indicator as to why the company is suing.


  91. Anonymous
    August 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    John Doe #1 is a person living in Humboldt County. He can contirubute as much of his personal earnings as he wants to any local campaign.

    John Doe #2 is a person living outside of Humboldt County. He can contribute as much of his personal earnings as he wants to any local compaign.

    John Doe #3 is a person living in Humboldt County who is part owner of a corporation. All of the corporation’s shareholders live in Humboldt County. He can give as much of his personal earnings as he wants to any local compaign, but he can ALSO give as much of his company’s before-tax profits as he wants.

    John Doe #4 is a person living outside of Humboldt County who is part owner of a non-local corporation. He can give as much of his personal earnings as he wants, but since his corporation is non-local, he is prohibited from using the corporation’s before-tax profits for local political campaigns.

    All of these individuals still have equal rights to free speech with their own personal earnings. Additionally, a collection of all-local residents in the form of a local corporarion may contirbute from the company’s profits.

    Who, exactly, has been denied their free speech?

  92. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Exactly and well said, Anonymous 6:27.

  93. wow
    August 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    The denial is of equal rights. Take the same set of examples, except change the organizations from Corporations to Unions and Non Profits, and it is plain to see that it is an inconsistent application of rules.

    Guess will see what the courts say.

  94. Anonymous
    August 30, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    They dailies are under-staffed, there’s confusion about who should cover the McK school beat and it’s vacation time. That’s my guess.

    Really Jack? Here’s my guess. The dailies don’t give a shit about McKinleyville. It might as well be Garberville to them. Fortuna-Eureka-Arcata is the beat, and then skip up to Trinidad when there’s controversy. Anything that occurs outside of an MCSD meeting is not news.

  95. August 30, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    So everyone who donates does so because they want political power? Not-A-Native… I hope you put that on the donation envelope of the next campaign you are involved in. I’m sure it’ll help boost donations. NOT.

  96. Not A Native
    August 30, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Rose, what you wrote is so so ridiculous I wonder if even you can read it back without wincing. Everyone who donates is trying to influence a political outcome, to their liking. That’s the definition of gaining political power.

    I gave $100 to Obama precisely because his donation envelope says he will adopt policies that I happen to favor. When he wins, I’ll have more political power because he’ll be doing some things in a way that I want them done.

    If I gave $100,000, I’d probably be allowed to personally meet and have an opportunity to influence him further, partly by promising my future support. That would give me more political power, even personal political power.

    Now you could say that if I didn’t donate and he wins anyway, I’d still gain political power, so the money doesn’t matter. That’s true, but only if he wins. By having donated, I improve his chances to win, so I’m improving my chances to gain political power.

  97. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Getting the people elected who will govern in the way that you want is the only type of legal political power non-politicians can have. Donating to the political campaign of the candidate who is most likely to advance an agenda you want is what most of us do and write them letters if they are elected to keep them informed as to how we want them to vote. Donating to a candidate to gain favorable votes after they are elected is a different matter, as is giving them gifts or offering them cushy jobs after they leave office for votes which benefit the donor. Funny how almost all of the campaign contribution and bribery scandals have been on one side of the aisle even when the GOP controlled the AG office. Are they just picking on the Republicans?

  98. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    The only major Democratic bribery scandal recently that I can recall is Siegelman and his conviction for giving a job to someone in exchange for a donation to an education lottery, not even for his own benefit. It has turned into a huge headache for the Bush administration due to their politicization of the AG office and targeting Democrats and particularly for Gonsales, Karl Rove and the federal prosecutors who went after him relentlessly, suborned perjury and withheld vital exculpatory evidence.

  99. August 30, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    You didn’t give $100 in expectation of gaining political power. You gave it because you support his ideas, and like his persona. You do not expect to gain one iota of political power out of it. If you do, you’re dreaming.

    And if giving him a million bucks would gain you power, and he gave it to you – that would not be a good thing, now would it?

  100. August 30, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Does half a million count? Ask Rob Arkley.

  101. Anonymous
    August 31, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Unfortunately, Gallegos can do nothing, and the Measure T fanatics can still press ahead with civil damages against the “offending” local business which dared to make a donation.

    Gallegos can also duck out of defending this unconstitutional farce foisted upon Humboldt County by those Democracy Unlimited charlatans like Kaitlin “anti-fluoride” Sopoci-Belknap. So can Tammy Falor, the County Counsel at the time who missed the glaring errors, just like she did with the due-process violations in Measure M two years before that.

    It’ll be up to interim County Counsel to babysit an incredibly expensive lawfirm in SF to fight the case in federal court down there in SF or Oakland. At taxpayer’s expense, of course. Thanks David Cobb, hope you and Kaitlin enriched yourselves plenty with your absurd self-promotional initiative which served to do nothing positive for local elections!

    And yes, Kaitlin is on the ballot for Eureka in November, and it’s not a Republican connected to a life support machine (and even then, she won by less than 200 votes).

  102. Plain Jane
    August 31, 2008 at 1:04 am

    John Bonifaz, a constitutional scholar and attorney, has already said he would defend this if it is challenged. He isn’t from San Francisco but I’m sure he’ll do a great job.

  103. Anonymous
    August 31, 2008 at 1:34 am

    He’s not a California attorney. He’s not bar-certified in California. He can “defend this” no more than David Cobb can. Of course, Cobb was disbarred in Texas, so he’s not even an attorney any more, yet he was the legal genius behind this Measure T fiasco, figures.

    Not to mention — the COUNTY has to defend its own county measure.

  104. Plain Jane
    August 31, 2008 at 3:30 am

    This will be federal court and attorneys don’t have to be licensed in the state where the case is heard. I looked it up.

  105. mresquan
    August 31, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Cobb moved here,of course he was disbarred.What’s your point ?

  106. mresquan
    September 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    So will this same group take on the state of Texas ?

  107. local yocal
    September 1, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    WOW. This will get interesting. A way back on this string, someone mentioned the unions were driving the “port/rail boondoggle”. Get it through your head, on one hand the unions are grasping for relevancy locally since for all their talk, the Dem majority here has NOT delivered on the pandering. On the other hand, where do they go to for an opportunity to get in on job creation? Democracy Unlimited? This ordinance is an embarrassing power grab that has little to do with democracy, and is a smoke screen to divert attention from the issue of TODAY. Consider this…the unions and the corporations behind the challenge are TOGETHER on port/rail. In regard to this issue and this measure, friend and foe are being defined, with some surprising answers!

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