Saturday, March 17, 2007

Let's hear both sides

Why do you do this, Rose? Why don't you just drop this?

It's a good question, and one I get all the time. Along with, why did you even start doing this?

The answer to that last question is really the answer to the first one. I have already described my conversation with Richard Salzman, and his statement that this was bigger than I could possibly imagine. From things I learned from him, I had a different perspective on events that unfolded - Stoen's lawsuit, the bizarre dog and pony show, the involvement of the activist community, links to much larger groups with phenomenal sources of funding and support, Gallegos' - sorry, but no other way to say it but - dishonesty - the Recall, the enormous effort to keep Gallegos in office and the reasons for it, all the way to now, the destruction of the office, the loss of valuable talent, the decimation of important programs...

In the beginning, with my post-Watergate mentality, I believed in the press. I believed in the press almost as an arm of law enforcement... that if there was wrongdoing, they would expose it... if there was another side to the story, they would be happy to tell it. I was sadly mistaken.

The press, here and elsewhere, were sucked up into the great Gallegos fairy-tale. The gallant David against Goliath, the courageous young upstart against the evil corporation.

The press bought the story spun by the master PR team hook line and sinker.

In the beginning, I asked my friends in journalism why they didn't ask the questions, why the very words used by Salzman and his crew didn't make the hairs on the backs of their necks rise up. "Timber Yes, Fraud NO" Look behind the words and there is an empty vacuum. "Justice for all" - the picture of the statue of liberty on Paul's election materials... all a facade.

I began my own inquiries, and along the way, I have gotten to know the people involved. Whenever the opportunity arose to talk to the people actually affected by what was going on, I took it.

And as people began to bring me information, and documents that backed up what they had to say, and the media continued to ignore it, I learned about Gallegos' entry into the DAs office from the other side - from those who were told in a meeting that any perceived act of disloyalty would result in their termination, the side who received the infamous "gag order" memo telling them that they were not allowed to talk to the media. And I came to know the atmosphere that pervaded the DAs office. I have watched as the prosecutors have left, til only those who are unable to leave remain.

I learned about People's Temple, and Stoen's role. And I talked to people who were involved way back then, in various capacities.

I have talked to watchdog groups all across the country about "Salzman's Plan" and many watched to see if any further attempts were made to implement it.

More importantly, I came to see the extent of the activist network, the inter-relationships, the funding opportunities and connections. As I began to put pieces of the puzzle together, clearer and clearer pictures emerged.

Every morning I would wake up and say to myself "This is crazy."

And by the end of the day, I would have talked to two more people, gotten another piece of the puzzle and knew that there was an important story here to be told.

But I watched as day after day, Salzman's spin was written across the front pages of the paper, and I knew people had gone and talked to the reporters, and gotten nowhere.

So they stopped coming forward. they lost faith in the reporters. And I did, too. This ensured that Salzman's view prevailed, as now no one even tried to get the other side out.

Well, the old saying that "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time " held true in this case - eventually, Gallegos' failings began to show, little by little, culminating in the plagiarism coming to light, but too late.

Eventually the media did begin to ask questions, and Hank Sims took the first step forward with his exposure of Richard Salzman and his tactics.

Little by little the media came to see that the shiny facade was at least a little tarnished, if not completely hollow.

So - I am a little hyper-sensitive to things like John Driscoll's sitting with Mark Lovelace and covering the Palco proceedings. I see it from a completely different perspective.

The perspective of looking at Ken Miller professing to be "stunned" when the Gallegos' (Stoen's) PL case was first announced, and finding that he was involved long before, and was in fact actually instrumental in the drafting of the suit (which he ultimately had to 'fess up to, try as he did to hide it), to finding out just how long he had been involved in the effort.

The perspective of knowing who and what Michael Shellenberger was, and knowing that the national press coverage that Gallegos was receiving was well orchestrated, knowing that the spin machine was in full force. That they were indeed "structuring the debate."

The perspective of knowing when lies were being told, such as when Salzman acted as a defacto spokesperson for the DAs office during the Martinez-Hernandez case.

Everyone has had their say about the Lovelace/Driscoll thing - unethical practices, just a volley in the newspaper war, nothing at all compared to Arkley...

Well, none of that answered the questions about the incident and Lovelace's response only told us who paid for the calls, not how many days of shared coverage... How many people in the room... Who they were... Whether or not there was discussion about key points, whether Lovelace expounded on his version of the events...

But more importantly - who is Mark Lovelace, who has such an effect on so many issues with his testimony to the Water Board, with his being the go-to source whenever anything remotely involving Palco comes up - what is Humboldt Watershed Council? How many people are on the "council"? When do they meet? Who votes? What are its origins? What is its source of funding? Who pays Mark Lovelace's salary? Does he even have a salary? Does it come out of Ken Miller's pocket? What's the relationship with Michael Shellenberger? Why the full court press, the appearances on every radio talk show, the cultivation of reporters? Where does Mark Lovelace come by his sudden "expertise" in the intricacies of the Stock market, big business and bankruptcy procedure? Where do the talking points come from?

The story has already been told as if they are the ragtag underdogs, like the Merry Men against the King, the idealistic young college students who give up their lives to come sit in the trees -

Now let's hear the other side - about the activist networks which ensure protestors arrive on cue - and disappear during a contentious election - about the people who manipulate behind the scenes.

What could it hurt?

(For more articles and documents relating to Humboldt Watershed Council, check watchpaul ARTICLES)

30 comments:

  1. what is Humboldt Watershed Council? How many people are on the "council"? When do they meet?

    It’s good to admit you don’t know what you’re talking about, as you do here. You can’t answer basic questions about people and groups you vilify, yet present yourself as some kind of fact finder who’s talked to people “all across the country.”

    activist networks which ensure protestors arrive on cue

    After admitting substantial ignorance you make the giant leap to a rigid “shadowy network” of zombies. This is obviously pure projection that you can’t back up. Invoking the “People’s Temple” makes it all the more fantastical and proves nothing more than the presence of an active imagination.

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  2. No, Heraldo, invoking the People's Temple is because Tim Stoen was at the forefront of this in the beginning.

    I don't have all the answers yet, but every single day more and more pieces of the puzzle materialize, and some of the many questions get answered.

    The watchdog groups were specifically interested in the extreme ethical concerns inherent in "Salzman's Plan" and had nothing to do with "Humboldt Watershed Council."

    And it is not a rigid shadowy network of zombies, but rather a loose-knit network that puts out the call for "protestors" to show up at various locales on certain dates, and these people freely "talk" online - it is like a traveling band of gypsies "we'll see you at Seal Ranch next week for the rainbow XYZ sit in..." blah blah blah...

    I find it curious that they disappeared during the Recall and the recent DA elections.

    There's no simple plot line here, heraldo. And what I am saying is, people have a right to expect that the journalists would ask those simple questions. The reason the easy rhetoric works is no one looks past the spin.

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  3. So Heraldo,you seem a bit of the attack dog. Rose asks questions that any secound year student would be taught about reporting. Why not answere the questions? You seem to act like you know the answers so come on Heraldo put the rocks back on the ground and give up what you know.Or if you don't know the answeres don't hinder the investigation.

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  4. Even a first year student could ask these questions. Simple curiousity is all it takes. An open mind helps.

    Not stopping when you get the prepared answers and spin, but continuing to ask until you get the real answers, decoding the Orwellian doublespeak - that may take a little extra work. But not much.

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  5. The main point of Rose's complaint is that with Ken Miller, Heraldo, Richard Salzman, we get no public transparency. These guys are continually foisting heavy-duty political actions on the community, e.g. Ken and Stoen's lawsuit, Ken's anti-EPD editorials and Heraldo's, and of course, Richard, who cannot even sign his own real name to blog comments let alone public disclosure of his AEB and spin-off orgs and their relationship to Paul Gallegos' anti-Palco lawsuit.

    Rose is up-front and honest. Heraldo isn't. Won't even tell the community who he is and because Heraldo parrots Ken Miller's positions so closely on so many issues that many suspect Heraldo of being Ken.

    When public information is deliberately withheld or distorted to project a political line, that is manipulation of the public trust. The only remedy for the public is transparency in those who publicly influence us, elected officials, activist orgs, media and blog spots.

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  6. heraldo - no one has been vilified as much as the people who dared to speak out against Gallegos et al.

    From finding themselves the topic of Salzman's poison pen letters to assassination on the blogs, people who have dared to question the little Emperor and his backers and attack dogs have suffered the consequences.

    It is one reason why people have been - and some remain - afraid to speak publicly.

    But they have alot to say - and I haven't yet even scratched the surface.

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  7. I am most happy that you have asked the questions Rose, that you have the curiosity, that you listened to the voice telling you something is wrong here. Thank you. Keep up the good fight and please know that there are hundreds of us out here that appreciate you and pray for you each day.
    The "old saying" you quoted was actually first voiced by Abraham Lincoln in the 1860's. Fitting that you should choose a quote from a man who is surely turning over in his grave about what is happening in America and this county today.
    D.

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  8. Rose thanking Rose again.

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  9. I am not Rose, but thank you for the compliment!
    D.

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  10. Oh Rose, you're the biggest spinner of them all.

    With regards to the secret gag memo requesting that DAs not speak to the media, I direct your attention to the California Rule of Professional Conduct 5-120. "A member who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the member knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of material prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter." Preserving the right to a fair trial necessarily entails some curtailment of the information that may be disseminated about a party prior to trial, particularly where trial by jury is involved. Gallegos does not want DAs speaking with the media because divulging certain information is prohibited by the California Bar Association.

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  11. 9:29 p.m. That was not the reason that Gallegos silenced the deputy DA's. The quote was, "Any perceived acts of disloyalty will result in your immediate termination." When asked to give an example, he couldn't. He was not talking about speaking to the press about cases. There was already a system in place for press releases and statements to the press, the DA was the only person who could speak to the press, unless he directed a deputy to speak to the press about a specific matter.

    The ethical rule you cite is correct, and now if the DA's Office would only abide by it. Gallegos himself was talking to the media about his murder case, while the case was proceeding in August. Dollison had a gag order issued on him in the Manilla case because he was talking to the press about details of the case, including anticipated defenses. Arnie Kline and Jeff Schwartz routinely talk about details of their cases with the press.

    The ethical rule was not the concern when Gallegos silenced the DAs.

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  12. Pretty sure others will lend you the shovels you need to keep this up Rose-and please do! Isn't it time you 'cultivated' the press yourself?

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  13. Unbelievable 3:21! "Others giving Rose the shovels she needs to keep this up"? PG does that all by himself. He is a moron and should be disbarred.

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  14. That boy has been quiet lately, or maybe he has finally clued in that, contrary to Stoen's teaching or Salzman's advice, that there is a thing called 'bad publicity'.

    Or maybe he finally figured out he'd been played a patsy.

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  15. 9:24 is right on. In fact, ask the
    DA's office to release every written directive regarding DDA ethical requirements issued since PVG arrived.
    Care to guess how many?
    Of course, the loyalty oath stuff
    is not written down either, because
    PVG's policy of personal loyalty over professional ethics is, well,
    unethical.

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  16. 9:29 - you are so dense - the gag rule had nothing to do with cases at all nor fair trials. It had everything to do with making sure the public didn't know Gag's incompetence or his corruption. Nice spin, but so very wrong that it is laughable. You guys are actually pretty lame at trying to cover up the "idiots" mistakes.

    Seems like the courts are gagging Gag's attorneys that he hired as they have not idea of what it means to not try a case in the media.

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  17. Gagalos is a moron. Anyone who supports him is a nazi. Gagalos has singl handedly destroyed the DA's office and the County of Humboldt.

    Good job Rose, keep exposing his shinanigans. Hell even his supporters, the marijuana growers and the common criminal realize that that Gagalos is a moron when they are the victim of a crime.

    That's all.

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  18. Well, 9:29, nice try. But that just doesn't jive with Salzman's statement in March of 2003 that there was "a mole in the office."

    Why would he be concerned about that, do you think?

    What, at that early date - did Gallegos have to hide? Why would Salzman be concerned enough to offer Paul advice? (To fire three people the next day - because you might get the mole, or at the very least you would scare the rest into being quiet)

    Couple that with the fact that - as someone mentioned above - it is the DA's job to deal with the press. He is to reperesent the office when discussing cases.

    The prosecutors prefer that the DA talk to the press, and most shrink from any contact with reporters. Though they talk to juries all day long, they are rather like teachers who can talk to a class or even an auditorium full of students, but get cold feet when addressing a handful of parents at Back-to-School night.

    The prosecutors in Humboldt County have certainly had many an occasion where they have needed to speak out, and should have spoken out, and could have made a difference by speaking out - yet they are so averse to talking to the press that they chose not to even when it could have made a difference.

    The fact is - they will fight for your rights as a victim, they will defend your rights to the last point - but they will not speak up and defend their own right to a decent working environment, they will not speak up to protect themselves.

    And there has been no one speaking up for them.

    Paul Gallegos' 'gag order' was entirely unnecessary. But it is indicative of the entire problem with Gallegos.

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  19. A Rose is a rose is a Rose. Rose I'm so happy you do what you do. Educating the uninformed, keeping Salzman, Heraldo, Miller, and other like minded ilk in check.

    And keeping a record of what has been going on.

    thanks

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  20. I have seen the parallels before between the Bush Administration and Gallegos's tenure as District Attorney, and recently I've seen them again.

    They may be from different parties, but they share some "leadership" qualities.

    They both want yes people in the administrations irrespective of the individual's ability to do the job.

    They both pinned their reputations on boondoogles: Iraq and PL.

    They use their power to punish perceived enemies: Valerie Plame and Debi August.

    They both fired competent prosecutors for political purposes.

    And, they both like to keep information about what is really going on from the public and the press and will go to great lengths to hide it.

    It is scary as a citizen when one's government is not transparent and open.

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  21. Heraldo isn't so much a liar as he is a chickenshit coward.

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  22. you can't argue with logic. but I wouldn't go as far as to say he is an honest upfront dude either.

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  23. what is Humboldt Watershed Council? How many people are on the "council"? When do they meet?

    Has that question been answered yet?

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  24. Who's paying Lovelace? Is he Linda's son? How much is he making? Who is Heraldo?

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  25. Didn't the People's Temple try to open a retreat or something in or near Trinidad a few years ago? I'm talking maybe in the late 90's?

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  26. No. I'm pretty sure what you are referring to is... Adi Da, whose "Adidam" organization owns land in Trinidad (see "Adidam comes to the North Coast,"  Journal, Jan. 14, 1999), was given the name "Franklin Jones" upon his birth in Long Island, N.Y., in 1939. During the `60s, he gained some notoriety as "Da Free John," an author of spiritual books. Today, the Adidam Web site bills him as the "promised God-man" who has the power to "perfectly fulfill the deepest longings of the human heart."

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  27. That is to say, no relation to People's Temple. But, you know, Dan Hamburg doesn't think it is a cult: "As a practicing devotee, Hamburg said that he does daily meditation sessions and sends about 10 percent of his income to Adi Da. Despite the apparent similarities, Hamburg said that he didn't think it was fair to compare Adidam to a cult. For one thing, people are free to come and go from the organization without fear of anything worse than griping from former co-worshippers.

    "When I quit the Democratic party, a lot of people dumped shit on my head," he said. "If you break the code, there's a price to pay. But in Adidam, the only price is maybe some people think you're a quitter, or that you don't get it. That's it."

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  28. Than again: During a New Year's Eve day interview, Calladine said the religious group was closing escrow on a Stagecoach Road home and had just had its offer accepted to purchase the Shadow Lodge. Prior to September, few area residents had heard of the religion known as Adidam or its leader, Adi Da.

    News of the religious group's arrival has led some residents to question if the organization is a cult, while others are concerned about increased traffic in their quiet neighborhood. Calladine emphatically argues against the notion Adidam is anything like a cult, and says traffic concerns are being addressed.

    But in 1985 Adi Da was the target of a lawsuit accusing him of leading a cult marked by sexual abuse, humiliation and greed. The accusations were false, church leaders contend, and the lawsuit was later dropped.

    In a series of articles in April 1985, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Adi Da's alleged exploits during the 1970s in the San Francisco Bay area and in a "hermitage" on the remote Fijian island of Naitauba, quoting former members, one of whom sued leaders of the religious group on charges of sexual abuse. At the same time, a half dozen angry defectors accused the religious group of false imprisonment, brainwashing, sexual abuse, assault and involuntary servitude. High-ranking members of Adidam, then known as Johannine Daist Communion, responded with a lawsuit of their own, accusing the disgruntled former followers of extortion.

    At the time, Adi Da was known as Da Free John and his commune was based in the Marin County city of San Rafael. Thirteen years ago, the Chronicle wrote, Free John's empire built primarily on the earnings of followers was worth an estimated $5 million....


    All denied: Both of the lawsuits were eventually dropped, said Michael Wood, Adidam's attorney and a member since 1973. He recalled 1985 as a difficult time for the church and said the accusations all stemmed from a bitter divorce between a member and former member.

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  29. Anyway, back to heraldo - the questions I asked about Humboldt Watershed Council are the questions that people have a right to know in order to evaluate HWC's statements and positions. Understanding that you are listening to someone with an agenda, a long-standing agenda to destroy a company by any means necessary, who use the public process like a panzer unit might, just might, affect how people feel about the message.

    It's the kind of information the Water Board, for example, should have. Rather than blindly believing they are dealing with a true citizen group. HWC uses that Sacred Cow status to its advantage.

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