Monday, June 07, 2010

The Eye on the DA's race, and my thoughts

trancribed from hard copy - no link yet:
Eye Editorial: Among things I don't look for in a candidate are perfection or complete agreement on all issues. More important is that the individual is a rational decisionmaker with a work ethic, not beholden and with enough character to withstand the temptation of situational ethics.

Since all serious candidates evince comparably reasonable views on the major issues, it comes down to their respective track records.

District Attorney

Paul Gallegos. Have two words ever inflamed passions in so many directions? Why should this be? And are you as tired of it as I am?

Patty Berg, famous for meddling in local elections she doesn't know much of anything about for the sole purpose of servicing her horrid Democratic Machine, is right about one thing - Gallegos has grown in office. But who wouldn't get better at their work after eight years of OJT? At this point, Gallegos has gone from lackadaisical to extremely, stunningly adequate.

Enthusiasm for Gallegos isn't justifiable in terms of either environmental accomplishment or crimefighting. There are far better candidates for either of those purposes. Remember four years ago, when Worth Dikeman was reviled by Gallegos' adherents as the Police State Incarnate just because he had law enforcement support? That was then. The revised line is that being police-friendly and having your own in-house police force equipped with AR-15s is the New Cool.

Only no one believes it, least of all the cops themselves. As strenuously as his ads attempt to align him with law enforcement, there's an artificial, overcompensating effect to them. One of this week's pro-Gallegos letter-writers tacitly acknowledges that the newfound law enforcement love is a crock and says he "rejoices" in it. He isn't alone - the Gallegos campaign signs on local hydroponics shops are there because he is going to imprison their customers? R i g h t.

Here's another one that typifies both his trademark lack of preparation and general falsity of Gallegos' newfound fealty with law enforcement. At his kickoff campaign event, I asked Paul what he was talking about when he mentioned in a news story the problem with "hyperbole" as regards the growhouse/cannabis problem. He cited the estimate from a few years back of 1,000 grow houses in Arcata.

This set his supporters a-tittering, since it is widely and lazily assumed that I contrived that number out of thin air to support my "crusade" against growers (also known to some as news reporting). But whoopsie - that figure was an estimate made by Jack Nelsen, head of the Humboldt County Drug task Force on my old Humboldt Review radio show.

Told this in front of dozens of people, Paul responded that "There's none of us that are immune from talking without having any evidence to support it."

So there you have it. Our district attorney glibly dismisses the informed estimate of one of the law enforcement agencies he's so recently become enamored as of "no evidence." without even knowing its foundation, just to fit the exigency of the moment. As though he knows better than Arcata residents and the DTF what we go through in Arcata with these residential homes converted into fortress-factories.

No, Gallegos' real comfort zone is with Tone Loc and the more party-hearty oriented actors on the local environmental scene. See them all together at the ATL this Friday night, June 4, and chillax with a tall Funky Cold Medina.

It's beyond all logic, but not human nature - this is their tribe, regularly coalescing around the Baykeeper Bashes and Pamplin Grove shindigs. (It's reminiscent of Schoolbus Bob and his "*UCK YEAH!" sign. Bob mindmelded just prior to the onset of arrested development, and now we all have to live with it day after day.)

Vote the Gallegos Groovocracy's slate and you get the handshake and special smile by the bonfire. Decide another way and you're an Arkley tool, a sellout, a pariah, The Man, and you can't cover our election night victory party for your newspaper and radio station because you dared to dissent, so there's the stairs, dude, GTFO. That's how they roll.

How this comports with the Gandhian Principles their candidate espouses is unclear. Either they don't agree with them on those, or they do, but disregard them. If they don't agree with his principles, why are they with him? If they do, but don't follow them, haven't they lost the plot? When I ask these things, what I get back is that this is the game of realpolitik, you silly boy. Unlike some of these uber-groovy sophisticates, many of us clods aren't interested in games or the tribal imperatives of others.

A politically astute associate is certain that Gallegos will win simply because of his physical beauty. Perhaps so. But I and others are just weary of the constant and divisive culture war over this undistinguished individual. Bottom line, Paul is a nice enough guy personally, and has discernibly tried to do better lately.

That said, we all know that the temperament of an organization usually reflects the leadership, or lack of it, at the top. After one has experienced the tragic hipness, the with-us-or-against-us mentality and the fluffed-up vacuousness of the Gallegos campaign, it's fair to wonder where that comes from.

All the ads in the world will never invest Paul Gallegos with the stature of Allison Jackson. Her gravitas can't be emulated, and it stems from a rare combination of qualities - her powerful legal mind, no-BS-attitude and a hell of a lot of heart.

Among the more comical (and defining) moments in this race took place at the animal activists' forum at the Humboldt Area Foundation. Kathleen Bryson brought her dog and held the poor thing up by his front paws, and even he looked embarrassed for her.

Paul Gallegos shoed the participants' pictures of his pets on his cell phone, and that is just so him.

In contrast to all this pandering, Paul Hagen fold the critter lovers that he had little affinity for animals; that they just aren't his thing, but that he would enforce the law to the maximum degree. This was quite well received; people appreciate honesty.

Allison Jackson was able to speak from deep experience as a longtime volunteer for Carly's ride, transporting rescued animals. In short, Jackson's the real thing. If you look at the amount of online defamation that's been heaped upon her from all-too-familiar sources, plus the incumbent's ludicrous "crimebuster" ads, it's obvious that Jackson's the one they consider the biggest threat.

I'm voting for Paul Hagen. How could I not? The man is honest to a fault (see above), a legal scientist and an accomplished environmental prosecutor. When I was subpoenaed to appear in court and reveal confidential communications, Hagen volunteered to advise me and immersed himself in Shield Law, learning it inside and out and patiently disabusing me of my assumptions. On the Planning Commission, he's all about clear findings and process.

Hagen with his character, crisp precision and proven record of accomplishment, is the perfect antidote for the last eight years of drift.
Kevin Hoover ◼ The Arcata Eye


Kevin Hoover will be voting for Paul Hagen. I will be voting for Allison Jackson. Should it be those two who end up in the runoff you may finally see a clean campaign in the District Attorney's race. And you will have a choice between two good people.

Should Gallegos win outright tomorrow, Humboldt County will be stuck with him for a long time. No one else will have the courage of Jackson and Hagen, who knew the gauntlet they would face, knew the dirty politics that would follow, and knew how expensive this race would be. No one else will be willing to have their character impugned.

A vote for Gallegos is a vote for those shady tactics, for Salzman and his personal brand of character assassination.

There is no longer any doubt that Gallegos has mismanaged the office. All of the candidates running (Kathleen Bryson withdrew) very clearly detailed Gallegos' failures. It's not in disupte.

Gallegos chose an odd tactic, trying to make his weaknesses into strengths with his campaign rhetoric. Perhaps he believes that if he SAYS he is tough on crime, you will forget the past 7 years. Perhaps he believes that if he drags the people of CAST into his campaign ads you will not know that he has been a one man wrecking crew for that and Victim Witness and so much more. Perhaps he believes he can hoodwink the voters one more time.

Those who work in and around the law enforcement community know his failings, ask most any person who works around the courthouse. They know the office is broken. The damage has recently begun to show, even to those who aren't really paying attention. Should Gallegos win, it will become impossible to hide, but it will be too late to do anything about it. It's almost too late now. Whoever takes over will need the full four years, and possibly more, to fix what has been broken. Just refilling the positions with higher level experienced Deputy DAs will take time. It can be done. It should be done. It has to be done.

With any luck at all, tomorrow night watchpaul will become blog history.

Get out and vote.


  1. Burying the evidence of your lies under another pile of lies won't make them go away. Jackson has been caught making outrageously false claims and it will cost her the election.

  2. Keep trying. You're wrong.

  3. Wrong how? Jackson (and you) have made demonstrably false claims which were pointed out in the TS article which you said was an "excellent article" on the subject of the Schooling case. Crowing about it being an excellent article and pretending it vindicates Jackson only works with people too lazy to read the article who just take your word or those too ignorant to understand what they read.

    Jackson's ad was clearly and deliberately misleading, implying that Schooling served no time in prison for severely abusing an infant. You, and most people now, know that was a lie. Schooling spent nearly 10 years in prison but Jackson implied that he got only probation. Jackson wouldn't understand the meaning of integrity if her life depended on it. Thankfully her political career is toast.

  4. She put the guy away.

    Gallegos gave him probation.

    The Court nixed the deal. At which point the already applied sentence should have applied.

    If you read the documents, it is what he does next that is really interesting.

    Gallegos did everything he could to keep him out of jail, try to spin it otherwise as you might.

  5. The victims mother, the probation dept. the DA and the judge all agreed that residential treatment was the best option in this case and the guy had already served 4 1/2 years. The court didn't "nix" the deal. It was "nixed" because there was no residential treatment facility to take him. You have a serious problem with telling the truth, one might say pathological. Explains a lot.

  6. This is interesting, too:

    District Attorney's judgement questioned
    This is Mickey Fleschner's letter to the McKinleyville Press describing Paul's appearance at a Trinidad
    Chamber of Commerce dinner back during the Recall ... This is where he was talking about the Brian Schooling case....

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004
    District Attorney's judgement questioned

    Dear Editor,

    Mr. Paul Gallegos attended the Jan. 20, 2004, Trinidad Chamber of Commerce dinner meeting as the guest speaker. In his comments Mr. Gallegos had outlined his vision of law enforcement, which placed emphasis on integration with social services in the rehabilitation rather than routine criminal prosecutions and reflexive incarceration of those convicted. During the course of the question and answer session following his informative presentation, and exchange of revelatory importance took place.

    Mr. Dick Bruce, a chamber member, asked a question to the effect; "Is it appropriate for the District Attorney to perform social service functions when we already have schools, other social service agencies and the Sheriff?" Mr. Gallegoos, in his response, decided to use an example to explicate his progressive approach to duties as District Attorney. He referenced a pending case in sufficient detail for us to understand the defendant's identity, After defining for us a psychological condition called "multiple personality disorder," he paused to make these admonitions:

    He presumed that none of us in the audience was in the "jury pool" of potential jurors in the case.

    He cautioned us that we should not talk widely about this matter, hoping we would keep this example amongst ourselves.

    He advised us that any of us called as jurors in this case would have to recuse ourselves form jury duty.

    Resuming his analysis, Mr. Gallegos explained that this defendant had three different personalities. The first was that of a severely abused toddler, the second (I'm a little hazy on this one) of a neglected child through adolescence, and the third of a properly functioning adult. Mr. Gallegos, in all seriousness, rhetorically asked us to advise him which one of the personalities he should prosecute?

    This example he offered to an informal gathering of about 45 citizens to illustrate the broader understanding of social issues he brings to the office of District Attorney. He recognized from the onset that speaking of such things was impacting the jury pool. Continuing with his psychoanalysis of the defendant after such recognition is not poor judgement, it is a lack of a fundamental capacity to make judgements requisite of a District Attorney.

    Though I supported Terry Farmer in the last election, I did not support the recall petition of Mr. Gallegos. Mr. Gallegos made it clear in his campaign that he was a reformer of traditional "tough on crime" law enforcement. He won the election and I thought Humboldt County should suffer or benefit from the consequences of giving his approach a try. However, his Jan. 20 performance has nothing to do with a more enlightened approach to law enforcement. It demonstrates an appalling deep seated lack of judgement. Had I experienced this earlier, I would have supported the Recall petition.

    Mickey Fleschner

  7. Well, anonymous, in the event of a runoff you will have the chance to make your case, and Gallegos will get to explain his version of events, himself, not hiding behind you.

    What a concept.

  8. And on the subject of whether Schooling should have been given probation in a residential treatment facility rather than be returned to prison, do you really think he is less likely to abuse a child after spending almost 10 years in prison than he would be if he had had 4 years of treatment for his psychological problems which caused him to abuse a child in the first place? Or do you believe mentally healthy people beat babies to stop their crying?

  9. Better prepare yourself for another 4 years Rose

    I've got a feeling...

  10. Let us not forget that Paul Gallegos fired deputy DA Sherrissa Edmark last year, by letter, when she was very sick in the hospital with a very high temperature. Rather than wait a couple of weeks until she was better and speak to her face to face, he chose the coward's way. Also, the law prohibits firing someone for being sick (Ms. Edmark had been sick on and off for the previous year) so he made up that she was not good at her job so that he could fire her for that.

  11. Rose's bomb blew up in her face.

  12. Now remember Rose, you promised to close down this blog and shut your mouth no matter what the outcome of this election. It looks like you're in for a spanking. A real good spanking. And with the latest Gallegos victory just hours away comes the icing on the cake. Get ready to shut down Rose.

  13. Oh really? Where did I say that?

  14. Be very clear - this is what I said:

    Watchpaul will be winding down
    - hopefully to be shut down in June.

    I will continue to post articles related to the campaign, and to the election in general.

    To the candidates, Paul Hagen and Kathleen Bryson, I wish you luck. I admire and respect your willingness to put yourselves out there, especially knowing how vicious this process can be.

    I will be supporting Allison Jackson. But this blog is not intended as part of that support. If I do comment here, it will be me speaking for myself, not for any candidate.

    I got into this because I became aware of special interests who sought to use the DA's Office, and the DA himself for their own ends. With his complicity, Richard Salzman and Tim Stoen sought to set up a "Trust Fund" to solicit, accept and use special interest money to privately fund a public prosecution. Had they been successful, it would have been a precedent setting move that would have changed our judicial system forever. The D.A.'s Office belongs to the people. To you, and to me. It should never be used on behalf of one special interest group, to aid them in their attacks on others. Ever. It's wrong. And it should never be tolerated.

    It was a fluke of fate that put me here, and I promised myself that I would not walk away until it was fixed.

    To all of you who have followed this blog over the past few years - this race is important. Don't sit it out. Gallegos has had almost 8 years to prove himself worthy of the trust people placed in him. He has had more than 4 years to correct the mistakes he has made. He has failed you. Each. And. Every. Time.

    Fix it. You are the only ones who can.

  15. Rose, before you sign off for good, I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was laughing at you all these years.

  16. Rose, I think you've done a public service by your blog. Good work.

    It's tragic but I can't remember the last professional/ethical District Attorney Humboldt County had! Terry farmer?? Bernie Depaoli?? and the two before weren't any better.

    The county as a whole has been corrupted for years.

  17. 4th District Voter6/08/2010 8:51 AM

    Rose, although I appreciated your passion Allison Jackson's campaign has been an utter disappointment.

    You have spent eight years of your life compiling documents and facts on why Paul Gallegos is incompetent for the office of District Attorney.

    Not once did I hear anything of these issues during the campaign.

    The failed PL lawsuit, the failed lawsuit against the EPD chief over the Cherie Moore killing, plagiarism, etc., etc., etc.

    Should Gallegos get 50%+1 I will hold you personally accountable for not "getting the word out" to the mainstream voters, who do not read blogs.

    Where was Allison Jackson during this campaign?

    At most public events I attended she was not there.

  18. It'll be Rose's fault if Allison loses? Damn!

    Is Rose responsible for the Pacaya Volcano eruption too? Maybe that's just because we didn't sacrifice a virgin.

  19. I like that Allison ran on what she would do, not just on what is bad about Gallegos. We all know what is wrong with Gallegos. I want to know what is she going to do? Why vote for her, not just against Gallegos? She got my vote.

  20. "And on the subject of whether Schooling should have been given probation in a residential treatment facility rather than be returned to prison, do you really think he is less likely to abuse a child after spending almost 10 years in prison than he would be if he had had 4 years of treatment for his psychological problems which caused him to abuse a child in the first place?"

    That is the argument the defense attorney makes, not the District Attorney. It is the job of the DA so seek justice. Sometimes justice includes punishment for wrong-doing. It is troubling to me that so many (including Gallegos) forget that punishment is equally important as rehabilitation inour justice system.

  21. Rose, your continued work in this vein has won you my respect. I am now very concerned about the way in which the District Attorney's office has mishandled the reporting of DUI cases, especially in regard to the case of Ryan Sundberg. It appears as if he and perhaps others were spared the public embarrassment of having their names reported to the Times-Standard for publication as is the usual practice. Why should one or more people who are charged with driving drunk be spared the embarrassment that hundreds of other Humboldt County drivers over the years have been required to endure? What is it about Sundberg and about the District Attorney that allowed Sundberg to hide the fact of his DUI from the voters of the Fifth District for six months while Sundberg ran for the office of Humboldt County Supervisor?

    Have you dealt with this issue? I think it deserves your attention. Look at the Humboldt Herald and see how the Times-Standard and Channel 3 News have dropped the ball. You may be the only source of information about the DA's office and now the Sundberg DUI cover-up that the public can trust.

  22. Anon 3:07 - very slick.

    So if Sundberg wins, we can blame Gallegos?

  23. Eric, I can't tell if you're joshing me or taking me seriously. Please clarify. (Let me assure you I am serious.) Anonymous 3:07.

  24. Eric is a lousy liar. Just ask the Apple Boy, who was smart enough (Surprisingly) to shut E. Vang Kirk out of his campaign after Vang engaged in anti-democratic advocacy in his attempt to shut Johanna Rodoni out of the 2008 campaign. Vang had it all worked out on his blog, or so he thought. Then the Madame Secretary of State shut down his anti-democratic cabal, and did the right thing. Eric was shut out. His letters, his advocacy, his schmoozing all had no affect on the truth. Shame on E. Vang Kirk. Anti-Democratic activism will get you nowhere.

  25. Rose...I told you to your face how much youve meant to so many, that its a shame Dikeman then Jackson did not take full advantage of the information you so readily and painstakingly provided at no cost to these candidates.

    It would not have taken that much for those campaigns to put this out to mainstream voters and that is where it lands.

    I'd feel ill if PG is re-elected, maybe even think about moving away because it's not getting better 'under his watch' crime is not going down it has never been higher it is the worst, most dangerous kind of crime.

    When Humboldt County is void of decent people with jobs and working lawn mowers, maybe this place will wake up.

  26. You better not leave Rose! Who will expose these the treachery of the unstoppable progressive machine?

  27. Progressives are too numrous to ignore and they should have a voice in local govt. They have Larry Glass... they HAD Paul Gallegos they got the ball rolling toward legalization-fine lets legalize MJ and tax it.

    Its a farce to keep Gallegos in office any longer, his job is done he's wasted enough tax dollars on vendetta prosecutions. How about sending him packing to defend the bad guys which he's most likely better at, has done a good job keeping them out of prison the last few years.

    Allison is not perfect, she is still a better choice in November.

  28. Progressives are too numrous to ignore and they should have a voice in local govt. They have Larry Glass... they HAD Paul Gallegos they got the ball rolling toward legalization-fine lets legalize MJ and tax it.

    Its a farce to keep Gallegos in office any longer, his job is done he's wasted enough tax dollars on vendetta prosecutions. How about sending him packing to defend the bad guys which he's most likely better at, has done a good job keeping them out of prison the last few years.

    Allison is not perfect, she is still a better choice in November.

  29. anon,

    again the bullshit about sundberg. If he had the power to stop from getting the DUI published etc, he would have had the power to not have DUI.

    Many people knew about DUI whole time. I know you will continue this crap until Nov. It will not matter. People know Ryan and will elect him based on his ability to do the job.

    Sorry to be off subject Rose but this jerk is on every blog with the same crap.

    Regressives are to numerous- yes they are, Glass, Lovelace, Atkins, Salzman, Nicoles, Katleen, Shipiro, Briton, kerrigan, andy bird ( possibly the H himself, although I doubt he is smart enough to do it by himself), neal latt, george clark and on and on.

    Go Allision in November.


  30. You're not off topic. The Salzman dirty tricks department is on full display, and it has been painful not to be able to respond to his lies, insinuations and character assassination. But it is documented, it is known and it is recognized for what it is.

    Gallegos once had to distance himself from Salzman when the Web Of Lies was revealed. He did so half-heartedly and dishonestly.

    Now he has allowed this behavior to go on in his name, unchecked. He cannot survive without it, and he owns it. He is responsible for it. He is guilty of it.

    He should be ashamed of himself. If he had any faith in or belief in his own ability and value as a candidate he would not have stooped to that level. If he was indeed "courageous" as his devotees like to say, he would long ago have given Salzman the heave-ho.

    And is it "Wellstone training" that has resulted in the last minute document drop against Sundberg?

    On whose behalf was this done? Cleary's? Or Higgins'?

    As I have tracked the police reports over these years, Gallegos has a clear pattern that would infuriate MADDD. No one has cared. And these smear merchants do not care about anyone with a DUI except where it serves their purpose. Indeed, these are the same people who want us to ignore trespassing, dopegrowers and dealers, and who dismiss the growing rate of home invasion robberies.

    And lastly, to infer that something did not appear in the Times Standard is some sort of conspiracy ignores both the path of information that would get it to them in the first place, the extremely overworked conditions at the TS and any number of other factors.

    The Times Standard does however require ID in order to use their pages to send your messages - for letters to the editor and My Word's you must prove who you are. In this case they either did not apply that same standard to one who influenced their editorial content, or they know full well who has been pushing the shit.

    Let's hear which.

  31. Did you know about Sundberg's DUI, Rose?

  32. By far the dirtiest spin spun by any candidate or their supporters was done by team Jackson,asserting that Betty Chinn was harassed into asking her name to be removed from Jackson's supporters list when she never cared to have it there at all.
    Salzman could take some lessons from whoever it was behind that in dirty polics 101.


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