Tuesday, January 13, 2004

PL Provided Recall Committee 93 Percent Of Its Contributions [Eureka Reporter]

PL Provided Recall Committee 93 Percent Of Its Contributions [Eureka Reporter]

by Leann Whitten, The Eureka Reporter

January 13, 2004

Pacific Lumber Co. provided 93 percent of the Committee to Recall Paul Gallegos' campaign contributions from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2003, according to quarterly reports released by the Elections Office on Monday.

The Committee to Recall Paul Gallegos raised $30,973 in monetary contributions: $3,000 from Steve Wills Trucking & Logging, $26,000 from PL and miscellaneous contributions totaling $1,973.

The committee also received $43,347 in nonmonetary contributions: $40,770 for payment of signature-gatherers, $307 for labeling and $2,270 for postage.

Friends of Paul Gallegos Campaign Manager Richard Salzman said nonmonetary contributions are usually things with value but not cash, like a donated computer for example.

“They personally paid the signature-gatherers", he said. “They spent (almost) $50,000 to convince people (Gallegos) was soft on crime", Salzman said.

PL Communications Manager Erin Dunn said some of the nonmonetary contribution used for paying signature gatherers was cash.

“But not all of it", she said.

“I think it's important to note that we entered our support only after (the committee) had 12,000 voter signatures (supporting the recall)", Dunn said.

Dunn said PL decided to support the committee for Humboldt County residents in general and in particular employees who came to them to request it.

“That's why we (funded) work toward getting the measure on the ballot", she said.

Salzman said Friends of Paul Gallegos has raised approximately $45,000 with the help of 430 people.

“It took (PL) two contributions to raise more than $60,000", Salzman said. “You can see what we're up against."

“This may be the first time in U.S. history that a defendant in a fraud case has tried to avoid a trial by financing a recall", Friends of Paul Gallegos spokesman Patrick Riggs said in a news release. “The people of Humboldt County won't stand for it. Once they learn special interests are trying to corrupt our electoral system they will vote no on the recall and yes for democracy.