Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Maxxam-Palco give another $75K to recall [Times-Standard]

Maxxam-Palco give another $75K to recall [Times-Standard]

By James Tressler, The Times-Standard

Wednesday, February 25, 2004 -

EUREKA -- Houston-based Maxxam Corp., parent company of Pacific Lumber Co., this week put another $75,000 into the recall of District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

According to a statement filed with the Humboldt County Elections Office on Monday, the Safety Yes, Recall Paul Gallegos committee received the payment from Maxxam and its affiliates. Maxxam and Palco have now put about a quarter-million dollars into ousting Gallegos, who last year sued Palco, alleging the company lied to state regulators during the 1999 Headwaters Forest deal.

The recall election is set for next Tuesday.

Palco spokeswoman Erin Dunn said Tuesday such massive contributions are consistent with other donations the timber company has made to the community over the years. She noted the company gives at least a quarter-million dollars each year to charities and over the years has given millions of dollars in scholarships to children of Palco employees.

"And we support the police officers and safety officers and this is also our way of supporting them," Dunn said.

A number of area law enforcement unions have backed recalling Gallegos, charging him with mishandling cases and maintaining poor relationships with cops.

The recall proponents thus far have raised nearly $300,000. Several other area timber companies have also contributed money, but none have contributed on the scale of Maxxam-Palco.

Meanwhile, the Friends of Paul Gallegos on Monday picked up a $5,000 contribution from Robert Evanson, a Miami Beach, Fla., resident. McKinleyville physician Sara Scher donated $1,000 and George Bouquet with Mad River Glass donated a glass bowl valued at $1,600 for an auction.

The Friends of Paul Gallegos to date has raised around $180,000.

Friends of Paul Gallegos campaign manager Richard Salzman said Maxxam's latest contribution to the recall effort "is yet more proof that this recall is a fraud. PL's attempt to buy its way out of a fraud lawsuit makes this the most expensive election in Humboldt County's history."

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