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Dear friends and allies across the US,
Many months ago, I sent a news story to you about Maxxam Corporation, which -- in the guise of Pacific Lumber Company -- is a corporate clearcutting nightmare here in Humboldt County. After decades of good old boy District Attorneys in this county, we finally elected someone prepared to take them on. Within months of taking office, District Attorney Paul Gallegos had charged them with fraud.
What felt like just weeks later, a Recall Paul Gallegos campaign was launched to kick him out so he couldn't carry through with his lawsuit. And surprise surprise -- 93% of the funding for this recall effort has come from Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Corporation. He tries to sue them. They fund a campaign to unseat him.
I'm writing to my entire national email list today to URGE you to consider making a generous donation toward our anti-recall efforts. Time is very short. The vote takes place in a little over two weeks (March 2nd). And we are expecting that our opponents will play every dirty trick in the book, and will be saturating local residents with deceptive TV, radio and print advertising.
Thanks for any financial support you can offer. We hope to hear from MANY of you soon. Donations can be made by mail or online. Any donation you can afford will make an ENORMOUS difference!
Best to you all, and feel free to CC this list to YOUR friends and colleagues,
P.S. Here's a letter from the D.A. himself. You'll find details on how to make a donation at the end of his letter.
February 12, 2004
It's still hard to believe, but a wealthy out-of-town corporation that I am prosecuting for fraud is now bankrolling a campaign to recall me in the March 2 election. As far as I know, this is the first time a defendant has sponsored a campaign to recall a D.A.
I need your help to fend off their attacks and defend our democratic system from these special interests.
The defendant is Texas-based Maxxam-Pacific Lumber Corporation. Pacific Lumber and its owner Charles Hurwitz became well known for their brand of hardball politics when they persuaded state and federal lawmakers to pay $480 million and give various exemptions from environmental laws in exchange for 7,500 acres of old-growth redwoods. Last year I sued the company for committing fraud and deceptive concealment when negotiating the Headwaters Forest agreement.
We believe Pacific Lumber deliberately hid crucial information from government negotiators so it could log on unstable hillsides, despite the near-certainty that such logging would send hillsides into rivers and kill salmon (along with good fishing jobs).
Now, in an attempt to avoid facing a judge and jury, Pacific Lumber has let it be known that it will spend whatever it takes to get rid of me.
Recent election financing reports show that Pacific Lumber is responsible for over 90 percent of the recall effort's funding. My campaign, by contrast, has received many small contributions, many of them through the Internet, and is relying on a grassroots effort to get the word out.
When I was elected District Attorney I knew very little about Maxxam or Pacific Lumber. I ran a positive campaign focused on balancing the needs of medical marijuana patients with the need to crack down on violent crimes like elder abuse, and to direct more resources toward prosecuting hard-core drug dealing, methamphetamine production and large-scale marijuana cultivation.
It was a nonpartisan race and I made it clear to anyone who asked that I am a moderate without allegiances to anyone -- timber corporations or environmental activists. I believe that the job of the D.A. is to enforce the law. Period. For that reason, when I was presented with evidence of fraud by Pacific Lumber shortly after becoming D.A. in January, 2003, I felt it was my professional obligation to file the lawsuit.
It's been hard for Pacific Lumber to hide its involvement in the recall, but its hired political guns have done their best to attack me on issues totally unrelated to the fraud suit. They sense, correctly, that there is something unseemly about the timber company's involvement. Predictably, they've tried to accuse me of not being tough enough on crime.
It's an ironic strategy: if I'm so soft on crime, why is a defendant trying to recall me?
Humboldt County is a small community, so most everyone knows that I have three young children. It's hard for voters to believe that I would let child rapists off easy -- their sensational main charge. And recently the Eureka Times-Standard, our local paper, reported that despite budget and staff cuts we actually filed more cases than my predecessor did the year before I took office.
I hope you can help. You can make secure contributions of any amount over the Internet at www.VoteGallegos.org or you can mail checks to:
Friends of Paul Gallegos
P.O. Box 135, Eureka, CA 95502
For our families and our future,
District Attorney, Humboldt County