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Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney (6 mins)
Kaitlin-Sopoci-Belknap, Campaign Co-Manager for Measure T (19 mins)
John Bonifaz, Attorney and Founder of the National Voting Rights Institute (17 mins)
Daniel Mintz, Arcata Eye
Measure T, the hotly-argued voter proposition that bans election spending by outside corporations, is now county law.
The provocative voter initiative won 54 percent of the June 6 vote, and unless it’s successfully challenged in court, it will block the kind of corporate political involvement that provoked its emergence.
Motivated by the massively-funded 1999 and 2003 ballot initiative campaigns by Wal-Mart and the Pacific Lumber Company, Measure T effects the spending ban but also includes content that readies it for promised court challenges. Voters approved the ban as well as a set of “legislative findings” on the negative effect of corporate electioneering that the Supreme Court has asked for as justification.
A “very happy but not very surprised” Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, the manager of the Measure T campaign, said that she’s gotten phone calls and e-mails from people across the country who want to launch similar campaigns in their communities. “The county should be proud and celebrate this victory,” she continued. “People from all over the country are proud of what we’ve done and want to emulate it – this will have huge ramifications and people should be really happy about that.”
Some aren’t, and Chris Crawford is one of them. The manager of the No on T campaign, he’d aggressively criticized the measure, saying that it’s unfair and badly-written. Crawford said he has no plans to orchestrate legal action against it but he expects the campaign arguments will soon be carried into courtrooms. “If an ordinance is passed that has serious constitutional flaws, it should come as no surprise that there’d be a lawsuit challenging it,” he said.
Sopoci-Belknap said that if a lawsuit does surface, pro bono legal representation in support of the measure is likely because there are many attorneys who strongly support its goals.
Humboldt County Leaders Endorse Measure T!
Democratic Party of Humboldt County
Green Party of Humboldt County
Central Labor Council of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local #1684
Building and Construction Trades of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
Carpenters Union Local #751
Operating Engineers Union Local #3 AFL-CIO
Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney
Peter LaVallee, Eureka Mayor
Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Council
Dave Meserve, Arcata City Council
Harmony Groves, Arcata City Council
Paul Pitino, Arcata City Council
Bob Ornelas, Former Arcata Mayor
Connie Stewart, Former Arcata Mayor
Elizabeth Conner, Former Arcata City Council
Julie Fulkerson, Former Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
... and hundreds of other individuals and local businesses! Join us today!
Learn more about Measure T in a Pros and Cons Video, produced by Eileen McGee (51 mins)
Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights