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Rights Group Seeks to Limit Corporate Influence in Humboldt County Elections

September 25, 2005

Get Involved Today!EUREKA - The Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights recently launched a petition drive for a proposed county ordinance to prohibit non-local corporations from contributing to elections in Humboldt County.

Volunteers have collected more than 1,000 signatures. In total, the group must collect approximately 4,500 valid signatures by next January to qualify for the June 2006 ballot.

Nezzie Wade, College of the Redwoods professor and member of the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights said: "Research has shown that 78 percent of Humboldt voters believe that corporate participation in elections makes political corruption more likely. The community has identified a problem and we're trying to fix it."

"The U.S. Supreme Court has said it will uphold corporate restrictions in political campaigns when such restrictions are necessary to protect the integrity of the democratic process and the confidence of the people in their government," said Campaign Manager Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap. "In recent years Wal-Mart Corp. spent almost $250,000 in an attempt to change Eureka's zoning laws and Maxxam Corp. spent over $300,000 in an effort to recall our duly elected District Attorney only three months after he took office. Our right to fair elections and local democracy is under attack, and this ordinance is a common-sense response and solution."

The group originally submitted an ordinance that included a provision that would have prohibited corporations from claiming constitutional protections. The ordinance was revised last month and now states a single purpose -- to prohibit non-local corporations from making contributions to elections.

The current ordinance does not prohibit corporations from claiming constitutional rights or otherwise affect individuals. The Humboldt County Counsel approved the revised language last week.

For more information, call 444-0407.

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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!

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Pros and Cons of Measure T

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Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Counsel, and Kate Christensen, owner of The Garden Gate, support Measure T! (1 min)


Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney, and Nezzie Wade, community member, support Measure T! (1 min)


Larry Glass, owner of The Works, and Dennis Rael, owner of Los Bagles, support Measure T! (1 min)