hello BACHsters,

This is an alert about the outrageous recall effort underway, largely financed by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber to oust the Humboldt county District Attorney Paul Gallegos, who filed a fraud legal case against PL a number of months ago. (See story in our last newsletter, on our website, for background).

This fraud case is hugely important, as is the need to not let this corporation which cares nothing about the community get away with throwing an ethical elected official out of office.

This alert was originally sent by Ken Miller, who is with the Humboldt Watershed Council and Salmon Forever on the north coast. Ken was also one of the co-founders of BACH.

If you haven’t heard, Humboldt District Attorney, Paul Gallegos, is fighting a recall election because he filed a fraud case against Maxxam’s Pacific Lumber Company for concealing information which would have reduced the rate at which they are permitted to log in our watersheds. This rate has been officially blamed for damage to salmon habitat and downstream properties, and will continue because of contractual agreements with state and federal agencies, unless the fraud can be substantiated.

Increased rates of logging threaten damage to waterways in all of the Pacific Northwest and California because of proliferating agreements between agencies and industry, which are subject to this kind of deception.

The following email is being sent around. Please forward this as you see fit, and contribute if you can. The way I see it, bringing to justice Maxxam’s Charles Hurwitz and the corporados around him are the closest we can get to really fighting what Bush et al are all about. It is the same crowd. Bush Sr lives in the Houstonian, owned by Hurwitz. Kenneth Lay is part of that circle.

This is what the suit is about:

In August 1998, Maxxam mortgaged all of Pacific Lumber’s timberlands to bondholders, committing PL to a rate of harvest that has already liquidated nearly all of PL’s sawlog timber to finance the debt, and siphon hundreds of millions in profits to Houston’s Maxxam Corp.

Prior to the refinancing, independent government scientists warned that PL’s rate of logging would ruin five watersheds here in Humboldt County (Elk River, Freshwater, Bear, Jordan and Stitz Creeks), cause flooding, damage habitat & property, threaten health & safety, and prevent recovery, violating our water laws.

The DA has charged that to get around these laws, PL knowingly submitted incorrect landslide data to regulators in order to maintain the high harvest rates required for the refinance.

Please consider making a donation of any amount to help defeat the recall of our district attorney, Paul Gallegos. After adding a white-collar crime division, he sued MAXXAM/Pacific Lumber Company for submitting false information to obtain government approval of a Habitat Conservation Plan which has resulted in damaging rates of logging in our watersheds.

MAXXAM/PL has almost single-handedly funded the recall (the company has contributed almost 95% of over $120,000 pro-recall funds so far) while denying that its support has anything to do with the lawsuit. Instead, there are accusations that Paul is “soft on crime”, which began with the recall effort only a few months after he took office.

Friends of Paul Gallegos needs approximately $50,000 in the coming weeks, primarily for securing media ads and other means of public outreach as the March recall election approaches.

Please take a moment to read about Paul, the lawsuit, and the recall (which made it onto the March ballot after MAXXAM/PL contributed almost $50,000 towards bringing in out-of-state signature gatherers, who were paid $8 per signature and used deceptive tactics to get people to sign the recall petition!). Then, please click on the “Donate Now” icon and give whatever you can afford. Every dollar helps–we are up against a large, wealthy corporation which should not be allowed to buy themselves out of a lawsuit. This perversion of justice must be stopped.

The website is http://www.votegallegos.org/

Whether or not you contribute, please PASS IT ON to others you believe may care to support Paul and the greater
cause of “Justice for ALL!”

“This is an issue Humboldt County has struggled with for a long time. What’s our vision, yesterday’s or tomorrow’s? Does government belong to the people or to some people? Is it ‘good-old boy’ or rule of law?”
–Paul Gallegos, Eureka Times-Standard, Nov.5, 2003.


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