Monday, October 23, 2006


Did the CDA violate Measure T?

Kevin Hoover asked the question last week. Apparently the California Dental Association donated 5 grand to the fluoride cause in Arcata. Measure T (not sure what ordinance number it was given) reads in pertinent part as follows:
Section 7. Statement of Law.

The Prohibitions in Section Five shall apply to all municipalities, districts and special districts in which the jurisdictions are located wholly within the geographical boundaries of Humboldt County, California.

Now, as to whether this provision is enforcible, I can't say.


Also on the fluoride issue, a friend of mine was on my case the other night as we were waiting in the check line based on my comments in favor of fluoridation and against Measure W on my last radio show. A very nice woman in front of us chimed in to differentiate between "calcium fluoride" which she says is found in food naturally, and "sodium fluoride" which she said is a waste product of aluminum and dangerous for all the reasons stated by opponents. So I just looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently Naf isn't used in most fluoridization processes anymore, although it is added to toothpaste. The entry for calcium fluoride makes no mention of the controversy. The entry for fluoride in general has a little information, but not much.

Found an interesting fluoride history here. I'm trying to find some impartial analysis.

Also, I'd like links to any studies of 1. dental benefits and 2. health detriments.

They didn't do anything wrong.

Why worry about it? Why try and stir up shit?

You measure T supporters are such loon's. Why don't you get Mr. Gallegos, a measure T loon, to prosecute the CDA ? Maybe he can bring Tim Stoen back for a go at them?

Like someone else put on a blog ... Humboldt County the only place marijuana is a helpful herb and fluoride is poision.
2 points:

1. I opposed Measure T.

2. I support water fluoridation.

Any other questions?
Incidently, I first discovered the controversy on Rose's blog, and I don't believe she was a Measure T supporter although you could as her.
I was not a Teasure T supporter.
I support water flouridation.

Measure T is so badly conceived and so badly written that it will result in tremendous costs to this county.

The point of my post is that the poster boy for Measure T - and it certainly appeared to be an unofficial platform for him - Paul Gallegos, sure doesn't seem to know much about how to interpret it.

His responses to the press are getting more and more snippy.
Water Fluoridation: What about personal choice?
Personal choice is an important issue, but to me the health of kids who can't afford dental care weighs more heavily when the consumer does have the option of drinking bottled water. I'd be willing to support the ban of fluoridation on the personal choice basis if we had socialized medicine. Barring that, the right to be free of a substance that is benign according to scientific consensus just doesn't weigh to heavily.

If somebody can convince me that the fluoride presents a viable danger in the applicable doses, I will change my mind on the issue. But I want objective studies, not speculations from the tin foil hat set.
Fred, you have your choice of how you get your own drinking water. You can 'opt out' by buying bottled water. People for whom this is an issue will likely choose to do so.

The harm from flouridation is entirely speculative, but the benefit is well-documented. Looked at in reverse, the benefit of non-flouridation is entirely speculative, but the harm it would do is well-documented.
Measure T proponent Katlin Sopoci-Belknap said her understanding from legal sources was that municipal law overrides county law. But she said enforcement would be up to the district attorney.

“I don’t know yet. I would have to get more information,” said DA Paul Gallegos. “You might want to report it to the Arcata Police Department if you think it is a crime.”

I just love this backsliding from the Demockery Limited drones. Kaitlin claimed during the campaign that Measure T would apply to city campaigns; egg on her face now!

Even worse for Gallegos now, makes me start to regret voting for him (although Dikeman's wimping out from even taking a position on Measure T was hardly a distinct alternative). Jesus Paul, you endorsed Measure Turkey and you don't even know how it applies? This guy is a lawyer in which state?
Linus Pauling and Benjamin Spock have both written very persuasively in favor of fluoridation. I believe I read their pieces on, but my memory may be faulty. One comment on this issue: the fact that it is being debated a half-century since its use became widespread is testimony to the deep susceptibility of the public to fear-mongering.
Holy shit I agree totally with Eric on something ! I need a drink.
The real question is -- what use was Measure T?

Measure T was sold as campaign finance reform. But as I read Measure T in detail, I couldn’t vote for it.

There were so many loopholes to get around Measure T, that the average voter doesn’t even know what they really voted for in the first place.

Katlin, I’ll make a pledge to work with you to put in place a $1,000 cap on all donations to any candidate, Measure or Proposition.

Simply put -- no donor can give more than $1,000 to any candidate, Measure or Proposition in any Humboldt County election cycle.

This will apply to all individuals, corporations, unions, PACs, Native-American casinos, non-profits, etc.

Make this apply to the DNC and GOP state parties, who currently funnel huge sums of money into local elections.

Make this apply to all 527 “soft money” contributions, where there are no dollar limits and no disclosure of contributors.

If you want real campaign finance reform, let’s start with a maximum “cap” across the board in 2008.
Matt,set the bar at $500 then let's talk.
Greg Allen already wrote up last year, it's ready and waiting to see some doers (not talkers like mresquan) get this rolling.

version 2.0
October 25, 2005

Humboldt County Campaign Contribution
Limitation Ordinance



SECTION 1. Name.
The name of this measure shall be the "Humboldt County Campaign Contribution Limitation Ordinance.”

SECTION 2. Authority.
The citizens of Humboldt County adopt this Ordinance pursuant to our right to self-governance and our duty to protect the integrity of our elections.

SECTION 3. Definitions.
The definitions and procedural requirements set forth in California Government Code Sections 81000 et. seq. shall govern the interpretation of this Ordinance unless otherwise defined as follows:
A. "Agency" means an agency as defined in California Governmental Code Section 82003 but also including all officials who are directly elected by the voters with the exception of the Courts or an Agency of the judicial branch.
B. "Election Cycle" means for each candidate or any controlled committee the four-year period immediately preceding the county election in which the candidate stands for election, with the exception of run-off elections, which shall be considered a separate cycle for the period between the regular election and the run-off.
C. “Contributions” shall be defined as any money, or any property, service, or any other thing of a value greater than $99 donated to a candidate, initiative, recall or referendum committee.

SECTION 4. Findings and General Purpose.
A. In a democratic republic all legitimate political power is held by the people, and government exercises just power only with the consent of the governed. The people create government for their protection and benefit, and retain their right to alter their government whenever they deem the public good requires it.
B. Excessive contributions disproportionately skew the function of representative democracy towards compliance with the agenda of wealthy interests.
C. The citizens of Humboldt County make the affirmative legislative finding excessive contributions in elections are undermining our democratic processes, and are denigrating rather than protecting First Amendment interests.

SECTION 5. Specific Purposes.
The specific purpose of this Ordinance is to limit the quantity of individual and cumulative campaign contributions in elections within the jurisdiction of Humboldt County, including candidate campaigns and recalls.

SECTION 6. Statement of Law: Limitation of Contributions.
A. Limitations on Contributions:
1. No person other than a candidate shall make, and no campaign treasurer shall solicit or accept, any contribution which will cause the total amount contributed by such person during an election cycle in support or opposition to such candidate for county office, including contributions to all committees supporting or opposing such candidate, or in support or opposition of a recall, to become an amount exceeding the base amount of $500 (five hundred dollars) for the election cycle, adjusted pursuant to Section 9.
2. The terms in this sub-section are applicable to any contributions made to a candidate or committee hereunder, whether used by such candidate or committee to finance a current campaign, to pay deficits incurred in other campaigns or for any other use.
B. Family Contributions:
1. Contributions by a husband and a wife or by domestic partners shall be treated as separate contributions and shall not be aggregated.
2. Contributions by children under the age of eighteen years of age shall be treated as contributions by their parents and attributed proportionately to each parent (one-half to each parent or the total amount to a single custodial parent).
C. Loans:
1. Every loan to a candidate or the candidate's controlled committee shall be by written agreement, a copy of which shall be filed with the candidate's or committee's campaign statement on which the loan is first reported.
2. The proceeds of a loan made to a candidate by a commercial lending institution in the regular course of business on the same terms available to members of the public and which is secured or guaranteed shall not be subject to the contribution limitations of this Ordinance.
3. Extensions of credit (other than loans pursuant to sub-section C. 2) for a period of more than thirty (30) days are subject to the contribution limitations of this Ordinance.
D. Notice of Independent Expenditures
Any person who makes independent expenditures of more than $500 (five hundred dollars), adjusted pursuant to Section 9, in support of or in opposition to any candidate or recall shall notify the local filing officer and all candidates running for the same seat by certified or electronic mail within five days each time the $500 (five hundred dollar) threshold is exceeded.
E. Organizational Contributions
1. No officer, employee, agent or attorney or other representative of a person covered by this Ordinance shall aid, abet, advise or participate in a violation of this sub-section.
2. No person shall knowingly accept a payment or contribution made in violation of this Ordinance.
3. This Ordinance shall not prohibit a controlled committee of a candidate from conveying to that candidate any monies received by said committee as contributions within the limitations of this Ordinance.
F. Duties of Campaign Treasurer
If a campaign treasurer is offered a contribution, which would be in excess of the contribution limitations of this Ordinance, the treasurer must refuse the contribution. If, however, a contribution is deposited in the Campaign Committee's Account, which is in violation of this section, he or she shall report in writing within five (5) days to the County Clerk/Recorder the facts surrounding such payment or contribution. Any such contribution so deposited shall be paid promptly, from available campaign funds, if any, to the County Treasurer for deposit in the General Fund of the County.

SECTION 7. Enforcement.
A. Violations and Penalties Generally
1. Any person who violates any provision of this Ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who causes any other person to violate any provision of this Ordinance, or who aids and abets any other person in violation of any provision of this Ordinance, shall be liable under the provisions of this section. Prosecution of any provisions of this section, or prosecution of any provision of this Ordinance shall be commenced within one (1) year after the date on which the violation occurred.
2. If, after election, a candidate is convicted of a violation of any provision of this Ordinance, the election of office of such candidate shall be void and such office shall immediately become vacant. In such event the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the procedures set forth in the California Government Code. If a candidate is convicted of a violation of this Ordinance prior to election, his or her candidacy shall be terminated immediately and he or she shall no longer be eligible for election.
3. No person convicted of a misdemeanor under this Ordinance shall be qualified or be a candidate for a period of four years following the date of conviction unless the court at the time of sentencing specifically determines that in the interest of justice this provision shall not be applicable.
4. A plea of nolo contendre shall be deemed a conviction for purposes of this section.
5. If any candidate is found guilty of violating the terms of this Ordinance, an amount equal to or less than three times the amount of the unlawful contribution or expenditure shall be paid by the candidate or committee treasurer who received such funds to the County Treasurer for deposit in the General Fund of the County.
B. Civil Actions
1. Any person who intentionally violates any provision of this Ordinance shall be liable in a civil action brought by the District Attorney or by a person residing within Humboldt County for an amount not more than three times the amount of the unlawful contribution or expenditure.
2. Any person, before filing a civil action pursuant to this sub-section, shall first file with the District Attorney a written request for the District Attorney to commence action. The request shall contain a statement of the grounds for believing a cause of action exists. The District Attorney shall respond within forty (40) days after receipt of the request indicating whether he or she intends to file a civil action. If the District Attorney indicates in the affirmative and files a suit within forty (40) calendar days thereafter, no action may be brought unless the action brought by the District Attorney is dismissed without prejudice.
3. In determining the amount of liability, the court may take into account the seriousness of the violation and the degree of culpability of the defendant. If a judgment is entered against the defendant or defendants in an action, the plaintiff shall receive fifty (50) percent of the amount recovered and the remaining fifty (50) percent shall be deposited in the General Fund of the County. In an action brought by the District Attorney the entire amount shall be paid to the general fund of the County.
4. No civil action alleging a violation of any provision of this Ordinance shall be filed more than one (1) year after the date the violation occurred, or if a criminal prosecution is filed for the same core of operative facts.
5. Prevailing party shall be awarded attorney’s fees and costs according to proof.
C. Injunctive Relief
1. Any person residing in Humboldt County may sue to enjoin violations or to compel compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance.
2. Prevailing party shall be awarded attorney’s fees and costs according to proof.

SECTION 8. Statute of Limitations.
Actions brought forth by the District Attorney or any citizen must be filed within one year of the date of discovery.

SECTION 9. Other Remedies Unimpaired.
Remedies under this Ordinance shall be cumulative and shall be in addition to any and all other remedies, civil or criminal, provided for under any other provision of federal, state or local law.

SECTION 10. Recodification of Ordinance.
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors shall by ordinance adjust the contribution limitations specified in Section 6 in January of every even numbered year to reflect any changes in the Consumer Price Index. Such adjustments shall be rounded off to the nearest ten dollars.

SECTION 11. Inconsistent Legislation.
In the event that between October 1, 2005 and the effective date of this measure, legislation is enacted by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors or by the voters that is inconsistent with this Ordinance, said legislation is void and repealed irrespective of the code in which it appears.

SECTION 12. Conflicting Measures.
In the event that this Ordinance and another measure that is inconsistent with this Ordinance are adopted at the same election, the provisions of the other measure or measures shall be deemed to be in conflict with this measure. In the event that this measure receives a greater number of affirmative votes, the provisions of this measure shall prevail in their entirety, and the provisions of the other measure or measures shall be null and void.

SECTION 13. Severability.
The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any section or provision of this Ordinance is determined to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect or invalidate any of the remaining sections or provisions of this Ordinance. It is the express intent of the citizens of Humboldt County, California that this Ordinance would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional section or provision had not been included.

SECTION 14. Effective Date.
This Ordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days after being approved by the voters.

SECTION 15. Interpretation.
In the event this Ordinance requires interpretation (by courts, county officials, or anyone else), it is the express intent of the citizens of Humboldt County, California that this Act be construed in such a manner as to tightly excessive contributions in politics or elections.

Respectfully submitted,

Greg Allen, Chair
Legal Committee, GPHC

Looks good from a quick read. I'll read it more carefully later, but I think I'm game.
Call Greg up then, 825-0826.
After the election, maybe I'll do that. Chris Crawford also pledged to support a measure like that one. A few others as well.
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