Proposition 65: How to exploit a good-intentioned law to divert money to shadowy, litigious environmental groups

Q: What do all of the above companies have in common ?

A: They were among the 39 corporations sued by Humboldt County’s Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation in 2008 for product warnings and reformulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

Proposition 65, which was referenced in a recent T-S My Word, was passed by Californians in 1986 because of toxic chemical concerns related to cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The initiative, for all the right reasons, asked that businesses notify consumers and residents about significant levels of cancer causing compounds in products, their homes and….workplaces, or other bad stuff released into the air, ground or water.

Without a doubt, the world is a better place since Prop. 65 was passed and people are indeed safer thanks to some companies’ voluntary label warnings and products changes, as well as the court-mandated changes that came as a result of the numerous lawsuits brought by the government. But the law also opened the door for some of the biggest abuses by predatory and litigious “environmental” groups.

With a legal loophole on their side, 2008 was a spectacularly profitable year for the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation. Never heard of the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation? That’s not surprising. Mateel is a quiet little operation based out of Eureka that targets big businesses whose corporate headquarters are mostly far away from California in places like Maryland, Illinois and Ohio. According to California’s Attorney General’s Office, which tracks Prop. 65 lawsuits, Mateel settled 39 lawsuits in 2008 for over $1.7 million. Kudos to local lawyer William Verick for representing Mateel and raking in a hefty $1.06 million in attorney fees — roughly 60 percent of the total money awarded in the settlements.

But it’s not just warning labels, product reformulations and excessive attorneys fees that Mateel is after. Through Prop. 65 lawsuit settlements, Mateel also pilfered a shit load of additional dollars through “other distributions” that was handed over to other environmental groups, left-leaning radio stations and other interesting folks. How much? Well, just a paltry $619,850 in 2008.

So, just where did all that extra cash go from the Prop. 65 bonanza payouts?

Payout of "other distributions" from Mateel's Prop. 65 lawsuits in 2008.

So we know what CATs and the Environmental Protection Information Center does, but we’re fuzzy on what exactly the Ecological Rights Foundation does and why they are so cozy with Mateel to get so much cash from the lawsuits. But more on that later.

The academics Clifford Rechtschaffen and Patrick Williams at the Golden Gate University School of Law admit Proposition 65 is “quirky,” but paint a rather rosy picture in their paper published in 2005 titled “The Continued Success of Proposition 65 in Reducing Toxic Exposures:”

Nearly 20 years have passed since California residents overwhelmingly voted to enact Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act…The statute remains as controversial—if not more so—than when it was first enacted. Media attention in recent years often focuses on some of the quirkier or more sensational enforcement actions—such as suits about acrylimide in bread products and French fries, or lead in chocolate—and on the statute’s perceived excesses—such as suits by profiteering lawyers that result in large fee recoveries relative to the penalties imposed. The less frequently told story, however, is one of continued success in removing toxic chemicals from consumer products and industrial activities.

So it also shouldn’t come as any surprise that the Golden Gate University’s Environmental Litigation Clinic was named as one of the recipients of more than $309,000 in “other distributions” from the 40 Prop. 65 lawsuits Mateel filed in 2004—a year before the paper was published. Go figure.

72 Responses

  1. The Ecological Rights Foundation is the parent organization of Humboldt Baykeeper. I think they are using their Prop. 65 settlement profits on a lawsuit that is stalling the cleanup of the Balloon Track. (Or preventing any competition to Pierson’s, depending on how you look at it. Maybe both.)

  2. This kind of shit pisses me off. And businesses get bilked by these money hungry environmental groups.

  3. This is one reason why you have to really, really careful about signing petitions to get things on the ballot. They sound good – who is for lead poisoning? nobody – but this thing is every bit as bad as the Disabilities/Singleton suits. the initiative process has been hijacked by these snake oil salesmen – Predatory, expensive – EPIC, ERF/”Paykeeper”, Matteel, are parasitical predatory litigious con men. They are death to the communities in which they reside.

    It’s really amazing.

  4. Hey Rob, why not post some more of your personal photos?

  5. Unbelievable. William Verick of Klamath Environmental Center. Patty Clary of CATS. Fred Evanson of Ecological Rights Foundation/Humboldt Baykeeper and Fred’s ‘Golden Gate Law’ school classmate’ Michelle Smith of Humboldt Baykeeper – all sharing their offices together. And Paykeeper Petey? Well, he’s Fred’s cousin.

    Don’t forget that William ‘kaleidoscopic’ Verick and Patty Clary are also husband and wife. Nice living they’ve got there, all while wearing their hair shirts.

  6. Nice living they’ve got there, all while wearing their hair shirts.

    Koombaya! It helps to hold a Organic Planet Festival and a giant Baykeeper Birthday Party to show how one with the people you are. World’s largest organic salad my ass.

  7. Whewwwwwww. 8:10

    A very small group. They are raking in the dough. They are their own non-profit corporations.

    They oughtta make a late night infomercial – “How to get rich like us.”

    I didn’t know about the “Golden Gate Law School” The more you follow hte trails the more connections there are.

  8. google fu:

    Mar 12, 2007 … Established in 1994, Golden Gate University School of Law, … William Verick is a Eureka environmental lawyer whose window looks out on the …
    http://www.wildcalifornia.org › News – Cached – Similar

    How many more?

  9. The Continued Success of Proposition 65 in Reducing Toxic …

    Clifford Rechtschaffen is a professor at Golden Gate University School of. Law. Patrick Williams is a 2005 honors graduate of Golden Gate Univer- sity School of Law. …. E-mail from William Verick, Attorney, Mateel Environmental Jus- …
    http://www.envirolaw.org/…/RechtschaffenTheContinuedSuccessofProposition65Dec2005.pdf – Similar

  10. The next logical question…..if the big money was not involved, would these individuals really care as much as they purport? Probably about the same as the average person does. You see, when you go through life struggling to put food on the table, raising children, and doing your best with what you have, you don’t have the fucking luxury or spare time to dedicate to saving the whale, plovers, or whatever it is this week. Its not that many of us don’t care, its just not a big priority.

  11. On June 15 2009, Exxon Mobil Corp was ordered to pay $507.5 million in punitive damages for the Exxon Valedez Oil Spill that occurred off the coast of Alaska in 1989. The $507.5 million settlement is only “a fraction of the $5 billion in punitive damages originally awarded to fisherman, Alaska natives, business owners and other litigants by a jury” in1994.

    After the 1994 court ruling requiring a settlement of $5 billion, Exxon launched a series of appeals. At a trial in 2006, the jury agreed to cut the settlement in half to $2.5 billion. In June 2008, Justice David Souter ruled that punitive damages cannot exceed the approximately $500 million Exxon has already paid to victims of the oil spill and their families.

    Interestingly, the $507.5 million settlement only amounts to about 1/5 of the $2.5 billion cost of cleaning up the oil spill, which flooded the Alaska coastline with 10.8 billion gallons of oil and is known as one of the most destructive man-made environmental disasters in history.

    Source: http://www.nowpublic.com/environment/exxon-valdez-oil-spill-settlement-exxon-pay-507-5-million

    Not to say that lawsuits against companies are always a good thing, but sometimes they set the stage and have no regard to local fishermen, wildlife or real people. They are corporate people and maybe we have to become more like them to defend ourselves against their bottom line.

    Internalizing profits but externalizing losses means the tax payers are left holding the bag.

  12. So Tom, am I to assume that your point is that cause Exxon and other companies, in some cases, get away with paltry reparations for the damage they inflict on individuals and the public that somehow it’s okay to inflict the general public with a raging virus of new boutique law firms to sue different companies and different individuals for millions, shutting down any new responsible development and killing job creation for thousands of people who need to feed their families, all while lining their pockets?

    That is exactly what the Paykeeper scam is. They get huge settlements on frivilious lawsuits and then take the money and spend it here on politics and new lawsuits to advance a extremist, no growth, anti-industry, agenda that is unsupported by the gross majority of the public.

    I totally agree that Exxon and others fucked us all, and continue to for that matter. But that doesn;t make it okay for your fucktard friends to try to eliminate any chance of economic growth, jobs, and homes for families in Humboldt. This county and it’s people are not your playthings nor are they lab rats in your socialist utopia. You want to play social engineering games? Go somewhere where thats what people want. Thats all the people, not just the 15% of support that you have here.

    Moron.

  13. No thanks. But if I come across any more state agency heads having lunch with a local businessmen who is feeding hundreds of thousands of dollars to kill my developments, I will. Hugs!

  14. I smell an imposter!

  15. Tom how does it feel to be a tool for the environmentalist attorneys. I’m sure your radio job salary really reflects an equal share of what these people receive. Why don’t you ask why you can’t become a board member of one of their do-gooder “non-profits”. Serving the homeless population and veterans groups is a noble cause Tom….serving these get-rich con artists is something completely different. Don’t be blinded by ponytails and promises.

  16. Salary? I wish I was on salary.

  17. Anon, they have already been thrown out of most places. Only place they get a stronghold is where people are dependent on government to get social services. I would like to think Tom is not a kool-aid drinker but reviewing his posts looks like he has grape lips.

  18. If lawmakers in Ca. did their jobs, we wouldn’t have to have ballot initiatives. Many of these initiatives are unfunded mandates and make it impossible to produce a balanced budget in this state.

    Prop. 65 is one of many laws passed by the people that have unintended consequences.

    I do not support frivolous lawsuits. There is a lawyer that goes around the state looking for ADA (Americans with disabilities act) non compliance. He has put many small mom and pop stores and businesses out of business. I don’t remember his name but I’m sure some of the people on this blog know who I am talking about. He shut down Arctic Circle restaurant. These businesses close many times not because people that go there are unable to use the facilities, but because this guy finds out that the facilities don’t comply with ADA requirements. Historic buildings can’t always be made compliant. For other buildings, it just isn’t cost effective. This guy has filed many of what I would call frivolous lawsuits.

    As far as joining the board of one of our local environmental groups, that’s not a bad idea. Problem is, most wouldn’t want me any more than they would want Dennis Mayo. In reality, I am a bit more in line with his thinking about this stuff than Jennifer Savage.

  19. “‘I do not support frivolous lawsuits”

    Sure Tom, I get it you don’t support frivolous suits just the all important ones that friend Nichols files for Paykeeper. I guess it’s not frivolous if it lines the pockets of our friends. Doesn’t matter if it funds groups like Paykeeper and EPIC who are trying to buy their way into elected officials to push an unsupported policy of no growth and no jobs. It’s okay if all the suit does is prevent competition with a major donors business. No problem if their suit prevents the clean up of a toxic dump that is draining into our bay.

    Keep talking about ADA lawsuits, fortunately most people are not so dumb as not see through the stupid obfuscation.

  20. Yeah, I am not the real Rob Arkley.

  21. No one on this blog has actually said what the lawsuits are all about. They were settled is all the information I got on the lawsuits themselves. We heard where the money goes and that’s bad. What about what these companies did to get themselves into a lawsuit in the first place?

    Yes, they were frivolous but why were they frivolous? Without knowing what was involved, it is hard to get on board with the anti epic and baykeeper folks.

  22. Tom, we know what the lawsuits are for. To force companies to comply with the law. To make them add warning labels and to get them to change how they make their products to ensure less toxic chemicals make it to consumers. We said that part is good.

    But here is the problem that seems easy to grasp for everyone else.

    In the case of the Mateel lawsuits, EPIC and Baykeeper didn’t sue anybody to reduce lead in children’s toys. Their environmental lawyer buddies did and EPIC and Baykeeper (ERF) get a large cash payout as part of the settlement. And of all the Prop. 65 lawsuits that have been tracked since 2000, the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation has the most lawsuits in the state with the largest amount of “other distributions.” I’ll paint a picture for you soon. There is a lot of information to digest and I understand it requires us to connect the dots for you.

    This whole Prop. 65 bullshit is being used as a big corporate shakedown that sees money diverted to groups that use the money to file lawsuits completely unrelated to Prop. 65. Baykeeper vs. Security National?

    And those large companies that are sued see these lawsuits as just a part of doing business. Have you seen the settlement amounts on the AG’s Website? When a company pays out $30,000 or $60,000 every other year or so, who pays for that? Consumers. The cost of the products go up for you and me. But I am sure that you don’t buy anything from corporations, right?

  23. Let’s see. According to the Measure T folks, it was immoral and against the fundamental principles of democracy for non-local corporations to contribute money to local political races.

    But it’s perfectly OK to shake down out-of-the-area corporations through Prop. 65 lawsuits to divert millions of dollars to local environmental groups that use the money to influence local politics and to sue to stop local development.

    Tom, you’re not that dense not to see what is wrong here.

    Why isn’t everyone pissed about this? How can this shit go on for so long with the local media so oblivious? Hank? Greenson? Mintz? Hello?

  24. tome – His name is Jason Singleton – and there is a special place reserved in Hell for people like him.

    You can read about his escapades locally here – North Coast Journal – March 8, 2001: COVER STORY –
    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/030801/cover0308.html
    “The stuff that Singleton brought forth was so minute,” said Johnson. “One thing was a grab bar that was 1/8th of an inch too low. Another was the location of a light that blinks when the fire alarm is going off in case a person is deaf. I think it was supposed to be something like 48 inches from the floor, and it was 52.

    “Then there was a problem with the table lamp,” Johnson said. “The knob that you turn it on with was supposed to be 5/8ths of an inch in circumference for people who have arthritis and such, and it was only 3/8th of an inch.”

    Compared to the cost of the major changes required by the first suit, bringing the motel into compliance the second time was relatively inexpensive. But this time Johnson and the other defendants also had to pay Singleton.

    “The cost of the repairs we had to do based on his lawsuit were minimal; I think it was $1,000. But we spent another $50,000 in attorney fees.

    and here: Jason Singleton Strikes Again
    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/issues/2008/05/08/jason-singleton-strikes-again/
    Driving through Eureka on 101, you may have noticed that a long-time fixture, the Arctic Circle, is all boarded up. On Tuesday, the Times-Standard had the report: The restaurant was sued in February over violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case settled, and the owners, unable to afford the fixes required to become compliant, closed shop.

  25. I’m starting to get the picture. Tell more.

  26. Thanks Rose. Singleton, what a waste of a law degree.

  27. Tom, Don’t ignore the fact that the waste is also firmly in the lap of your friends at Paykeeper and Epic. Lamport, Huber, Nichols and a host of other scumbags have created and perpetuate this scam at consumer and taxpayer expense. I don’t know about you but I don’t think we can afford these assholes and the politicians they buy. Vote them out and run them out.

  28. yes this is an outright abuse of the law by Mateel who then filters the payoff money to their other litigious friends.

    the lawsuits are essentially in boiler plate form and they target a product such as pastic pipe for instance. these parasites make a list of who manufactures or sells the product and fill in the proper name and address of the victim.

    These cases dont go to trial, they get settled quickly and cheaply and the victim agrees to essentaily put a sticker on the product or reformulate its components. Given the cost to reformulate a sticker is the preferred alternative and as long as the money flows and settlements keep coming in Mateel could care less what alternative the company picks.

    Mateel has earned its way onto the Prop 65 list issued by the Attorney General as an ABUSER of the law.

    This type of law driven by iniatives has casued 1000′s of jobs to leave our once great state.

  29. The Sad Truth, even Jerry Brown says they are abusers?
    He would know.
    What can be done about this? Does the AG have any suggestions?

  30. Bugs, thank-you for this illuminating post. I think the part that chaps my ass the very worst is this, these companies that get sued by the “oh-so morally superior progs” have to make up their losses somehow and guess what:

    Yes, that is correct they raise their prices, which means your average Joe or Josephine pays more of their hard-earned dollars for the things they need for their family. Along with struggling, your average Joe or Josephine is subjected to periodic rants about evil consummerism and “why don’t you recycle more?”

    Well, this average Josephine is completely and utterly fed up with the progs and the enviro-nazi, and I don’t regret for a minute comparing you all to the standard for facism, because just like the nazi you are a bunch of bullies. Just like your parent organization, the Democratic Party, it’s my way or the highway.

    Do not even attempt to proclaim yourselves so pure, so subservient to the better good for all, because you have been exposed as the petty, hypocritical tyrants that you really are.

  31. oops, Tom, sorry about misspelling your name.

  32. Josephine Blow, taken to the extreme, you would be against finding out that the baby toys in your house contain lead or cadmium. Let the corporations sell what ever they want and we should be fine with that. Ground beef that contains e-coli, cars that accelerate by themselves and kill people. There are reasons to regulate companies. Most progressives would bring this up and why not? I see a difference between frivolous lawsuits and ones that are there to really protect people.

    You saying that the Dems are my way or the highway is to forget that Harry Reid keeps trying to work with republicans. Most of us don’t know why because they never want to work with the democrats. James Inhofe of Oklahoma votes against bills without even knowing what’s in them. He does this because they were proposed by democrats.

    Democrats agree on almost nothing, they are like herding cats. Republicans almost always vote what ever the party says. You know this to be true.

    About paying more for products that don’t kill you, what you don’t know may kill you. What’s that worth to you? Prop 65 allows California to find out about these products and pull them from the shelves. The rest of the country finds out this stuff because we find it first.

    With that said, I still think the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation, based on what I have read here, is crossing the line. They appear to be doing more harm than good.
    Bad products are not a democratic or republican thing, they are driven by greed. Many times these same products used to be made here but went overseas because those countries don’t care what the corporations do to people as long as they provide jobs. I do have to wonder how many products from the companies listed above were made over seas? Were some of these products what led to a lawsuit? Maybe, maybe not. I’m just saying that the intent of Prop. 65 is good, too bad about people caring more about money than peoples health. At least these corporations actually make things people want. I can’t say the same for the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation based on the little knowledge I have gained here.

    Are there any progressives that want to enlighten me about MEJF? Tell me all the good they do for people?

  33. See Tom has grape colored lips.

  34. Yeah, I’m not a democrat or a republic.
    I think that this kind of crap is a bit like the drug war. A big waste of time and money for most involved. Mostly doing more harm than good.
    Shit, I sound like some sort of friggin moderate.

  35. Tom, I agree with you. It’s one thing to advocate for and support making things handicapped accessible, but it would be fair to let owners know where they are out of compliance and a. work WITH them to fix it, b. recognize that some things are unfixable and that’s life, and c. give them time TO fix things, and d. Fees and Fines ONLY trigger if they refuse. As long as there is a good faith effort.

    Otherwise it’s highway robbery, which is why Clint Eastwood testified before Congress about the injustice of it. Eighty grand for what might have been a $10 fix is extreme, and paying off Singleton means the owners can’t afford the work.

    Same thing with this new scam – and all the enviro-buddies are nothing more than new age con men, the enviro-Singletons. Even worse how they all funnel it to each other – what can you trust any more? Do you trust the lab they hire? The expert they hire? Guess what – they’re in their pockets.

    You wouldn’t tolerate that from Enron, why would anyone tolerate it here?

  36. Oh, and Tom, Harry Reid is NOT – I repeat NOT – trying to work with Republicans. Far, far, far from it. How can people who work in communications be so easily duped by words?

    You’ll like this one, Tom –
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2010/02/12/former-air-america-ceo-blames-darwinian-world-market-forces-failure-pr
    …most of the monied progressive community did the opposite of their conservative counterparts and bought into the notion that media should stand or fall based on media market forces….

    Um…actually there were no conservative donors. Conservative talk radio shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were (and are) based entirely on “media market forces.”…

    Imagine that. Market forces. Most people won’t understand it, but you will. Enjoy.

  37. I think yer on to something here Tom. There is a lot out there that the ‘regular’ media doesn’t want to do the heavy lifting to report.

    As you so correctly observe, none of this strange business is black or white or left or right or good or bad.

    Just matters of degree. But Rose is right, look at the prop 65 money trail or the Singleton cash cow. Wonder for a moment why businesses are shedding employees like ballast because the system….let’s them get away with it.

    Now that’s a story and both sides….or many sides have the same excuse. The same greed.

    I wonder why the TS and the NCJ and the rest pass up these really compelling stories.

    Guess their getting paid by the hour.

  38. Hey Rose, Laura Ingram is on about 400 radio stations across the U.S., Stephanie Miller is on just over 40. In virtually every marked that Stephanie is on, she beats Laura in the ratings. If this was about who had the best numbers, Stephanie would be on 400 stations and Laura would have 40 or so.

    Big business wants friendly programming. Stuff that is good for their bottom line.

    I once got a list from ABC that said I couldn’t run about 100 advertisers of theirs because they were boycotting Air America. I had 1 show from Air America, Thom Hartmann.

    ABC radio was sold to Citadel and they just filed for bankruptcy. Their model wasn’t much better than Air Americas. It just shows you what the left is up against in the world of big business.

  39. Thanks dog, Rose and I do find ourselves in more agreement than either of us would advertise.

  40. Sheeeeesh

    Ignore my last observation Tom.

    You’re lost in the demographics and not the substance.

    It’s not the left and it is not the right…it is compelling programming.

    Thought you had a chance.

    But never mind.

    Argue your limitations….they’re yours

  41. Dog, compelling programming is what brings ratings.
    Stephanie has them and Laura does where Stephanie isn’t there for competition. That speaks for itself.

    I thought competition was what the right was all about.
    I must be wrong about that too.

    Radio is free to the consumer.
    If you could go to a 5 star hotel or a 3 star, for free, which one are you going to choose?
    Most people would choose the higher rated one.
    It’s just gonna be a better experience.
    .

  42. Well golly gee willikers, there Mr. Tom sir, but I sure don’t recall saying that Prop.65 was all that bad. Shucks, us ignert folk, well, sometimes we just need things splain to us, ok?

    You have missed my point entirely, in trying so desperately to plead your case. I actually think that the intent of Prp.65 is excellent. It also should be presented as carrying the caveat of ‘buyer beware’, which is of course rational, thoughtful and prudent. But, because there are individuals out there entirely free of scruples, and who feel that they know better than everyone else, it, like other well meaning legislation (anyone recall Prop 165?) has been perverted.

    The initiative process is slowly and surely killing anyone hope of rational, thoughtful government in this State. ( and by the way, the Govinator is lighting the olympic torch in Vancover!!)

    Now, illluminate me oh Wise One! I am hoping that somewhere in your prog lock-step screed against corporations there is some rational, thoughtful ‘stuff’.

    Taken to the extreme, corporations are BAD, BAD, BAD.
    I am assuming that the BAD label includes Sierra Club, Greenpeace, PETA and oh, yes all those wonderful law firms are usually incoporated, usually for tax purposes and there is also that pesky liability thing. I can hear it now….”Well, suing those companies was a corporate decision’. And do not even begin to tell me that those same corporations listed above do not have their very own pet lobbyist on short chain, which they yank often and hard!

    Demean me all you like, sir, but just remember I vote and so do a lot of other individuals who think along the same lines as I do.

  43. Oh and while we are the subject of buying things farmed out overseas…..I am willing to bet that I pay more attention to my shopping than you do Tom. I buy American, local if possible. Not because I support the local prog loonies (should be pretty clear I don’t) but because I believe in our country and support it by buying American. Up to and including the big ticket items like cars. We only drive American made cars.

    Just how many of your prog creeps are cruising around in a Prius? Plastered with Obama stickers.
    Yah, support our country, you know whats best!

  44. Everyone is so friggin touchy in here.
    Josephine Blow, I din’t mean to demean you. Sorry it came out that way.

    Just look our history.
    We started this country in a fight against the largest corporation in the world at that time. The East India Company. They were trying to control our lives and game the system by getting tax breaks that small businesses couldn’t get. We threw their tea into the harbor.

    Now international corporations are our friends? They buy our businesses and move the production overseas so they can get around our laws. They internalize profits and externalize costs. We pay the cost to test the products that we once produced to see if they are safe. They keep the profits. They use our courts, we pay the costs. They use our airwaves to convince us that they are the good guys. Sometimes they make money from this on both ends as they own stakes in much of our media. They think that they are people but they don’t die, they just restructure most of the time.

    We live in a democratic republic that wouldn’t even exist if corporations were motivated to do the right thing.
    Our first war was against a corporation and the government that created it and many wars since have been to enrich corporations.

    This is one of the first posts on this blog that got me agreeing with the Mirror. In this case the Mateel group seems to have gone too far. It makes one wonder where they ever learned to behave in such a way?

    I will try to behave better myself.

    Good post Mirror guys. Most people probably didn’t know about this. Keep it coming.

  45. Tom, I would never presume to speak for anyone else on
    this blog. I am touchy because I and my like-minded friends are bludgeoned continuously by Prog propoganda! It seems the purveyors of the ‘wisdom of the far left’ have nothing better to do than control print, auditory and visual media to spread their ‘message.’

    I work full time, as does my spouse, we have (3) busy kids, the last thing I or my spouse or my friends for that matter need is some idiot hounding us day and night about evil corporations, war-mongering republicans, forgien manufactured products, the Balloon Tract, Rob Arkley yada, yada, yada. We are tired of it.

    Please allow us to make up our own minds. We are rational, thoughtful adults. We can read, we will figure it out for ourselves! In other words…shut the fuck up!
    Stop telling me what you think is best for me, it is none of your business!!!

    This blog is an excellent place to poke fun and I enjoy poking fun, non-demoninatial fun, party neutral fun and you are really interefering with that!

  46. Josephine, you got me on the car thing. I bought one just over 3 years ago and there were only 3 vehicles that I could finance, the kia I bought, a toyota yaris or the Chevy aveo which was made the same place as the kia.
    My gas bill dropped in half with the new car. I thought that in itself meant I sent less dollars overseas. I have a 60 mile round trip every day and it adds up. I look at it as, taking money from oil nations and giving it to Korea.
    It was that or a motorcycle and I couldn’t afford a Harley.
    I did buy and finance it locally though at Harper.

    My BBQ was made in Chicago. I use Bridgeford briquettes and drink American beer. I buy local grass fed beef.
    The only major purchase I have made since the car is a wood stove. It was made in USA and I bought it at Shaffer’s Ace in Eureka. They have a great selection and even carry stoves for mobile homes.

    I do what I can but you got me. My car is 100 percent overseas and yours is only about 30 percent overseas content minus the gas.

    You guys are a tough crowd but engaging none the less. I like it when I can find common ground with people that are outside my mostly progressive sphere of influence. There is usually some truth in the arguments of those made against our thinking. Not always, but usually.

  47. Man oh man

    don’t you get it?

    It’s not about ratings. Ratings give you an audience they do not give you a voice or any damn sense. I’m saying you have an opportunity to be meaningful. That’s all of it.

    Cripes…I boosted ratings in major markets for 12 years. Then got tired of taming the beast. That strange fire in the belly needs a spark to keep it illuminating.

    I had a hunch you could see past the masks and all the way to the faces…you want to talk about ratings.

    Ok let’s do that. Cumes, lead in’s, demos, ADI’s what would you like to discuss other than the fact that you have made one hell of an oyster bed and now you may beautifully, grovel in it.

    Ratings my fuzzy ass!

    It’s about vision and the ability to put it down in a way that resonates and, when you do…it stays there.

    The ratings and the big paychecks come later….but, I fear that palm tree is far beyond your climbing.

  48. With that I will now shut the fuck up! Be well everyone.

  49. Not bad Tom

    The East India trade imperative was both economic and poetic. Poetic in the sense that it went fleetingly beyond the banal.

    Y’know what made it work? A vision of opportunity and well hell….adventure. There were no blogs then and so the uninitiated had to get by on their own devices.

    But for that moment dear Tom…East India had all the ratings.

  50. Yes Tom. Let’s continue the repartee.

    You’ve got something going i think. But I thought I did too and here I am pissing on palm trees at the end of all things. Bringing it back on topic. Unlike the paykeepers of the world, I don’t have to suck the life out of somebody else to make a difference. Or to win.

    The trick of art: – If your urn is sufficiently Grecian…it can ofttimes get away with being a crock

    of shit.

    Don’t you know?

  51. Shit happens especially when kept in the dark like a mushroom. Many are in the dark about this. I don’t like being in the dark about such issues.

    I did say I’d shut up so that’s it until I have something positive to add.

  52. Y’er doin’ ok, Tom. My favorite car was my Honda CRX – it got 55 miles per gallon on trips and 38 around town. Wasn’t made in America, but… it also got 110,000 miles on brakes, and almost that good on tires, a very light car. Hondas, the best cars in the world.

  53. Tom, what’s here is the tip of the iceberg.

  54. …but all this talk about Baykeeper raking in the money on lawsuits, but no one mentions any details of those lawsuits. You know why, people? Because they haven’t actually sued anyone! They have one suit pending over the Balloon Track, that’s it.

    Crazy idea to stick to fact, I know. Call me loony.

  55. ummm…okay, “loony”

    http://www.treesfoundation.org/publications/article-315

  56. Here’s another from their own site:

    http://www.humboldtbaykeeper.org/news/press/69-humboldt-baykeeper-and-allies-force-epa-to-close-loopholes.html

    LOONY!

  57. Notice how they quote each other? How they cross-pollinate? No one would have any idea that they are one and the same.

    It’s a sweet gig they’ve got going.

    No, the preferred method is to THREATEN to sue, and have the company fork over a millions or so in go away money, cheaper than fighting them in court. They are extortionists, and if you pony up the protection money or else.

    And when you don’t? well, you can see what happens just by reading the Humboldt Herald.

  58. I think the progressive way to spin the story at the above link would be to say: “The EPA under the Bush Administration wasn’t doing it’s job”

    The spin from another side might have a headline or slug like: “Radical environmental groups sue EPA , could cost municipalities and business big bucks!”

    The AP would have something like: “Environmental Lawsuit closes EPA loop holes.”

    Just a few good reasons to get your news from more than one or two sources.

  59. Get a room!

  60. Tom, I think the problem here is the story is too big for reporters to deal with. I’ve thought so for a long, long time. It’s overwhelming, you need an entire staff just to follow the trails, much less put the pieces of the puzzle together and then wrap the story up.

    Couple that with fear of being accused of being in Arkley’s pocket – anyone who says, “hey wait a minute!…” it’s easier to go along with the sacred cow “grassroots” – it looks better, they being so altruistic and all, throw in the newspaper wars, anything that came up in the Eureka Reporter was automatically suspect even when it was a real story, and even now, all things Arkley send people into tremors.

    But I hope someone takes a stab at it – it’s long overdue. If you step back and look at him as any other citizen, and look at how he is being treated, and ask yourself, is it right – no, it isn’t.

    And even if you can’t separate from dislike of Arkley, 99 out of 100 people would look at this con artist’s scam raking in millions in fees, spread amongst their friends… come on, it is a story, and a big one at that.

    For one thing – if they can do it to Arkley, they can do it to anyone. And the fact is they won’t stop – HAVEN’T stopped – with Arkley, as is CLEAR by this post.

  61. It would still be unethical but more positive it they used the money they are making to do someting positive for the area like care for the elderly and poor, or a homeless shelter or even fund the zoo. Using it for more lawsuits is bad for their karma.

  62. so, is Tom the Tool still around? Hummm….the Eureka City Council based prog idiot, Larry Glass now wants to do away with the Zoo. The Zoo. He is blathering the usual platitudes about ‘fiscal responsibility’, but most of us, I would imagine are not fooled….the Zoo was refurbished by the Arkleys, as well as underwriting substantial amounts of on-going funding.

    Gee, verascity IS Larry’s strong suit…..can’t wait to see what Tom and the rest of the Proggie apologists spin this.

  63. Shit, Hum Depot, they can’t even help save the Fish Hatchery. they drive around with “UnDam the Klamath” bumper stickers and hold big fundraisers about to “Undam the Klamath” and claim that they have been intensely involved in running the show – and that’s BS. The agreement is about to get signed and they turn around and stab everyone in the back. they don’t want the thing to get done, it’s just another source of revenue for them, they need the controversy.

    And BTW – where did all the money they raised to “UnDam the Klamath” go? Ask the questions.

    Same with the Balloon Track – all about the money, they don’t want it cleaned up.

    And as far as the zoo, why is it that everything that has been afforded for years – many many years – is suddenly unaffordable when the “progressives” gain power? “People should stop having kids” is one of the comments on heraldo – as they sneer at the zoo. What has happened to people?

  64. From the website. Why am I not shocked

    Special thanks to the following people for their generous contributions to ecorights.org: Julie Francis, Kathy Glass, John Rogers, Alison Sterling Nichols, and Luis Sonino.

  65. [...] is the plaintiff – Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation? At least we have some intrepid bloggers who investigated exactly the kind of shady outfit Mateel is – one that makes profits from [...]

  66. WOW! You made Breitbart! Good goin’!

    He has it partially wrong though – when the new age con men, the predatory litigious groups, act it is not to ‘save the fishes.’ It is to rake in the big bucks. That’s what they do. That’s all they do.

  67. You are frickin’ famous now!

    Now we are going to have higher expectations, bugs. Rise to it :)

  68. The 2009 report is here:

    http://ag.ca.gov/prop65/pdfs/Alpert_Report2009.pdf

    Another $1.5 million to the leeches in the Mateel

  69. Conclusion: this blog is not worth reading. I don’t give a flying fooze about who sues the crap out of those companies, how often, for how much, or why.

    ” When a company pays out $30,000 or $60,000 every other year or so, who pays for that?”

    When a company has been “settling” lawsuits regarding people’s health, especially in those amounts and with such regularity, for so long, it’s time for them to be run out of town by a mob.

    Every single company mentioned in this post, and all the companies with logos in the above graphic could disappear off the face of the planet and it wouldn’t make a lick of a difference in anybody’s day except those also beholden to their income. There’s no question, however, that he planet would be a lot cleaner.

    Keep drinking your minimum daily allowance of PVC’s and have a nice life, Humboldt Mirror.

  70. God I bet you’ll be missed.

    Maybe someone who can think and/or read will take your place.

  71. Hoover like the president or vacuum cleaner? both suck.

  72. These people are worm like scum that feed off of society. The angry person who wrote on Oct 27, 2010 does not understand that the keys in his pocket have tiny amounts of lead in them because this is needed to make brass. The key companies are not evil but settled

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