But we thought that Sopoci Belknap loudmouth was the moral center of the campaign finance reform movement

PRESS CONFERENCE – Thursday, April 8, 2010
11:45am  –  Humboldt County Courthouse, 825 Fifth Street, Eureka

When last polled on this subject, over 75% of Humboldt County residents expressed concern that campaign donations have an undue influence on elections. This public outrage was used as justification in 2006 to pass Measure T that instead of reforming local campaign finance laws, unfairly disadvantaged local businesses over labor unions and nonprofits, resulting in a 2008 summary judgment finding the ordinance unconstitutional by the federal court.
One of the proponents of Measure T’s “local control” was 4th District Supervisor Bonnie Neeley who is holding a re-election fundraiser in Sacramento on April 7, asking for $2,000 “sponsorships” and proclaiming that there are no contribution limits for county office in Humboldt County.
Chris Crawford chaired the NO ON MEASURE T campaign in 2006 and will speak to the problem of campaign donation abuses by suggesting an overall cap on individual donations regardless of the source. According to Crawford, “the feeling of frustration and disenfranchisement by voters is real and highly justified when abuses such as this are as flagrant as this instance. Is Bonnie within the letter of the law by raking in tens of thousands of dollars from Sacramento lobbyists, tribes, out-of-town developers and local special interests? Regrettably, she is  …  but we need to reign in these shameless practices by imposing caps to restore at least the appearance of propriety.”
Efforts to develop ordinance language for campaign donation caps have failed for lack of volunteers to assist in framing the issues and gaining consensus on some of the details, such as:
AMOUNTS – what should the caps be and should they differ for different seats? For instance, $750 for local races and perhaps $2,000 for county races?
CANDIDATES VERSUS INITIATIVES – some have indicated they would not support donation caps for initiatives, but would for candidates.
STACKING – should husbands/wives, employers/employees, unions/members be able to stack donations (write separate checks)?
IN KIND / AUCTIONS – what about those who donate food for an event or an auction item?
ESCALATOR CLAUSE – there should be an automatic rate adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index or some other escalator.
So let’s start the dialogue now  …  let’s begin by asking all candidates for local office to impose limits on donations. The next step is to gain consensus on the details for a county ordinance to stop future campaign finance abuses.
Local democracy and the integrity of local elections is at stake.
Chris Crawford
3144 Broadway #4-400
Eureka, CA 95501
(707) 443-1944


83 Responses

  1. Go get ’em, Chris, but don’t expect a warm response from the progs. Neely would sell her sister to a midget to win this campaign.

  2. (Although maybe not the sister who runs the elections office.)

  3. Chris you rock, even for a right wing wacko. You have totally nailed this one. We need limits on outside influences of any sort. i am not sure on the exact answer but your suggestions are a GREAT start.

    I’m in tomorrow and will get on the horn to as many as I can.

  4. P.S. There are no limits to how low I will go.

  5. Can we get Measure T back on the ballot?

  6. Agreed. We won’t see all that many lefties in support of this.

  7. Alright now your rollin’
    Thanks for the shout out!
    Go get that bitch she looks like a sitting Duck…

  8. I agree with Crawford? Man, Neely must being really messing up things campaign contribution wise. Bonnie, stop fueling the neo-cons! Man, up is down and down is up.

  9. Cripes Bugs

    I thought Bonnie would be a lock after the bikini spread. Er….montage.

    So I leave for a few moments (months) and you allow her to torpedo the only good thing she does….raise money. This political sacrament, Sacmoney….(sackomoney) should put a choke collar on this bitch (in the true sense of the word) as, it’s pretty clear that she can’t raise a dime from the local aficionados….because there aren’t any.

    Has it really become that transparent Bugs,? That even Heralda can see though it? Pretty lame spin over there.

  10. Jeff Leonard led the charge on this issue a couple years ago. Like the signs say, “He’s the right guy for the job”

  11. Kaitlyn and her love slave David are probably running for cover…perhaps throwing in their lot with Verbena and praying that the homeless issue can give them some crediability and mask the stench of the failed Measure T and the Hellhound of money and influence peddling it has unleashed!

    My family is pretty steeped in “old fashioned” Humboldt County, but even then we can recognize pure bullshit hypocrisy when we see it.

  12. But, won’t Ralphie be there, wearing his bunny suit?

  13. still awaiting that refreshing beverage…..

  14. KBS and her butt boy(the corn cobb) are even more phony than Bonnie. By God, that’s saying a lot but it’s true. Slime,slime and more slime.

  15. What????

    The charge was led by O&M, Mercer Fraser and Crawford….

    Jeff just hitched a ride and got off at the next corner when it got sideways from DUH. He didn’t expect their support…….just a departure from active opposition.

    Cripes….is anybody paying attention?

  16. Don’t sugar coat it Anon

  17. If Crawford’s limits were enforced, Virginia would lead Neely in fundraising to 72,000 to 26,000.


    I see your point Chris and agree! Fuck Bonnie!!

  18. you are still missing the biggest elephant in the room re: this “innocent sacramento fundraiser”
    the host is a national lobbying firm based in sacramento holding a $2,000 a pop fundraiser for neely. The big question is why is this out of town Sacto lobbying firm trying to get it’s hands on our little local supe race?? and what will they expect of neely when they hand over this very large chunk of $$?
    don’t expect cobb/bell hop to speak out against this, rumour has it that they are all carpoolng to sacto with their fellow “feebaggers” to attend .

  19. Do that, Love. You were all so successful crafting something not at all idiotic last time.

  20. And if Measure T were enforced Virginia would be leading $72,000 to nothing. So what was your point again?

  21. Should Neely be condemned for such flagrant influence-peddling? Absolutely.

    Does showing up Neely’s obvious faults in this matter excuse Bass and Leonard’s behavior in blocking the true ward system, ranked choice voting and any sort of campaign finance limits in Eureka? Absolutely not.

    They all suck. That’s the point. There are no “progressives” in this race. If anything, this merely demonstrates the bankruptcy of the local left, and of Neely’s fake left backers like Heraldo.

  22. Oh, I see it was Bass and Leonard who blocked the “true ward” system?

    I thought it was the lack of interest that blocked it. That and the conveniently forgotten fact that the “true ward system” would have left voters with one vote every 4 years instead of 5 votes in two year cycles.

    BTW, Jeff has always been for campaign finance limits. He has run all three of his campaigns with a cap on donations. I believe he is the only candidate who has consistently done so.

    It’s gratifying to see others get on board with the thought anyway, even though the reality shows campaign donations are pretty much still out of control.

  23. I believe Cathi said Jeff led the charge a “couple of years ago” (which would be longer than just this week)…..perhaps, you should pay attention.

    In fact, Jeff is on record for many years re: campaign finance reform. He is the only one who has always had a cap on campaign donations. He didn’t hitch a ride with anyone.

  24. Barb, I like Jeff, but he did support the true ward system along with Frank and then flipped. But that said he’s still a better candidate than Virginia B ass I hope he doesn’t give up, just because the powerful have all lined up with the Mayor. I think he can pull it off he just needs to keep showing, he’s the one with substance.

  25. The real question is why are these out of town folks raising money for Bon Bon. Pretty aparent that they want some say so via the Coastal Commission. So much for all the spin on Heraldo about whatever. It is about influencing Bonnie on the Commsion. Period. Not about how she votes on anything in Humboldt County. What is there to understand about this?

  26. Did I miss it, or was there no local TV coverage of this press conference?

  27. You son’s signs are not very effective Mom. Can anybody read those things?

  28. The regulars on Heraldo were really very snippy today, especially Jane…

    20 years ago, Bonnie and her spouse, Terry were the standard bearers of all that is conservative in Humboldt County. Today, the folks at Heraldo are singing her praises as the sage, prinicipled individual she is demonstrating herself NOT to be.

    The Bon-Bon love at Heraldo in the face of her acceptance of NON-Local cash and support certaintly contradicts the on-so vocal stumping for Measure T which was prominent there, not so long ago.

    I am truly humbled by the display of, oh, how shall I put this….elastic, or ,maybe even extremely flexible ethics that seems to characterize the progessives. If there physiology is this flexible, it bodes well for thier longevity, maybe even enough to finally gain some wisdom.

  29. Heraldo and company are so fuck’n stupid that they are having a hard time reading the “Leonard signs”.

  30. Josephine, wanna get married?

  31. I’m one of the thousands that can’t read his signs. NO ONE CAN. Apparently Jeff seems to think that he can win this by signs alone. NOT THE CASE.

  32. I was sitting next to her earlier in Ramones in Old Town saying to her husband and friend “This is going to be an avalanche”

  33. Actually Bonnie never supported T,but she did make a comment in regards to maintaining local control.Most of T’s proponents stayed a-political or endorsed Marks who also supported the measure.Since some of you do read the herald,you would have read about and may even remember seeing a Vote Marks sign in the front of the DUHC house.

  34. Apparently Virginia supporter Sun Valley Floral guy fits in that same category then.

  35. THIS JUST IN: Kaitlin slams Neely- in today’s T-S

    “Sopoci-Belknap said that while she supports Neely’s policies, she doesn’t agree with her approach on fundraising from out of the area.

    ”I don’t think local candidates should be looking for a base of support outside the community,” Sopoci-Belknap said.

  36. from today’s ts article,
    “The politically minded should get together to discuss a possible cap on individual donations, which could be different depending on the office in question, he said. Should caps be only for candidates, he asked, and not initiatives? Should husbands and wives, employers and employees, unions and members be allow to stack donations by writing separate checks? This is another question Crawford thinks should be addressed.

    Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, the main proponent of Measure T, said the group continues to support campaign caps and significant finance reform — which should include the abolition of corporate personhood. But she said that Crawford has been saying a forum should be put together for four years, and said he’s never contacted her to set that in motion.

    Sopoci-Belknap said that while she supports Neely’s policies, she doesn’t agree with her approach on fundraising from out of the area. ”

    So at yesterday’s press conference,Crawford bashes T’s main supporters by saying they haven’t been willing to work with him on anything,yet he has never made an effort to work with them himself and automatically assumes that they support that Bonnie has raised out of town support.

  37. ;You can’t read JEFF LEONARD/SUPERVISOR???

    Better hit the eye doctor sooner rather than later.

  38. You like the signs, you don’t like the signs, they were a good idea, they weren’t, color is great, color sucks, print too small, too vague, marketing genius…Whatever your comments about the signs the Leonard campaign must be basking in the glow of sweet success. The signs are being talked about.

  39. So Crawford is supposed to go through Kaitlin S-B to “set that in motion”?

  40. What is this “anyone but Bonnie Neely” all about? It is about feeling betrayed. She was right of center, now she is moving left of center.

    What is this supporting Bonnie Neely even though she travels to and accepts the proceeds of an out of the area fundraiser? It is about accepting your friends as they are. She was right of center, now she might move left of center.

    As Bonnie and Virginia duke it out, Jeff might just slip through.

  41. God I sure hope he will be. It sure would be a hilarious day for Eureka if he would be. We could call him the Neely puppet!

  42. Every candidate’s signs are talked about at every election. The sad and pathetic reality is that the only thing that people care about in election time is those fucking signs. Screw anything about the candidate, I just want to know more about ‘dem signs! Its not the only thing that counts! The Leonard campaign showed poor judgment in the beginning with the first design of the sign. Was it not obvious that they couldn’t read it?

  43. I’m a Virginia supporter? LOL Guess again there Mark

  44. Sorry to hear Mark that you’re “Be 100% local” candidate that you are working for has been getting such negative press. NOT. She’s bringing the failure upon herself.

  45. No.But he also shouldn’t be criticizing people when he has no idea where they stand in regards to Neely’s actions.

  46. Don’t be an idiot.You can go to numerous places on these here blogs to read where I have criticized Bonnie.You even once commended me for a comment I wrote on this very blog.

  47. Bonnie is not right or right of center or left of center or left. Bonnie is all about Bonnie and fuck anything that gets in Bonnie’s power grabbing way. Power is power and she is the “queen of mean”. Move over Helmsley.

  48. My spouse might object. Not to worry, he is much the same as I am, just less vocal.

  49. Word.

  50. Oh yeah by the way Humboldt Mirror, do you have an iPhone with a black back to it?

  51. badabing badaboom…..and now the rest of the story is out there.

  52. Jeff won’t be quiting. He is not intimidated. Has something to do with core values. When you have core values and an understanding of the job it really doesn’t matter what else is out there.

    Sincerity will get you down the road and his track record “ain’t bad” either.

    BTW, Jeff didn’t flip on the “true ward system”. He thought, as a guy who has been a candidate it sounded like a good idea. ( Easier to run if you don’t have to consider the whole City.) As it turned out, he couldn’t support something that would disenfranchise voters. I believe he explained that quite clearly at the council meeting when they took the vote.

    Something I have learned with Jeff serving as a councilmember is they are charged with weighing decisions for us. The good ones, like Jeff, listen with an open mind and vote after they research the topic.
    There have been several issues he thought sounded interesting but later determined they weren’t the right direction for the community i.e. LNG.

    As it turned out the true ward system simply didn’t have the mojo with voters its supporters said it did. Its one of those pigs that even lipstick doesn’t help. The bottom line is voters would have only one choice for council instead of the 5 they enjoy now.

    Well, I suppose I will get the mommy answering for Jeff mantra now…..so be it. You addressed me and I answered. Jeff simply doesn’t have time to read the blogs. His committee has him doing something every minute he isn’t working at his full time job or stealing precious moments with his family.

  53. I think svffm has a very short memory. I have personally been surprised by your criticism.

    Just goes to show you, one should never “assume” anything.

  54. No, he should stop whining about it and just do it. But before saying T”s supporters are unwilling to work with him, did he contact at least the main supporters first?

  55. Not necessary…

    Bugs, PUHLEEZE delete

  56. If the bugs has an Iphone my hunch is that its pink or green. Black is too blah for our little hummer.

  57. . “But before saying T”s supporters are unwilling to work with him, did he contact at least the main supporters first?”

    No he didn’t,any even worse he went on to jump to a conclusion that they even supported Bonnie taking the donations.

  58. Can you confirm if this is true or not Humboldt Mirror? Tell us with proof, what kind of phone do you have?

  59. I don’t get it. Why are conservatives are so enamored with Bass or Leonard? Virginia and Jeff want to raise taxes and cut police and fire services in Eureka.

    The City of Eureka’s finances are a God-awful mess – a $4.3 million deficit. Virgina has been on the City Council since 2000 (the mayor is a member of the city council). Jeff since 2002.

    The only solutions Virginia and Jeff have talked about is cutting the police force, closing a fire station and raising taxes.

    They’re talking about imposing a fire suppression assessment district, increasing the business license tax, bringing back the utility users tax, upping the transient occupancy tax, raising transaction and use taxes and inflicting a parcel tax on Eurekans.

    In contrast, the county is great fiscal condition and Bonnie Neely is the most experienced member of the County Board of Supervisors.

    The Board has two new Supervisors, who will tell you Bonnie’s experience and leadership has been extremely valuable to them as novices to governmental fiscal management. They will tell you Bonnie’s experience has helped the county avoid a financial crisis during the worst economic down turn since the Great Depression.

    The county is not looking at cutting services, slashing the Sheriff’s budget or raising taxes.

    Why would any true conservative vote for Jeff Leonard or Virginia Bass instead of Bonnie Neely?

  60. Proggie: lol! The new sups …love-less and cliffy? Oh now that is funny.

  61. go away george.

  62. Hey George Clark you dumbfuck. People don’t take you seriously here. Get used to it. The biggest reason you had no chance of winning the city council seat is because virtually no one took you seriously, much as they do today! Reality sucks doesn’t it Georgie. Your cause is a lost cause. Go home and complain to your mommy Larry Glass.

  63. Ouch! But right on the mark Sun Valley.

  64. Am I the only person who thinks that the new “Bonnie” signs should have some carebears and rainbows on it??? just asking…

  65. Any other registered Republican get the letter from Bonnie asking for donations, etc. I got one on Saturday. Guess I will get one from Cleary next since they have the same campaign consultant.

  66. I saw her sign in front of your house. Actually two of them. What are you ashamed of?

  67. Sun Valley Guy is a Larry Glass Supporter! He supposedly helped campaign door to door for Larry. Look at his profile on his “Blog” and you will recognize him. He claims to work for many local campaigns.

  68. Oh yeah bonnie can send letters to repubs asking for money but if any other dem goes to an event and asks personally they are the anti christ. What a crock in a nonpartisan election. And pretty two faced

  69. Oh my God!!! Now that is fucking hilarious! You seriously think I’m a Glass supporter? You’re too funny. The guy is a braindead hypocrite that takes orders from master Bonnie and will fight any progress from any business from out of Eureka till time ends. He’s a brown noser to Bonnie that works as a team against their common enemy of Arkley. Face it, I’ve read him like a book there and you don’t want to admit it. Calling me a Glass supporter is like incest. Friggin eeew.

  70. The truth hurts. Its ok to admit you were wrong or temporarily insane. See thats where the irony comes in that you now despise the person you worked to get elected. People will forgive or forget you after a few more years.

  71. Forgot to say that I am not in Bonnie’s district but in the Fifth so I thought it a bit odd that the letter would be sent to all Republicans. If I was in her district wouldn’t have thought about getting the letter as people running for office often purchase discs of addresses for their voting district and do mailers to everyone. You can ask for addresses all kinds of ways to get the list that you want. I have never received a letter from any other supervisor candidate that was not in my voting district though.

  72. As much as I loathe Bonnie, I’m not really comfortable with limiting campaign contributions. Some of us look at it as a free speech issue. All contributions should be made public immediately, however. Bonnie’s most recent fund raising in Sacramento may actually have harmed her. I hope so.

    I’m am still open to changing my mind on this issue, though. Can anyone help me out?

  73. no doubt about it…large donations give the impression that the donor has “purchased” something.

  74. It also gives the candidate the feeling they have been purchased and adds pressure to change their core beliefs if a vote is on the line.

    That’s why Jeff made the consious decision to cap donations 8 years ago.

    Limiting campaign donations is a sticky issue. It would be great if everyone running for office would limit their spending, but that’s not going to happen unless and until someone like Jeff is actually successful enough that other candidates take notice.

    He has won twice with the least money raised. Everyone says he has no chance this time around ,however that’s not what we are hearing on the streets.

    As everyone who has ever been involved in a campaign knows, it’s hard work and in the end it is what it is. There are a lot of voters out there who do not live inside the bubble of the few hundred who are interested in the outcome. We all do what we need to do to elevate our candidate but in the end it’s a crap shoot.

  75. To Locke Smith,

    The only way to limit campaign donations is for candidates to realize the big money comes with strings.

    I don’t think I would like a law limiting who can donate and how much. However, I would like a candidate who had the backbone to realize taking big money from Corporations or individuals came with some strings attached.

    I believe the candidates should have the discipline and creativity to get their message out, especially in our small community, without back room deals and the free flow of money from PACs.

    We can hope to overcome the damage done when only the “chosen” can run for elective office, but nothing will happen without the candidate capping their own donations.

    There are some willing to run without the backing of a PAC, but very few are successful. We should really want to change that because we might be missing out on someone of substance.

  76. I like the goals you set Barb. But how would we hold a candidate’s feet to the fire once he made the commitment? Though not a local issue, Obama’a 180 on accepting public funds for his campaign (and thus limiting his spending) when he found it advantageous is an example of why I’m skeptical.

  77. Jeff once said he’d support a $500 contribution cap. Then he flip flopped and did nothing about it. Just like true ward. Just like ranked choice voting. Just like police review. And on and on and on…just can’t trust the guy. At least Bonnie followed through on police review.

  78. Of course you have documentation of Jeff “never doing anything about it” re: campaign contributions, right?

    Perhaps you can explain, then, why Jeff capped his contributions at $500 during the last council race and did not vary from that. We did have one donor who gave him $1000 and when Jeff tried to return half of it he wouldn’t accept it, so Jeff gave the $500 to the skate park.

    Since he was the only one supporting the $500 cap, I would say he did his part, but you can’t make biscuits without flour.

    This time around the cap is $1500 total dollars…not $1500 last year and $1500 this year. It’s not easy doing what Jeff is trying to do, but we all believe it is doable. If he is successful it just might change the thinking of future candidates.

  79. “Did nothing about it” as in introduced any legislation in his 8 years on the Council. Of course the same could be said of the 6 years Bass served on the Council, or the 24 years Neely served on the Board of Supervisors. They’re all equally failures on this count of really taking action to institute comprehensive campaign finance reform.

  80. Jeff and Frank did start a discussion with the city council about campaign finance reform in hopes of limiting donations to local candidates. It went nowhere.

    You can’t force something you think is a good idea on others if there is no traction.

    You can, however, walk the walk, which Jeff has done.

    As I stated before, legislation is not what will get the job done. The candidates themselves will have to show some courage and discipline and refuse to take large donations.

    In the meantime Jeff will continue to get things done for our community. Did you volunteer to build the skate park? Were you one of the 350-400 volunteers who showed up to build a play ground in one day? Are you trying to prevent grow houses in your neighborhood by working on an ordinance to deter illegal grows? Are you working on the wave energy project? Did you take a couple of days off from your job to fly to Seattle to procure funding for the Fisherman’s work space? Have you assisted in getting a $230,000 check from PG&E for the trails trust? Have you actually spent several days building a trail by not only providing the gravel and the delivery of it but also doing the actual physical labor? Are you working with the dog park group to raise money to finally make their dream a reality?

    In other words what have you actually done to make our community a better place to live? Anonymous Blogging isn’t an accomplishment you know. Jeff and his volunteers have arranged for a park clean up at 14th and E on May 8th. See you there!

  81. Go get ’em Barb!

  82. From HCCC:
    Virginia Bass, who admitted she didn’t expect to be endorsed, defended her affiliation as a Democrat. She said she didn’t agree with the wars oversees, believed in a woman’s right to choose, and also supported same-sex marriage.

    So why wouldn’t any true conservative want to support VB? Oh yea, principals. Got any?

  83. the change of affliation is part of the grand scheme. theory being dems are so dumb they won’t notice and a wink and a nod to the repugs will placate them. wonder if the house of cards will come tumbling down before or after the primary. fascinating to watch. typical arkley shit.

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