A, sort of, controversy is brewing about Paul Gallegos at the Arcata Eye and a couple of the conservative blogs. I think the two points being made are that a campaign-related email was sent to the various local media from the D.A. office, and that the email did not only contain the press release itself (consisting of a thank you to his volunteers and supporters), but a string of emails from campaign workers which indicate that Paul had help from his campaign writing a thank you to his volunteers.
Sending a campaign related email from the government office itself may be a violation of campaign laws. Though so far none of the sites has cited a specific provision, my general knowledge is that incumbents are supposed to keep the office itself completely free from campaign related activity, especially anything amounting to fund raising. Kevin quotes Richard Salzman indicating in one of his emails that it will be easier for him to raise money once the thank you notice is published, ergo, it is a campaign fund raising letter.
It was emailed on November 12 at 10:28 a.m. using a government email address. What if the email was sent remotely from away from the office? Is it illegal to use the email address itself? I don’t know. But I think it would be a stretch to say that Richard’s remark (“But getting this out now will make it easier for me to raise money”) transforms a simple thank you into a fund raising letter. I assume that someone will post some text from the applicable laws so we can evaluate it for ourselves. Anyone who is alarmed anyway, as it seems pretty trivial to me.
On the other hand, allowing even trivial violations could lead to bigger ones. So has this happened before? Would anyone have noticed the email address of origin but for the email thread contained therein?
Kevin spends more time on criticism that Paul is not writing his campaign statements by himself because there will be a longer editorial which Michael Evenson will help him write. Apparently Allison and all the other candidates write everything on their own? I guess that’s the implication.
In any case, due to a bit of carelessness we’re treated to a little bit of behind the scenes sausage making.
Yes, the 2014 campaign has begun!
Just a little caveat here. Elizabeth Connor, whom I respect, misattributes in her posted email the quote “Don’t mourn, organize” to Mother Jones. It is actually attributed (though slightly misquoting him) to Joe Hill, the IWW organizer accused, probably falsely, of murder and executed. His last letter to fellow organizer “Big” Bill Haywood read in part as follows:
“Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize… Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don’t want to be found dead in Utah.”
I don’t know. Maybe Mother Jones said it too.