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Indybay Feature
Mon May 29 2006 (Updated 06/11/06)
Ballot Initiative Challenges Corporate Money in Local Elections
June 6 Election for Popular "Measure T"
Eureka, CA - Local citizens have launched a ballot initiative that will prohibit large out-of-county corporations from making political contributions in Humboldt County elections. The initiative for Fair Elections and Local Democracy - or “Measure T” as it’s known locally - received a record number of signatures to qualify for the June 6, ballot through grassroots campaign organized by the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights. Proponents of the measure call it a "direct challenge to the legal doctrine that a corporation must be treated as a 'person' with vested constitutional rights."

The initiative was inspired by two separate corporate-funded campaigns in Humboldt County where hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to push corporate interests. In 1999, Wal-mart sought to change zoning laws in order to build on the Eureka waterfront. In 2003, Maxxam/Pacific Lumber launched a recall attempt against Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos who had filed a lawsuit against them. The corporations failed on both counts

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UPDATE 6/7/06: Measure T passes with 54.60% voter approval.
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