Arkleyville goes nationwide: Episode 2 – Dark Money

The Examiner received a tip about this story from one of our regular readers. We would like to say our jaws dropped, but when it comes to Robin Arkley, nothing really surprises us. The Daily Beast wrote an extremely well researched and in depth article which looked into the inner workings of unaccountable donations in elections. Not surprisingly, Arkley has played a big part in the national scene. We have highlighted some of the sections from the article, but we encourage all readers to take a look at the full story. Seriously, read the article.

This secret slush fund spending is what Arkley, and others have been doing at a national level. What kind of “dark money” do you think Robins been throwing around in these parts. Small amounts of money to Arkley, like $10k or $15k, could have major ramifications in elections here in Humboldt. Remember Measure R and the secrecy regarding the “No on R” donations?

we the corps

From the Daily Beast:

It was a cold winter night in Washington, D.C., not long after President George W. Bush won a second term, and the mood at the upscale Italian restaurant was downright celebratory.

The most prominent guest was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but his table also boasted a mix of high-powered conservatives, including some deep-pocketed donors. Among the elite were Federalist Society executive Leonard Leo, fundraiser and lawyer Ann Corkery, and California real estate magnate Robin Arkley II. “The big prize was to sit next to Scalia,” quipped one attendee at the soiree, adding that Arkley was one such lucky winner.

As it happened, the bash coincided with the birth of a new judicial advocacy outfit that Corkery was instrumental in launching, and Arkley in funding, according to conservative sources familiar with the events. The Judicial Confirmation Network (JCN), set up as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” group that doesn’t disclose its donors, would prove to be a crucial player in drumming up support for Bush Supreme Court nominees John Roberts Jr. and Samuel Alito Jr.—eventual allies for Scalia on the Court’s right flank……

The sharp rise in judicial election spending by JCN and other groups on both sides of the political aisle troubles some judicial candidates who have been targeted. “To the extent that judicial campaigns start looking like other campaigns, there’s a risk that judges will be perceived as having a political agenda,” Sam Ervin IV, a North Carolina Supreme Court justice, told The Daily Beast. Ervin, who was elected  in 2014 and is the grandson of the celebrated senator who led Congress’s investigation of the Watergate scandal, lost an earlier race in 2012 after a spending blitz by several outside groups totaling almost $2.6 million, much of it dark money including $75,000 from JCN. “The public is better served, in an environment where judges are elected, if they know the source of the funding for those campaigns,” Ervin, a Democrat, added……

To fill its own coffers, JCN has increasingly relied on funding—to the tune of nearly $4 million, according to IRS documents—from another non-disclosing group, the Wellspring Committee, that’s run by Corkery and was founded seven years ago with the help of conservative donors in the network led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Corkery’s entree to that rarefied network came via JCN supporter Arkley, an early attendee of their famed retreats. And Ann Corkery and her husband, Neil—who is JCN’s treasurer—are central figures in a cluster of other nonprofits, according to IRS documents.

Robin Arkley, the president and CEO of Security National Corp. who had tapped Corkery to be his political liaison and senior advisor, became a key underwriter of JCN’s operations, to the tune of the high six or low seven figures, sources say. The pair went to some of the early fundraising and policy retreats held by the Kochs—events that now draw a glittering cast of wealthy allies and conservative stars to raise millions for the brothers’ network of politically active groups. Arkley was also a financial backer of the Federalist Society. “Arkley helped put Ann in play” as a liaison to funding for advocacy groups on the right, said one conservative….

Though Corkery’s most direct Koch ties frayed after the ’08 elections and Arkley’s wallet took a hit in the financial crisis, according to sources and reports, Corkery mined other big donors she’d been courting for Wellspring, such as John Templeton Jr., a Pennsylvania philanthropist, and New York hedge fund mogul Paul Singer, conservative sources said.

Ultimately JCN looks poised to continue its role as a dark money juggernaut in 2016 in state and federal elections—both directly and via allied dark money and 527 conduits. If JCN’s recent history proves a guide, that means voters going to the polls in 2016 will remain largely uninformed about who’s writing the network’s big checks for ad and grassroots drives to help elect the highest judicial and legal officers in the states, and senators who may well have to approve nominees to fill future Supreme Court vacancies.

Robert Maguire of the Center for Responsive Politics contributed to this piece



Measure R failed, but there is still something you can do to help our local oppressed minimum wage workers.

Don’t shop on Thanksgiving Day and don’t shop at retailers that force their employees to work on this holiday!

attention 2

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and it makes me sick that this is happening. I’m not a big fan of Black Friday and our overheated consumer culture in general, but forcing hard-working American — many of whom make minimum wage — to miss Thanksgiving dinner! Are you kidding me??

Locally and Nationally Walmart, Kmart, Sears, Target, Kohl’s, Starbucks and other corporate retailers will force MILLIONS of workers to miss Thanksgiving dinner with their families and loved ones by opening on Thanksgiving morning and staying open straight through Black Friday. And the consequences if they don’t come in? “You will automatically be fired.”


Over the years, retail chains have opened earlier and earlier on “Black Friday” to help boost their profits. But last year, some retailers went to a whole new level and opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day! And this year, already a dozen retailers plan to be open, forcing more and more workers to miss precious moments with their children, parents, husbands, wives, siblings, and loved ones around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

This holiday is a time for us to share thanks for the ones we love, not help fill the pockets of corporate CEOs. And what’s going to stop more corporations from following suit if we don’t stand up and speak out?

Stand up for families and Thanksgiving, and demand that workers get the quality time they deserve on this important holiday.

Here’s the worst part: last year, retailers that opened on Thanksgiving didn’t even see a big increase in sales. And on top of that, most Americans opposed the idea and said they wouldn’t shop on Thanksgiving!

Over 17 other major retailers have rejected starting Black Friday on Thursday, and allow workers to stay home and enjoy time with their families!

Costco put it best “our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families.”

Demand greedy corporations follow the example of courageous retailers like Costco, Patagonia, REI, Barnes & Noble, Sur La Table, American Girl, Gamestop, Burlington, Dillard’s, DSW, Nordstrom, Patagonia, REI, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall’s by rejecting this disgusting new trend.

Vote with your money! Support our local retailers who stay closed on Thanksgiving!

Is John Fullerton a liar?


Accountant for the rich, oppressor of Eureka’s working poor

John Fullerton has made it very clear that he hated Eureka’s Measure R minimum wage increase. He said that an increase MUST BE county wide, not just for the city of Eureka.

Fullerton in his own words:

“[The Fair Wage Folks] probably meant well but they made this measure too radical,” he says. “I’m not opposed to a minimum wage [increase] at all — I think minimum wage should be increased. There are right ways and there are wrong ways. Measure R is a wrong way.”

In fact, John Fullerton has put forward a plan for raising the minimum wage in Humboldt:


Measure R (the minimum wage increase measure for Eureka) is a job killer and must be defeated. Some people said “you can’t just say no, what is your plan” So the following is my plan for an increase that won’t cost jobs or cause a serious and sudden disruption to Eureka’s economy.

1) My plan would be for the whole county and not discriminate against any one city.

2) There would be TWO rates. The lower one would be California’s mandated

rate of $9 per hour. Our lower rate would be for the following groups:

– Workers under 21. This will help them get their first job in life.

– Tipped employees like waiters & waitresses. They make more from their tips than they do from their hourly wages.

– People in their first six months on the job. This helps employers during new employees training period when they’re getting up to speed and are not as productive as they will be later.

3) The higher rate would be for everyone else. To give the local economy and employers time to adjust & minimize disruptions it would be phased in as follows;

$ 10 per hour on January 1st, 2015

$ 11 per hour on January 1st, 2016

$ 12 per hour on January 1st, 2017

4) My plan would give employers credit for their cost of providing health insurance and retirement plans. This will greatly encourage employers to offer those plans and wouldn’t that benefit everybody ?


Well, ol’ Johnny boy is backing away from his proposed plan….not unexpectedly.   This is latest statement as it appeared in the comment section of the the North Coast Journal:


“It is a shame that Grant Scott Go-Forth is so perplexed as to why Measure R failed so badly. The answer is obvious to at least 62% of Eurekans. Measure R was an extreme Measure written by extremists with no business world experience.”

“All the other large cities, counties & states that passed minimum wage increases passed responsible increases that are phased in over time & not limited to small cities. It could happen in Humboldt County but not if the Occupy Eureka crowd are in charge.”

“Note to James Decker, you can kiss off any chance of any similar measure passing countywide unless you step aside and let moderates take over.”


This is not a surprise to us. In fact, when push comes to shove, Linda Alexander, John Fullerton, Matthew Owen, and the rest of the No on R bunch are going to back off of their promises to support a county wide wage increase. Why, you ask? Because they totally lied to defeat Measure R and they definitely don’t want workers to get paid more.

So we’re calling you out Alexander, Owen and Fullerton! You successfully killed measure R and prevented a much needed lift for Eureka’s working poor.

So now it’s on you, we all know you own 4 Supervisors, get them to take action on your plan, or show yourself to be the LSOS’s we know you are.

11-4-14 Election; here’s what we think……..

vote by mail\

State Propositions:

Prop 1:  NO    (More thievery of Trinity River water)

Prop 2: NO    (Gov. Brown’s rainy day fund…problem is it’s still raining for most of us )

Prop 45: YES   (regulates health insurance companies by giving Insurance Commissioner power to veto excessive increases, similar to the current process for auto insurance rates)

Prop 46: NO   (Bad prop. supposed to deal with malpractice damages; but it screws doctors over)

Prop 47: NO  (We agree with the victimless crimes part of the Proposition (simple drug possession), but it goes way beyond that by reducing penalties for crimes with victims such as forgery, fraud and firearm theft)


Prop P: YES  (protect our organic farmers and our economic base) see our posts:

Measure Z: NO – see our post-

Measure Y: YES  (Jacoby Creek school bond)


Measure R: YES – see our posts:

Measure Q: NO  – see our posts:

Measure S: YES  (Eureka school bonds )


Eureka City Council:

5th Ward : Natalie Arroyo

3rd Ward : Kimberly Walford-Bergel


Arcata City Council:

Paul Pitino

Sofia Pereira

Juan Daniel Fernandez

Tax Measures and the hypocritical conservative double standard.

These signs recently appeared around the Fortuna area

These signs recently appeared in the Fortuna area

The Times-Standard recently featured a letter from the very conservative and Local Tea Party member Fred Nelson. In his letter, Fred rails against the potential sales tax increase for the county, Measure Z:

“Measure Z is a one half cent sales tax proposed by the Humboldt County for the purpose of maintaining and improving public safety and essential services. The impartial analysis of “Z” states that the sales tax is a general tax and the money can be used for “any legal governmental purpose.” Supposedly an “oversight committee” will be appointed. They have no authority and can only make suggestions.”

In his letter, he attacks Measure Z because of the lack of accountability and the failure of the County to take a hard look at the budget to make cuts in areas that could be cut. Those arguments are totally understandable and those are very valid questions.

The Examiner asks why these same misgivings the conservatives have don’t apply to Eureka’s Measure Q? However, this conservative Eureka resident wrote very little about Eureka’s sales tax extension, Measure Q: “Eureka wants to extend the 1 half-cent sales tax for another five years.”

Really? That’s all you and the local Tea Party have to say Fred? You won’t even comment on whether you support Measure Q. You don’t even comment that Measure Q has been handled in the exact same way that you fear Measure Z will be!   The Examiner isn’t surprised. Local conservatives, especially in Eureka, want to see Measure Q pass. The reason is simple…The Tea Party has one of it’s own, Chet Albin, on the inside, making sure the tax benefits them and their buddies. On top of that, it doesn’t hurt their bottom line because it is a regressive tax that disproportionately effects lower income residents. Local conservatives like the Zoo, support the Chamber of Commerce and Eureka Main Street, and really love having their developed properties given infrastructure at no cost to them (just the taxpayer).

The Eureka conservative mantra is pretty simple. Measure R wage increase…..NO. If we could pay you less now, we would! Measure Q……YES! Taxes are good when they are taken mostly from the poor and benefit the well off!

Humboldt County’s Measure Z which is constructed just like Eureka’s Measure Q. but they don’t like it.

Apparently they haven’t figured how they’ll make a buck off of it, yet.

“SHARING IN THE PROFITS” by Richard Salzman

First and foremost I root for my beloved 49ers.  I also root for the beleaguered Raiders (rookie QB Carr is coming into his own, as he showed us last Sunday in an ever-so-close loss to the first place Chargers), but after my loyalty to the home teams, I root for America’s Owned Team.  No, I’m NOT talking about Jimmy Jones’ Cowboys, whose marketing manager tried to convince folks they were “America’s Team”, I’m talking about the Green Bay Packers!  The only team owned by its fans, mostly the residents of Green Bay Wisconsin. The Packers are basically a co-op.  You see back in 1923 The Green Bay Packers was bought by the town itself.
But the wealthy “One Percenters” that owned the rest of the league’s teams thought that sounded like some sort of socialist dream and quickly made new rules outlawing any other communities from owning their own teams.  From then on, only private individuals, you know, other rich guys (and gals) could own an NFL franchise.
The real irony about the NFL is not that these Uber-Capitalist didn’t want “communities” to have a vote in how their for-profit league is run. The real irony is that amongst themselves they practice the ultimate form of socialism in that most team profits such as from TV broadcasting are put into a collective pot and divvied up equally among all of the team owners!  This is done in part so those in smaller media markets earn the same amount of profit as those in larger media markets.  Now that’s socialism!  This stands in stark contrast to most major league sports like MLB where teams like the New York Yankees make many times what a team like the Milwaukee Brewers make or are worth.
Now of our locally owned companies with 25 or more employees few have suggested that they should all be employee owned co-ops, though when Pacific Lumber was in receivership having been bankrupted by Texas financier Charles Hurwitz — pretty much as predicted 25 years earlier by Redwood Activists and then again by David Harris in the well written book, The Last Stand — there was talk of PL becoming employee owned, which would have been fantastic for local timber workers!
We did have a thriving co-op in our local Creamery until an unscrupulous CEO embezzled the profits from our local dairymen.  And of course we do have The Co-op grocery store that seems to do quite well and pays its workers considerably better then for, example  Eureka Natural Foods (one of the funders of the No on Measure R campaign).
The thing about the owners of our local successful businesses like Eureka Natural Foods is that a good


one of the funders of the No on Measure R campaign

many of them are rather progressive individuals with whom I’m often in agreement when it comes to other election issues or candidates, but who adamantly disagree with me on this particular ballot measure.  While these  business owners may not be billionaires like the owners of the NFL franchises, most of them are doing quite well. By example most all of them own more then just one piece of property. Many own a number of single family homes they then rent out as income property, as well as commercial properties and extensive stock portfolios.  Now no one is suggesting that they should pay all their employees enough to one day be able to buy a home of their own (though that is a nice thought), …but don’t you think it’s reasonable that they pay all of them enough to be able to just pay the RENT on one of the rental homes many of their bosses own?   It sure seems fair to me.

So vote yes on Measure R and let’s take a step in the right direction.
If you watched the recent PBS documentary on the Roosevelts you know that both Republican TR and Democrat FDR agreed that “We all do well, when we all do well”.
 Vote Yes on Measure R, and we’ll all do better, when we’re all doing better!



Richard Salzman represents applied artists from around the world who work as illustrators in the communicating arts.   Recent clients include, University of Toronto, Meredith Publishing and Blue Moon Beer. You can view their work at

yes on measure R

Owen and Fullerton are desperately trying to protect the Walton family from Measure R

One of the big local wage abusers, that are the focus of Measure R in Eureka, is Wal-Mart. Just read this Reuters story and just see how despicable this filthy rich Walton family is. These are the Oligarchs that Matthew Owen and John Fullerton are trying to protect in their scurrilous anti-R ad campaign. Funded with at least 10,000 in dark money.
This year Rob, Jim and Alice Walton are projected to receive an estimated $3.16 Billion dollars in dividends from their inherited shares of Wal-Mart.  If they were actually working for an hourly wage, that would work out to $1.5 million dollars an hour.  The average Wal-Mart employee earns $8.81 per hour.

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. private sector employer, said on Tuesday that its 1.3 million workers would have to pay more for healthcare and it would end benefits for some part-time staff in a move that could prompt other companies to follow suit.tycoon

The world’s largest retailer said it would raise health insurance premiums for its entire U.S. workforce beginning in January. In addition, Wal-Mart will end coverage for employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week, a change that will impact 2 percent of U.S. workers, or about 30,000 people.

The move comes as U.S. companies brace for a January 2015 deadline under the Affordable Care Act. Starting then, companies with 50 or more employees will have to offer health insurance to those working at least 30 hours a week, a mandate that has drawn criticism from some companies worried about higher costs. (Cutting into their massive profits)

Wal-Mart said the move would bring it in line with many of its competitors. Target Corp and Home Depot Inc recently announced cuts to benefits in light of the Affordable Care Act.

According to consulting firm Mercer, 62 percent of large retailers did not offer health-care benefits to part-time workers as of 2013, a comparatively high rate that reflects low wages and high turnover in the industry. That figure drops to 37 percent for companies overall.

Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones, said the decision by Wal-Mart could force other retailers to rethink what benefits they provide.

All retailers are “trying to cut expenses, to keep things lean,” Yarbrough said. “At some point you start looking across the board, and this is probably the next place to start looking at cuts.”

Some big retailers, such as coffee chain Starbucks Corp and Costco offer health coverage to part-time employees.

Critics of Wal-Mart’s decision said it would primarily hurt lower-income workers, many of whom are being left behind in the economic recovery.

“Taking away access to healthcare, even though many of my co-workers couldn’t afford it anyway, is just another example of Walmart manipulating the system to keep workers like me in a state of financial crisis,” Nancy Reynolds, a cashier at a Wal-Mart in Florida and member of Our Walmart, a group pushing for better wages and benefits, said in an email from the group.

Of Wal-Mart’s 1.3 million U.S. employees, the company said 1.2 million currently elect to be covered under the company’s health insurance plans.

The company said it was changing some eligibility terms for part-time employees working more than 30 hours a week, but did not provide details.

Full story here:–finance.html

And just to add more misery to the situation:

Hospitals ask patients to pay upfront:

Quit your bitchin’, you’re better off being poor….

matt and rex

OMG Rex! First they want more money, then they’ll actually want a say in how we run things! (photo NCJ)

At least according to folks that don’t have to worry about money!! Matthew Owen, “Home Mortgage Consultant” for Mega Bank Wells Fargo, is pretty clear on his position: Earning minimum wage is the best path for success. “Matthew in the Middle” recently trumpeted in a bunch of ads about how raising the minimum wage in Eureka (Measure R) would ruin the chances for poor people to better themselves. It’s amazing how folks who have plenty of money speak as if all it takes is “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. Somehow that’s the way to a better standard of living, even if you can’t pay your PG&E bill.

Matthew was right with part of his letter. Measure R will pass. Why? Because raising the minimum wage is needed and is the right thing to do. Corporate Big boxes like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Kohls, etc., etc., can easily afford to pay for this increase. Matthew was also right that this increase will probably be taken to court, and potentially ruled unenforceable. Why? Because Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Kohls, etc., etc., will pay Mega bucks for attorneys to fight this ordinance. Legal defense of the ordinance will be up to the “very competent” Eureka City Attorney (ug!). Who will fight for Measure R? No…It will come down to those “minimum wage” folks, who barely can afford a pot to piss in, to fight for the enforcement of this ordinance.

This ordinance may pass handily. Sadly and just as handily, rich power elite will ensure it is never enforced. We urge you to Vote for Measure R and at least send the message.

This Big Corporate money dominated Democracy is a bitch, isn’t it?

Who is challenging Mike Newman for the 3rd Ward Council seat?

sign for kim

Kim Bergel

Kim Bergel is a community activist running for Eureka City Council’s 3rd Ward. As a lifelong Eureka resident Kim has a commitment to our community and would like to build on the positive attributes of our city. She will take action to make changes for the future. Kim is especially interested in transportation safety.

Some of Kim’s accomplishments:

Member, and current chair, of the City’s Transportation Safety Commission. Kim has built an excellent working relationship with the City staff through her service on this Commission. During Kim’s time on the Commission many improvements have been made to promote transportation safety, including traffic calming measures around Washington School and the Zoo and traffic light installation near Winco.

Kim and Jeff

Kim with big supporter, former 3rd ward council member, Jeff Leonard

As a founder of Redwood Coast Montessori School, Kim worked tirelessly with other parents to fill a void left by funding cuts at Eureka City Schools to create a place for their children to go to school. The school has grown from 16 students at its founding in 2009, to its Fall 2014 enrollment of over 80. Kim also works as a paraprofessional at Redwood Coast Montessori.

Serves on the Post Partum Perinatal Mood Disorder Task Force. The task force takes action to reduce stigma for new mothers. Kim has conducted educational training on this important issue for professionals.

Kim is a Zoo volunteer, member of the Six Rivers Running Club and former president of the Redwood Coast Children’s Chorus.

Kim was educated in Eureka schools and pursues higher education at CR.

Kim’s role as a wife and mother of two moves her to be further involved in the improvement of our community as a Eureka City Councilmember.

Kim’s Plans:

New leadership and true representation are what we need to rejuvenate our community and make it safe and healthy. I believe we can refresh the sense of close-knit community I remember growing up here. Join me and let’s reignite the magic.

Kim’s work for the future:   Create a master plan for H and I streets

Advocate for proactive enforcement of our City’s laws

Require operators of sober living houses to have business licenses to reduce the impact of these activities  on Eureka

Expand transportation safety measures, like those near the Zoo

Create safety for all forms of transportation: feet, wheels…

Enable niche manufacturing

Improve quality of life to attract business

Connect Eureka waterfront trail to Arcata

Support the Sequoia Park/Zoo master plan

Continue to support development of Jefferson Community Center

Build on what’s working in our City


Kim’s background:

Eureka Transportation Safety Commission

Eureka Transportation Safety Commission

Fourth-generation Humboldt resident

Chair of Eureka Transportation Safety Commission

A founder of Redwood Coast Montessori School

Literacy advocate

Wife and mother of two

Avid runner and cyclist

Local organizations and community events Kim supports.

Friends of the Dunes

Jefferson Community Center

Redwood Coast Montessori

Volunteer Trail Stewards

Eureka Transportation Safety Commission

Postpartum Support International

The Alice Birney Ride For Reading

Peace Run

Six Rivers Running Club

Sequoia Park Zoo

Humboldt Trails Council

Discovery Museum

Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum


Support Kim donate Here:

kim and family

Excited about the Candidates! – The campaigns, well……..

vote by mail
It takes a lot of personal fortitude to step forward and run for public office. Even more difficult is running to unseat an incumbent. In Eureka you are required to live in a particular ward to run, but when you do you have to run in the entire City. Name recognition becomes key to your chances for success.
In this race for Eureka City Council you have two reasonably well known incumbent Candidates. So it’s even more important in this race for the challengers to differentiate themselves from the office holders. The only obvious difference so far is Natalie and Kim’s support for measure R.  But there are other areas we believe they can show their differences.  The East/West rail line and the public moneys that Newman and Albin have spoken about spending on the project would be one area to start with.  There are many other areas we know they would approach differently, but we haven’t heard much about them.

kim bergel


natalie arroyo 1


We hope it happens soon.  As an example, Chris Kerrigan ran a great race but he started late and peaked on election day. 15 years ago that would have been great. Not today, with increasing numbers of voters using mail-in ballots he lost heavily with the early voters. So even though he won at the polling places he lost the election.
We are supporting and pulling for the challengers Natalie Arroyo and Kim Bergel. We just hope their grassroots campaigns start catching fire and become a lot more vocal and visible very soon.  It’s hard to win against incumbents, even if the incumbents have been complete failures.  It’s even harder to beat incumbents if you’re not making it clear to the voters what you would be doing differently.