1) The final tallies were:

YES on Measure T 18705 votes 54.60%
NO on Measure T 15553 votes 45.40%




Section 1. Name.
The name of this Ordinance shall be the "Humboldt County Ordinance to
Protect Our Right to Fair Elections & Local Democracy."

Section 2. Authority.
This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the authority
guaranteed to the people of Humboldt County by all relevant state and
federal Constitutions and laws, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) The California Constitution, Article I, Section 1, which states: “All people
are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among
these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing,
and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and

(b) The California Constitution, Article II, Section 1, which states: “All
political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their
protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it
when the public good may require.”

(c) The people’s historical memory of Article XII, Section 8, found in the
California Constitution for almost a century, from 1879 to 1972, which
stated: “...the exercise of the police power of the State shall never be so
abridged or construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in
such a manner as to infringe the rights of individuals or the general well-
being of the state.”

(d) The United States Constitution, and the 9th Amendment to the United
States Constitution, which recognize and secure the fundamental and inalienable right of people to govern themselves.

Section 3. Findings and General Purpose.
1) In a Democratic Republic all legitimate political power is held by the
people, and government exercises just power only with the consent of the
governed. The people create their government for their protection and
benefit, and retain their right to alter their government whenever they deem
the public good requires it.

2) Only natural persons possess civil and political rights. Corporations are
creations of state law and possess no legitimate civil or political rights.

3) Courts have illegitimately defined corporations as "persons," allegedly
vesting corporations with constitutional protections and rights. The
unconstitutional doctrines of “corporate personhood” and “corporate
constitutional rights” illegitimately deny the people of Humboldt County the
ability to exercise our fundamental political rights.

4) Corporate contributions in electoral politics interfere with the right of the
people to create and maintain the institutions needed for democratic self-

5) The people of Humboldt County make the affirmative legislative finding
that corporate contributions in elections are imminently undermining our
democratic processes, and are denigrating rather than protecting First
Amendment interests.

6) The people of Humboldt County make the affirmative legislative finding
that corporate contributions in elections pose a genuine threat to the
confidence of the citizenry of Humboldt County in our government.

7) The people of Humboldt County make the affirmative legislative finding
that non-local corporate contributions are undermining our democratic
processes, creating the appearance of impropriety and corruption, and are
causing the people of Humboldt County to lose confidence in the integrity
of our elections and in our government.

8) Corporations whose owners and employees reside in our local
community are more accountable to the people who live here. People who
do not live in Humboldt County should not be allowed to use their positions
of corporate control and ownership to influence or undermine local
elections through their corporate financial resources. This outside influence
is unfair and undemocratic, and it is causing the people of Humboldt
County to lose confidence in the integrity of our elections and in our

Section 4. Specific Purpose.
The specific purpose of this Ordinance is to prohibit non-local corporations
from making direct or indirect contributions and independent expenditures
in all elections within the jurisdiction of Humboldt County, including
candidate campaigns, initiatives, referendums and recalls.

Section 5. Prohibitions.
Non-local corporations shall be prohibited from paying or contributing,
directly or indirectly, any money, property, compensated service of its
officers or employees, independent expenditures, or any other thing of
value for the purpose of:

a) Promoting or defeating the candidacy of any person for nomination,
appointment or election to any political office within the jurisdiction of
Humboldt County; or

b) Promoting or defeating any initiative, referendum or recall election within
the jurisdiction of Humboldt County, California.

Section 6. Statement of Law.
The Prohibitions in Section Five shall not apply to any election in which the
jurisdiction includes counties other than Humboldt County, California.

Statement 7. Statement of Law.
The Prohibitions in Section Five shall apply to all municipalities, districts
and special districts in which the jurisdictions are located wholly within the
geographical boundaries of Humboldt County, California.

Section 8. Statement of Law.
No corporation shall be entitled to claim corporate constitutional rights or
protections in an effort to overturn this law.

Section 9. Statement of Law.
Nothing in this Ordinance prevents individual corporate employees,
trustees, directors, or shareholders from voluntarily and without coercion by
the corporation contributing their own personal money or uncompensated
services in elections to the extent allowed under state and federal
campaign finance laws.

Section 10. Exemptions.
1) Local corporations shall be specifically exempted from the prohibitions in
Section Five of this Ordinance.

2) Local labor organizations shall be specifically exempted from the
prohibitions in Section Five of this Ordinance.

3) Local nonprofit organizations shall be specifically exempted from the
prohibitions in Section Five of this Ordinance.

Section 11. Definitions.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and phrases in this
Ordinance shall have the following meaning:

CORPORATION: An organization incorporated under the laws of the State
of California or holding a Certificate of Authority to do Business within the
State of California; or an organization incorporated under the laws of any
state in the United States; also includes limited liability partnerships and
limited liability companies; also includes organizations operating as
nonprofits as defined by the Internal Revenue Service Code and
Regulations, with the exception of political parties.

LOCAL CORPORATION: A corporation in which all employees reside in
Humboldt County, and has its primary place of business in Humboldt
County, and has its corporate headquarters located in Humboldt County,
and all shares of stock (if any) are owned by individuals residing in
Humboldt County, and no portion of the corporation is owned by another

LOCAL LABOR ORGANIZATION: A labor organization as defined by the
National Labor Relations Act in which at least one member resides in
Humboldt County. Also includes labor unions and trade unions with at least
one member who resides in Humboldt County.

LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION: An organization classified as a
nonprofit organization under Internal Revenue Service Code and
Regulations in which all members of the board of directors reside in
Humboldt County.

NON-LOCAL CORPORATION: Any corporation or organization that does
not meet the above definition of “Local Corporation” or “Local Labor
Organization” or “Local Nonprofit Organization.”

PERSON or PEOPLE: Human beings.

Section 12. Enforcement.
Any non-local corporation found to have contributed directly or indirectly
any money, property, compensated service of its officers or employees,
independent expenditures, or any other thing of value to political
campaigns, initiatives, referendums shall pay to the County of Humboldt
ten (10) times the amount the corporation inappropriately contributed.

If any non-local corporation is found to have contributed (directly or
indirectly) more than $25,000 to any political campaigns, initiatives or
referendums in violation of this Ordinance, the Humboldt County District
Attorney shall petition the California Attorney General to:

a) Initiate a charter revocation proceeding against the corporation if the
corporation is chartered in California, or

b) Initiate a proceeding to revoke the corporation’s Certificate of Authority
to do Business in California if the corporation is not chartered in California.

Any violation of this Ordinance shall give rise to a mandatory duty on the
part of the District Attorney to enforce this Ordinance. If the District Attorney
fails to bring an action to enforce this Ordinance, any natural person residing in Humboldt shall have standing before the Court for enforcement
as described in Section 13.

Section 13. Citizen Suits.
This Ordinance creates and vests in every citizen of Humboldt County the
right to sue to compel compliance with this Ordinance. All actions shall be
brought in the Superior Court of California, County of Humboldt.

Citizen-Plaintiffs shall notify the District Attorney in writing of their intent to
sue, and the District Attorney shall have fourteen (14) days following
receipt of the notice to initiate an action to enforce the provisions of this
Ordinance. Action by the District Attorney following that notice shall
supplant the ability to file a citizen suit, but if the District Attorney does not
diligently pursue the litigation, the right of the Citizen-Plaintiffs to initiate a
suit shall not be impaired.

Section 14. Severability.
The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any section or provision
of this Ordinance is determined to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by a
court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect or
invalidate any of the remaining sections or provisions of this Ordinance. It is
the express intent of the people of Humboldt County, California that this
Ordinance would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid, or
unconstitutional section or provision had not been included.

Section 15. Effective Date.
This Ordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days after adoption by the

Section 16. Interpretation.
In the event this Ordinance requires interpretation (by courts, county
officials, or anyone else), it is the express intent of the people of Humboldt
County that this Ordinance be construed in such a manner to carry out the
original intent of this Initiative, which is to eliminate non-local corporate
influence from the Humboldt County electoral process.


3) * * * Citizens 1, Corporations 0 * * *

By John Nichols, The Nation, June 6, 2006

In states across the country Tuesday, primary elections named candidates
for Congress, governorships and other important offices. But the most
interesting, and perhaps significant, election did not involve an
individual. Rather, it was about an idea.

In Northern California's Humboldt County, voters decided by a 55-45
margin that corporations do not have the same rights -- based on the
supposed "personhood" of the combines -- as citizens when it comes to
participating in local political campaigns.

Until Tuesday in Humboldt County, corporations were able to claim
citizenship rights, as they do elsewhere in the United States. In the
context of electoral politics, corporations that were not headquartered
in the county took advantage of the same rules that allowed individuals
who are not residents to make campaign contributions in order to
influence local campaigns.

But, with the passage of Measure T, an initiative referendum that was
placed on the ballot by Humboldt County residents, voters have signaled
that they want out-of-town corporations barred from meddling in local

Measure T was backed by the county's Green and Democratic parties, as
well as labor unions and many elected officials in a region where
politics are so progressive that the Greens -- whose 2004 presidential
candidate, David Cobb, is a resident of the county and a active promotor
of the challenges to corporate power mounted by Democracy Unlimited of
Humboldt County and the national Liberty Tree Foundation -- are a major
force in local politics.

The "Yes on T" campaign was rooted in regard for the American
experiment, from its slogan "Vote Yes for Local Control of Our
Democracy," to the references to Tuesday's election as a modern-day
"Boston Tea Party," to the quote from Thomas Jefferson that was
highlighted in election materials: "I hope we shall crush in its birth
the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to
challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the
laws of our country."

Just as Jefferson and his contemporaries were angered by dominance of
the affairs of the American colonies by King George III and the British
business combines that exploited the natural and human resources of what
would become the United States, so Humboldt County residents were
angered by the attempts of outside corporate interests to dominate local

Wal-Mart spent $250,000 on a 1999 attempt to change the city of Eureka's
zoning laws in order to clear the way for one of the retail giant's
big-box stores. Five years later, MAXXAM Inc., a forest products
company, got upset with the efforts of local District Attorney Paul
Gallegos to enforce regulations on its operations in the county and
spent $300,000 on a faked-up campaign to recall him from office. The
same year saw outside corporations that were interested in exploiting
the county's abundant natural resources meddling in its local election

That was the last straw for a lot of Humboldt County residents. They
organized to put Measure T on the ballot, declaring, "Our Founding
Fathers never intended corporations to have this kind of power."

"Every person has the right to sign petition recalls and to contribute
money to political campaigns. Measure T will not affect these individual
rights," explained Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a resident of Eureka who was
one of the leaders of the Yes on T campaign. "But individuals hold these
political rights by virtue of their status as humans in a democracy and,
simply put, a corporation is not a person."

Despite the logic of that assessment, the electoral battle in Humboldt
County was a heated one, and Measure T's passage will not end it. Now,
the corporate campaign will move to the courts. So this is only a start.
But what a monumental start it is!

Sopoci-Belknap was absolutely right when she portrayed Tuesday's vote as
nothing less than the beginning of "the process of reclaiming our
county" from the "tyranny" of concentrated economic and political power.

Surely Tom Paine would have agreed. It was Paine who suggested to the
revolutionaries of 1776, as they dared challenge the most powerful
empire on the planet, that: "We have it in our power to begin the world
over again. A situation similar to the present hath not happened since
the days of Noah until now. The birthday of the new world is at hand,
and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to
receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months."

It is time to renew the American experiment, to rebuild its battered
institutions on the solid foundation of empowered citizens and regulated
corporations. Let us hope that the spirit of '76 prevailed Tuesday in
Humboldt County will spread until that day when American democracy is
guided by the will of the people rather than the campaign contribution
checks of the corporations that are the rampaging "empires" of our age.

* Find out more about Measure T and support Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County's ongoing work - www.DUHC.org