UPDATE, June 2:

After this post was published, both auditor-controller candidates submitted their 460s, and the Outpost received an email from Tyler Kearns, one of the men behind the Committee to Support Kamada for District Attorney, offering an explanation for the fling delays.

First, the A-C candidates. We gave you challenger Cheryl Dillingham’s numbers yesterday (see below). Incumbent Karen Paz Dominguez’s paperwork shows that her campaign raised $1,315 during the most recent reporting period, bringing her fundraising total to $10,268, including a $2,451 loan from herself and a $2,445 loan from her husband, Fernando Paz. All but $166 of her fundraising total has been spent. (As with yesterday’s report, we’re rounding to the nearest dollar.)

Paz Dominguez’s largest donations from this period were a $500 contribution from Bruce Will of Hydesville and a $258 offering from Gregory Conners of Loleta.

As for the Committee to Support Kamada for District Attorney, treasurer Tyler Kearns said in an email that he and Nick Abrahamsen are indeed high school friends of the candidate. 

“When we heard Mr. Kamada was running, we set out to help promote his candidacy for Humboldt DA,” Kearns wrote. “We believe in his vision, his strong legal skills and experience and the need for a different direction in the head legal office and system of Humboldt County.”

Attached to the email was a pdf file showing that Kearns and Abrahamsen first submitted paperwork in February, when the IRS issued the committee an employer identification number. That’s also when the duo submitted a Form 410, aka a Statement of Organization to establish a recipient committee.

Also attached was a Notice of Rejection form from the Secretary of State Office, dated May 2, returning the Form 410 due to multiple errors. Kearns and Abrahamsen later resubmitted the paperwork, and the state rejected it again, prompting a third submittal.

Kearns explained, “I wanted to send you proof that the process was taken in good faith and timely to do this all correctly.” 


Original post:

Local candidates for the June 7 primary election.


It’s almost Election Day! There’s less than a week left to cast your ballot, for you procrastinators out there, and in month since our last campaign finance update, contributions have continued to roll in, albeit more for some candidates than others.

Last Thursday was the second and final pre-election deadline for candidates and committees to submit their campaign contribution reports, called Form 460 in California, and not everyone made the deadline. 

For example, the Committee to Support Kamada for District Attorney, a political action committee that purchased ads on prominent local billboards, has yet to submit any campaign finance disclosure forms whatsoever. 

These billboards — and the lack of transparency behind their financing — have provided campaign fodder to supporters of Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads, Kamada’s most prominent fellow challenger in the DA race. At candidate forums, Kamada has sought to distance himself from the roadside advertisements, saying they were purchased by an independent committee comprised of some high school friends and that, by law, he can’t cooperate with them.

When the Outpost first looked into the matter early last month, Kamada gave us names and contact info for two of the high school buddies behind the committee, Nick Abrahamsen and Tyler Kearns. Reached by phone, the former said he was not the committee’s treasurer, adding, “I’m not sure who to point you to on that.”

When we reached Kearns by phone, he said Abrahamsen is the treasurer. Told that Abrahamsen had denied as much, Kearns responded, “Oh, then I’m the treasurer.” 

He said this is the first time he’s gotten involved in political campaign financing and didn’t realize they’d missed the April 28 filing deadline. In a May 9 text, Kearns said the committee spent $13,100 on ads to be displayed through June 9, adding the he would send detailed payment info to the Outpost the following morning. He failed to do so and did not respond to a pair of voicemails left in the following days.

We left him another voicemail this morning and Kearns responded via text, saying he’d call around 1 p.m. As of the time of this post’s publication he had not called.

Candidates for District Attorney (from left): Deputy Public Defender Adrian Kamada, Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads and local attorney Michael Acosta.


As for the DA candidates themselves, Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads maintained her fundraising lead over Kamada and Acosta (the latter of whom is not doing any fundraising). Her campaign brought in another $18,451 this reporting period, bringing her total to $60,501. As of May 26, $5,491 of that remained unspent.

Eads’s top donor to date is herself. She chipped in $500 last month, bringing her self-financing total up to $4,700. Other top donors, following this latest reporting window, include George and Mary Schmidbauer, who gave $1,500 apiece, fellow deputy DAs Roger Rees and Whitney Timm, who’ve contributed $1,499 and $1,599 respectively, attorney Kathleen Bryson, who’s given $1,599 and Loleta retiree Lorin Flyer, with $1,600.

Kamada’s campaign brought in a bit over $7,000 this last reporting period, bringing his total to $41,983. He donated $999 himself and has collected $3,300 ($2,500 this period) from Amy Hunt, an attorney with the Mitchell Law Firm. He also got a $1,500 donation from San Francisco attorney Jennie Stepanian.

Incumbent Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez and challenger Cheryl Dillingham.


Who else missed May 26 deadline? Well, both candidates for Humboldt County Auditor Controller. Challenger Cheryl Dillingham told the Outpost, “We are new to the campaign process and totally missed this deadline. Will have the report filed soon.”

Incumbent Karen Paz Dominguez said via text, “This one’s on me. I got really sick and fell behind on my campaign. Focused on work and lawsuit.”

As of the prior reporting period, Dillingham’s campaign had raised $32,022, including a $12,000 from the candidate herself, while Paz Dominguez’s campaign had brought in $8,953.

Around 3 p.m., Dillingham forwarded photos of her latest 460. It shows that her campaign raised another $5,549 this period, bringing her total up to $37,571. Her campaign’s ending cash balance is just over $9,600, leaving plenty for any last-minute spending.

Top donors to the Dillingham campaign this last period:

  • $1,500 from the Humboldt Deputy Sheriff Organization PAC
  • $1,500 from the AFSCME Local #1684 PAC
  • $500 from Craig Hansen (Eureka)
  • $500 from Nitai Patak (Cerritos)
  • $500 from Michael Winkler (Arcata)

Judge candidates Ben McLaughlin (left) and Steven Steward.


Judge candidate Ben McLaughlin also missed the May 26 deadline, and he missed the April 28 one, too. When we first asked him about it via email on May 19 he acknowledged missing it and said he was stressed about that fact. He later said a variety of issues, including some tragedies among friends, contributed to the blown deadline.

“I think it just dropped off folk’s radars,” he said in a May 24 email. “Nothing nefarious.”

When we called McLaughlin on Tuesday to ask about the latest missed deadline he returned the call a couple hours later, thanking us, saying we’d lit a fire under his ass, and explaining that he had sinceuploaded the required information to the Secretary of State’s website.

According to that data, McLaughlin’s campaign brought in $47,427 thus far, including $7,451 from himself and a $34,000 loan from his mother, Milbrey McLaughlin. He also got a $1,200 donation from local attorney Brad Floyd and another $1,200 donation from former Palo Alto mayor Larry Klein. As of May 26, his campaign coffers still had nearly $11,000 in unspent funds.

Steward’s campaign, meanwhile, has raised $37,424 with $2,473 left in unspent funds. His top donations include $5,000 from Arcata resident Tauheed Ahmed, another $5,000 from Maryland resident Marc Korman,n $3,025 from Dian Steward, $3,000 from Richard Amromin of Altadena, $1,000 from the AFSCME LOCAL #1684 PAC and $999 from the Humboldt Democratic Central Committee.

Candidates for Fourth District Humboldt County Supervisor (from left): Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel and Mike Newman.


In the race to become Humboldt County’s next Fourth District supervisor, conservative-leaning contender Mike Newman continues to be the fundraising leader. With another $8.910 this period, plus a non-monetary adjustment from the previous period, the Newman campaign total comes to $70,784, of which a whopping $29,875 remains unspent. That should come in handy in the event of a November runoff.

Newman’s top donations this time around were as follows:

  • $1,500 from Brian Pritchard, president of Sequoia Specialties Construction
  • $1,500 from Schmidbauer Lumber
  • $971 from Modd Awwad, Victoria Place Dental Center, and 
  • $798 from Fifth District candidate Larry Doss

Natalie Arroyo’s campaign, meanwhile, picked up some fiscal steam, bringing in $11,950 this period for a total campaign kitty of $44,381. She has spent all but $3,252 of that. Here are her campaign’s top donors from the latest reporting window:

  • $1,500 from AFSCME Local #1684 PAC
  • $1,500 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Sacramento
  • $1,500 from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 PAC
  • $1,500 from William Pierson
  • $1,500 from Carlos Quintero (Modesto)
  • $999 from the Humboldt Democratic Central Committee

Kim Bergel trails in the campaign fundraising effort, having brought in $2,237 this period for a total of $9,585 with $1,702 unspent. Top donors include $500 apiece from John Bergel and All About the Animals, LLC.

Candidates for Fifth District Supervisor (from left): incumbent Steve Madrone and challenger Larry Doss.


Real estate agent Larry Doss has raised more money this election cycle than any other candidate for any local office. The Fifth District supervisor candidate has brought in a whopping $116,926 for his campaign thus far, with $54,203 of that unspent through May 26.

Doss’s biggest donors this filing period were George and Mary Schmidbauer, who chipped in the max amount of $1,500 apiece.

Incumbent Steve Madrone’s campaign had a big month, bringing in $22,273 for a total of $66,503. Of that, $12,862 was unspent through last Thursday. Madrone’s top donations:

  • $1,500 from AFSCME Local #1684 PAC
  • $1,000 from the Yurok Tribe
  • $1,250 ($250 this period) from Vaughn Hutchins (Blue Lake)
  • $1,100 ($600 this period) from James Cotton (Arcata)
  • $820 from Gloria Speigle (Trinidad)

Candidates for Humboldt County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters (from left): Juan Pablo Cervantes, Tiffany Hunt Nielsen and Benjamin Hershberger.


Last but not least, the three-way race to become the county’s next clerk-recorder/registrar of voters.

Tiffany Hunt Nielsen, who works in the clerk’s office, has raised the most thus far, bringing in $3,550 this period for a grand total of $29,958. Of that, $5,652 remained unspent through last Thursday. Nielsen’s top donations this time around were $1,500 from Chalk Mtn. Ranch, LLC, in Bridgeville and $800 from Jack Rieke, owner of Shafer’s Ace Hardware.

Juan Pablo Cervantes’s campaign raised $4,491 this period, bringing his total to $18,489, of which $1,011 remains unspent. He is his campaign’s own top donor, having given himself $3,000 thus far. He also landed a $1,500 last month from AFSCME Local #1684 PAC.

Benjamin Hershberger’s campaign didn’t raise any money this last period. His tally to date stands at $8,080, more than a quarter of which ($2,203) came from himself with another $1,130 from donor Will Wright.