Investigative Journalist Barry R. Clausen
September 24, 2011
On November 3, 2008, Republican candidate for the CA 2nd Assembly District seat, Jim Nielsen appeared on KUBA Talk Radio in Yuba City, CA and stated that his attorneys had spoken with the California Attorney General’s staff and that the complaint against his domicile was a non-issue. During that show Nielsen also stated that the letter sent to a Valley Mirror reporter by the Secretary of State (SOS) was a form letter and that it had no credence.
However, an announcement from then Attorney General (now Governor) Jerry Brown’s office, stating that they found “Insufficient Evidence” to charge Nielsen was not made until December 19, 2008. When the announcement was made that they would not prosecute Nielsen for claiming a false domicile on official candidate and voter registration forms, the spokesperson from the former Attorney General's office, Christine Gasparac, said that “investigators spent the last several weeks conducting a full investigation into the allegations that Nielsen lived elsewhere when he voted and ran for office in District 2.”
of the allegations was overwhelming based upon documentation that was
available to the AG investigators at the time and would suggest that those
investigators were either incompetent or sloppy in their investigative
process. Even so, it appears remarkable that the Attorney General's office
told Jim Nielsen his residency was a “Non issue” over a month
before the AG’s staff actually investigated the matter.
A prior investigation of the charges against Nielsen had been completed by Secretary of State Debora Bowen’s Election Fraud Unit. In an October 21, 2008 letter sent to a Mirror reporter Bowen stated, “Our office has concluded its investigation against the subject referenced above [Jim Nielsen] and referred the case for prosecution to the office of the California Attorney General.” Since that letter her staff has verbally confirmed to the Mirror that he did not meet the requirements to run for the 2nd Assembly District. After requesting a copy of the investigation the Legislative and Constituent Affairs staffer from Bowen’s office stated in a July 6, 2011 letter to the Mirror that the request had been denied.
By his own admission, Nielsen acknowledged that Jerry Brown’s staff knew of the allegations of fraudulent activities against him prior to the election and the December 19th announcement by Brown’s staff that it had been decided to not prosecute Nielsen. It appears clear that the AG’s office gave Neilson a pass when they decided to drop a prosecution case in advance of investigating the charges substantiated by the Sectary of State’s Fraud Investigation Unit.
Prior to the 2008 election for the CA 2nd Assembly District seat, several individuals attempted to expose what they believed to be voter fraud perpetrated by Jim Nielsen. Following that election, they were joined by many others from Tehama County and from other areas within the 2nd Assembly District. Tehama County Prosecutor Gregg Cohen was approached and requests were made for him to pursue an investigation into Nielsen’s questionable election ethics. To date, Cohen has consistently turned a deaf ear to their requests and has remained mute on this issue.
It should be noted that when Nielsen first registered to run for the 2nd Assembly seat by registering in Tehama County, it was Tehama County Prosecutor Gregg Cohen’s responsibility to investigate the first complaints of Jim Nielsen’s alleged violation(s) of state election law. However, when asked why he did nothing in the face of citizen’s complaints his response to the Mirror was, “I can’t, I endorsed him.”
Dave Hencratt, Tehama County Sheriff was also called upon to investigate the issue with Nielsen. It has become unclear whether he did order such an investigation or not. A request for any documents he had/has relative to Nelsen’s actions was submitted. The Sheriff declined to disclose any information he may or may not possess on this matter in a letter from his office dated June 28, 2011.
Months ago this group of citizens thought they would try another avenue when they submitted numerous requests to investigate the Nielsen issue with the Tehama County Grand Jury. However, this has proven to be yet another dead end. Recently, the grand jury released its report and as has been the case in the past dismissed the matter without a full investigation. Numerous individuals had requested to testify before the Grand Jury in regard to this issue. Yet again the Grand Jury did nothing and, in fact, they even failed to answer all of the mail they received from citizens who reside in the 2nd Assembly District those includes Tehama County residents. What happened with the Tehama Grand Jury offers another interesting twist in this story.
Following the suicide of the former 2010/2011 Tehama County Grand Jury Foreman, Richard Sol was appointed the new jury chair. “Who is Richard Sol?” Sol is none other than Jim Nielsen’s acquaintance and lives immediately next door to the east side of Nielsen on Pomona Avenue in Gerber.
During an interview on July 13, 2011, Grand Jury Foreman Richard J. Sol told the Mirror that he had recused himself from the portion of the Grand Jury investigation on Nielsen because he was/is Nielsen’s next door neighbor. Sol also told the Mirror that he did not believe that the Grand Jury had seen a copy of the Secretary of State’s investigation.
Sol explained that the Grand Jury had followed all the instructions they had received in a class taught by the California Grand Jury Association. In addition to the Grand Jury instructions Sol told the Mirror that the Grand Jury also followed instructions given to them by Tehama County counsel William Murphy. According to Sol, Judge Garaventa was in charge of the oversight of the Grand Jury.
When questioned as to why the letters of numerous citizens had gone unanswered by the Tehama County Grand Jury, Sol stated that soon after the suicide of the former Grand Jury Foreman, it was discovered that all of the letters and other documents that had come to the Grand Jury prior to his death, were kept in a box at his home.
Therefore, Sol explained that being the new Foreperson, he was not clear as to which of the letters inside the box had been answered and which had not. He stated that he was told that the Grand Jury secretary had “typed everything up” for the former Foreman and so he (Sol) assumed that all letters had been responded to. There appears to have been no malice on the part of the Grand Jury, just gross misunderstanding.
Another important point involving the investigation(s) and finding(s) of the 2010/2011 Grand Jury is that it was the habit of the former Foreman to take letters requesting inquiry by that body to Tehama County Counsel William Murphy and ask his opinion of the validity of the complaint or the necessity to investigate the matter. According to Sol, and in hind-site, he surmised that, County Counsel Murphy reviewed letters from the public and it was he (Murphy) who decided if the letters were acceptable for the Grand Jury to evaluate. Then the former Grand Jury Forman would report back to the general membership of the Grand Jury at their monthly meetings and announce whether further action on those complaints was required based upon Murphy’s recommendations.
According to Sol, County Counsel William Murphy told the Grand Jury with regard to Nielsen’s residency that, “If he says he lives there then he does.” Reflecting on the issue of an investigation into Nielsen, Sol stated, “If we had been given a green light to investigate Nielsen then they would have pursued it.” He also said that. Judge Garaventa told the Grand Jury that they could not investigate a state employee.
Mr. Sol remembers that “Three came in a state car. They went over there (Nielsen’s Gerber property) early one morning and had looked around for a while. No one was there, so they came over here (to my home) and asked for an interview.” Sol stated that later one investigator and two staff attorneys from the CA Attorney General’s office had told him that as far as they were concerned the Nielsen investigation was closed. Once again, were the AG’s staff incompetent and unable or unwilling to process the evidence in front of them or is the Nielsen issue a deliberate cover-up at the state level?
Among those attempting to expose the truth about Nielsen’s alleged fraud is Charlie Schaupp of Esparto, CA. and two others; John Martinez of Etna, CA and Peter Stiglich of Cottonwood, CA. All three had also run for the 2nd Assembly seat against Nielsen. However, unlike Nielsen, all three actually live in the 2nd Assembly District.
When asked about the Grand Jury’s decision Schaupp said, "I continue to be disheartened by this situation. Rather than enforce our election laws, both the Tehama DA and Governor Brown, the former Attorney General would rather cover-up their inaction when the law was clearly violated by Nielsen. Now, this latest turn of events casts a shadow on the Tehama Grand Jury process. I doubt the Tehama Grand Jury even knew about or considered the 'for prosecution' investigation by the Secretary of State."
Schaupp also said, "If it is true that the Tehama Grand Jury Foreman said the Jury never had all the facts because they may have misplaced the complaints, we will certainly resubmit a new complaint with all the lost or misplaced information to the 2011/2012 Grand Jury.” Schaupp continued, “Additionally, I think the citizens of Tehama County should be asking why the District Attorney, County Counsel and the Judge that seats the Grand Jury are so incompetent and have such influence with the Grand Jury process."
‘Colonel Pete’ Stiglich stated in an email, “I will support any effort to secure all publicly available information related to this matter. Only through transparency and access to all the facts can this matter ever be resolved.”
John Martinez added to the discussion by stating, "Nielsen's residency is a secondary issue. One government jurisdiction after the other concealing criminal activities is now the story. This should prove interesting for District Attorney Cohen if a Federal Grand Jury is convened."
Why is this issue even worth pursuing? Aside from breaking the law, if it is found that Nielsen was in fact not a resident within the 2nd Assembly District, then the per diem he collected based on a home he does not live in Gerber should be returned to the state of California. And now it appears that Jim’s wife, Marilyn Nielsen, may also have per diem issues.
Assemblyman Nielsen’s website states he “lives in Gerber with his wife, Marilyn, who is currently serving as the Acting Director of the California Arts Council…” The California Arts Council website states that Marilyn is currently serving as the Council’s Interim/Deputy Director. According to the press secretary for the Arts Council, Marilyn’s salary is $7,139 per month or $85,668.00 per year plus per diem for her travels. Not bad for a Tehama County resident whose next door neighbor at the Gerber location has asserted that, “I saw his wife there once but I never met her.” Such an eye-witness account certainly begs the question of her residency as well.
Others interviewed by the Mirror confirmed what they say they relayed to the AG’s staff, which was that “Nielsen showed up at the trailer sometimes” and that,” there were never any lights on (at the Nielsen’s) at night.” You might get away with no one seeing you at home if you live in a city landscape but the Gerber double-wide is out on a country road where the comings and goings of area residents is easily noted by neighbors.
Debra Bowen, CA Secretary of State (SOS), Governor Jerry Brown and current Attorney General Kamala Harris have all been contacted by citizens looking for a formal investigation to be conducted on facts in evidence and even with the preponderance of available evidence, it appears clear that former Attorney General Jerry Brown and/or his staff covered for Nielsen by stating there was insufficient evidence to charge the man with any crimes.
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Current AG Kamala Harris is so far proving to be no more motivated to ferret out the truth than her predecessor had been. In the face of all the undisputable evidence to show fraud, Harris also refuses to investigate Nielsen’s alleged fraudulent activities or to investigate, Governor Brown for his failure to follow California State laws when he was the Attorney General.
Attempted contacts with the offices of Brown, Bowen and Harris have to date have gone unanswered. Attempts to obtain an interview with Marilyn Nielsen concerning her residence have been met with silence.
� 2011 Barry R. Clausen - All Rights Reserved
Mr. Clausen has been a guest on over 250 U.S. and Canadian radio talk shows and TV news shows including ABC, CBS, NBC and repeatedly on FOX News. He has been featured or quoted in over 800 books, magazines and news articles including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Vancouver Province, Canada’s B.C. Report, New York Times, Newsday, Seattle Times, Oregonian, Sacramento Bee, Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News and a lengthy article beginning on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Clausen’s information has been translated and used by publications in many foreign countries including Japan, Ireland, England, Turkey, Germany, France and Chile. In 1994, a film crew from Danish TV-2 flew to Seattle to interview Mr. Clausen for a television documentary about international and U.S. extremist organizations. The documentary, A MAN IN THE RAINBOW, was subsequently aired in several European countries.
His latest book "Burning Rage - The Growing Anger Within My Country," covers Clausen's personal experiences within the American judicial system, as well as his investigations into the activities of environmental / animal rights terrorists and extremists. Burning Rage is a behind the scenes look at the dark underworld of government cover-ups, the Unabomber, and radical environmentalism. Clausen is a 'human backhoe' - constantly digging for the truth. What he finds is not always pleasant, but sometimes the truth hurts.