HAF Board Member also the leader of political group True North Organizing Network?

Wow, THC fans! We really dropped the ball on this one.

Do you remember a few weeks back when we reported (via the highly skilled sleuthing of a certain Mr. John Chiv) that Patrick Cleary’s favorite political branch of the pseudo-philanthropic Humboldt Area Foundation, True North Organizing Network, got a new Director?

Yep, and the name of True North’s new Director is Terry Supahan, a former Karuk Tribe Councilman and the Hoopa Planning department. In our initial report, we speculated that Supahan replaced Cleary’s formerly favorite political pet Renee Saucedo in order to give more legitimacy to the (admittedly kind-of-legit seeming) work that True North does within Humboldt and Trinity’s tribal communities.

Which, hey, is all good for Supahan and our local tribes. Obviously, THC still has our reservations about the dubious and politically motivated work that True North does.

But, while we were recently going through some of the HAF financials and past donor yearbooks, we saw something that completely floored us:

HAFboardHow the hell does HAF think it’s okay for someone to simultaneously hold a position on the Board of Directors and also be an employee of the organization? Seriously, who could possibly come to that conclusion?

Unfortunately, we didn’t get an answer when we called over to HAF headquarters for clarification on just what was going on with this. Don’t worry – we’ll keep trying tomorrow, too. But seeing as how there’s been no statement from HAF regarding the resignation of any of its’ Board members, well, it’s a bit troubling. We do know that Supahan was still listed and pictured on HAF’s most recent donor yearbook.

And while we are on the subject of the yearbook, here’s a picture of the HAF staff:hafstffWhich, you may notice, is significantly below the 31 employees that Cleary claimed in his recent stint on Bryan Papstein’s Talk Shop radio show. So, the question is: exactly who does work for HAF, and what are they doing? The above pictured people seem nice, and THC is sure they are (except Jen Rice). Heck, we even know a couple of them. But it sure seems odd that so many are left out of the HAF yearbook but included in Cleary’s discussion on Talk Shop.

Another question that pops to mind, for example, is whether Cleary considers the people working for True North to be employees of HAF, and where their source of income is generated from. We’re hoping that we will be able to get in touch with someone at HAF when we try again tomorrow to answer these questions for us – but if not, we have an idea

Anyway, in the (hopeful) event that HAF wasn’t quite so stupid, and at the very least had Mr. Supahan resign from the Board prior to giving him the job spearheading True North’s “non-partisan” community work, we still feel compelled to say that it’s pretty fishy for someone to go from Board member to employee. Did Supahan create the job for himself or something? Is Cleary just paying back his cronies with cushy jobs? Interesting thoughts, to say the least.

Check back in later this week for more on some of the questions we have for HAF – since they are managing generously donated money, we think they are obligated to be held accountable to the people funding the whole operation. Don’t you?

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12 Responses to HAF Board Member also the leader of political group True North Organizing Network?

  1. Anonymous says:

    You have got to be kidding me! From Board member making decisions about which programs get funding and who get hired to being an employee of what amounts to a subsidiary! This totally smacks of cronyism and nepotism at it’s very worst. Supahan should be forced to immediately resign from the board AND the paid position. This is fucking sick and it’s all being done in secret and with the money WE all donated. Who’s in charge of this clusterfuck anyway?


    • Nice catch, John! THC won’t talk smack about the goals of the summit held by True North. If people in the community feel disadvantaged, more power to them for trying to organize and make a difference.

      That said, it’s still NOT okay for HAF to be funding the True North Organizing network. As we can tell from THC commenters and e-mails we’ve been receiving pretty regularly, there hasn’t been any effort by HAF to respond to, let alone answer, questions that come to them from the public. Despicable, in our opinion.


  2. Eyes Wide Open says:

    Supahan is no different than Renee Saucedo. A paid political hack who’s principal job is to create divisiveness in our communities. Open your eyes Humboldt. These HAF people are hijacking our county.


  3. Azalea Mom says:

    Thank you THC for following up on what Humboldt Area Foundation is up to. Until I started seeing the facts here and following up on them myself I never would have believed the truth of what’s happening with money that should be going to our children. What’s really amazing is that no matter how often you call them directly you never get a straight answer from HAF. Somehow they should be held accountable. My parents and grandparents contributed their hard earned money to make our community better. It’s shameful how our elders legacy is being spent against their wishes.


  4. Tinman says:

    Holy crap it seems to never end over there at HAF. I to was looking at the yearbook and noticed the switch in the board over the years from a diverse balanced group to a progressive looking( not that progresive is bad) board with no real balance. How much u want bet the board votes are all unanimous?? What u say HAF lets see the role call for the last year. Ya bet no dicent there cuz the board is not diverse. Time to find other foundations till they get their shit together. I noticed a newspaper add a few weeks back for the leave a legacy foundation with no other than Nancy hilficker a former HAF board member. Anyone know anything about leave a legacy? Is it connected to HAF? By the way Arkley was a wimp with clearly on talk shop. Big blustery Arkley thru nothing but softballs. Ever notice how Arkley just stirs shit and has no followthru. What happened to big Robs homeless summit? Nothing!No wonder SN has gone down the toilet


  5. Off topic – Public union related news….

    THC – I’ll give you first dibs on this if you want to take it. Erin Crealey is amazing. I’m not sure if she has done this on her own or with the help of those many who know how to use FOIA. (listen to a HumCPR show as a hint of who might – seems like Erin works in the building and development department so she might have some connections).

    Here is what she did. She requested all the county employee names under FOIA and then sent a push-poll in the form of a surveymonkey poll that AFSCME often uses to all county employees. By this means she skirted around rules discussing politics at work and using county resources to get a message to other employees that she was desperate to get out.


    Here were her conclusions in an email I received Saturday.
    * Some employees weren’t aware of what “Fair Share Fee” was or meant.

    We will be a closed shop soon as I understand it after the latest MRU. In my opinion this is a good thing. It’s what helps unions fight for worker’s rights so we can live life as if the Constitution matters.*

    * Lower income employees are affected more from union fees. Lower income employees also benefit less from cost of living increases that are percentage-based.

    uh?!? um…That’s what unions do. What do you think the wages of county workers would be without a union? Ugh.

    *The Union has to support many different needs stemming from one Union covering so many different types of County departments.

    Yup. Sadly the battle so we can begin to turn back the tide of productivity increases with no wage increases is against one voice – capital. Labor needs to speak with one voice too. If you have differences, join Union leadership.

    This was an amazing stunt and I tip my hat to the ingenuity of Erin and (more than likely) friends. I wonder if the current BOS would be as lacks as to allow further intrusions from emails to county interests from left of center interests?

    Here is the survey link. http://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-YLSRDJRC/ You might enjoy the comments.

    The above quotes were taken from information from the email from email reviewed during breaks etc. This was then typed into this comment long form. No county time was used and as this is a private matter (not work related) I am using my Constitutional right of free speech to speak out about this.

    More later if I can find the time and/or interest.

    Erin’s email if you want to follow up and celebrate her efforts…erin.cearley@gmail.com

    *Remember this? “Not all of us are protected by owning our own business or by an employment contract.” – THC.


    • LMOB, your comment did not post immediately as it was sent to moderation due to the number of links you included. The comment is now available for everyone to see in all its, uh, glory. Feel free to expand on what you’re trying to get at here.


      • Not really my cup of tea. I’ll probably post elsewhere on this unless you pick it. I’m impressed with the ingenuity of what Erin did. It seems there is a strong anti-union story there that you might be interested in. If not, the more better.


  6. PollyP says:

    I just spent some time on the HAF website. While on google search, the text reads it’s a 501.3.c, when you get to the FAQ page and donations page, there’s no such information.

    This lack of information all over their webpage would keep me from donating. I can’t tell what they use the money for, how many people they have, etc.

    It is an “unrated” entity at http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?keyword_list=Humboldt+Area+Foundation&Submit2=Search&bay=search.results2 and also at http://www.guidestar.org/SearchResults.aspx

    It really doesn’t look like the group is even bothering to do any simple homework to make themselves look legitimate. I certainly wouldn’t toss a penny in their hat until they get themselves rated with Charity Navigator, we have no way of knowing their donation to payout ratio or the cost of administration – which looks very high with that many people running such a small outgoing money pile.

    Also you may not know this but Mr. Cleary supported those Windmills on Bear River Ridge, over the objections of most of the local people. So much for “community input”. I expect he’d act the same way in favor of his interests over those of the local people after hearing of his support for Shell Oil. Back then I always wondered how much $$ he’d gotten for that position as the folks at the Schatz Energy Lab had been previously awarded millions to support the project by PG&E.

    The whole thing smells and it’s not just nature’s breezes off bay this time.


  7. John Chiv says:


    Let’s see if LOCO let’s this stay on elsewhere.

    Happy Thanksgiving THC.


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