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Judge Critiques Flaws in Election-Denier Laura Hobbs’ Lawsuits, Sets New Hearing Date

Monday morning, inside Shasta County’s Superior Court, Laura Hobbs, election-denier and defeated District 2 Supervisor candidate, sat at a courtroom table before Judge Stephen H. Baker.

Laura Hobbs.

She was there for a hearing about the fate of the lawsuits Hobbs filed regarding the outcome of the March 5, 2024, Shasta County election. Initially, Hobbs’ lawsuit clumped together Long and Darling-Allen into a single case.

But Monday’s calendar contained two Hobbs’ civil cases: Hobbs vs. Long, et al, and Hobbs vs. Allen, et al.

Respectively, presumptive District 2 candidate winner Allen Long is the defendant on one Hobbs lawsuit with its own case number, while former Shasta County Registrar of Voters/County Clerk Cathy Darling Allen is the defendant on the other Hobbs lawsuit with a different case. Both cases pertain to Hobbs’ allegations of election fraud, abnormalities and election deficiencies committed by the Registrar of Voters.

Judge Baker wore a serious facial expression as he scolded Hobbs for “a complete lack of diligence” for her failure to comply with Baker’s previous instructions to provide the court with required proof of service. Judge Baker bluntly referred to the myriad shortcomings in Hobbs’ case, which he said felt so “defective” that at one point, Hobbs’ case was at risk for denial and dismissal. Furthermore, Baker said it was “problematic” for someone — Hobbs — to serve a party — Long — so long after the election.

Judge Baker acknowledged there was an issue with one failed attempt due to a misspelling of the intended recipient’s name.

Hobbs insisted that valid attempts were made to serve Long, such as taping papers to a locked gate, and showing up at Grant School Board meetings, where Long is a member, but they claimed he intentionally evaded service.

Judge Baker said he found it difficult to imagine that someone who’d run for office would be difficult to find and serve.

Hobbs’ supporters showed up

Monday, the audience on the right side of the court chambers resembled a mini version of the right side of a typical Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting, but minus jeers, cheers and expletives. The brand-new courtroom’s wood benches held about a dozen of the usual Hobbs supporters and fellow ultra-conservative election-deniers, who sat quietly as they watched and listened. Among the BOS-meeting regulars were self-proclaimed citizen journalists Lori Bridgeford and Richard Gallardo, former Elections Commissioner Bev Gray, and Patty Plumb, a devoted New California State Shasta secessionist member and recent appointee to the troubled and controversial Shasta County Elections Commission.

On April 2, without the benefit of formal legal assistance, Hobbs had filed her handwritten lawsuit against Long and Darling-Allen on the same day that Shasta County’s Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to officially declare the certified results of the March 5 Presidential Primary Election. District 4 Supervisor Patrick Jones was the lone no vote.

Monday, Hobbs had full legal representation by attorney Alex Haberbush, renowned for his connections to My Pillow CEO Mike-Lindell, who supported Hobbs’ campaign (for supervisor, not ‘county commissioner’).

Haberbush is the founder of Lex Rex Institute, a conservative Long Beach-based non-profit organization dedicated to constitutional advocacy.¬†Haberbush participated in the Monday hearing via telephone, as did Darling-Allen’s attorney Joanna Gin of Best Best & Krieger LLP.

According to the Best Best & Krieger LLP website, attorney Gin formerly served as assistant city attorney for the City of Winters. Best Best & Krieger is a law firm known for providing support and advice on local election issues relating to voting rights, candidates, and ballot measures.

Long’s wife, Margaret Long — who’s an attorney — was also present at Monday’s hearing. However, although Judge Baker granted Long permission to speak briefly on her husband’s behalf to clarify and correct a few of Hobbs’ statements about alleged failed attempts to serve Allen Long, Margaret Long was present in an unofficial capacity only, not as Allen Long’s lawyer.

Hobbs and Haberbush

Hobbs’ right-wing celebrity attorney Haberbush is no stranger to Shasta County politics. In addition to speaking at length before the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and at special North State events, Haberbush was connected with District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye in open communication regarding the board majority’s quest to remove the county’s former Dominion Voting machines.

Lex Rex founder Alex Haberbush speaks before a December 2023 Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Some written messages between Crye and Haberbush became public, such as this March 2023 text exchange between the men.

Haberbush was later praised on New California State Shasta’s Facebook page for his involvement in Shasta County politics.

New California State Shasta has North State representation in Chriss Street and Patty Plumb.

Speaking of Plumb, last month Plumb acted as Hobbs’ spokesperson after Hobbs changed her mind about requesting a hand count of the District 2 Supervisor race.

Plumb, a frequent speaker during Shasta County Board of Supervisors meetings, was recently appointed by Supervisor Patrick Jones to sit on what remains of the Shasta County Elections Commission, an entity that has suffered an exodus of four of the initial five members.

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE: From left, original Shasta County Election Commission members Susanne Baremore, vice chair Lisa Michaud, chairwoman Ronnean Lund, and Bev Gray. Of the original commission members, only Ronnean Lund remains, now joined by Patty Plumb. Photo courtesy of Shasta County.

Plumb, an ebullient, confident speaker, has frequently claimed that when the First Amendment no longer works, luckily, there’s still the option of the Second Amendment.

In one of Plumbs’ most memorable statements inside the Board of Supervisors chambers, she referred to the opposition as “uncircumcized Philistines” — words that were later satirized by commenter/former Shasta County Public Defender Jeff Gorder.

Trump’s lawyer’s lawyer

Sunday, on Terry Rapoza’s Jefferson State of Mine radio show, Hobbs discussed the preliminary hearing that would take place the following day. Rapoza prompted Hobbs to share her “exciting” news.

“I’m being represented by Alexander Haberbush,” Hobbs said. “He’s renowned in the field of election law, and I’m quite honored to be sharing the same lawyer as John Eastman, who is the lawyer who represented President Trump.”

Rapoza expressed delight that Hobbs had some “very, very prominent” lawyers representing her.

“This is impressive,” Rapoza said.

Another failed attempt to serve papers

Toward the end of Monday’s hearing, Hobbs abruptly mentioned her intention to serve Margaret Long, and as she spoke, she extended a large, manila-colored envelope toward Margaret Long, who sat at the adjacent table.

Judge Baker said he wouldn’t allow Hobbs to serve Margaret Long inside his courtroom.

Judge Baker did not contain his exasperation that he still lacked the proper service documentation to move Hobbs’ case forward. He said he expected status updates outlining the related issues from all parties no later than by the close of business on Friday.

Hobbs’ statement

Following Monday’s court hearing, Hobbs provided the following statement to A News Cafe, with a request that the statement be published in full:

Laura Hobbs

“We are glad that the court is looking at this important issue of an election determined by only 14 votes that had significant abnormalities and maladministration.

The case was delayed for over a month because Mr. Long evaded service, although he clearly read the entire filing (which was published in full in many of the local news outlets), because he gave his opinion on the legal merits of the case only two days after it was filed. The Sheriff’s office attempted to serve him three times, leaving a note on his gate, but he never responded. Similarly, he stopped attending meetings of the Grant Elementary School Board and we were unable to serve him there. It wasn’t until May 2nd (1 month after the initial filing) that we were finally able to serve him and the case could move forward.

We were heartened today by the fair-minded treatment of the Honorable Judge Baker and we feel that our requested legal remedies are more than reasonable.”

Thank you,

Dr. Laura Hobbs
Candidate for Shasta County Supervisor District 2″

Image source: Laura Hobbs campaign.

Both Allen and Margaret Long declined to comment about Monday’s hearing, because the hearing was part of active litigation.

Meanwhile, Judge Baker set the next hearing for a decision upon the Hobbs lawsuit against Long and Darling-Allen for 9 a.m. on Wed., May 29.

With any luck, Hobbs’ lawsuits will be denied and dismissed. With even greater luck the Shasta County Board majority will not appoint Hobbs as the new Registrar of Voters/County Clerk.

But this is Shasta County, where it appears that the worst is yet to come.

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If you appreciate journalist Doni Chamberlain’s reporting, and if you are not a current supporter of A News Cafe, why not? Please consider a contribution to this news site. Thank you.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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