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FIVE OREGON PETITION DRIVES COMPLETED A YEAR EARLY

 


By Bill Sizemore

August 10, 2007

NewsWithViews.com

Earlier than ever before, at least in modern times, five signature drives have been completed and petitions have been pulled from the streets a year ahead of the deadline. In fact, signatures for four of the five measures have already been submitted to the Secretary of State for verification.

The four submitted measures are measures to: 1) Make federal income taxes fully deductible on individual state tax returns; 2) Require that immigrant students be immersed in English, rather than be sidetracked into six year bilingual education programs that focus first on making them more proficient in their native language; 3) Require that teacher pay raises and job security be based on classroom performance, not teacher seniority; and 4) Require mandatory sentences for such property crimes as burglary, car theft, identity theft, and meth dealing.

The first three of these measures are mine. The property crime measure is a Kevin Mannix measure.

Another of my measures, which is also finished but has not yet been submitted to the Secretary of State, allows a homeowner or a farmer to make $35,000 worth of improvements to their property per year without a building permit. The measure requires that all such improvements be disclosed fully to prospective buyers; doesn’t allow a new house to be built without a building permit; doesn’t allow adding a second story without a permit; and requires that electrical work done without a permit be signed off by a licensed electrical contractor.

I am still collecting signatures on another measure that prohibits the use of public resources, including the public payroll system, to collect political funds. One of the effects of that measure would be to stop public employee unions from collecting political funds via the public payroll system. This measure is similar to one of the measures for which the teachers unions have been suing me and Oregon Taxpayers United for the past seven years. The appeal from that ongoing case will be heard by the Oregon Supreme Court in September (2007).

(FYI: After handling that case for three years, the Multnomah County judge who presided over it confessed that his son was a member and activist in the same union that was suing in his court and in fact had been elected as a union president. Multnomah County Judge Jerome LaBarre made several heavily reported disparaging remarks about me, while deceitfully concealing his obvious conflict of interest in the case.)

Moving on, I am not yet finished with the measures I plan on placing on the 2008 ballot. We just hit the streets with a new measure that requires a three-fourths vote of both the Oregon House and Senate to declare an emergency. State Senator Larry George joins me as a chief petitioner on this measure. Fake emergency clauses are often used by the state legislature to keep an unpopular legislative bill from being referred to the voters via a referendum petition.

This past session, Democrats attached an emergency clause to a bill mandating heavily biased and deceitful ballot descriptions for a measure that would gut Measure 37, the voter-approved property rights law, and another measure that would all but eliminate Oregon’s Double Majority law, which has been approved by voters three times already.

A federal lawsuit has been filed to try to force the attorney general and secretary of state to draft honest and unbiased ballot titles for those measures.

Kevin Mannix says he too is not finished with all of his 2008 projects. Kevin has three other measures currently circulating. One would sanction lawyers for filing frivolous lawsuits and another would limit attorney fees in certain lawsuits, allowing victims to receive a larger share of money awarded. Interestingly, Kevin Mannix himself is an attorney.

Another Mannix petition, which would dedicate a percentage of lottery funds to crime fighting programs, is still on the streets, but is nearing completion.


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I am still considering two or three additional measures for 2008. I am still trying to raise funds for a measure that starts phasing out property taxes for seniors when they turn age 65. Another abolishes the requirement that property owners earn $80,000 in farm income for two years before being allowed to build a house on their farmland. That measure also requires that owners of any parcel of farm or forest property be allowed to build one or two houses on their land, if others with the same zoning in the same county have been allowed to build one or two houses.

Signatures for the next General Election are due in July of 2008, so there is still time to start new projects.

Some assumed the conservative initiative movement would die down after so many conservative measures went down in flames in 2006. However, the opposite seems to be the case. I was quoted in a recent widely published Associated Press (AP) new story as saying that the 2006 election losses for conservatives was like one of those fluke, sneaker waves at the beach and that I expect the 2008 election to be as good for conservatives as 2006 was bad. Either way, it is important to continue taking the fight to the enemy.

One thing that strikes me as particularly interesting of late is the lack of news coverage about all of these measures in The Oregonian. The O so far has refused to even mention the fact that I submitted signatures for several measures a year ahead of the deadline. Normally, that would be front page news.

The truth is, I know why they are remaining silent regarding my new projects. The Oregonian has adopted a policy of not mentioning me unless it is something bad. The top brass at the paper have concluded that they made a mistake in giving me so much news coverage in past years. They decided at one of their “head honcho powwows” a couple of years ago that their news coverage had made me too powerful in Oregon. They adopted a new approach to dealing with me. They decided that they will only print bad stuff about me, and if I do anything good or noteworthy, they will simply ignore it. It’s kind of funny. It’s like whistling past the graveyard.

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I won’t say at this time how I know these things, but I will say this: I am not merely speculating and I know more than I am saying.

© 2007 Bill Sizemore - All Rights Reserved

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Bill Sizemore is a registered Independent who works as executive director of the Oregon Taxpayers Union, a statewide taxpayer organization. Bill was the Republican candidate for governor in 1998. He and his wife Cindy have four children, ages eight to thirteen, and live on 36 acres in Beavercreek, just southeast of Oregon City, Oregon.

Bill Sizemore is considered one of the foremost experts on the initiative process in the nation, having placed dozens of measures on the statewide ballot. Bill was raised in the logging communities of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, and moved to Portland in 1972. He is a graduate of Portland Bible College, where he taught for two years. A regular contributing writer to www.NewsWithViews.com

E-Mail: bill@otu.org

Bill's Web site: www.Billsizemore.net


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The truth is, I know why they are remaining silent regarding my new projects. The Oregonian has adopted a policy of not mentioning me unless it is something bad. The top brass at the paper have concluded that they made a mistake in giving me so much news coverage in past years.