Audio File: Statewide Initiative Petitioners File Suit Against Oregon Secretary of State
This morning, June 24, 2004, a press conference was held in downtown Portland toannounce a suit in the US Disrict Court against the Oregon Secretary of State, "to stop implementation of his entirely new and completely unjustified policies that are trashing tens of thousands of valid signatures on statewide initiative petitions for no coherent reason."|
The Press Conference was intoduced by Dan Meek, who "along with Linda Evans and Lee Burger are representing campaigns which are collecting signatures for statewide ballot measures. It includes the Oregon Medical Marijuana 2 Campaign and Term Limits, and also the Oregon Taxpayers Association Campaign to repeal the Multnomah County income tax." Meek goes on to state that, "while all of us may disagree on issues of substance, we do not disagree that the Oregon Secretary of State has begun to enforce brand new and arbitrary and unnecessary rules that have the effect of throwing out 10's of thousands of perfectly valid signatures on statewide petitions that were submitted recently for early for verification....." According to Meek, these arbitrary rules include: the date on the cirulators signature,-which signature itself is an entirely new requirement; the date at the top when the sheet began to take signatures; the signature of the circulator, which cannot be an initial with flourish, even if that signature has been used in prior instances on other legal documents, such as a passport.|
Many examples of all these "ad hoc" rules are given, wrong months written down and then corrected; wrong year, -which is quite common after the first of the year; and the signature of a woman from another country, whose signature is an initial with flourish, but appears that way on her European passport.
After Dan introduces the issue, two speakers follow, with remarks regarding their specic campaign, John Sajo with Voter Power circulating the Oregon Medical Marijuana 2 Initiative, and Don MacIntyre, with Oregon Taxpayers United Association, which are seeking to repeal the recent Multnomah County tax.
Two other campaigns, the Oregon Rainforest Initiative, and the Campaign to Restore Term Limits, either did not attend or did not choose to speak.
All the signature sheets have been held by the Office of the Secretary pof State and will not, at least for the time being, be released back to the Petitioners. This precludes any corrections which could be made in time for the July 2, 2004 deadline.
The Initial Press Conference was about 16 minutes, but I am also including about 20 more minutes of the Q & A by what media, besides myself, attended. All radio stations, OPB, KEX, and KXL, I believe. All three reporters asked good questions which brought out important information about the reasons for the dissatisfaction which prompted the lawsuit. No television reporters attended.
Video footge of this Conference will be played Friday evening, June 25, 2004, on the community television program, "A Growing Concern," whichc airs live every Friday evening from 7-8 pm on channel 11.
Federal Suit Against Oregon Secretary of State
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