Democracy Reform Report on Bill Sizemore

Evening News
program date: 
Thu, 02/28/2008


Democracy Reform Oregon released a report this week detailing the political and financial history of state initiative signature gatherer and former gubernatorial candidate Bill Sizemore.

The report, which begins with 1994’s Measure 5, Sizemore’s first attempt at a constitutional amendment, is a cumulative record of the activist’s financial backers and his own misleading and unethical attempts to subvert the state constitution through the initiative process.

As part of the lobbying group Oregon Taxpayers United, Sizemore has managed to place 13 ballot measures on the election ballot through the state’s signature gathering initiative process.

Nine of those 13 were defeated by the voters and 4 won, however, two of the winning measures have been overturned as unconstitutional by Oregon courts.

While at times viewed as successfully speaking for the “little guy” through his initiative process, Sizemore ultimately was found guilty of racketeering in 2002 for creating a fake charity to use for his own personal gain. Details of signature forgery and tax evasion were also presented during the trial.

The 98 page document provides a very detailed account of not only Sizemore’s history, but those of his benefactors- including Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform- and how his initiatives have effected the state through the last 15 years.

Although Sizemore has been marginalized by many in the conservative sphere he is still active in state politics.

While questions still remain about Sizemore’s tactics, Janice Thompson, executive director of Democracy Reform Oregon, says in the report that, “compiling a record of Sizemore’s political activities since 1993 seems timely as he re-emerges as a key player in Oregon politics who may qualify as many as six measures to the November 2008 ballot.”   



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