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About Northwest labor press. (Portland , Ore.) 1987-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 4, 2006)
Sizemore files anti-union
initiatives for 2008 ballot
(From Page 1)
As the COPE meeting, was winding
down, Kulongoski stopped by to thank
the political committee for its support.
Despite difference on certain issues,
Kulongoski said, “I’ve never forgotten
where I came from. I’ve never, ever lost
sight of who I represent. And that’s you.”
He said all workers — union and
nonunion — are tied to the labor move-
ment. “You carry them. Your success is
their success,” he said.
Kulongoski said the November elec-
tion will be a barometer for the 2008
presidential election. “What happens in
America and in Oregon (this Novem-
ber) sets the stage for 2008.”
In other political action, COPE en-
dorsed incumbent U.S. Reps. Earl Blu-
menauer, David Wu, Peter DeFazio,
and Darlene Hooley. They also backed
Democrat Carol Voisin, who is chal-
lenging Republican Greg Walden in the
Second District. Delegates representing
construction unions opposed the en-
dorsement, citing Walden’s support for
prevailing wage laws.
In legislative races, the AFL-CIO en-
dorsed the following candidates:
Senate Democrats Alan Bates, Dist.
3; Paul Evans, Dist. 10; Peter Courtney,
Dist. 11; Elizabeth “Betsy” Johnson,
Dist. 16; and Rod Monroe, Dist. 24.
judgments, Bill Sizemore
is still trying to hurt
unions at the polls.
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski is congratulated by Bob Shiprack, executive
secretary of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council, and
Ken Allen, executive director of Oregon AFSCME Council 75, after he was
endorsed for re-election by the Oregon AFL-CIO — an endorsement that
eluded him in the May primary.
Delegates also endorsed Senate Re-
publican Frank Morse in Dist. 8.
In the House, COPE backed De-
mocrats Howard Owens, Dist. 3; Nancy
Nathanson, Dist. 13; Sara Gelser, Dist.
16; Dan Thackaberry, Dist. 17; Brian
Grisham, Dist. 19; Jason Brown, Dist.
23; Sal Peralta, Dist. 24; Charles
“Chuck” Lee, Dist. 25; Tobias Read,
Dist. 27; Mitch Greenlick, Dist. 33;
Greg MacPherson; Dist. 38; and Ben
Cannon, Dist. 46.
In roll-call voting, COPE endorsed
incumbent Republicans Vicki Berger in
Dist. 20 and Scott Bruun in Dist. 37.
Republican Bob Jenson, Dist. 59, was
endorsed on a standing vote of 21-2.
A recommendation by the Oregon
AFL-CIO to endorse Republican Rep.
Debi Farr in Dist. 14 (Eugene) failed on
a standing vote. A motion by the Lane
County Labor Council to endorse her
Democratic opponent, Chris Edwards,
was approved 18-9. That was followed
by a motion for a roll-call vote, in which
Edwards failed to garner a two-thirds’
majority, resulting in no action.
Before the May primary, COPE en-
dorsed several incumbents in the Sen-
ate and House. For a complete list of en-
dorsements go to the labor federation’s
Web site at www.oraflcio.org.
Labor foe and convicted racketeer
Bill Sizemore has filed initiative peti-
tions with the Oregon secretary of
state’s office calling for the repeal of the
state’s prevailing wage law and making
Oregon a so-called right-to-work state
in which the union shop is banned.
They are just two of 29 initiatives
Sizemore has filed for the 2008 election
cycle. Most of the initiatives attack pub-
lic employee unions and teachers.
One of Sizemore’s initiatives will
appear on the November 2006 ballot.
He had filed nearly a dozen.
Sizemore still owes the Oregon Edu-
cation Association and the Oregon Fed-
eration of Teachers-Oregon nearly $2.5
million after they successfully sued him
and his organization, Oregon Taxpayers
United (OTU), in December 2000,
charging a pattern of fraud and racket-
eering activities that caused the unions
to have to spend heavily to defeat them.
The jury agreed that: Sizemore’s organ-
izations submitted forged signatures on
the initial statements of sponsorship for
the future ballot measures; they submit-
ted forged signatures on initiative peti-
tions used to qualify measures for the
of your Credit
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ballot; and they lied on state and federal
tax returns and state Contribution & Ex-
penditure (C&E) reports.
He was ordered to pay $842,000 in
damages to the two teachers unions.
Under state anti-racketeering statutes,
that amount was tripled by the judge to
$2.52 million. Sizemore has filed ap-
peals and has refused to pay the fine. In
2004, a Multnomah County judge held
him in contempt of court.
Sizemore’s initiatives for 2008 in-
clude more measures that would pro-
hibit unions from collecting dues from
members’ checks; an initiative that
would prevent public employee unions
from making campaign contributions to
elected public officials that would make
decisions at the workplace. Unions
caught contributing would be “guilty of
bribery or attempting to bribe an elected
official,” the initiative reads. Another
initiative would subject teacher pay
raises and job security to classroom per-
Some of Sizemore initiatives on file
don’t attack unions, but they would af-
fect the initiative process. One would
repeal 2002’s Ballot Measure 26, the
union-backed initiative banning the
buying and selling of signatures. Signa-
ture-gatherers now must be paid by the
hour. A co-sponsor of the newly-filed
initiative is Tim Trickey, who owns a
Another Sizemore initiative would
allow initiatives to contain a provision
stating that the courts cannot overturn a
ballot measure if passed by voters. Still
another initiative would require the sec-
retary of state to “scrutinize every sig-
nature” that is turned in on a petition.
None of the 38 initiatives on file at
the secretary of state’s office as of July
31 had been approved for circulation.
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Editor: Michael Gutwig
Staff: Don McIntosh, Cheri Rice
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