Conservative political activist Bill Sizemore, who's had his share of legal problems, just got another one: An Oregon progressive organization filed a criminal complaint today charging him and his associates with fraud in gathering signatures for initiative petitions.
The complaint filed by the group Our Oregon with the state Elections Division seeks "a full investigation into examples of initiative fraud recently uncovered by the group among nearly all the 2008 initiatives," a news release from the group says.
The complaint is supported by affidavits from four Oregon citizens who claim their signatures were forged on petitions they didn't actually sign. There also is an affidavit from Tim Williams, an attorney with the Bend firm of Dwyer Williams Potter, stating that he believes a young man gathering signatures outside the downtown Bend Post Office on June 20 gave a false name when asked to identify himself, impersonating a registered signature-gatherer in violation of state law.
"Because all of the initiatives involve many of the same chief petitioners (Bill Sizemore, Russ Walker) and the same signature gathering company (Tim Trickey and Democracy Direct, Inc.), Our Oregon believes most of the 2008 initiatives are riddled with the same problems," Our Oregon said in its press release.
Two organizations founded by Sizemore, Oregon Taxpayers United and the OTU Education Foundation, were found guilty of racketeering, fraud and forgery in 2002 and ordered to pay $2.5 million in fines. Earlier this month, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld those convictions.
"Sizemore and his past operations have been found to have committed fraud and forgery, yet he appears to show only increased disdain for the integrity of the initiative process," Our Oregon Executive Director Kevin Looper said in announcing the new criminal complaint against Sizemore. "The only question is when he's going to end up in jail, and who's going to put him there."