Serious and credible fraud allegations have surfaced about three dangerous ballot measures proposed for the fall ballot. But the Secretary of State’s office has brushed aside these troubling allegations, ignoring the more than 600 emails Oregonians have sent urging his office to investigate the fraud before certifying these measures for the ballot. More on these troubling fraud allegations:
New and troubling whistleblower allegations about signature gathering practices on Initiative Petition 31, the special interest-backed attack on Oregon’s constitution, recently came to light. It appears the signature gathering firm working on IP 31 had paid circulators fraudulently to sign sheets that they did not collect and allowed unregistered paid circulators to circulate petitions. If true, potentially thousands of signatures were illegally collected. Late last week, the Oregon Attorney General’s office opened a criminal investigation into the whistleblower’s allegations.
The same firm that gathered signatures for IP 31, Ballot Access LLC, acknowledged earlier this year that at least one of its signature gatherers was lying about anti-immigrant Initiative Petition 22. Signature gatherers were falsely telling Oregonians that the measure would protect Oregon’s immigrant communities, when the exact opposite is true. The Oregon Attorney General’s office has an open criminal investigation into these complaints.
Mounting evidence shows that Oregon Life United, Stop the Funding (the groups behind the anti-choice initiative that would cut access to abortion for public employees and the most vulnerable Oregonians) and their hired staff were engaging in paid circulation without having registered with the state as paid circulators. In response to a complaint laying out these concerns, an Oregon Life United official admitted that at least two paid staff had not registered with the Secretary of State, among other campaign finance “oversights.”
Despite these alarming fraud allegations, the Oregon Secretary of State’s office has refused to stop verifying IP 31, IP 22, and IP 1. It doesn’t have to be this way: The Secretary of State’s office and Elections Director Steve Trout have until August 5 to investigate these concerning fraud allegations and decide whether these measures should be certified with the ballot. But in a recent story, Trout was adamant that his office will not be seriously investigating these claims to see if the law was broken.
We need your help to stop what could be the largest signature gathering fraud scheme in Oregon since Bill Sizemore’s notorious days of deceit and forgery. We have to act quickly. If we don’t, Oregon could return to a time when signature gatherers illegally qualified measures for the ballot. Contact the Secretary of State’s office below to keep our ballot free of fraud!
This year, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report highlighting Oregon’s history of hate speech and intolerance. Now more than ever, our leaders need to reaffirm their commitment to keeping Oregon a welcoming place — but the Oregon GOP is doing the exact opposite.
Twice this year already, Oregon Republicans have doubled down on bringing hate speech to our state. Just last week, the Deschutes County GOP hosted John Guandolo, “a right wing extremist, anti-Muslim, disgraced FBI agent and well-known conspiracist.” And just last month, Sheriff David Clarke headlined the Oregon Liberty Alliance’s 2018 Freedom Rally, despite his history of toxic, racist rhetoric.
It’s clear that these aren’t isolated incidents. The Oregon GOP just hosted the Dorchester Conference, the largest gathering of political conservatives in Oregon each year — and their speakers list clearly shows that the Oregon GOP is siding with bigotry and hate speech.
This year’s conference featured a speech and book signing by Kevin Jackson, a known conspiracy theorist who has claimed that “having a white Republican president is what’s best for the country.” And headlining the conference was Roger Stone, a longtime Donald Trump ally and Republican agitator who has built a career on virulent hate speech against women, communities of color, and LGBTQ people. His disturbing and violent statements have gotten him banned from major cable news networks, including CNN and MSNBC. In fact, Stone was even banned from Twitter, a platform that’s come under fire for refusing to take action against white supremacists and self-identified Neo-Nazis.
Roger Stone showed his true colors at the conference by joining members of the SPLC-designated hate group the Proud Boys in Salem. The Proud Boys are self-described “western chauvinists,” known for violence and spreading hate about women and communities of color.
The Oregon GOP has shown that it’s fundamentally opposed to our state’s progressive values, and it’s time to send a clear message that their party’s hate speech isn’t welcome here.