It Impairs Grass-Roots Use of the Initiative and Referendum

The Coalition for Initiative Rights is a group of volunteers dedicated to protecting the rights of Oregon voters to use the initiative and referendum.

Measure 62 would create a new bureaucracy for the "licensing" of all signature gatherers and directly authorize the Secretary of State to assess penalties of up to $25,000 per violation against anyone who "provides anything of value to individuals for gathering signatures" without being licensed!

We oppose the creation of new obstacles to use of the initiative and referendum. The big money special interests can easily hire full-time employees to collect signatures. But grass-roots campaigns that try to collect signatures with part-timers will be subject to costly licensing and potentially devastating fines.

Measure 62 also purports to authorize the Legislature to ban per signature payment for signature gathering and do so retroactively. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that such laws violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Besides, the good features of Measure 62 are already existing law. ORS 260.522 already requires all political advertising to be identified as to source and requires disclosure of who authorized it. ORS 260.558 already bans payments to persons for signing or not signing petitions. Measure 62 just copies the words of these existing statutes.

Measure 62 would speed up the reporting of contributions and expenditures, but that is not enough to overcome its flaws.

We also oppose Measure 59, which Measure 62 is intended to partly negate. Under the Oregon Supreme Court's analysis in Armatta v. Kitzhaber (June 1998), Measure 62 is probably unconstitutional as involving more that "one amendment" to the Oregon Constitution.

The only way to stop Measure 59 from destroying the Oregon Voters' Pamphlet is to vote against Measure 59.

We urge voters to guard their precious "direct democracy" leverage and vote NO on Measure 62!

Coalition for Initiative Rights

(This information furnished by Lloyd Marbet, Coalition For Initiative Rights.)

(This space purchased for $300 in accordance with ORS 251.255.)
The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by the State of Oregon, nor does the state warrant the accuracy or truth of any statement made in the argument.