Saturday, September 08, 2007

Oregon GLBT Catches Petition Fraud


Karynn Fish, Interim Communications Director
(503) 222.6151 (office)
(503) 917.9067 (mobile)

Bryan Boyd, Communications Coordinator
(503) 222.6151 (office)
(503) 528.6160 (mobile)

Elections Complaint Alleges Illegal Activity Among Opponents of Anti-Discrimination Laws

(Portland, Oregon) A complaint was filed with the Oregon Secretary of State's Elections Division against groups gathering signatures to oppose Oregon's new family fairness and anti-discrimination laws. The complaint, filed by longtime clean elections activist Ellen Lowe, says the groups are breaking the law by misrepresenting themselves to voters and using false information to solicit campaign contributions.

According to the complaint, an organization called "Concerned Oregonians" and another group are misleading voters by claiming that contributions to their efforts are eligible for a "dollar-for-dollar" political tax credit of up to $100.

In fact, only contributions made to legitimate ballot measure and candidate campaigns are eligible for Oregon's Political Tax Credit. According to the complaint, Concerned Oregonians, which has been soliciting support and donations from individuals and churches, is not a political action committee at all. The other group is not a campaign or ballot measure committee and donations to its efforts are not eligible for the credit.

The complaint also notes that Concerned Oregonians claims to be a co-sponsor of the referenda, and is collecting donations based upon that assertion, when it is not.�

"We are very concerned that these groups are misleading donors and failing to comply with the law," said John Hummel, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon. "These groups are advising churches and voters on election law, but they aren't following the laws themselves."

Oregon's campaign finance laws require the registration of political committees and the disclosure of campaign contributions to ensure clean and transparent elections. By failing to comply with the laws, Concerned Oregonians is able to conceal its financial donors from public scrutiny.

"Just like Oregon's family fairness and anti-discrimination laws, our election laws are here to guarantee fairness and a level playing field to all Oregonians," Hummel said. "What if their supporters follow their advice and falsely claim the tax credit? These groups have to follow rules just like everyone else."

Basic Rights Oregon has a copy of the complaint that has been filed available for download. Please go here to download the complaint.


About Basic Rights Oregon
Basic Rights Oregon is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Oregon. For more information, please visit our website at • Basic Rights Oregon

Oregonians seem difficult to talk to in my attempts to let them know what may be coming their way, but perhaps they need no help in uncovering their own petition fraud. Jeannie Berg was a fraud expert who came to Massachusetts and gave her testimony during our election committee hearing in 2005, and I am very thankful for her help.

I have to smile while I write this because of the virulent bigotry I encountered while talking to Oregonians about what happened here in Massachusetts. The bigotry was not from the opposition to GLBT equality, but rather from the GLBT Oregonians themselves. It seems they DO NOT like outsiders, even one's trying to help. My most benign comments were somehow painted as looking down at them, and intrusive. Bearing that in mind I have decided to pull back and post comments where I can be of more help, but I will keep an eye out for lies, and when I catch them I will not hesitate to say so. Keyjo, keep up the good work on

BTW, it seems Oregon has it's own Kris Mineau:

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