Oh how I would love the time to elaborate on all the news since my last post on initiatives. The level of activity in the waning days of signature season is mind numbing. One thing that appears to be going on right now is a watered-down version of something that happened during Measure 30 when the right-wingers staged a "red-shirted" thug yelling at a "volunteer" signature gatherer. They filmed it and released it to the media. What they failed to notice is that Patty Wentz (with Voter Education Project at the time) was in the video, too, introducing herself to the signature gatherers, pointing to the yelling guy, and telling him that the guy was not with the Voter Education Project - that they would never do that. It sounds like the press got a kick out of it and they got not traction out of their story.
I guess they didn’t learn: fast forward to today...
I was on my way to lunch today at one of my local Portland favorites, West Coast Bento, when I saw a pleasant looking young woman at the corner of NW 23rd and Burnside waving at passers-by and carrying a huge yellow sign with a pair of glasses on the top and a message on the top warning folks to read carefully before signing a petition. I curiously wondered who might have staged such an effort, and look what information I had in my inbox upon returning to my computer after lunch (from an Our Oregon press release):
Reports are coming in from downtown Portland that people carrying signs warning voters not to sign petitions were gathering in front of the downtown library. It's unclear which petitions the sign carriers were referencing. When asked by a passer by who the signature gatherers are with, one said that he was a temporary worker and the contact for who hired him is J. L. Wilson and gave a cell phone number. Wilson is the lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The cell phone number provided by the temporary worker matches J. L.'s telephone number in the "Capitol Club" lobby book. It's unclear why the NFIB is taking this action or which petitions they are targeting.Let’s be clear folks: this is the Right trying to make the "union thugs" look bad by literally a fabricating a story when non exist. How dumb do they think Oregon voters’ and the media are?
Update: The Oregonian has more on it's blog. Sounds like it is a play, not a ploy.