Just because I voted for M42 doesn't mean you're not a jerk, Bill

T.A. Barnhart

I got your back on this one, Bill, but this is it.

Never again. Understand? I voted for Measure 42, I've advocated strongly for it, but I'm never stepping up for you again. I'm disgusted to be doing it now, but M42 is good law despite your slimy hand on it.

You represent the worst of what is possible in democracy, Bill, except maybe the bastards in the White House who use lies and fear to kill our children and friends. They are the worst; you pale in comparison but your loathsome and reprehensible activities still qualify you as Oregon's Public Enemy #1.

You have abused the initiative process repeatedly to attempt to change law to your narrow benefit. I could live with that if you had pursued your political goals democratically, but your scorn for democracy is almost as great as your greed and your self-righteousness. You are one of those alleged Christians — a christianist — who thinks God has given you special rights and authority. Your version of Christianity has very little to do with the Bible and much to do with that twisted lump of fool's gold you store in your heart.

[Tim Nesbitt does a great job summarizing Sizemore's crimes.]

You're a convicted criminal, and your credit is shot as a result. This is a good result. You should not be trusted with credit, insurance or the confidence of decent Oregonians who've been hoodwinked by your slick lies and manipulative initiatives (not to mention the illegal methods you used to place initiatives on the ballot, for which your ass was nailed but good). Bill, I was a devout fundamentalist for ten years, a charismatic most of that time, so I understand what's at the heart of your scams: a devout belief that whatever comes into your head, whatever you think, is the inspired "fruit" of the Holy Spirit. You truly believe almost all of the bullshit you preach. You probably believe that "God's law" somehow frees you from the rules human create, even though Jesus specifically told us to "render to Caeser what belongs to Caeser". You are not of the world, so the world's laws are meaningless to you. Except when they affect your bottom line.

It's natural you'd be ticked off that your cruddy credit — and perhaps your criminal conviction — allows insurance companies to either deny you coverage or to quote you outrageously high premiums. Hell, they don't need your credit rating to do that, but it does make their job easier (and let me be clear: as disgusting as you are to the democratic process, the insurance industry is just as bad within the business world; if Hell did exist, you'd be standing in line with those folks, ready to get a well-deserved pitchfork in the ass). I guess that you did a bit of research, discovered that credit scores were not allowable in renewing policies and came to the logical and justifiable conclusion that neither should they be in selling the original policy. I agree with you on that, wholeheartedly. My ballot with the "Yes" oval pencilled in (#2) by your ballot measure is now safe and secure with the Benton County Elections Office. That's how much I agree with you on this, Bill: I actually voted for your measure. God help me.

But nothing else. Nothing. Else. Never again. Because on everything else — everything else — you are wrong:

You are wrong on taxes.

You are wrong on our responsibilities as citizens through government.

You are wrong on civil rights for all Oregonians.

You are wrong on property rights (aka greed over the public good).

You are wrong on who is blessed by God.

You are wrong in thinking your decision to be "saved" actually means dick.

You are wrong to feel treated unjustly.

And you are wrong to dupe, deceive and manipulate the people of Oregon. It's a pity your crimes didn't warrant prison time; you deserve that (and Don McIntyre would make a great cellmate for you, but I'm not sure who'd get to be the bitch). M42 you got right, albeit for the wrong reasons. The ability of insurance companies to abuse credit ratings (hell, the existence and use of credit ratings may have been a good idea once but is now an evil that should be eradicated) harms people who actually deserve society's protection: the poor, those who've suffered economic or health misfortune, young people, legal immigrants and others who, unlike you, are trying to live honestly and contribute to society.

(Oh, and your website sucks. What a mess.)

Bill, you are a thief, a cheat and a liar. Somehow you've done one good thing here, and I've voted for it. Don't read support for your shitwad organization into it, Bill, because that would be as stupid as your attempts to get away with violating election laws. When it comes to Bill Sizemore, I support one thing and one thing only: Retirement.

Yes on M42. No on Bill Sizemore.

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    You and me, TA! "No on Sizemore, Yes on 42." Great job!

  • K (unverified)

    I vote for it too. And I felt kind of icky about it.

    But you're right, it's a good law.

  • blizzak (unverified)

    My understanding is that Mr. Sizemore's legal troubles arose from a civil RICO lawsuit. Is there a criminal conviction I don't know about?

    This post is nothing but a personal attack and might be defamatory. If Blue Oregon is going to edit comments for being off-topic, rude, etc. this post needs to come down. Kari? Jeff? C'mon, show some consistency and fairness.

  • Teaparker (unverified)

    Yeah! Raise the level of public discourse! (I've always thought that the tream-of-consciousness writing style was woefully underplayed in Oregon politics.)

    All you need now is a big photo of TA Barnhart flippin Sizemore the bird to go next to that story, and you've got a movement afoot, my friends.

    Sizemore=bad, but he's not worth that much bandwidth.

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    Sizemore not that bad? are you kidding me? Don McIntyre has done more direct damage via M5, but Bill's program of anti-democratic subversion of the initiative process has been highly destructive. i think i went easy on the guy.

    and i'd never flip him off. he much more deserves mooning.

  • sasha (unverified)

    Jeez. Do you feel better now? Just a bit unhinged!

  • blizzak (unverified)

    t.a. -- what's Sizemore's criminal conviction?

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    I have to say I've never ever voted for a Sizemore ballot measure, not even this one. Had to vote straight pocket book here: my credit rating is better than my driving record. Okay, so I drive like a Republican (though not as bad as Derrick Kitts).

    I don't want to defend insurance companies, but there might be some valid reasons to use credit ratings in determining insurance premiums. At least there might be a strong correlation.

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    If Bill wants to really redeem himself he should promote a ballot initiative to require the signatures of at least 20% of all eligible voters for any initiative to get on the ballot. Heck, that'd make him a saint if it passed.

  • LT (unverified)

    This post is nothing but a personal attack and might be defamatory.

    Blizzak, the reason he got nicknames like "Buffalo Bill Siezemore" is that he thought nothing of personal attacks on others. Parents marched for better school funding, and he was on TV saying they were "dupes of the teachers union". I think at one time he said anyone using phrases like "the common good" were socialists.

    He ran for office, he lost. He put too many ballot measures on the ballot at one time in 2000 and people voted against all of them, and none of those passed. The court ruled he owed money which last time I heard had still not been paid. He is by any definition a public figure, which means the standard for any kind of slander/libel suit is pretty high. As I recall, something like a decade or so ago a small town newspaper printed an editorial headlined with the name of a candidate and saying that person lied. As I recall, there was a lawsuit which ended in a court saying the candidate had no recourse as a public figure. So I don't see what is wrong with this post.

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    and he'd need to prove he's not a jerk.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    It absolutely chokes me to vote for a sizemore initiative, but I am. This one. I have personal experience that says a good driving record vs poor credit through no personal fault loses. Bs. My wife's brain trying to explode has nada to do with the immaculate condition of my (too) many vehicles.

    I lost my grandfathering when I had to move to a commercial carrier, driving record didn't get worse, price sure did.

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    I dislike Sizemore as much as anyone on here, but I too voted for the measure (42&44 were the only ones I voted yes). I have to agree with TA, this is the one and only time I'll vote for one of his measures.

  • Kevin (unverified)

    I guess I'm the odd one out here... but it seems to me that good citizenship calls for voting for or against ballot measures on their own merits, not on the relative merits of whomever got them on the ballot.

    I'm no more a fan of sizemore than anyone else here. At the same time though, I don't give a flying rodent's backside about that when I decide which measures to support. Nor will I weigh it any heavier in the future.

    The measures rise or fall on their own merits. 42 is a good measure regardless of who brought it.

  • sasha (unverified)

    I am enjoying the spectacle of you folks voting for a Sizemore measure! I think it explains T.A.'s extreme anger - self loathing for supporting a Sizemore initiative is being transfered to Bill himself.

    It is very funny to see the mandatory pre-fix to any statement supporting M42: "I hate Sizemore too, but..."

    All the guy did to earn your wrath was fight the battle against the public employee unions. Sure, he qualified seven measures for the ballot in 2000 (and by the way, one did pass - Measure 7.)

    T.A.'s totally over-the-top screed is really quite revealing.

  • blizzak (unverified)

    It's true that there is a different legal standard for defamation involving public figures. I'll ask my question for the third time: "what crime was Bill Sizemore convicted of?"

    So, Blue Oregon brethren, either (1) tell me about Sizemore's criminal conviction or (2) explain why a post that contains a blatant falsehood is appropriate for the forum.

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    sasha, you're welcome to actually read my words and not invent your own version of what you wish i'd said. it doesn't matter who Bill targeted, unions or otherwise; it's how he did it. i have no problem with people who oppose my goals and values in the public arena, just as long as they do it fairly and honestly. Bill Sizemore has never been able to wage a fair or honest campaign (until M42) because he knew the majority of Oregonians would oppose him. on a multitude of issues, and not just public employees (i'm self-employed, btw), he's worked to harm democracy.

    i thank you for revealing more of yourself, too. describing me, a total stranger to you, as "self-loathing" is the kind of judgmentalism that exposes more about you than anything else. the reason i can write honestly is because i'm ok with who i am. i can write about what i think and feel -- and if you think this reflects extreme anger, boy howdy, you simply don't know me. oh, that's right: you don't know me.

  • TM (unverified)

    Does anyone here know the history of this measure? Why are we even being asked to vote on it in the first place?

    I'm in the dark on this one. I looked into the voters' pamphlet and was left unconvinced of the need for M42. I looked into the C&E reports to find out the funding source which turned out to be Loren Parks. Here on Blue Oregon folks are suggesting a yes vote because it's a good law.

    Any thoughts on why this is even on the ballot?

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    I think that the requirement that all drivers carry insurance is reason enough to forbid carriers from demanding a premium of drivers who have credit-worthiness challenges.

    I refer to a recent interview of J. L. Wilson of the 'Stop 42' campaign by Thom Hartmann:

    "I am suggesting that insurance costs are going to be attributed in a million ways, and currently they are attributed more accurately according to the risk of the consumer… [he sputters a bit] and the likelihood that a consumer is going to file a claim. That’s what credit information is used for in insurance products."

    Later Thom asked: "You’re suggesting that a credit score actually is an indicator of whether or not somebody is going to have a car accident or their house is going to burn down?"

    Wilson diverted the subject: "This whole measure is bunk if you can demonstrate a statistical correlation between credit score and the likelihood of loss." Figures don't lie, but liars figure.

    The tacit assertion is that the risk of loss which the customer must assume should include the risk that he would actually collect on the obligation of the insurance agency to pay a claim.

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    TM--because insurance companies are unfairly gouging people with poor credit for no reason other than to line their own pockets. They don't use actual FICO scores, and they've provided no evidence there's a correlation between the score and claim likelihood. Furthermore, such a high percentage of credit scores are wrong in some way, that unwarranted rates must occur routinely and without the knowledge of the customer. Finally, on what logical basis is the industry trying to get us to believe that absent FICO scores, they'll charge better drivers more instead of continuing to use other measures to set differential rates?

  • TM (unverified)

    Torrid--those are good points to vote yes based upon the merits of the measure itself. However, I'm inclined to vote no simply because I do not understand why this is on the ballot in the first place. This seems like an ideal issue for the state leg, not a ballot measure. It's unnerving that Loren Parks is funded the petition drive to place M42 on the ballot, Sizemore is involved, and that is usually enough of reason to object. Of any issue on the ballot, this seems like the most obscure. Do you know how this campaign got going in the first place? Is this yet another pet project by Mr. Parks of Nevada? I'm having a hard time believing that they are not working some angle w M42.

  • K (unverified)

    "All the guy did to earn your wrath was fight the battle against the public employee unions."

    Oh, is that all? Well pardon me, the guy is a freakin' angel then! What was I thinking?

  • Righty (unverified)

    How is it that someone is anti-democratic by putting ballot measures before voters? That just doesn't make sense to me. Actually, it seems to me that the opposit is true. The more ballot measures are put before voters the closer the people are to democracy.

    I will grant you that in the process he has angered a lot of special interests - Abortion providers, insurance companies, teacher unions, etc. Still, I don't think this warrants malicious attacks.

    And I hate the misuse of RICO which was originally intended to stop organized crime and is now being misused to stifle free speech.

  • blizzak (unverified)

    My final point.

    Since no one has given me information otherwise, I'm writing on the assumption that my research is correct and that Bill Sizemore was never convicted of a crime related to the initiative process.

    Let's take a step back and talk about what the supposed goals of the progressive movement are: good education, health care for all, clean environment, corporations paying their fair share of taxes, good jobs, opportunity, etc.

    I believe in those goals and when hacks like T.A. Barnhart act like they speak for the movement they undercut the chances of success and hurt the people they (the hacks) are supposedly trying to help.

    Here's how it works: if you include false information in your argument, everything is presumed to be false. You cannot convince people who currently support Sizemore's ideas unless you are accurate and honest in your arguments.

    The truth matters -- whether it's George Bush or T.A. Barnhart. If the goal is to make a fairer, better world; posts like this one are counter-productive. If the goal is for hacks like T.A. to feel better about themselves and get some "atta-boys" from the choir, keep them coming.

    T.A. -- you are a hack; you are intellectually lazy; and you can't answer a simple question about the facts of your post. If you truly gave a damn about making the world a better place you would shut up.

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    Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not, When I against myself with thee partake? Do I not think on thee, when I forgot Am of myself, all tyrant for thy sake? Who hateth thee that I do call my friend, On whom frown'st thou that I do fawn upon, Nay, if thou lour'st on me, do I not spend Revenge upon myself with present moan? What merit do I in myself respect, That is so proud thy service to despise, When all my best doth worship thy defect, Commanded by the motion of thine eyes? But, love, hate on, for now I know thy mind, Those that can see thou lov'st, and I am blind.

    Shakespeare, Sonnet 149

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    Genius! The bard deflates trolls! Hats off, T. A!

  • JHL (unverified)


    It's like, I know the Democrats are right on so many issues... but posts like these give me a intense desire to beat them up and steal their lunch money.

    Guess you're right, blizzak.

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    Living on the road my friend Was gonna keep you free and clean Now you wear your skin like iron Your breath's as hard as kerosene You weren't your mama's only boy But her favorite one it seems She began to cry when you said goodbye And sank into your dreams

    Pancho was a bandit boys His horse was fast as polished steel Wore his gun outside his pants For all the honest world to feel Pancho met his match you know On the deserts down in Mexico Nobody heard his dying words That's the way it goes

    All the federales say They could have had him any day They only let him hang around Out of kindness I suppose

    Lefty he can't sing the blues All night long like he used to The dust that Pancho bit down south Ended up in Lefty's mouth The day they laid poor Pancho low Lefty split for Ohio Where he got the bread to go There ain't nobody knows

    All the federales say They could have had him any day They only let him slip away Out of kindness I suppose

    The poets tell how Pancho fell Lefty's livin' in a cheap hotel The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold So the story ends we're told Pancho needs your prayers it's true, But save a few for Lefty too He just did what he had to do Now he's growing old

    A few gray federales say They could have had him any day They only let him go so wrong Out of kindness I suppose

    "Pancho & Lefty" by Townes Van Zandt (Emmylou Harris does the best version)

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    TM--we ARE the state legislature! When citizens execute ballot iniativies, for all intents and purposes they are acting as the state legislature, legally speaking. So to say it's better handled by the Leg doesn't distinguish it. This is a consumer issue; why not let the consumers handle it directly?

  • Jon (unverified)

    and they've provided no evidence there's a correlation between the score and claim likelihood.

    They had to provide that info to some kind of board in order to be able use it as a predictor in this state, right?

    They already use credit now, but Oregon law says they can only do it when you first apply for coverage. They cannot change your premiums, or drop you altogether based on credit information.

    Im going to vote yes, because I dont think its right to be doing it anyway.

  • M (unverified)

    This is a consumer issue; why not let the consumers handle it directly?

    Torridjoe -- Perhaps because the US Constitution guarantees me, you, and everybody else a representative form of state government.

    So much for that guarantee, though.

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    uh, what? When did we lose our form of legislature in Oregon? And what does that have to do with letting the citizens' legislature decide this one?

  • Open Minded (unverified)

    The best thing about democracy is the majority rules. I think the hatred here is a little over the top but that's our great freedom of expression. From what I see, Bill doesn't spend much on advertising or defending his measures and some still pass. That means the Oregon people wanted such a measure. POWER TO THE PEOPLE! That cant be bad. If a person chooses to bring issues to the voters, fine. We all have the right to check the YES or NO box. If people want to hate, well its a free world. But remember the Oregon people have the final say in this process. And if the majority says YES, then something's been accomplished on our State's behalf. The way lobbyist are these days, without the initiative system, some really good laws for the people of this state would never have a chance. If someone spins their wheels and comes up short on votes, nothing is really lost. And we get a little information as well as entertainment along the way. You want to talk about self-righteousness, maybe say something about lobbyist like Pat McCormick jumping to promote and support measures that have the highest million dollar bidders.

    Did anybody notice a proposal (ssshhhh, lobbyist) take over the elections division.

    Braking News from Mr.. McCormick's website: Major Election Reform Proposal Announced

    A citizen review panel recommended this week that the Oregon legislature create a new state office that would assume responsibility for elections from the Oregon Secretary of State. The commission made one change by recommending that the official’s tenure COME IN SIX-YEAR TERMS.

    The new official would assume responsibility for elections, campaign finance, and would staffing for the state government ethics panel and a new commission to redraw legislative and congressional district lines every decade.

    <h2>VERY VERY VERY Bad Idea. Lets Be Alert on this one. Now we have to fight the damn powerful lobbyist over our own right to self govern.</h2>

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