Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Republican signature gathering firms get the smack from Oregon Justice

Two of the more notorious ballot initiative signature gathering firms are in serious trouble with the Oregon Justice Department:

In filings in Marion County Circuit Court, the department said Timothy R. Trickey, president of Democracy Direct Inc., and Brian Platt, head of B&P Campaign Management Inc., have failed to comply with subpoenas for their records that were issued in December.

The subpoenas, issued by the Elections Division of Secretary of State Bill Bradbury's office, sought payroll and other records relating to signature-gathering in support of four proposed ballot measures for the Nov. 7 general election ballot. The Elections Division seeks to determine if the men paid their employees by the signature, a violation of state law.

We reported on this story a couple of days ago in association with a report on the TABOR proposal for Oregon. It seems to be heating up.

I know as I've been going over the reams of campaign expenditure sheets for the various rightwing initiatives that have passed, B&P's name has popped up. They're very cozy with Bill Sizemore, Russ Walker, Don McIntyre and the rest of the Flintstones hoping to push Oregon back to the Stone Age.

In the process of gathering background information for how these winger initiative people work, it's not terribly shocking to me that the individuals in hot water with Justice are arrogant enough to not turn over their information subpeonaed by Justice:

In a telephone interview Monday, Trickey said he did not produce all of the documents because U.S. Supreme Court rulings and other legal precedents limit what information the secretary of state is entitled to in such an investigation.

He said the subpoena sought all of his financial records and every petition signature sheet that had been submitted to his firm. "Those are two areas where I think there was a little overreaching on (the state's) behalf," he said

Wow. Trickey is just smug enough to believe that he's above the law. Its as if he's expecting Scalia, Thomas, Robers and Alito to come rushing to his aid. Earth to Tim Trickey: You don't get to make the decision about which subpeonaed items to turn over to the Oregon Department of Justice. Enjoy that contempt of court citation.

Brian Platt plays the whiney, crybaby angle:

Platt is a well-known signature gatherer in Oregon. He said the people he hires "are consistently going to try to screw me over," but he denied paying any of his employees by the signature.

It can't have anything to do with the fact that Brian's company was trying to dock pay for signature gatherers who didn't make the 6 sigs per hour minimum, right?

This is what passes for conservative public process in Oregon politics.