Thursday, June 29, 2006

Statesman Journal offers up some kick ass reporting

In some what of a contrast to my previous post, here's a great bit of journalism from Statesman Journal writer Steve Law:

Sponsors of Measure 26, a 2002 reform that required paying signature-gatherers by the hour, turned up the heat on backers of nine initiatives that they allege are illegally paying petitioners by the signature. Measure 26 sponsors publicly identified the eight campaigns targeted in an elections complaint they filed Friday, with a ninth one added Tuesday, and urged heavy fines for initiative sponsors who violate the law.

Measure 26 won't be upheld "until chief petitioners are held accountable," said Tim Nesbitt, a former labor leader and a co-petitioner of the 2002 reform.

Excellent work. Factually correct, well written and concise.

While Law didn't write about checking in on signature gatherers, he doesn't allow run away inscinuations of political retribution muddy up his piece. In fact, he nails Bill Sizemore (a target rich individual if there ever was one) by quoting him:

That could mean criminal sanctions or several-thousand-dollar fines against prominent initiative activists, such as Bill Sizemore, or even his mother, whom he enlisted as a passive co-petitioner on his initiative to bar insurers from using credit ratings to set policy-holder rates. Sizemore welcomed the effort to pursue heavy fines or criminal sanctions for paying petitioners by the signature.

"I think that's exactly what our side needs to have that prohibition declared unconstitutional," Sizemore said.

This makes it sound like Sizemore may be deliberately attempting to thwart state law. He's obviously thumbing his nose at it. Perhaps this will get the SOS' attention and move Sizemore's initiatives to the top of the scrutiny list.

(h/t: Kari Chisholm)