Friday, July 07, 2006

Eyewitness, Photo Evidence Confirms M26 Violations

Check out the big cub reporter hats on The Mercury! We noted yesterday their story on alleged payments by the signature, in which a homeless man admitted that he'd get paid a certain amount for 20 signatures (two full sheets). Not satisfied with that testimony, the Merc's crack staff hung around the Crack District again today looking for more sub-subcontractors and hopefully the people who were paying them, and this time scored a big rock:
The setting this time was 10 am, in front of the Greyhound station at NW 5th and Glisan. While waiting for his “employer” to show up with cash, a signature gatherer, John, who is homeless, admitted multiple times that he was being paid $15 for two full sheets of signatures—which is a violation of the law. The payment and conservative petitions he was carrying—term limits for legislators, districting of Oregon Supreme Court justices, and the “TABOR” state spending cap—were all in line with what we had seen the previous day.

Within minutes, John’s man arrived and proceeded to count his signatures and pay him accordingly. As soon as we started asking the employer questions, though, both scurried to the other end of the block to finalize the transaction, which we were still able to witness from a distance.
Merc reporters spent the rest of the day trying to hunt down other purveyors of penmanship pork, without success.

Assuming The Merc verified the petitions being carried, here are the people ultimately responsible for what was captured on film:

McIntire, Don
Williams, Jason
Howe, Greg

Justice elections by district--
Bobo, Abner J.
Bobo, Carol A.
Walker, Russ

Term limits--
Berthelote, Theodore F.

Statement from any of these people? Angry denials, promises to "get to the bottom of this," disassociations with unscrupulous subcontractors? No, no and no, that we've seen. For that matter, any peep out of the Secretary of State's office? Not since this tepid fingerwag on June 21.

We'll see how everything turns out--the irony of paying by the signature is that you often end up with FEWER valid signatures at turn in time--but at least we know for sure the collecting violations will stop today. But only because collections stop today, period.