HOW JUDICIAL CORRUPTION STRIPPED AN INNOCENT MAN OF HIS RIGHTS
By Bill Sizemore
I have fewer rights than a convicted felon
Let me make something clear right up front. Misleading press reports notwithstanding, I have never been convicted of a crime in my life. In fact, I have never been so much as charged with a crime. And I have never even got off on a technicality.
Someday, I may get the chance to stand before a jury and defend myself against some trumped up charge, but to date I have not been afforded that opportunity.
Even though I have never been charged or convicted of any crime, here is a list of the restrictions two Multnomah County Circuit Court judges (Portland, Oregon) have placed on me, my family, and on my business and political activities.
By order of the court:
I can never be a director, manager, or key employee of a nonprofit charity for the rest of my life. That includes churches, homeless shelters, and charities that do such things as feed the poor or fund missionary projects in the Congo.
I also cannot be a chief petitioner for a ballot measure unless a Portland judge, who by the way opposes everything I believe in, gives me permission to do so. Assuming it is possible to obtain the judge’s permission, to do so I must demonstrate a number of almost impossible things that no other ballot measure sponsor, including my political opponents, is required to prove or demonstrate.
I cannot run for public office without the judge’s consent and in order to win her approval I must again prove or demonstrate things no other candidate is required to prove or demonstrate.
Believe it or not, it gets worse. If I am involved with a political committee or PAC, that committee or PAC cannot spend any of the money it raises. Not for any reason. All of the organization’s funds are immediately frozen, if I am working with it.
Even though under Oregon law you can’t put a measure on the ballot or run a campaign without forming a PAC, if I am involved, a PAC cannot pay rent on an office or pay its employees’ wages. It cannot spend money paying utilities or phone bills. It cannot pay to print or mail fundraising letters or brochures. It cannot spend money printing petitions or buying radio or television ads.
Forget about the First Amendment. If I am involved with a PAC, it is automatically out of business.
And even though no petitioning company that I have owned or operated has ever been sued or found guilty of a crime, no petitioning company I operate can run the signature drive for any measure for which I am a chief petitioner.
Oddly, this restriction applies only to me and my measures. A signature gathering company that I own or operate can run signature drives for other peoples’ measures, just not mine.
How does that make sense? One might get the impression that these restrictions are designed for just one purpose: Stopping Bill Sizemore from putting measures on the ballot.
In addition to all these restrictions on my political activities, I also cannot spend more than a “reasonable” amount each month providing for my family. What “reasonable” means is not defined in the court’s order.
Nonetheless, each month I must present to the teachers unions, the attorney general, and the court all of the bank statements for my personal and business accounts, all of my credit card receipts, copies of my grocery receipts and receipts for movie rentals. If I stop on the street corner and buy a hot dog or a newspaper, I have to get a receipt and give a copy to the teachers union.
No kidding. The teachers union and the attorney general get to know what movies I rent and what the Sizemore family buys at the grocery store. And if the amounts spent are not “reasonable,” whatever that means, I could go to jail for contempt of court.
Because I am not entirely sure what “providing for my family” means, I assume and probably must assume that I cannot donate money to my church or to the local homeless shelter or to any of the candidates or political causes I support.
Of course, this is all a bit hard to believe. When I try to explain what the courts have done to me, people always respond the same way: “How can they do this?”
And I always respond, “They can do this because I’m Bill Sizemore and this is Oregon. There are two sets of laws in this state: One set for me and one for everyone else.”
I have even had liberal attorneys approach me on the streets of Portland and tell me that they have never supported any of my ballot measures and yet are embarrassed and confounded by the way the Oregon courts are treating me.
A few months ago, I was circulating in a petition to create a Homestead Exemption to lower property taxes on residential property. I was doing well and had collected more than 20,000 signatures. However, when the court placed these severe restrictions on my political activities, everything stopped.
Now, those 20,000 signatures will go for naught. Because of the court’s order, the measure will die because I cannot spend money printing or mailing petitions.
In desperation, I filed a motion with the Oregon Supreme Court seeking a Writ of Mandamus, asking the court to order the lower court judge to come in and explain how these restrictions are constitutional or remove them. Just this afternoon, I received the disappointing news that the Oregon Supreme Court without comment declined to hear the case.
The Supreme Court’s decision is very disappointing. If I was a pornographer challenging some local zoning law that was stopping me from putting an adult bookstore across the street from a church or school, that Court would have dashed to my rescue.
So, you might ask, what have you done to get so many big dogs chasing you? Why is the entire political machine lined up against this one man and no one willing to step in and put a halt to the abuse, at least the most blatant violations of constitutional rights?
That’s actually a pretty easy question to answer.
Laying the morality of their tactics aside, I completely understand why the liberal machine in Oregon wants me gone. The public employee unions and the extreme environmentalist groups have spent more than $50 million running campaigns against my measures. That’s a lot of money by Oregon standards.
My measures have saved Oregon taxpayers in the neighborhood of $10 billion so far. That may sound like a good thing to you, but those who live off tax dollars, i.e. government employees and their unions, don’t like it and they are using the courts to insure that I stop putting tax cutting measures in front of those Oregon voters, who “selfishly” want to keep more of the money they earn.
However, it’s not just my tax cutting measures the liberal machine doesn’t like. One of my measures sought to rein in Oregon’s ridiculously extravagant public employee retirement system. Voters approved the measure, but after the election the courts threw it out. In the end, the public unions won, but they have never forgiven me for bringing their largess to the public’s attention.
(By the way, that system is now tens of billions of dollars in the hole, a deficit that would not exist today had four of the seven justices on the Oregon Supreme Court, all of whom were participants in the retirement system, not overruled the voters and nullified my measure.)
Another of my measures sought to rein in the obscene political power of the public employee unions by prohibiting the use of the public payroll system to collect their coerced political donations. That was the last straw. Seeing that I had my sights set on the left’s Achilles heel, i.e. their money supply, the unions went nuclear and asked a judge to make it all but impossible for me to put measures on the ballot.
So, here I stand with fewer rights than a convicted felon and the ACLU and all the newspapers and television stations in Oregon, all of which live and die by the First Amendment, are turning their heads and ignoring the blatantly unconstitutional way the left is shutting me down.
Well, I have said enough for today. I have a family to feed. I need to wind this up and head out to the grocery store and find something for dinner. Hmm. Which should it be tonight, chicken or roast beef? Better go with the chicken. The court might not consider roast beef “reasonable.”
[Editors Note: Bill Sizemore did not ask NWV to do this but we feel we must for love of fairness and our fellow man. If there is any constitutional Law firms or groups that fight against judicial corruption and injustice pro bono please contact NewsWithViews (541-955-0117) and we'll put you in touch with Bill.]
© 2009 Bill Sizemore - All Rights Reserved