Anti-tax groups in race for signatures.Byline: David Steves The Register-Guard
SALEM - Anti-tax activists took to the streets Monday with a petition drive to overturn the Legislature's $1.1 billion, three-year tax increase.
The state Elections Division issued its go-ahead to circulate cir·cu·late
v. cir·cu·lat·ed, cir·cu·lat·ing, cir·cu·lates
1. To move in or flow through a circle or circuit: blood circulating through the body.
2. petitions after approving paperwork submitted by chief sponsors - setting off what amounts to a 79-day race to gather 50,420 valid signatures from registered voters before a Nov. 25 deadline.
If successful, voters will decide in a Feb. 3 election whether to approve the Legislature's package of increased taxes on business, personal income and property.
Groups behind the petition drive include Oregon's Republican, Libertarian lib·er·tar·i·an
1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
2. One who believes in free will.
[From liberty. and Constitution parties, as well as political organizations such as the Taxpayers Association of Oregon and the Washington, D.C.-based Citizens for a Sound Economy Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) is a conservative political group operating in the United States, whose self-described mission is "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation. .
The drive is the first since voters last year enacted Measure 26, an initiative that bans paying petition circulators on a per-signature basis.
Along with other rigid standards for validating petition sheets, activists on both sides of the current referendum say signature gatherers have a big hill to climb in a short period.
"We need people not to get complacent com·pla·cent
1. Contented to a fault; self-satisfied and unconcerned: He had become complacent after years of success.
2. Eager to please; complaisant. , but we're confident we can get it done," said Russ Walker Russ Walker was a second-row forward for Barrow and Hull.
Walker, who scored the second try as Hull beat Widnes 14-4 in 1991 Premiership final, was a tough tackler who combined his career with a job as a mechanic. Now works in the petrochemical industry in Barrow. References , Northwest regional director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. "The amount of support out there to repeal this tax increase is unbelievable."
Just as anti-tax groups will spend the fall trying to persuade Oregonians to force a vote on the Legislature's tax increase, supporters of the revenue plan will try to dissuade TO DISSUADE, crim. law. To induce a person not to do an act.
2. To dissuade a witness from giving evidence against a person indicted, is an indictable offence at common law. Hawk. B. 1, c. 2 1, s. 1 5. voters from signing the petitions.
"We are treating the petition drive as an election, saying if you agree this is a fair, reasonable solution, you shouldn't sign the petition," said Don Loving, Oregon spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the second- or third-largest labor union in the United States and one of the fastest-growing, representing over 1. .
The union is part of the Oregon AFL-CIO The Oregon AFL-CIO is a federation of labor unions in the U.S. state of Oregon that promotes the rights of working people in the electoral and legislative arenas on the local, state and national level. It is an affiliate of the national AFL-CIO. , which voted unanimously at its annual convention Monday in Albany to support the tax increase and discourage people from signing the referendum petition.
Organized labor Organized Labor
An association of workers united as a single, representative entity for the purpose of improving the workers' economic status and working conditions through collective bargaining with employers. Also known as "unions". is working with education groups, business groups and others to form a coalition to oppose the signature drive and, if the tax increase ends up on the ballot, campaign to keep it intact.
"The Legislature came together in a bipartisan manner and passed a balanced and fair solution to the current budget crisis," said Chip Terhune, director of Fund Oregon's Future Today, a combination of civic, professional and labor organizations.
"After they've shown the leadership we've actually elected them to show, Oregonians are faced with a potential referendum," he said. "I think they need to understand what's at stake before signing."
The $1.1 billion tax increase includes $800 million for the current two-year budget cycle and $300 million for 2005-07. Minority Democrats and moderate Republicans passed the increase after conservative GOP leaders couldn't line up enough support for a no-new-taxes alternative that required borrowing and fund shifts.
With the additional revenue, the Legislature crafted an $11.5 billion budget, close to the $12 billion approved two years earlier before the national recession hammered Oregon's economy and drove down income-tax collections.
Walker said his coalition of anti-tax groups is shooting for 75,000 signatures to ensure enough to meet the required number by the deadline, 90 days after the Legislature adjourned.
Patty Wentz, spokeswoman for the union-backed Voter Education Project, said petitioners would probably need at least 77,000 signatures. She expects they can collect that many if they follow through with announced plans to raise money and hire an out-of-state company to pay for signature-gathering operations, she said.
But Wentz added: "It's not a gimme gim·me
Contraction of give me.
Demanding material things or especially money; acquisitive: today's gimme society; tired of gimme letters.
n. . They're going to have to hustle hus·tle
v. hus·tled, hus·tling, hus·tles
1. To jostle or shove roughly.
2. To convey in a hurried or rough manner: hustled the prisoner into a van. ."
Her group has brought scrutiny to the petition circulating industry in recent years.
Last year, the organization dispatched workers to locations popular among circulators to discourage people from signing petitions without making sure they understood the measures and to be wary of illegal or unscrupulous behavior by the petitioners.
Wentz said it wasn't yet clear if the Voter Education Project would reprise re·prise
a. A repetition of a phrase or verse.
b. A return to an original theme.
2. A recurrence or resumption of an action.
tr.v. that role during this drive.