Remember when the Rogue desk recently chose the League of Women Voters for dishonors because of its misleading statement in the Oregon Voters' Pamphlet against Measure 39 (Rogue of the Week, WW, Oct. 4, 2006)? Well, now it's time to turn the tables.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported last week that a Voters' Pamphlet statement supporting Measure 39 was also based on false information. This time, the misinformation came from Oregonians in Action President David Hunnicutt, who's backing the measure proposing to limit the government's ability to condemn property.
In the pro-39 pamphlet statement, Hogan's Electric owner James Hogan Jr. says the City of Portland wanted to condemn his property and business in the Lents section of Southeast Portland to build a natural-foods store. "I don't want to sell my property, and I don't want to move my business," Hogan wrote.
But OPB's Rob Manning reported that Hogan's business is no longer located on the property the city plans to condemn. Jack Hogan, James' uncle, tells the Rogue desk that Hogan's Electric moved to Sandy and leased the property in June to a church, which has since moved out. One more thing: The property doesn't actually belong to James Hogan Jr.; it belongs to his father, James Hogan Sr., who lives in Henderson, Nev.
Yet Hunnicutt still used Hogan's statement to argue that businesses like Hogan's can be unfairly condemned against business owners' will. Hunnicutt says he didn't know Hogan's business had moved until learning it from OPB, and that Hogan didn't mention his plans to lease the property when Hunnicutt asked him to write the Voters' Pamphlet statement. After hearing OPB's report, Hunnicutt says he immediately pulled all radio ads that mentioned Hogan's case.
Still, our door swings both ways, and if the League can be a Rogue for giving misinformation about fundraising for Measure 39 in the Voters' Pamphlet, then so can Hunnicutt.