October 23rd, 2008 5:33 pm | by Ian Gillingham News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, CLEAN UP

Keisling and Paulus Attack Teachers Union Mailer Tying Measure 65 to Sizemore

Ballot Measure 65 co-petitioners Phil Keisling and Norma Paulus today attacked a new mailer by the Oregon Education Assocation, saying it's an attack ad falsely linking notorious petition king and convicted racketeer Bill Sizemore with their ballot measure. The mailer (see exterior shot above and interior below) includes Measure 65—the "Open Primary" measure that aims to lump all primary candidates together and send the top two to the general-election ballot—in a list of measures on the Nov. 4 ballot associated with "Bad Penny Bill."
Keisling, a former Oregon secretary of state (and onetime WW reporter), said in a press release:
“The ad, paid for by the OEA and brought to our attention by an outraged teacher, claims Bill Sizemore is the author and lead proponent of the Open Primary/Measure 65.... Linking us to Sizemore is blatantly false, cynical, and offensive. I can't believe OEA's political bosses are so afraid of losing power that they would knowingly lie and mislead their own members.”

Paulus, also a former Secretary of State, sharpened the counterattack on the OEA:
“False, say-anything-to-win, scare tactics have no place in Oregon politics.... We're trying to open up the political process with Measure 65 so that all voters are treated fairly and equally. Such tactics, especially by Oregon's largest, most powerful union, illustrate precisely the type of problem that we are trying to solve.”

Calls to OEA have not yet been returned. We'll update this post with any response. OEA spokeswoman Becca Uherbelau responded on Friday in the comments section below, saying in part: "There was absolutely no intent to link Measure 65 to Bill Sizemore. ... It appears that proponents of Measure 65 have chosen to overreact to this particular mailing for the purpose of publicity."
Measure 65 has been a divisive issue for Oregon's political powerhouses. Besides Keisling and Paulus, the list of current and former elected officials supporting the measure includes U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer and former Govs. John Kitzhaber and Vic Atiyeh. (WW also supports Measure 65; read our endorsement here.) The opposition includes not only the Democratic and Republican state parties and major unions—AFSCME, SEIU and AFL-CIO, in addition to the OEA—but also minor parties including the Pacific Green, Libertarian and Peace parties. Opponents say even the "Open Primary" tag is misleading, since the proposal's "top two" setup goes beyond merely opening up parties' primaries to all voters.
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