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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sec. Of State Opens New Sizemore Probe

Posted by Matt Davis on Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 2:16 PM

As if being thrown in jail and facing potential court sanctions weren't enough, alleged initiative racketeer Bill Sizemore could now face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines imposed by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Secretary of State Kate Brown's office announced this morning that it has opened an investigation into Sizemore's behavior during the 2008 election. A civil penalty of $10,000 per crooked transaction may be leveled as a result, which means there's a potential for a huge fine to be leveled against Sizemore.

"Every time you file a campaign report with a dollar amount, that's a transaction," says Brown's spokesman, Don Hamilton. "This isn't a criminal process, it's a civil process, so it's not like we're indicting him on x many counts, but certainly, most campaign reports contain numerous transactions."

Sizemore, who has recently moved to Redmond, Oregon, is also rumored to have had his funding cut off by his two biggest sources, Jeld-Wen owner Dick Wendt, and eccentric sex therapist millionaire Loren Parks.

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SIZEMORE: Could be faced with huge fines...

The investigation will seek to determine if Sizemore violated campaign finance laws in his activities involving five organizations he controlled during the 2008 election. In a letter to Sizemore this morning, the Elections Division of Brown's office wrote that a December court ruling against him indicates that "organizations you controlled, whether as not-for-profit or for-profit, were conduits for political activity related to either, or to both, the financing of state initiatives or the support or opposition of state measures certified to the ballot."

In other words, Sizemore may have used tax-exempt charity cash for political purposes: A no-no. The investigation will look into whether any of Sizemore's organizations should have filed as "political action committees," instead of as charities, under election law.

Brown's office has asked Sizemore to answer a series of questions on the following entities by March 16: CBS Consulting Company; Democracy Direct, a signature gathering firm; Initiative Resource Management, a Nevada corporation; American Tax Research Foundation, a nonprofit based in Nevada, and the Initiative Preservation Institute, another nonprofit.

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