The campaign to recall Sam Adams has filed a complaint with the secretary of state's office this afternoon over an alleged altercation between the mayor and one of its signature gatherers last week in Pioneer Square.
Here's a press release just put out by campaign spokesman Jasun Wurster.
(Portland, OR) A formal complaint was filed today by the Community to Recall Sam Adams with the Secretary of the State of Oregon Elections Division against Mayor Sam Adams for allegedly intimidating a signature circulator, Thursday, September 3, 2009, on a sidewalk abutting Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.
"Oregon law protects those who collect signatures from undue influence, violence or threatening statements and, as an elected official, Adams is well aware of this law," stated Jasun Wurster, Chief Petitioner for the Community to Recall Sam Adams. "This type of intimidation is simply unacceptable and is in direct violation of principles of our democratic process."
According to Rondine Ghiselline, a authorized volunteer signature circulator with the campaign to recall Portland's current Mayor and a single mother of three, Adams and approximately ten other males approached Ghiselline as she was speaking with an assured signator. Adams emerged from the pack of staffers and went directly up to her within a foot of her face and admonished her for lying and spreading false rumors about him. The signator was intimidated and immediately fled the scene while Adams continued reprimand Ghiselline in the public-right-of-way. A staff assistant pulled Adams away from Ghiselline and she immediately called the campaign office to report the incident.
"I was scared," Ghiselline reported. "I felt he wanted to stop me from collecting signatures and representing the campaign. I was shaking afterwards. And, I lost the signature."
According to his schedule, Adams was arriving to represent the City of Portland at Portland Pancake Day. The complaint also addresses the misuse of city resources for political campaign purposes.
Update: The secretary of state's office plans to review the complaint over the next 24 hours to determine whether it is a "civil or criminal complaint," according to a spokesperson. We'll know more tomorrow, but civil complaints can be discussed, criminal complaints are kept confidential.
Update, 4:14pm: Ghiselline says she was talking to some people on the edge of the square, telling them "Mayor Adams has a new sit/lie law in the works," when he came over. "He said 'is this what you're resorting to?' and asked 'why are you starting these rumors about me?'," says Ghiseline. "I'd say he was trying to intimidate me, he was clearly very angry, but I didn't feel intimidated." She told Adams, "I just want you to resign," she says, to which he allegedly responded, "You've made that clear." "And I lost the signatures, of course," says Ghiseline.
Update, 5:51pm: Mayor Adams has denied Ghiselline's version of events in what many may feel is the most appropriate medium, Twitter direct message:
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