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Sizemore was sent to jail for a contempt of court that did not exist.

  Bill Sizemore went to jail on December 1, 2008 because the unions and the judge wanted pictures of Sizemore being hauled off to court in handcuffs. That’s all there was to it. Sizemore was not in contempt of court. Here’s what happened: Judge Janice Wilson sent Sizemore to jail for not signing Oregon Taxpayers United Education Foundation’s tax returns. However, Sizemore was only the executive director of the organization and not an officer. Thus he was not legally authorized to sign the returns. The organization’s president had, in fact, already signed the returns and placed them in the custody of their attorney, Gregory Byrne. Byrne offered to produce the signed returns immediately, but Judge Wilson instead sent Sizemore off to jail until he personally signed the returns. She did it simply because she wanted to. The unions got what they wanted, massive television and newspaper coverage of Bill Sizemore being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. The next day, Sizemore was released, but his mug shot still shows up on union websites to this day.  

In order to be in contempt of court, a person has to refuse to obey a court order. Sizemore had never been ordered to personally sign the tax returns and in fact was not qualified to sign them. Judge Wilson had no right to send Bill Sizemore to jail, she did it simply because she could and because the teachers unions wanted her to. That would not be the last time Sizemore would be sent to jail for unwarranted reasons.

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Bill Sizemore Facts

| Bill Sizemore’s ballot measures have reduced property taxes on Oregonians by more than $12 billion and income taxes by more than $3 billion. Average property owners could buy a new car with the money Bill Sizemore’s tax cutting measures have saved them over the years. Many elderly Oregonians have stated that they would have lost their homes had Sizemore’s measure not passed. |


| Bill Sizemore’s approach to preventing government from using the power of eminent domain to forcibly take property from one private property owner to sell it to another private entity passed with more than 80 percent of the vote. Most Oregonians were never told that they were voting on a Bill Sizemore measure. |


| Contrary to claims many union leaders have publicly made, Bill Sizemore does not owe any money to the public employee unions. None whatsoever. At one time he owed them more than $4 million, but that judgment was overturned on appeal. Claims that he owes the unions money are totally false. |


| Contrary to statements made in the newspapers and on television, Bill Sizemore has never been convicted of fraud, forgery, and racketeering. In fact, he has never been so much as accused of or charged with any of those crimes. Union spokespersons have repeatedly made those claims and led many to believe them, including some reporters, but there is not a shred of truth to them. |


| Bill Sizemore was not pursued in court because of things he did wrong; in fact the opposite is true. The teachers unions chief attorney confessed to Bill Sizemore in a mediation session in the Multnomah County Courthouse that the unions were not really suing him for money; they just wanted him out of politics. The public employee unions were spending tens of millions of dollars fighting Sizemore’s conservative measures and wanted to put an end to his efforts to put measure on the ballot. The unions literally tried to bribe Sizemore out of politics. They offered not to collect on the multi-million judgment Sizemore owed them (at the time), if he would just sign an agreement to stay out of politics for 16 years and drop his appeal. Sizemore rejected that offer and eventually won the appeal. |


| Teachers unions sued Bill Sizemore and his organizations for more than a decade with proceeding after proceeding, and yet not once was he ever actually a defendant before a jury of his peers. Anytime Bill Sizemore was a defendant in a proceeding, the State and the teachers unions used legal maneuvers to ensure that he could not make his case before a jury. Even when Attorney General John Kroger prosecuted Sizemore for filing his state tax returns late, the court ruled that Bill Sizemore would not be able to testify in his own defense or tell the jury why he could not yet file his state tax return or even tell the jury that he and his wife had paid more than $50,000 in estimated taxes while they waited to file their returns. The court left Sizemore with no choice to plead guilty. That same court later reduced the charges, retroactively, to mere misdemeanors. |


| For more than a decade, liberal Portland judges ordered Bill Sizemore not to raise and spend any money on politics. Their injunctions were blatantly unconstitutional and yet three times Sizemore was held in contempt of court for lawfully raising and spending money to place measures on the ballot. The liberal Oregon Supreme Court upheld the injunctions or simply refused to hear Sizemore’s appeal of the harsh restrictions he faced. However, when Sizemore filed a civil rights case in federal court and appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the Oregon Department of Justice and the teachers unions dropped their lawsuits and their injunction, and overnight more than a decade of legal harassment simply disappeared. |


| The judge who presided for three years over the teachers union lawsuits against Bill Sizemore’s organization concealed for that entire time that his own son was a high level activist in the same union that was suing in his dad’s court. Only when it was going to become public knowledge that his son had been elected to the position of union president did the judge withdraw from the case. Notwithstanding the judge’s blatant conflict of interest, other Oregon courts allowed all of the judge’s biased decisions and personal attacks on Bill Sizemore to stand. |


| Contrary to a long held Oregon legend, the Oregon State Legislature did not have to rewrite Bill Sizemore’s property tax measure because it was poorly written. The rewrite was actually Sizemore’s idea, one he put forth to place Measure 47 beyond the reach of the courts and lock in nearly 90 percent of the savings the measure had enacted. The story that Sizemore’s measure was poorly written has been perpetuated by the media, but it is, like so many things commonly said about Bill Sizemore, simply not true. |


| Bill Sizemore has been busy writing books while taking a break from Oregon politics. As of February 2016, two of his books have been published and two more are expected to be completed by the end of the year. One of the books to be completed this year is an autobiography. |