The Wikipedia Bias Against Bill Sizemore
Wikipedia is neither honest nor factual in its coverage of Bill Sizemore, the well known Oregon tax activist and former Republican nominee for governor. Notwithstanding several courteous attempts at encouraging fair and accurate coverage of Mr. Sizemore’s record and history, Wikipedia continues to grossly misrepresent the truth about who Bill Sizemore is and what he has done. It is the goal of this site to shed light on Wikipedia’s bias and set the record straight.
Readers may hesitate to accept the possibility that Wikipedia’s can at times be dishonest in its coverage, but that hesitance can be dispelled by a simple recognition of the way Wikipedia compiles its “information” about public figures. Here’s how it works: If a major newspapers prints it, Wikipedia almost always treats the statement as fact. It of course follows that liberal, biased newspaper reporting regarding a person will almost always result in liberal, biased reporting in Wikipedia. As of the date of this website’s launch, Wikipedia’s coverage of Bill Sizemore reads as if it had been written by Sizemore’s political opponents, making it one of the most biased, one-sided sites that covers Bill Sizemore.
Given this reality, you should give Wikipedia’s coverage of Bill Sizemore as much credibility as you give The Oregonian and The Eugene Register Guard newspapers, both of which have been notoriously biased toward the political left. As you will learn from exploring this website, the leading newspapers in Oregon have repeatedly told only one side of the story about Bill Sizemore, routinely omitting major facts which would entirely alter a reader’s perception of the truth. This has not been mere happenstance.
Several years ago, The Oregonian launched a policy of purposely running stories designs to take down Bill Sizemore as part of a strategic plan aimed at destroying his credibility, thus making it impossible for him to place conservative measures on the ballot. This policy was obvious on the paper’s editorial pages, but more subtle in what it called news stories. The extent of the bias in The Oregonian’s so called news stories will be made clear as you explore this site and read the other side of the story, the side newspapers attempted to conceal.
While newspaper bias explains some of Wikipedia’s misrepresentations regarding Bill Sizemore, other issues are more challenging to correct because doing so requires readers to recognize the painful fact that esteemed sitting judges are not always honest or free from political bias in their rulings. Most readers know that newspapers are biased. They have been since the founding of this nation. In fact, in earlier days newspapers routinely labeled themselves as “Democrat newspapers” or “Republican newspapers.” (As ironic as it may seem today, The Oregonian once called itself a “Republican newspaper.”) Judges, on the other hand, are supposed to be free from bias or to recuse themselves when they know they cannot be unbiased due to some conflict of interest. Alas, this is rarely the case these days. Biased judges are no longer the exception to the rule. This is as true in Oregon as it is on the United States Supreme Court.
The State of Oregon has tried everything, including criminal acts, to keep Bill Sizemore from putting measures on the ballot. Before rebutting all of the other “stuff” Wikipedia and newspapers have published and refused to publish about Bill Sizemore, it is helpful to recognize what has really been going on and why Mr. Sizemore has been under constant attack by Oregon’s liberal establishment. It’s really very simple. Bill Sizemore has placed dozens of measures on the ballot to give voters choices Oregon’s liberal establishment does not want them to have. His measures have reduced taxes by more than $12 billion. He has placed measures on the ballot to rein in the excesses of the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System and reduce the political power of the public employee unions. He has challenged unconstitutional and abusive land use laws and given voters the opportunity to restore some degree of common sense and fairness. As a result, public employee unions and other left leaning groups have spent more than $50 million fighting Sizemore’s measures and millions more in legal fees harassing him in court. Because unions first reflex is to smear their opponents and assassinate his or her character, almost every television, radio, and newspaper ad the unions and others ran attacked Bill Sizemore personally. Those ads often contained blatantly slanderous and libelous statements, but Oregon courts have protected the unions from legal liability.
At one point the unions and the courts showed their hand and revealed their true motives behind all of this legal harassment. Even though it is a criminal act to offer a person anything of consideration in exchange for not placing a measure on the ballot, the teachers unions and the State of Oregon offered to back off on Sizemore in court and cease all efforts to collect on a $4.4 million judgment, if he would do two things: Sign an agreement to stop putting measures on the ballot for 16 years and drop all legal appeals. The unions made this offer in formal mediation with a Multnomah County judge, making him complicit in the effort to bribe Bill Sizemore out of politics. (Sizemore declined this offer.)
So as you read sites like Wikipedia or old articles in The Oregonian and other Oregon newspapers, keep in mind that the entire liberal establishment in Oregon, including the unions, the courts, and the media have worked overtime to prevent Bill Sizemore from placing measures on the ballot and letting voters decide issues they wanted left in the hands of the state legislature, which they controlled. The unions sued Sizemore. The State prosecuted him. The courts saddled him with injunctions and fined him hundreds of thousands of dollars simply for raising and spending money, in full compliance with the law, trying to place measures on the ballot. Almost unanimously, the Oregon media provided cover for all of the shenanigans dishonest liberal judges, the public employee unions, and the appellate courts perpetrated. Sites like Wikipedia will likely never tell readers what has really gone on in the Bill Sizemore story.
As you read further in this site, please keep one overarching thing in mind, because it explains what all of the attacks on Sizemore have been about. They have not been about things he did wrong. The attacks have been a direct result of Sizemore placing on the ballot measures that the liberal establishment doesn’t want to see there. This is not idle speculation. Oregon courts have granted public employee unions multi-million dollar judgments against Bill Sizemore’s organizations for putting conservative measures on the ballot and somehow “forcing” the unions to spend money fighting them. There is no legal precedent for this. How is an entity damaged by someone giving voters the opportunity to vote on a matter of public policy? Putting a measure on the ballot hurts no one. No one is forced to support or oppose it. Bill Sizemore could not control how much money unions chose to spend fighting his measures and yet his organizations were ordered to pay the unions back all of their campaign expenditures tripled. This is not only unconstitutional, but it is legally and logically absurd.
No matter how a measure gets on the ballot, all it does is place a decision before the voters. The exercise of this constitutional right, one guaranteed under both the Oregon and the federal constitution, cannot constitute a basis for harm or liability. After the 1998 election in which the public employee unions spent more than $5 million fighting two of Bill Sizemore’s measures, the leader of the public employee union movement in Oregon told reporters that union leaders now recognized that Sizemore was going to put measures on the ballot every election unless they did something about it. So they did. They asked their friends in the courts to stop Sizemore for them and make it impossible for him to continue collecting signatures and placing measures before the voters. Judges cloaked their decisions in legalese and fake moral outrage, and pretended the cases before them were about something else, like making Sizemore play by the rules. But that was pure subterfuge. When Sizemore regrouped and attempted to put two more measures on the ballot, crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” of Oregon election law, the unions dragged back into court and twice the court found him in contempt, fined him hundreds of thousands of dollars, and ordered him to stop raising and spending money on ballot measure efforts. The court ruled that Sizemore was not allowed to raise and spend money on politics, even if he obeyed every law perfectly.