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Press Release

    FreedomWorks Fights for Free Speech in Oregon

    05/01/2008

    People here in Oregon may not always agree on what gets said, but we do agree in our right to say it. Basic, first amendment rights are one thing that Oregon used to do right. Unlike many states, we have a dynamic and robust citizen initiative process. Working within a few commonsense parameters, some of the law-making (and law-repealing!) is left in the hands of voters. 

    What a crazy idea! Letting citizens govern themselves!

    Of course, we don’t think that’s crazy at all. But in 2007, lawmakers in Salem, feeling their precious power slip away, made it harder than ever for average, concerned citizens to bring their ideas before the people. The Oregon Legislature enacted HB 2082 – a bill that throws up one barrier after another to keep grassroots initiatives from ever reaching the ballot.

    Specifically, this legislation enacts a new regulatory gauntlet for signature gatherers to comply with that tramples all over basic rights of political speech and free expression. The end goal is to gut the initiative process and make it practically impossible for grassroots citizens in Oregon to take part.

    However, we at FreedomWorks are not about to sit idly by as legislators strip us of our voice. I write to let you know we have filed a challenge in federal court to take on this unconstitutional bill. We will be fighting to preserve not just Oregon’s state initiative process, but also to preserve our basic liberties.

    This is a very important battle for Oregon that strikes at the very heart of our freedoms. Please take a moment to write a letter to the editor of your local paper, letting people know what Salem is trying to steal from them. You can go to FreedomWorks.org to write your letter. Just select our state in the “letter to the editor” tool to find a list of nearby papers.  It only takes a few minutes to send a very important message that could reach thousands of readers.

    I will be keeping you updated as the case continues. Please contact me if you would like to know how you can help. Thank you for your ongoing support of FreedomWorks in Oregon.

    Sincerely,
    Russ Walker
    State Director, Oregon
    rwalker@freedomworks.org