Backers withdraw anti-union petition


Without explanation, sponsors of an anti-union ballot initiative effort withdrew their initiative on Aug. 30, just four weeks after they turned in 1,484 signatures to get the process started.

The initiative was aimed at making it harder for public employee union members to give to their unions’ political funds, and had the fingerprints of business lobbyist Mark Nelson on it. Chief petitioner Mel Zucker told the Labor Press that conservative former Oregonian columnist David Reinhard, who works for Nelson, was central to the effort. But neither Reinhard nor either of the chief petitioners returned calls from the Labor Press seeking explanation as to why the measure was withdrawn. The initiative was in an early stage and had not yet been approved to circulate.

Resources could be part of the answer; Zucker told Oregonian reporter Jeff Mapes that the campaigners didn’t get support they thought they were promised.

A similar initiative — sponsored by an associate of perennial union foe Bill Sizemore — may still be gathering signatures for the 2012 ballot. The union-backed ballot initiative watchdog group Defend Oregon is calling on supporters to report sightings of signature gatherers here.



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