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Jul-07-2010 17:17printcomments

Common Sense Wins Important Initiative Rights Case

"The city of Newberg spent a lot of taxpayer dollars to have Judge Easterday tell the city what we have been telling them all along..." - Attorney Ross Day

Yamhill County, Oregon court seal

(SALEM, Ore.) - Today, Common Sense For Oregon won an important case for initiative rights in Oregon.

In Grum v. City of Newberg, Common Sense For Oregon, successfully defended the rights of Henry Grum to circulate a city measure that would have amended the city's charter to allow the referral of revenue raising actions by the city of Newberg.

On five separate occasions, the city of Newberg prohibited Mr. Grum from circulating his petition.

"This is not only an important case for Mr. Grum, but also an important case for initiative rights throughout the state of Oregon," said Ross Day, executive director of Common Sense For Oregon and the lead counsel in the Grum case, "had the city of Newberg prevailed and been allowed to continue to restrict the citizens access to the initiative, you can be certain that many other cities in Oregon would soon follow suit."

In rejecting all of the city of Newberg's claims that Mr. Grum's petition violated procedural provisions of the Oregon Constitution, Yamhill County Circuit Court judge Cynthia Easterday recognized that Mr. Grum's petition "[S]eeks to change the legislative framework within which the city would mak revenue-generating decisions."

"The city of Newberg spent a lot of taxpayer dollars to have Judge Easterday tell the city what we have been telling them all along: Mr. Grum's initiative petition should have been up allowed to proceed," Day added, "this is going to be an expensive lesson that the taxpayers of Newberg should never have been forced to pay for."

In addition to Ross Day, staff attorney Sarah Hunt-Vasche was also instrumental in Common Sense For Oregon’s victory.

Source: Common Sense For Oregon, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting taxpayers from government waste, fraud and abuse, in addition to protecting the citizen’s access to the ballot through the initiative and referendum process.

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