In their efforts to get an anti-government measure on the county ballot, the Clackamas County Americans For Prosperity got a big hand from Nevada millionaire Loren Parks, and what appears to be one big assist from the county clerk.
This afternoon, Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall announced that a Tea Party-backed county initiative had received enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
That was a shock to many observers, because just last week the elections office announced that two statistical samples of the signatures came up short—meaning there weren’t enough valid signatures to qualify.
So what changed between then and today? It seems that County Clerk Hall directed her staffers to do a do-over, and allow back in signatures that they had originally rejected.
"We didn't go clear to the end," Hall told the Oregonian. "As soon as we got the one more that qualified, we stopped."
The office allowed in 36 signatures that they had originally rejected. Because of the statistical sampling used to check signatures, those 36 names equaled more than 300 additional signatures that would have been originally rejected.
The initiative would limit the ability of the county board of commissioners to set up urban renewal districts. Commissioners say that could threaten the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project.
In the last few weeks of their signature gathering, the campaign brought in $5,000 from Loren Parks, who has long bankrolled Bill Sizemore’s initiative campaigns.