Oregon initiative racketeer Bill Sizemore was indicted for tax evasion on Monday, November 30, just a week after declaring himself a Republican candidate in the 2010 gubernatorial primary race. Each of the three counts against Sizemore and his wife, Cindy, could lead to a maximum penalty of five years in prison with a $125,000 fine, says Sean Riddell, chief of Attorney General John Kroger's criminal justice division, which is leading the prosecution.
Is the decision to indict political? "It's not," says Riddell. "When I was first hired by the attorney general, in my first interview with him to discuss our goals and objectives, he made it quite clear that he and I were never to discuss politics, and that I was never to make any decision based on politics." Sizemore did not return the Mercury's inquiries seeking comment by press time. MATT DAVIS
Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler broke his back while skiing over the weekend, but was kind enough to keep his constituents informed on Twitter and Facebook. "In hosp. w/broken back, shoulder, and slight facial lacerations from skiing accident," he tweeted early Sunday morning, November 29, linking to a cell phone shot of him in a hospital bed. Later: "Big splat. I don't remember it but I must have hit rocks under the snow. Stuff happens." And: "I don't remember anything at all. I was knocked out and had a concussion," he continued. "Wife said I was out cold for 5 minutes." Wheeler should be back in the office next week and is already back on Facebook, posting links to articles. MD
Vote for the Measure 66 and 67 tax hikes on Oregon's ballot in January or face a grim slash-and-burn state budget, warns a new report from the Oregon Legislative Fiscal Office. State agencies calculated what they'll do if voters reject the measures, which would generate $727 million in taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The cuts would be bad news for people who value education: Community colleges estimate they would have to raise tuition by up to 16 percent and cut classes. The cuts would also be bad news for people who value their safety: The corrections department says it will need to close six prisons and jails, lay off 500 staff workers, and immediately release 1,869 inmates on parole. SARAH MIRK