(born June 2 1951
) is a political activist in Clackamas, Oregon
, United States
. Sizemore has never held elected office, but has nonetheless been a major political figure in Oregon
since the 1990s. He is considered one of the main proponents of the Oregon tax revolt
, a movement that seeks to reduce taxes in the state. Oregon Taxpayers United
, a political action committee
he founded in 1993, has advanced numerous ballot initiatives
limiting taxation, and has opposed spending initiatives. Sizemore made an unsuccessful run for Governor of Oregon
Sizemore was born in Aberdeen, Washington
on June 2 1951
. He graduated from Montesano High School in Montesano, Washington
. He earned a Bachelor's degree
from Portland Bible College
in 1976. After graduating, Sizemore taught bible history and ran a series of unsuccessful businesses.
In 1993, Sizemore founded Oregon Taxpayers United
and became its executive director. He is noted as the author and driving force behind a number of ballot initiatives
in Oregon. One of the first measures Sizemore was involved in was a referendum which stopped Portland
's $3.4 billion light rail
Sizemore's most notable success was passing Measure 47 in 1996. The measure rolled back property taxes to 1995 levels. Measure 47 also mandated a double majority for ballot measures increasing taxes. With Sizemore's assistance, the Oregon Legislative Assembly amended some of the provisions of Measure 47 in 1997, and referred the amendments back to the voters as Measure 50, which also passed.
In 2000, Sizemore drafted and placed on the ballot Measure 7, which required governments to pay just compensation to property owners when a government-imposed regulation reduced the fair market value of their property. Oregon voters approved Measure 7, but the Oregon Supreme Court later nullified it. A similar measure, 2004's Measure 37, subsequently passed, and was amended by 2007's Measure 49.
1998 gubernatorial election
Sizemore ran for Governor of Oregon
as a Republican
in 1998. He won his party's primary, defeating three other candidates who had little or no name recognition. During the general election, The Oregonian
ran three major articles detailing Sizemore's alleged shady business practices, both in private business and in the operation of his political action committee and non-profit educational foundation. These included one about a "Trail of Debt" he had left behind, much of which involved outstanding loans from fellow church members; one about a fishing club to which he tried to sell memberships before obtaining the proper permission or stocking any fish; and one about an apparently falsified loan application on which he claimed not to have declared bankruptcy when, in fact, he had done so. Sizemore lost the November general election to incumbent
Governor John Kitzhaber
, a Democrat
. Sizemore won 30% of the vote, to Kitzhaber's 64%.
In July 2000, the Oregon Education Association
and the American Federation of Teachers filed a civil racketeering
lawsuit against two of Sizemore's organizations: Oregon Taxpayer's United and the OTU Education Foundation. During the trial Becky Miller, Sizemore's top aide, under protection of state and federal immunity deals, testified in detail about the unethical and illegal
practices of Oregon Taxpayers United. These included alleged money laundering involving both Sizemore and Americans for Tax Reform
founder Grover Norquist
, as well as falsification of federal tax returns and state campaign finance reports. Additional testimony reported financial deals designed to disguise or hide the sources of funding for campaigns, as well as to allow Sizemore to personally profit from the campaigns
After three weeks of testimony and a million dollars in union legal fees, the jury found Sizemore's organizations guilty of racketeering, and the organizations were fined approximately $2.5 million. Sizemore refused to pay the fines and attempted to avoid the liability by changing the name of his organizations to Oregon Taxpayers Association and carrying on with business as usual. Without a trial, Sizemore was found personally liable for his organization's civil racketeering liability, and a judge shut down his 501(c)(3) education foundation. Nearly a million dollars were added to the fine as a result of Sizemore's resistance to earlier court orders/decisions. On appeal both sides claimed victory.
Measure 42 in 2006
In 2006, Sizemore broke with his pattern of anti-tax measures by filing Measure 42, a consumer-oriented bill that would have denied insurance companies the ability to take credit scores
into account when setting insurance premiums. In the most expensive Oregon ballot measure campaign of 2006, the insurance industry spent $4 million to defeat the measure. The campaign to defeat the measure, which focused heavily on Sizemore's credibility, was successful.
Sizemore continues to be a featured writer on a number of Web sites, such as