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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guess it *was* a crime

Lee Perlman, the local reporter who allegedly defaced a Sam Adams recall petition, has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief in connection with the incident.

Comments (25)

Having "sloppy handwriting" and being a total pr**k is now a Class C misdemeanor?

Have you seen the story in Williamette Week quoting Perlman's "goat story"? I think the old goat has demonstrated that he's off his rocker. He's lost any credibility he had as a reporter.

It is always possible that Mr Perlman acted self-sacrificially in order to ignite the recall effort; but, having observed Mr Perlman in action at neighborhood association meetings, such an explanation is extremely unlikely.

Could it be that our alleged mayor has not realized that it is incumbent upon him to issue a statement condemning any interference with the gathering of signatures in the democratic process of his own recall?

And, BTW, shouldn't our Secretary of State have something public to say about apparent criminal interference with the democratic process of signature-gathering in anticipation of an election?

Wow! Portland's greatest intellects are wasting no time commenting on the story in the "O."

And yes, Gardiner Menefree, having observed Perlman at Neighborhood association meetings with other "neighborhood activists" (aka, neighborhood fascists), I am not surprised by his behavior. He once berated and verbally harassed my fourteen-year-old daughter who had asked him not to trespass across our property. I wish I had been present at the time. A real gentleman there.

I have trudge up and down steps and gathered signatures, for free, and if someone had ruined an hour or two's worth of work I might be tempted to do some bodily harm. A fine and small jail time is really the better remedy. Education and civility sometimes don't go hand in hand.

It is odd Perlman this was charged under the catch-all criminal mischief, not the more specific statute Jack cited yesterday.

I also detect a bit of grandstanding in the police bureau quote, "Intimidation and fear is not how our democratic process works. It's the antithesis of it." Sounds like Perlman's lucky he's not facing terrorism charges.

What I find most amazing are the comments on the O's news page about this case. The tone is agressive and violent. This hardly seems worth all the venom that is apparently out there and being voiced by a few individuals.
This autocratic 'mob mentality' that we are seeing at the health care town hall meetings, and in this case as well is frightening to me.

portland native: where were your posts about being frightening when this type of behavior was directed at Bush/Cheney for eight years, not to mention Palin.

Class C misdemeanor = Maximum 30 days jail and $1250 fine. Having a hard time seeing a conviction if this goes to trial. State will have to show that he meant to cause substantial inconvenience to the victim.

The depths to which comments have sunk at local mainstream media sites is an interesting topic, but let's leave it for a different post another time.

But Jack, RedFly, on the O's site, seems to have expressed a sincere form of affirmation by borrowing from my comment earlier:

"Posted by RedFly on 08/13/09 at 2:00PM
Wouldn’t it be appropriate for Sam Adams or maybe his mouth piece Randy Leonard right about now to issue a statement condemning this type of behavior regarding the gathering of signatures in this legal democratic process of his own recall along with the Secretary of State having something public to say about apparent criminal interference with the democratic process of signature-gathering and our State Attorney Generals own words of wisdom?"

To arrest Lee for that scribble is completely out of proportion. Absurd.

I looked at ORS 260.567 again today after Jack posted it, and looked at 260.993, the criminal penalties section. I do not see a criminal penalty for a violation of 260.567.

Is there some place else I should be looking?

To arrest Lee for that scribble is completely out of proportion. Absurd.

What was the alternative? Let him get away with it?

not to mention Palin.

Thank you for not mentioning Palin.

I learned about the arrest from Don, the blind signature gathering volunteer at the County Courthouse downtown when I went there today, specifically to sign the petition.

I must say that Don is a sterling ambassador for the signature gathering process. He was polite, friendly and patient to all. This is a busy spot and many people ignored his invitations to sign the petition. But while I was there, two others stopped to sign and to thank him for his willingness to be there from 10 am to 4 pm. Whether coincidence or not, he mentioned that city crews appeared across the street in the park blocks shortly after he set up his signature site at the Exit door near the front of the courthouse. The noise is earsplitting, making the job of this softspoken spokesperson harder.

Don said that about 1/3 the necessary signatures had been gathered and with 50+ days remaining, gathering the balance is possible. I think some more events, more wide-ranging signature solicitation, home signature parties and an attitude change on the part of the Portland Mercury might help. What's with the Mercury? It has gone out of its way in the past two issues to poke fun at the recall effort and those in favor of recalling Sam Adams. I don't get it. I don't expect them to act like cheerleaders but at least lay off, guys, and give people a chance to make up their minds.

Thanks for monitoring the Mercury for us. We don't go there.

Another note: Don also helps people register to vote which, as far as I am concerned, is a public service.

It's hardly unique for a sitting mayor to break out the jackhammers and tow trucks to attempt to disrupt competing campaigns, recall or not.

It's even less shocking from the reportedly-vindictive Sam Adams.

I do not see a criminal penalty for a violation of 260.567.

That's because there isn't a criminal penalty for it. That statute was passed recently (2007 Or. Laws c.848 §7b) to prevent the circulators from filling in address information for signers. Some circulators carrying multiple petitions used to offer to fill in address information for signers willing to sign multiple sheets. They would then transcribe address info from the first sheet (filled in by the signer) during their downtime to increase their productivity on the street. This was outlawed in 2007 to make the process more inefficient for paid gatherers (but volunteers are subject to it as well).

I don't think the SoS will go out of her way to fine Perlman using this statute (especially since she went to bat Sam Adams by hiring Breedlove's counsel when the story broke in January).

Remember how Perlman said that he had a very sloppy signature? He said that because if he was really signing the petition then he isn't subject to fines for marks he made.

260.567 Alteration of information on petition signature sheet; exceptions. (1) [...} a person other than the person who signed the signature sheet of [a ...] recall [...] may not [...] obscure on the signature sheet any information about the person who signed the signature sheet.

Perlman was arrested by the County under a catch-all criminal mischief statute. I'm hoping we find out that someone paid him to do it, because then it turns into a Class C felony:

260.575 No person, for any consideration, shall: (1) Offer, propose, threaten or attempt to sell, hinder or delay any part of an initiative, referendum or recall petition.

Being an a**hole isn't necessarily a crime. Having a hard time seeing the DA office pursuing this if the signatures are still valid. No way a Mult Co. jury would convict based on the facts we know now.

Apparently Perlman's editor of the Hollywood star told Lee to find peitition gatherers and destroy the petitions...the caller said the editor's name is Tim. Tim was bragging about it at his watering hole the other day....and was overhead by a caller who relayed the information.
This goes beyond one single person's actions....and the Hollywood Star needs to be held accountable or at least investigated. I believe the campaign is forwarding the call to the police.

All of you need to go to the print link to see the scribble - it was clearly intended to invalidate eight citizen voices....it's across all 10 lines of the peition and is hanging in the Community to Recall Sam Adams campaign office at 421 N. Broadway.

Perlman's actions are added to a long list of actions by those you vocally support Adams actions and lying to become mayor. Fear and intimidation are tactics Sam has used for 16 years at the City - threatening and taking action against those who disagree with him. Over 15 of the brightest and best city employees where hand selected by Adams to be laid off simply for doing their job with excellence...instead of kneeling before "Saint Elected".

Here's the link to the defaced petition:


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