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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oregon law corner

Today we're starting a new feature on this blog -- spotlighting Oregon state law, as a public service. Here are some interesting provisions that Portlanders might want to think about:

314.075 Evading requirements of law prohibited. No person, or officer or employee of a corporation or a member or employee of a partnership, shall, with intent to evade any requirement of any law imposing taxes upon or measured by net income or any lawful requirement of the Department of Revenue thereunder:

(1) Fail to pay any tax or to make, sign or verify any return or to supply any information required;

(2) Make, render, sign or verify any false or fraudulent return or statement; or

(3) Supply any false or fraudulent information.

314.991 Penalties.

(1) A person or an officer or employee of a corporation or a member or employee of a partnership who violates ORS 314.075 is liable to a penalty of not more than $1,000, to be recovered by the Attorney General, in the name of the state, by action in any court of competent jurisdiction, and is also guilty of a Class C felony. The penalties provided in this subsection shall be additional to all other penalties in this chapter.

247.171 State and federal voter registration cards.

* * * * *

(3) Each voter registration card designed or approved by the Secretary of State shall describe the penalties for knowingly supplying false information on the registration card and shall contain space for a person to provide the following information:

(a) Full name;

(b) Residence address, mailing address or any other information necessary to locate the residence of the person offering to register to vote;

(c) The name of the political party with which the person is affiliated, if any;

(d) Date of birth;

(e) An indication that the person is a citizen of the United States; and

(f) A signature attesting to the fact that the person is qualified to be an elector.

(4) Any form containing a voter registration card may also include space for a person to provide:

(a) A telephone number where the person may be contacted; and

(b) If previously registered to vote in this state, the name then supplied by the person and the county and, if known, the address of previous registration.

(5) A person shall not supply any information under subsection (3) or (4) of this section knowing it to be false.

260.993 Criminal penalties.

* * * * *

(2) Violation of ORS * * * 247.171(5) * * * is a Class C felony.

161.605 Maximum prison terms for felonies.

The maximum term of an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for a felony is as follows:

* * * * *

(3) For a Class C felony, 5 years.

Tune in again tomorrow, when we'll spotlight other statutes. Maybe bribery and bank fraud would be good.

Comments (26)


Some possibly pertinent statutes are missing though. What are the statutes of limitation for each of the crimes?

Also, you might want to post Mike Schrunk's and Ellen Rosenblum's direct dial phone numbers so folks can call and ask why no action has apparently been taken.

Also, you might want to post Mike Schrunk's and Ellen Rosenblum's direct dial phone numbers so folks can call and ask why no action has apparently been taken.

That's really the question of paramount importance, isn't it?

What's the prevailing theory here? Did Hales live in Washington when his taxes said he did, or not?

If he didn't, that's a problem, but has anyone made that claim? I see comments that he was "a tax cheat." Is that what we're saying here? Or was he less than candid about it because of the Dudley problem - the political implications?

I'm not trying to make a point either way. I really don't know but if we're talking about a felony charge for something, shouldn't someone come forward and say he didn't live in Washington. I have yet to hear that from anyone.

So that leaves the voting in Oregon problem.

Here I am absolutely certain about how I feel:

There is nobody I can think of offhand that I despise more than Ann Coulter. It was the comment that the 9/11 widows were enjoying their fame, that did it for me.

I really, really don't like Ann Counter.

And yet, when there was talk that they had her on a voting charge, voting in a different state, voting in the wrong county - there were several of these - I distinctly remember thinking, "I'd love to see them take her down, but it has got to be better than that." I'm not talking about the statutes here. I'm just talking about my own limited sense of morality.

I mean President Obama is firing drones into countries we are not at war with and killing innocent people doing it. If you can overlook that, and vote for Obama, this should be no big deal.

If all they have on Charlie Hales is a voter case, I'm over it.

I know lots of people hate the trains. But if that's what's driving the voter case, then - to use a song title by the Clash - that's a "Train in Vain."


Really you haven't followed this?

Hales was registered, and voted, in Oregon, while he filed his taxes as a Washington resident. (Both of which require you to state where your residence resides.)

So as some of us see it he either filed false tax returns, or fraudulently voted. Though people have asked about and at least voter wise they said he was fine, but I would think that means tax wise he is screwed. (Since I don't see how you can be a resident of both states at the same time.)

I get that part. I'm just asking if he lived in Washington, because if he lived in Washington and paid taxes as a resident of Washington, that half of it goes away.

Are you saying he didn't live in Washington? I haven't heard anybody make that claim.

To quote Dave Lister:

"Charlie Hales could have made it easy on himself. When he announced his candidacy for mayor of Portland, he could have disclosed that he'd been a Washington resident for a few years.

He could have simply explained that he moved into his new bride's home in Stevenson and lived there for a time before returning to Portland. No one would have taken him to task for making that perfectly reasonable decision.

The problem is, he didn't disclose it."

Fine, that part of it is a political problem - not a legal one. At least from all I've heard.

If people have proof that he didn't really move there, that's different, but if not, where's the tax case?

They want to have the argument both ways: The vote problem proves he didn't live in Washington, while living in Washington proves he had a vote problem. It's one or the other.

I think if you're suggesting someone committed a felony, you should at least state what that felony was.

And, as I said before, if it comes down to voting here, when he shouldn't have, I'm over it.

There has to be some common sense about the severity of a crime and the harm done. And it shouldn't be driven by how much you don't like the politician's policies.

It's Hales that wants it both ways. I just want it one way. And either way, he signed a false statement in one place or the other. The only open question under the criminal law is his state of mind about it.

Bhagwan Char-Lie Halesheesh!

I'm guessing he has two states of mind.

Is this thing on?

Did he have an address in OR as well? Could a kid from Seattle who goes to UO vote in Eugene (resident in dorm) and file taxes in WA (domicile and intent to return)? Thanks for the interesting blog!

vote in Eugene (resident in dorm) and file taxes in WA (domicile and intent to return)

No. Both systems, voting and tax, use domicile. You can have only one domicile at a time.

After the smear job run on jefferson (certainly not the best guy for the job, but whatever) by the media, charlie is guaranteed to be your next mayor. Sorry guys, get ready for a whole lot more streetcars, mixed use, and light rail.

I wonder about that. I've got a bad feeling we're heading someplace as a nation that's more grim than anything we can imagine. No federal matching funds will be available for anything. Doesn't it feel like Bernanke is just shooting money out of a fire hose, and that sometime after the election, the Great Collapse will occur? This can't go on forever.

Maybe this Cascadia Cup the Timbers are playing for, could be the foreshadowing of a separate Pacific Northwest nation. You know, after America breaks up. Sorry, but it's possible. Superpowers implode from financial failure. The people who talked nonstop about our national security, actually destroyed it from within.

You want to buy a meaningful present for a graduate of the Class of 2013? Get them a bow and arrow.

Don't worry too much Bill, no the country is not collapsing after the election. Thinking that the country will implode because the feds go away is giving way too much credit to the federal government.

I put that poorly. That's not the reason I think we'll implode. I think the dollar's going to crash, as the world dumps it as the reserve currency, and the Fed destroys it with quantitative easing.

...the foreshadowing of a separate Pacific Northwest nation. You know, after America breaks up.

Bill, you sound like these wackos.

I was thinking more of what happened to another superpower: the Soviet Union. Financial strength binds a country together.
Of course, our values are different, but they're eroding fast too. Some have argued we're in a post-constitutional phase right now.
Finally, what was one of the last things the Soviet Union did before falling apart? It got bogged down in a pointless war in Afghanistan. Sound familiar?

One of the dumbest things Americans assume is that we're always going to be #1 - that there's some kind of manifest destiny keeping us on top. Meanwhile, history is littered with the carcasses of dead empires that didn't keep it together financially.

Hales' hypocrisy strikes at the heart of citizenship, and his bad citizenship. Voting is the fundamental right of citizens to make decisions about governing the citizenship. So, for example, about a decade ago Multnomah County citizens voted to tax their income, about 80% of which went to the school districts in Multnomah County. It would appear that Hales voted in that election, and kept voting in Oregon elections, as if he was a citizen of Oregon, who was entitled to help make those decisions.

But Hales was simultaneously saying that for purposes of paying taxes, he was a resident/citizen of Washington, not Oregon. So he decided that although he was going to help make decisions above governance of Oregon citizens, he decided that he wasn't going to then take responsibility for paying for those decisions. So it's not just that he's a tax cheat, or a hypocrite, it's that at the most fundamental level, he's shown himself to be unfit to be a good citizen, let a alone a good mayor.

This just goes to show that CharLIE is the perfect candidate for mayor:

A liar with a sense of entitlement that laws only apply to the little people.

The fact that no one in a legal position has enforced the law shows that the political class is above the law until that time when you need to be taken out.

Jonathan Radmacher,
So you're saying he married his second wife who lived up there just to move to Washington to avoid Oregon taxes? Why not just get a bachelor pad?

Bill McDonald. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that a person has one legal residence; don't confuse legal residence with where someone resides -- where you reside is one expression of your intent about where you legally reside. He's able to run for Mayor, and he voted, under voter registrations where he had to claim to be a resident of Oregon; he can be a resident of Oregon, even though he's living in Washington, as long as his intent is to be permanently domiciled in Oregon. His big problem is that a person only has one legal residence -- I can't intend to permanently make two states my home. Hales claimed, and I believe you cannot do this, that he was a resident of Oregon for voting purposes, and a resident of Washington for purposes of paying taxes.

As long as he's eligible for assisted suicide, it's all good.

You're proving my point exactly. I'm saying it's either/or with the tax/vote charges, and since nobody has claimed he didn't live with his new wife up there, we have a vote case. But the comments often say he voted illegally PLUS he was a tax cheat. They want it both ways. You did exactly the same thing after talking about the voting infractions:

So it's not just that he's a tax cheat, or a hypocrite, it's that at the most fundamental level, he's shown himself to be unfit to be a good citizen, let a alone a good mayor.

In other words, nobody can be a legal resident of 2 states, so one was legal and the other wasn't. They're both not illegal just because there's 2 of them.

Jack mentions a state of mind clause I know nothing about. All I'm saying is if your claiming he's a tax cheat, where's your proof? He lived in Washington, he claimed residence in Washington on his taxes. Where's the tax crime there?

I updated my filed election law complaint, which you can find as update number six to the Statement Regarding Hales on my blog, http://swoolley.org/blog.cgi

In the updates you will note it covers all known objections and includes case law references. Anybody curious should review it in fine detail. This time the Secretary didn't immediately claim it is not her problem. They have to actually investigate as case law demonstrates.

You can also find the tax law complaint too as a different update. They are noting investigations are not public record. Will they indict?

Posted from Baker City while on my bicycle tour of Oregon. No light rail here but they sure do have a nice hotel. Let's hope Charlie doesn't find out about it.

Actually I do like light rail, but well paid executives skipping out on taxes frustrates me more.

I read some of your link until I got to this line:

"If Charlie Hales is in fact ineligible, we must know now before we have to call another election and waste more taxpayer dollars."

I have rarely read a more poorly thought out statement than that one. Haven't you seen all the comments from voters who would love to take another try at this?

Since Big Bird is trending right now after being mentioned by Romney in the debate, let me put it this way:

I would rather have Big Bird as mayor than either one of these guys. A do-over would be a celebration of all that is good about democracy. Don't screw this up for us with your fanatical adherence to the law.

Bill. I'm past the hypocrisy piece, and unlike Seth, I'm willing to say "fine, you were a legal resident in Oregon, even though you were living in Washington, which is why it was apparently OK for you to vote in Oregon." That's basically what he said when his candidacy was challenged. So we take that as his sworn/true answer, and ask the next question: "well, Charlie, if you were a legal resident of Oregon -- since you voted in Oregon, then why is it that for purposes of paying taxes you claimed you were a legal resident of Washington??" It's not about where he lives, it's about having one legal residence. He's doubled-down on Oregon being his legal residence; we'll take it as true, and then reach the only conclusion -- he is a tax cheat.

What you're doing is standard lawyer stuff: Take the details you want to be true and accept those statements that support them as gold-plated fact. In this case you have a politician running for office in Oregon saying he's a resident of Oregon. So of course, that's good enough for you - you embrace that as the truth.

Here in the real world we look at this and ask: Where did he live? Did he live in Washington with his new wife or did he live here? It may seem odd in a lawyerly sense, but I consider a determining factor in where someone legally lived, to be where they actually lived. I know - it's crazy.

Now think of all the reasons he didn't want to feature that. Google Chris Dudley - see how it worked for him. Politically, it is not wise to move to another state,especially if it allows you to pay less taxes, and then return here.

So you have reality, plus you have motivation for the statements about voting as an Oregon resident.

Yet, you choose to believe the opposite of reality, and ignore the political reasons for misleading Oregon voters about living in Oregon. Even with the Dudley campaign.

Why would you do that? I would guess it's because the voting case is no big deal as far as the monetary cost to society, but being a tax cheat would cost real money and that would be frowned upon much more by a court. Maybe the voting case plays into the eligibility argument. I don't know. But your motivations seem to have an agenda behind them, rather than being driven by pure logic. I don't see the tax cheat case, and I don't hear anybody say Hales didn't live in Washington. Are you saying he didn't really live in Washington? But what I really don't see is how this can be BOTH a tax cheat case AND a voting case. I think it's either/or.

Maybe you're allowing other goals to affect your argument. Perhaps you want Jefferson Smith to win.

Isn't that what's going on here?

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