state legislation

Oregon: House Votes to Hijack Ballot Title Process and Confuse Voters

On Thursday, the Oregon House of Representatives voted 36-24 to pass House Bill (H.B.) 4054, which would hijack the ballot title process established under Oregon law. If enacted, H.B. 4054 would not change the ballot process rules for all time, but instead make an exception to the normal process in just this one instance.

Representatives in the state House moved to change the process only after true immigration reformers and activists in the state were successful at getting a referendum added to November's ballot that would overturn the state's law that grants driver's licenses to illegal aliens. The activists worked for months to get the signatures, documents, and proper language approved by the Attorney General so that all Oregonians could vote on the issue. (See FAIR Alert, Oct. 29, 2013)

However, H.R. 4054 threatens to completely sabotage the work of Oregonians, whom these legislators claim to present. The bill would rewrite the state attorney general's certified ballot title, bill summary, and questions to be posed to voters for a citizen-initiated veto referendum scheduled to appear on the November 2014 ballot. The referendum asks voters to approve or reject Senate Bill (S.B.) 833 that was passed last year, which grants driver's licenses to illegal aliens. (Id.)

H.B. 4054 seeks to change the current ballot title in two major ways. First, it removes critical language regarding the very topic of the question voters are asked to decide. The ballot title and related language as certified by the attorney general clearly state that S.B. 833 grants driver's licenses to illegal aliens. In an attempt to confuse and sway voters, the House version passed on Thursday removes any mention of this fact. The ballot title and related language is often the only description that many voters see and can have a dramatic effect on how a person votes.

Then, to make matters worse, H.B. 4054 insulates itself from the veto referendum process and prohibits judicial review of the revised ballot title. Under current Oregon law, any voter dissatisfied with the ballot title certified by the attorney general may appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court. Indeed, several parties have filed objections with the court here. H.B. 4054 would void those appeals.

Many legislators oppose H.B. 4054 because they believe the bill undermines the very purpose of the ballot initiative process: offering voters a way to check on the legislative process. "We're tinkering with the process that was meant to get around us, the Legislature," Representative Jason Conger said. (The Statesman Journal, Feb. 28, 2014) "It's a slap in the face to those people who want to make their voices heard," said Representative Cliff Bentz. (Id.)

Legislators who support the rewrite argue that it is necessary to express their intent in passing S.B. 833. "The reasons we (passed the law) were for providing access so that people could drive licensed and insured," said Representative Jessica Vega Pederson. (The Oregonian, Feb. 27, 2014) "We want to make sure the ballot title reflects that intent. This is something we feel needs to be fixed." (Id.)

Several major newspapers in Oregon have come out in opposition to H.B. 4054. The Oregonian editorial board has pulled no punches, calling H.B. 4054 a "disguised marketing effort" that seeks to bury the truth. (The Oregonian, Feb. 25, 2014) "The Legislature's effort to write its own ballot title has nothing to do with accuracy. The effort, rather, betrays a belief that voters won't approve S.B. 833 if they know what it actually does. This fear may be well-founded, but that's no reason for lawmakers to debase their institution in this fashion." (Id.) The Bulletin has called H.B. 4054 "legislative overreach" attempting "to hide the issue and confuse voters." (The Bulletin, Mar. 2, 2014) The Statesman Journal has declared that "Legislators are mocking voters" and violating "the constitutional separation of powers" by interfering with the referendum process. (The Statesman Journal, Feb. 28, 2014) It recommends the Senate "deep-six" H.B. 4054. (Id.)

H.B. 4054 is now in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting consideration. If the bill passes the Senate, it must then be approved by the Governor before it can become law. Read more about Oregon: House Votes to Hijack Ballot Title Process and Confuse Voters

California Driver’s License Program Hits an Unexpected Hurdle

BELL, Calif. — The auditorium was packed. There were single mothers, day laborers, grandparents pushing infants in strollers and teenagers interpreting for parents. All of them faced a potentially life-changing prospect: Within a year, California will start offering driver’s licenses to immigrants who are living in the country illegally.

But one person after another stepped to the microphone and expressed fear that the licenses, far from helping them, could instead be used to deport them.

Last year, when California became the most populous state to pass a law permitting undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, advocates for immigrant rights were thrilled, saying it would allow people to commute without fear while also decreasing rates of hit-and-run accidents and uninsured drivers on the roads. Now those advocates are confronting another formidable obstacle: the deep and longstanding mistrust of the American government among this population.

It turns out that persuading immigrants who have spent decades avoiding the authorities to willingly hand over their names, addresses and photographs to the government is no easy sell — particularly since the licenses will look different from regular ones, in ways that have yet to be determined.

“I believe this license process is not secure,” one woman, who declined to identify herself, told state officials at an informational hearing here hosted by the Department of Motor Vehicles. “Is this a trap?”

“It’s not a trap,” said Ricardo Lara, the state senator who represents this working-class city, where more than 40 percent of the population is foreign born. State law guaranteed that their information would not be shared with other government agencies, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he said, adding, “Your information is protected.”

California, home to an estimated 2.5 million immigrants living in the country illegally, has been busy fashioning itself as the most welcoming state for immigrants, passing measures designed to reduce deportations, offering in-state tuition to all residents, and more. But skepticism among this population has grown since President Obama took office, as deportations have hit record highs and efforts to reform immigration laws have stalled in Congress.

Combating this mistrust, Mr. Lara said in an interview, is “the most significant challenge” of getting unauthorized residents — many of whom are already behind the wheel without licenses — to take road tests and buy auto insurance.

“People are skeptical, and rightfully so,” Mr. Lara said. “These are people who have been living in the shadows, living in constant fear. We have to work hard to ensure we really protect these folks.”


Atalia Cervantes, a mother of three who came here illegally from Mexico two decades ago, drives every day, despite her lack of a license.

“Every time I buckle my seatbelt, I am afraid,” said Ms. Cervantes, 30, who drove nearly an hour with her oldest daughter to voice her concerns at the hearing. “It’s affecting my girls. My youngest girl said: ‘Mommy, why are you so afraid of the cops? Cops are for protecting us.’ ”

Still, she was not sure if she would apply for a driver’s license. She worried that with it set to look different from those given to legal residents, it might lead rogue police officers to arrest people like her and call the immigration authorities, even though that is prohibited by law.

“If they write something on the back of the license that says it can’t be used to deport me, then maybe I’ll get one,” she said.

A growing number of states across the country are beginning to face this same challenge of winning illegal immigrants’ trust. Last year, eight states joined New Mexico, Utah and Washington in extending special driving privileges.

Nevada began issuing “driver authorization cards” to immigrants in the country illegally at the start of this year, with the goal of reducing the number of untested and uninsured drivers on the road. Lines at Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles offices in January wrapped around corners. Through Feb. 10, more than 16,000 people had applied for driver authorization cards.


Despite the early rush of applicants, however, many immigrants were not convinced that the cards were safe, said David Fierro, a department spokesman.



A man held up his day labor identification card.Credit Patrick T. Fallon for The New York Times

“There is a high level of distrust,” Mr. Fierro said. “People were convinced that no matter what we were saying, once we had them in our system, we would pass their information on and someone would be there to round them up.”

“I don’t think that’s been completely dispelled,” he said. “Some are still waiting to see what happens with their friends who apply.”

Overcoming this distrust is essential to making sure the program works, Mr. Fierro said, since the point is to get unlicensed and uninsured drivers off the road. The state is optimistic: Nevada, with about 250,000 undocumented residents, hired 18 people to deal with the influx of immigrants seeking driving privileges.

California, home to about a quarter of all immigrants in the country illegally, is hoping for a much larger rush. State officials here expect 1.4 million people to apply for the licenses, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles will hire 1,000 new workers and open four temporary offices, which will serve only people seeking new licenses.

The agency has also been working with consulates to help people in California get identifying documents from their home countries, a requirement for anyone applying for a driver’s license; officials have not yet decided what documents will be accepted. Under the law, the state must begin issuing the licenses by next January.

Identification records can be expensive and difficult to obtain, especially for people who have not returned to their home countries in decades. Mr. Lara said he hoped the state would also accept less formal proofs of identification, like baptismal and marriage records from churches.

At the meeting here, many people came with identification cards from day laborers’ associations, immigration rights groups and other local groups they belonged to, hoping that would be enough.

Critics argue that this approach would invite identity fraud. In New Mexico, which has issued driver’s licenses to unauthorized residents since 2003, state officials have complained about such fraud, prompting some Republicans to call for ending the program.

“It would be a sham for the state to represent that they’re actually able to verify identity looking at things like baptismal records or Sam’s Club cards,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform in Washington. “This process is an exercise in providing documentation to people whose legitimate identities cannot be ascertained.”

Andrea Guadarrama, a housekeeper and grandmother of eight who lives in Los Angeles and attended the hearing here, said she worried about what the new licenses would look like.

“I’m concerned about the mark that will go on our licenses,” she said. “We are already marked by our color and our names, and the police are against us.”

Even so, Ms. Guadarrama said she planned to apply for a license as soon as she was able. For now, she takes the bus from her apartment downtown to work in Santa Monica, a ride that can take up to three hours.

She did not know how or where she would get the documents she needed to prove her identity — after 27 years in the United States, she said, she no longer has her birth certificate from Mexico — but said she would do whatever was necessary.

“Oh, my God. If I had a license, I could make more money, see my grandkids more,” she said. Read more about California Driver’s License Program Hits an Unexpected Hurdle

Oregon driver-card ballot title rewrite advances to Senate, referendum process comes under fire

Despite repeated suggestions that the Oregon House of Representatives was thwarting the will of the citizens of Oregon, the House voted 36-24 Thursday to rewrite the ballot title of a November referendum.

House Bill 4054, which now goes to the Senate, would change the title’s language from “Provides Oregon resident driver card without requiring proof of legal presence in the United States” to “Establishes limited purpose, duration driver cards for individuals who prove Oregon residency, meet driving requirements.”

Lawmakers spent considerable time debating the bill. Many, including Republican representatives Kim Thatcher, Jason Conger, Sal Esquivel and Bruce Hanna, reasoned that residents of Oregon who hadn’t approved of the bipartisan Senate Bill 833 that was passed last year authorizing the driver cards, had used the people’s long-established process, and the House was now trying to subvert that effort.

“We’re tinkering with the process that was meant to get around us, the Legislature,” Conger said.

“We passed a law the people didn’t like. They jumped through all the hoops, made a good-faith effort and qualified it for the ballot,” said Esquivel. “We’re not letting the people exercise their rights.”

“It’s a slap in the face to those people who want to make their voices heard,” said Rep. Cliff Bentz.

But Democrat lawmakers such as Rep. Phil Barnhart countered by saying that the bill did not change any rules. He pointed out that many Republican-controlled Legislatures had changed the language of ballot titles as well, and pointed to it being done regularly as seen in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010.

He said writing an accurate ballot title was necessary so that voters can say whether they want to support the actions of the Legislature.

Ballot title are written by the state’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Choosing one is not without controversy because it can have an effect on voter perception.

Unlike initiatives, lawmakers have the option of writing a new title for referendums in the same fashion they draft language for legislative referrals.

Rep Vic Gilliam, R-Silverton, broke from party ranks and supported the bill. He said he thought the attorney general’s work on the title was sloppy, and noted that the ballot title language must match with the intent of the original bill’s language.

Jim Ludwick, communications for Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which spearheaded the signature drive to qualify the ballot measure said the organization was disappointed. It hoped the Senate would not be as easily swayed.

“In my estimation, it’s gotten far away from the driver-card issue and now become an issue on the referendum process,” Ludwick said. “We’re being cut out of the process of checks and balances.” Read more about Oregon driver-card ballot title rewrite advances to Senate, referendum process comes under fire

Do you hear it, too?

It's the sound of flushing our wonderful country going down the toilet. 

Every morning, I wake up and think I must have been having a nightmare - this can't be true.  And, every morning it's even worse.

Many states are under attack - just to name a few:

New Mexico continues to give driver licenses to illegal aliens - in spite of the increasing fraud and ID theft they have been struggling with for over 10 years.

Colorado now has dangerous drug cartels taking advantage of their new legalized marijuana laws.

Washington is on the brink of allowing illegal alien students (already granted an in state tuition benefit) to access grant money.

Oregon, is on the brink of granting driver privilege cards to illegal aliens, if PODL isn't successful in overturning the new law in November.

And now, the GOP leadership announces its plans and principles for immigration reform...

What the hell is going on here?  I keep asking myself this question - over and over again.

Are our elected officials so indebted to big business donors, are they so swayed by lobbying bands of charismatic illegal aliens and their smooth talking advocates, are they so corrupt, or heaven forbid - are they just so stupid they don't see the handwriting on the wall.  Do they stand on any principles whatsoever or do they even have any kind of moral compass?  It would appear the answer to those questions is NO!

Our country is being sucked down the crapper with the guiding hand of many of our elected officials from both sides of the aisle!  Our nation's sovereignty and everything our great nation stands for is at risk.  These politicians are willing to flush all the men and women who fought and died for our freedom, all the immigrants who followed the rules and came here the right way and all the hard working, tax paying, law abiding citizens are going down with it.

After the big flush - think about what will be left of our country.  That's where the nightmare really begins.

Every single one of you that reads this post must call your Congressman and tell them that if they don't do everything in their power to stop this train wreck of 'immigration reform', if they support it in any way, you will do everything in your power to see they never return to Washington for another term.

Let's stop this nightmare and shine a light on the politicians flushing our great country down the toilet!

Start calling today!

To find the information you need click here.

Also, please call:

  • House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) 202-225-0600 and
  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) 202-225-4000

Had enough? Want to get involved? Learn how this Saturday!

Alert date: 
January 22, 2014
Alert body: 

SOUND AWESOME? ...IT IS! Attend the Western Liberty Network's Second Annual Leadership and Training Conference and Expo.

The event's theme is “TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!” and will start at 9:00AM on Saturday, January 25th, 2014 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel located at 8235 NW Airport Way in Portland.

You can take in a full day of training that will give you the tools you need to be a more effective activist or volunteer. Additional courses will be offered to those interested in applying or running for local public office, those interested in building their local grassroots organizations, and for veterans who want to participate more effectively in the communities they helped to protect.  Cynthia Kendoll - OFIR President and Authorized Agent for the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses successful veto referendum campaign, will be speaking about how to manage a grassroots referendum or initiative campaign. Click on the agenda link for time and location of each break out session.

Before the debate, awards will be presented to leading activists and grass roots organizations.

STOP PLAYING DEFENSE...learn how you can go on the offense to create the change we are all working toward.

On January 25th you can see the first major US Senate candidate debate of 2014 hosted by national news personality Lars Larson. You can also see presentations by candidates running for Oregon governor, and enjoy a Mexican buffet lunch prepared by an award winning restaurant.

KXL Radio, the Lars Larson Show, Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon Capitol Watch, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, I-Spy Radio, and author and entrepreneur Sam Carpenter are sponsoring the debate. The night before the conference there will be a reception at the hotel free to all registrants featuring live music and hot appetizers. This promises to be the premiere grass roots training event of the year. Registrants can submit questions to be asked during the debate and will assist in enforcing time limits. This is going to be a FUN, INFORMATIVE, and INSPIRING.

To REGISTER, click HERE or go to the website to download a full agenda and click on the “REGISTER NOW” button when you are ready to register.







Colorado pot shops likely targets of cartels, say experts

As the smoke settles from the first week of legal marijuana sales in Colorado, experts are warning that sanctioned pot dealers could become targets for the very folks they put out of business.

Taking over a trade once ruled by drug cartels and turning it into an all-cash business could make pot shops prime targets for extortion, black-market competition and robbery. One veteran border narcotics agent told Colorado's legal pot industry will find it hard to keep the criminals from horning in on a lucrative business they once controlled.

"What is quite possible is that cartels will hire straw owners who have clean records who can apply for a license, then sell large quantities both legally and on the black market."

- Denver DEA office spokesman Albert Villasuso

"Mexico is already in Colorado without the risks," the agent, who requested anonymity, said of the state's heavy pre-existing cartel presence. "Legal businesses will likely see a rise in extortion attempts while law enforcement will see a lot of backdoor deals being made."

Cartels, especially the Juarez and Sinaloa, who have a strong presence in Colorado, could not have been happy with the estimated $1 million in sales Jan. 1, the first day of legalized retail sales. In 2012 the Mexican Competitiveness Institute issued a report saying that Mexico’s cartels would lose as much as $1.425 billion if Colorado legalized marijuana. The organization also predicted that drug trafficking revenues would fall 20 to 30 percent, and the Sinaloa cartel, which would be the most affected, would lose up to 50 percent.

Faced with such losses, the violent cartels could force their way in as black market wholesalers or simply rob pot dispensaries, which take only cash and have not been able to establish accounts with banks because of lenders' fears of violating federal laws. But the general consensus is that the Mexican cartels will not quietly relinquish the Denver market.

The owner of the Colorado Springs dispensary told the Denver Post he is planning to get a concealed-weapons permit, for protection when he has to move money out of the store.

"Any way you plan it out, there's going to be a large amount of cash around," he said. "And that's extremely scary."

Denver police are taking a wait-and-see posture as to what may emerge.

“It’s only been a week, so we still have to sit back and see how this will play out,” Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson told “We’re a police department, we’re always concerns about what may happen.”

Jackson said he would not speculate as to if or which cartels may decide to infiltrate the legitimate businesses or how.

“We’re concerned with the public consumption right now,” Jackson said.

The Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue, the primary enforcement office responsible for overseeing the production and sale of the retail marijuana, did not return repeated attempts by Fox for comment.

Denver DEA office spokesman Albert Villasuso said with some 50 retail outlets in operation, the agency can only monitor if, how and when the cartels decide to move in to the legalized retail industry in Colorado.

"What is quite possible is that cartels will hire straw owners who have clean records who can apply for a license, then sell large quantities both legally and on the black market," Villasuso said. "We still don't know what the fall out will be but when there is this much money involved the potential is great for groups to want capitalize."

Villasuso also said that even if legal stores do face extortion efforts by cartel groups it is unlikely law enforcement will even be made aware of it if merchants are too frightened to come to police. Extortion has proven to be a lucrative ancillary enterprise for cartels in Mexico resulting in thousands of businesses closing rather than pay the quota, as it is called, or the store owners face the threat of death, which too has occurred.

One group who hopes to mitigate any risks is the Blue Line Protection Group, which specializes only in security for the marijuana stores.

Seeing a growing market, Ted Daniels started the company and uses ex-military and law enforcement to provide security for the stores' money and supply shipments, and the growing operations. The highly-trained and combat-experienced guards are heavily-armed with assault rifles and protective vests.

"This was an industry here that created a lot of challenges," Daniels told WDVR television news in Denver Jan. 7. "This group I put together is designed specifically to protect product, people, and money." Read more about Colorado pot shops likely targets of cartels, say experts

DMV: Most Fail Test For Driver Authorization Card

Will this same problem be coming to Oregon?  It will be very likely, if we don't overturn SB 833.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles officials have advice for (illegal) immigrants seeking a driver authorization card: study.

They estimate 75 percent of applicants have failed the written test needed for the card under a new law...

...Thousands more Nevada (illegal) immigrants jammed DMV offices on Saturday to obtain the cards...

Read the full article about driver cards for illegal aliens.


  Read more about DMV: Most Fail Test For Driver Authorization Card

Only FIVE DAYS left to take advantage of this great opportunity

Alert date: 
December 16, 2013
Alert body: 

Just how often does an awesome win – win opportunity come your way? You can help your favorite Oregon Political Action Committee and it won't cost you a dime! But, you must hurry – this opportunity ends December 31, 2013.

The choice is yours - you can do nothing and let the government take your money and do what they do best. Better yet, you can send your contribution to OFIR PAC and let us put it to work for you in the fight against illegal immigration here in Oregon and across the country.

The New Year promises to bring a new fight in the continuous effort by Congress to pass a mass amnesty bill. Active, grassroots organizations like OFIR have been successful in stopping any bills from getting through Congress again this year. Contributions from our members have kept us involved and in the fight.

Oregon residents can make a contribution to one Oregon Political Action Committee per year. Through Oregon's political tax credit, married couples filing joint Oregon Income Tax Returns receive a dollar for dollar credit of up to $100 - (it's $50 for singles and married couples filing separately) - for contributions to a Political Action Committee like OFIR PAC.

This is not a tax deduction but a credit. If you owe money on your tax return, you would owe $100 less. Of course, you may contribute in excess of the deductible amount, and we encourage you to do so, but you may only deduct the allowable limit.

OFIR has become one of the most active immigration groups in the country.

Please send your PAC contribution to:


P.O. Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

For even greater convenience, you can contribute online at:

You know how OFIR will squeeze every dime out of your contribution! We have an all volunteer Board and incredible members who volunteer their time and talents to OFIR!

If you have not yet taken advantage of this unique opportunity, please do so before the end of the year so that you can get credit for your OFIR PAC contribution against any taxes you owe in 2013. Don't miss out - it's a win – win for everyone!

Oregon Voters Delay Law Giving Licenses to Illegals

Oregon voters have successfully delayed the implementation of a state law that would give illegal immigrants driver's licenses when enough of them signed a petition to put the issue on the ballot in the November 2014 elections. The law, which was scheduled to go into effect at the start of 2014, cannot be implemented until after the November 2014 referendum.

After Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) signed the law in May, Oregonians for Immigration Reform "gathered 71,000 signatures in just a few months to refer the measure to the November 2014 ballot," and it succeeded when just over 58,000 were determined to be valid by Oregon's Secretary of State.

As Judicial Watch notes, Oregon's Senate Bill 833 allows "special driver cards" to be given to illegal immigrants so long as they pass a driving test and prove they have been an Oregon resident for a year. It also allows the "Department of Motor Vehicle offices" to "accept foreign identification cards issued by the consulates of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico and South Korea" so long as they are not expired.

Kitzhaber said the measure would allow illegal immigrants to "come out of the shadows" and “contribute to our economic recovery.”

Oregon is attempting to join California, Illinois, and ten other states that have passed laws granting licenses to illegal immigrants.

"If the results of the election reverse the legislation, DMV will cancel all work on the Driver Card program, but if the election upholds the legislation, we'll launch 30 days after the results are official," an administrator said. Read more about Oregon Voters Delay Law Giving Licenses to Illegals

SB 833 - is the Oregon Legislature representing you?

David Cross, heard weekly on the Lars Larson radio show, has written a great opinion piece, published today in the Statesman, that lays out just how citizens were shut out of the legislative process regarding SB 833. 

Even more important however, is how citizens actively responded to being shunned by our elected officials with the referendum petition that was recently verified with an impressive validity rate.

Hopefully, this sends a powerful message to those in the Legislature that choose to pander to illegal alien advocate groups, businesses that rely on illegal alien workers and other special interest groups.

In November, we are confident the message will be even louder!  The citizens of Oregon expect Legislators to work for the best interests of Oregon and her legal residents!
  Read more about SB 833 - is the Oregon Legislature representing you?


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