Monday, February 04, 2013

DEADLINE TODAY: Vancouver Light Rail Opponents Lawyer Up After Latest Petition Fails

Activists in Vancouver have lawyered up to fight a decision tossing petition signatures which disqualified their anti rail measure from the ballot. 

After a pow wow with Washington initiative expert Tim Eyman, the group has hired attorney Stephen Pidgeon who's already fired off a nasty gram to the Vancouver Mayor and the rest of the Council. He's given them until close of business today to reinstate the signatures. 

His letter reads in part:

In this case, there are 600+ Vancouver voters whose perfectly valid voter signatures were rejected.  There are as well an unknown number of Vancouver voters whose perfectly valid voter signatures were rejected because of the signature gatherer's completion of a form.  In both cases, the voters' signatures are perfectly valid.
            The council may take any position it desires in regard to this initiative.  However, if the council refuses on Monday to allow this initiative to qualify, or to otherwise provide for an initiative on this subject matter, then you can expect litigation and a direct collateral challenge to the code governing initiatives in Vancouver.  All of that time, effort, and expense can easily be avoided with a simple majority vote of the city council on Monday. [emph added]
            The people in Southwest Washington have been repeatedly promised the chance to vote on whether or not they want light rail, and its incumbent debt.  As usual, the failure by elected politicians to keep their promises has prompted Plaintiffs to sponsor and support this citizen initiative.  They were required to submit 5472 valid voter signatures.  They cleared that hurdle.  In fact, plaintiffs submitted more than the required minimum number of valid voter signatures.  Remember, those 600+ signatures that have been disqualified were from Vancouver voters who were properly registered and qualified to sign and vote. 

A legal defense fund has been set up to pay Pidgeon. Here are the deets: 
  Make checks payable to: Legal Defense for Stop Light Rail Initiative (Stephen Pidgeon)
          Mail your most generous contribution to:

          Mail your most generous contribution to:
          Legal Defense for Stop Light Rail Initiative (Stephen Pidgeon)          c/o Debbie Peterson          PO Box 872204          Vancouver, WA 98687

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