About Me

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I am William S. U'ren and I am dead. I was once a big noise in Oregon politics, an activist back in the days when Republicans were called progressive and there was an actual Populist Party. The history books say I am largely responsible for things like the initiative, referendum and recall here, as well as the direct election of US Senators. I ran for governor, once, when William Howard Taft was the Republican president, and I lost. Then I retired from politics and, thirty years later, I died. And almost everything I accomplished has been turned on its head and against the very people it was meant to help. Enough is Enough in Oregon!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Me and Bill Sizemore? As if...

I have a news flash for Rick Attig, Associate Editor at the Oregonian, and for Greg Wasson, a lawyer and all around democracy activist from Salem who’s been working on a book documenting the initiative in Oregon—which is necessarily (I guess, sadly) also about me.

Mr. Attig writes

“If the father of Oregon's citizen initiative and referendum, William S. U'Ren, were alive today, what would he say about Bill Sizemore, the electoral pest responsible for most of the initiatives on the November ballot?

“The answer probably would surprise you.

“Greg Wasson, a Salem lawyer who is writing a book about the history of the Oregon initiative, says that U'Ren would have "felt a certain kindred spirit" with Sizemore.”

The truth of the matter is that I don’t have dirt in common with Bill Sizemore (he, for example, is on top of it and I am under it).

To say that I, the person who headed up the implementation of the initiative in Oregon, feel like a kindred spirit with Bill Sizemore is like saying that Wright Brothers would feel like a kindred spirit with those who firebombed Dresden or lit up the London skies during the Battle of Britain because they used airplanes to do it.

It’s true that, like Bill Sizemore, I took cash from an out of state underwriter to pursue the single tax, which I am now glad didn’t pass because it would have been even more effective in destroying the middle class than the initiative has turned out to be.

If I had succeeded at that I’d have one more thing to be sorry I helped to start. The initiative, the referendum, recall, primary elections—all of these things have worked to accomplish exactly the opposite of what we had in mind for them, as well as destroying representative government (with all its warts) and replacing it with democracy. As I have said in previous posts, money has perverted all of these things and I repudiate all of them. There are a couple of things I am proud of, but for the most part...can you say co-optation?

Sometime I’ll write more about some of these other things that I wish I had nothing to do with. But for now let me just say two things about me and Bill Sizemore.

The first is that he has used the initiative in so many well documented underhanded and dishonest ways that he could be an exhibit in any debate to prove that the Greeks and our founding generation in this country were absolutely right about why democracy is a terrible form of government and why destroying a representative republic to create "democracy" is the beginning of tyranny.

We Populists and our Progressive Republican cousins were not dishonest, we didn’t cheat, and we didn’t lie. And we didn’t make war on farmers or workers, on lower and middle class people. We were honest and above board and in so far as we “made war” on anyone it was wealthy, powerful people (like the railroads and timber companies) who had their hands around our political/economic throats, just as their descendants have their hands around your throat, right now.

And that is the second thing I have to say about me and Bill Sizemore: he's not only a convicted crook but he has used the initiative to make war on the very people we Populists and the Progressive Republicans were trying to help and used it to benefit the people around which we were trying to put some limits.

Bill Sizemore’s use of the initiative petition has been one front on the 40 some year war on the middle class that has created your current “recession” as one manifestation of the centralization of wealth and power.

Mr. Attig’s article ends with this paragraph:

"’Everything that's been done to make it harder for Sizemore, has made it harder for everyone else,’ Wasson said. ‘U'ren would be very upset about the loss of respect for the Oregon initiative.’

Give a guy (even a dead guy) a little credit for being able to see how things have turned out and to change his mind about things—in my case, a lot of things.

Until there isn't one anymore you can't make it hard enough for people trying to use the initiative.

So, if you've been reading you know that I have changed my mind about a lot of the things I used to think would help the middle class (and those hoping to get into it) because they have been shown to do the opposite. If you’ve been reading this blog you know the things like the initiative have been used to destroy the middle class by destroying our republican form of government and replacing it with democracy.

Remember Benjamin Franklin, asked about what he and founders had produced in the new Constitution. “We have given you a republic, if you can keep it.”

We haven’t and it's a disaster. My complicity in its destruction is what has me going on and on here—from the grave, no less--to keep trying to get this across to you.


Anonymous said...

Better watch out, William, and not call the other William a "convicted crook" because he hasn't been convicted of anything and he might sue you.

William S. Uren said...

Well, excuse me....

Not convicted...just found to be a swindler, a racketeer--to have engage in fraud and then found in contempt----and this is all confirmed all the way to the Supreme Court...

He has been shown to be so crooked that he is in the political penalty box--so dishonest his dog won't come when he is called.

see this..


He is the handmaiden of those who oppress the very people he claims to champion.

Interesting question you raise, though.

Put aside the fact that he is a public figure and therefore is not likely to be able to sue anyone for anything they might say about him.

Sue a dead guy?

Who has personal jurisdiction over a dead guy?