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Oregon signature gatherers indicted on fraud charges

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September 28, 2010

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SALEM, Oregon: On September 23, 2010 Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown and Attorney General John Kroger announced that two signature gatherers were indicted on fraud charges. Mia Baggenstos and Kelvin Moore were indicted in Multnomah County Circuit Court.[1] Both Baggenstos and Moore worked for PCI Consultants Inc., a California based signature gathering firm, to circulate petitions for Measure 76.

Also known as the Lottery Funds for Natural Resources Initiative, the measure calls for continuing lottery funding for parks, beaches, wildlife habitats, wastershed protection that are set to expire in 2014. The measure will appear on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot. According to Secretary of State Brown the fraud indictments do not call into question if the initiative should have qualified for the ballot.[2]

"During the process, our vendor immediately notified the secretary of state’s office of potential irregularities in her signatures, and the campaign began working with the secretary of state," said Josh Alpert, a campaign manager for Measure 76.[3]

Baggenstos, 23 of Portland, Oregon, was indicted on six counts of knowingly making false statements between April 23 and April 26. Specifically, the indictment includes the submission of the names of six dead people. She also faces one count of aggravated identity theft. Moore, 47 of Scottsdale, Arizona, was indicted on two counts of knowingly making false statements on May 30, 2010. According to the indictment Moore was charged with falsely certifying that he was present when every person signed the initiative and verifying that every person was a qualified Oregon voter.[3]

In response to the charges, Attorney General Kroger said, "Voters need to have faith in the integrity of our elections process. These crimes will be prosecuted aggressively."[3]

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