chapter  4
16 Pages

Petitioners and the Oregon Process

Petitioners play a large role in the direct democracy process, yet little research has been conducted on these particular individuals. In much of the literature, as already discussed, there is frequent classification of petitioners and interest groups and their influence on the process-yet no studies have endeavored to interview these individuals directly. Discussion about business interests permeating the system of ballot propositions is articulated throughout the literature (Parsons 1900; Boyle 1912; Schattsneider 1960; Gerber 1999; Broader 2000; Ellis 2002; Matsusaka 2004), yet few scholars cite direct contact with those involved. The process in Oregon is substantially citizen driven, requiring individuals, not groups, to identify themselves on the petitions for ballot measures. When these petitioners are contacted, several are linked to larger interest groups and organizations. This connection does support the larger literature about interest group roles in direct democracy.