You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  –  Jesus

All this news about militant heterosexualists fraudulently “signing” R-71 petition declarations with Larry Stickney’s signature stamp got me thinking: where had I seen pen-wielding people mulling over the backs of petitions?  Aah yes, on Gary Randall’s Faith and Freedom website.  A few days after the July 25th delivery of R-71 petitions to the Secretary of State (SOS), Oregon Gary posted a slide show commemorating the event.  After reading Judge Spector’s order this morning, I’m seeing those pictures, and others, with new eyes.

To the right is a screen shot featuring Pentecostal ministers Roy & Valerie Hartwell from Rivers of Glory Church, which meets in a hotel room.  Why is Roy Hartwell hovering his pen directly over the declaration box?  And why did he even have a pen?  There was nothing to write on on that table except petitions.  Let’s take a closer look at Roy and others, below the fold.

It is clear that Roy Hartwell’s pen is over the darkened declaration box, located on the lower left corner of the back of the petition.
This is what the declaration area looks like.
Is Valerie Hartwell one of those people who turns the paper left so that her writing will have a pleasant forward tilt?  Valerie Hartwell testified before the Public Disclosure Commission in August, advocating unsuccessfully for special stealth rights for PMW’s donors.  She claimed that she had been threatened because she was a PMW donor, despite the fact that she has not donated to PMW directly and so her name is not even in the PDC’s public database!
Roy and Valerie Hartwell weren’t alone in “looking over” the petitions.  Washington State Senator Valera Stevens joined them.  She’s the one in the white sweater with the pink stripe, pen in hand.  She’s the senator for Larry Stickney’s district.  You may recognize her from the anti-gay video she made with gay divorcee Rep. Matt Shea.

Btw, anyone know who the guy with the yellow paper sticking out of his back pocket is?

So not only does Protect Marriage Washington admit that their members stamped the declarations with Larry Stickney’s signature on several thousand petitions (see p. 6 of Judge Spector’s order), but I suspect that several of PMW’s members manually signed the blank declarations of many others.  At least two of those members call themselves pastors, and one is a state senator.  I am not a lawyer, but the law looks pretty clear to me.

RCW 9A.04.110.24 Definition of “signature”:

“Signature” includes any memorandum, mark, or sign made with intent to authenticate any instrument or writing, or the subscription of any person thereto.

RCW 9.44.080 Misconduct in signing a petition:

In a situation not covered by *RCW 29.79.440, 29.79.490, 29.82.170, or 29.82.220, every person who shall willfully sign the name of another person or of a fictitious person, or for any consideration, gratuity or reward shall sign his own name to or withdraw his name from any referendum or other petition circulated in pursuance of any law of this state or any municipal ordinance; or in signing his name to such petition shall willfully subscribe to any false statement concerning his age, citizenship, residence or other qualifications to sign the same; or knowing that any such petition contains any such false or wrongful signature or statement, shall file the same, or put the same off with intent that it should be filed, as a true and genuine petition, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Gary Randall and Larry Stickney are both famous for invoking God in their pursuit of anti-gay discrimination.  I would like them to show me where in the Bible it is written that

  • Thou shalt print petitions containing apparent falsehoods, hyperbole, and unsubstantiated claims.
  • Thou shalt hire signature mercenaries who shall misrepresent the contents of the petition.
  • Thou shalt fraudulently sign or stamp thine own name or thy brother’s name on the blank declarations of invalid petition sheets, so to make them falsely appear valid.

    “The Gang”