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By Janie Har January 23, 2012

RULING CHANGE: Has Rob Cornilles locked up endorsements from Independent, Democratic and Republican mayors?

PolitiFact Oregon has the great dishonor of reversing a ruling today.

We freely admit we have egg on our face. If we were a cat, our ears would be lowered and our head down. If we were a dog, we’d be looking up at you with sad dog eyes. You get the picture.

Last week we ruled True a statement by the Oregon Republican Party that Republican Rob Cornilles had the endorsements of a variety of local mayors, including Democrat, Republican and Independent. The upper case "I" means he had the backing of a registered member of the Independent Party of Oregon, which is a third party group.

Well, we were wrong.

We checked Cornilles’ list of mayors online, and confirmed their party registration. As we suspected, most are Republican. But we found six non-Republicans, including three registered Democrats.

We originally emailed Amity Mayor Michael Cape and asked him if he was registered with the Independent Party, as opposed to being a non-affiliated voter. He said yes. But it turns out that he’s actually a non-affiliated voter.

The Independent Party of Oregon was officially recognized by the Secretary of State in January 2007. Previously, people registered with no party could call themselves independent voters. Now they best stick to calling themselves non-affiliated voters.

Cape said in a later interview that he considered himself independent, as in neither Republican nor Democratic. This is a confusing issue. When we first contacted the Yamhill clerk’s office, a person there said Cape was registered as Other-Independent. Which is not the same as registering with the Independent Party.

Had the Oregon Republican Party used a lower case "i" they would have been accurate. They say that’s what they intended all along. But capitalization makes a difference. We’re very sorry for the confusion but facts are facts. We change our previous ruling from a True to a False.

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Our Sources

Cornilles for Congress, "Endorsements"
Emails from Michael Cape, Jan. 17, 2012  
Interview with Michael Cape, Jan. 20, 2012
Interview with Rebekah Stern Doll, Yamhill County Elections Clerk, Jan. 20, 2012
Emails from Dan Meek, Independent Party of Oregon, Jan. 20, 2012
Interview with Greg Leo, Oregon Republican Party, Jan. 20, 2012

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RULING CHANGE: Has Rob Cornilles locked up endorsements from Independent, Democratic and Republican mayors?

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