If approved by voters on Nov. 7, the measure would ban the use of credit scoring to calculate insurance premiums. Opponents say current protections are strong and passage would lead to higher insurance premiums for most Oregonians.

Supporters include the measure's sponsor, conservative tax activist Bill Sizemore, and progressive consumer groups which -- until recently -- had never met a Sizemore initiative they liked.

"If you work long enough in Oregon politics, you're bound to agree with him on something," jokes Laura Etherton, consumer advocate for OSPIRG, the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group that often has found itself on the other side of the myriad initiative campaigns Sizemore has sponsored over the years.

The measure would expand the state's current law, which prevents use of credit scoring to raise premiums or not renew policies, to include banning the use of credit scoring at initial purchase.

Sizemore doesn't see any inconsistency in having consumer groups by his side in opposition to the insurance industry, although it has its awkward moments, such as when the left-leaning Pacific Green Party's Portland chapter endorsed his measure.

Former Aloha businessman Loren Parks contributed about $100,000 to the initiative campaign that gathered 84,408 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. But that's where the largesse ends, Sizemore says. There is no money to buy ads.

While insurance companies are universally opposed to the measure, the people that have to explain the rates and premiums to their customers, the agents, are split. Some say it's like double jeopardy to exact higher premiums from policyholders with poor credit because they would see their rates rise again after an accident. Other agents say that people with good credit file fewer claims and shouldn't have to subsidize those with poor credit records.

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