Medford, Ore., — Measure 97 is one of the most controversial topics on this year’s ballot.
The measure would increase taxes on certain corporations.
The people who operate Brookdale Senior Living Solutions are worried the measure could increase costs for its residents.
It passed that concern on in the form of a letter.
“For a building to perceive residents as a potential captive audience for political messages from corporate leadership, is a concern for us.” said Fred Steele, the state’s Long Term Care Ombudsman.
The letter was sent to some of Brookdale’s Oregon residents.
While it doesn’t tell them outright to vote no, it implies it, and outlines potential changes in care if Measure 97 passes.
It also urges residents to write a letter to the editor of a local paper to try and get the word out to other Oregonians.
That has some people concerned.
Brookdale operates 40 facilities in Oregon. Steele says at least two of the facilities received the letter.
It caught so much attention from elder care advocates that now the Secretary of State and Department of Justice are investigating it.
It’s an investigation the Disability Rights Oregon office supports.
“If they were truly interested in keeping them informed, you would think they would give them both sides of the argument, or give them some material to make their own decisions.” said Bob Joondeph, Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon.
When asked about the letter, Brookdale gave this statement, saying it was just meant to inform residents about something that affects them.
Both Joondeph Steele say they would like the letter rescinded and see an apology written.
Brookdale did not address the current investigation.