Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Tim Eyman follies in Washington State

By Mona Goldwater, Seattle Metro Ed.

Tim Eyman once again proves that he is indisputably a class act. He has made a nice little living stirring up garbage in Washington State.

He's back in the news, having called our new Governor (and my former congressman), Jay Inslee,  “a lying whore” [“GOP: Eyman’s remark to Gov. Inslee uncalled for,” NWFriday, Feb. 22]. Is this the same Tim Eyman who lied to us back in 2002 by saying that he worked for free but he was actually paying himself handsomely from campaign donations?   
Back in 2002, Eyman insisted he was doing this all for free.  We later found out he was paying himself with donated money:

In February 2002 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 reported that Eyman paid himself $165,000 from campaign donations, while claiming to be working for free. Eyman initially denied receiving payments, but later admitted wrongdoing.  The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, the state equivalent of the Federal Elections Commission charged Eyman with diverting $233,000 from his initiative campaigns.  Eyman eventually settled with the Washington State Attorney General's office, paying $50,000 and accepting a lifetime ban on involvement in any political committee's financial accounts. Since the settlement, Eyman's co-sponsors and chairmen in his Permanent Offense political committee became more actively involved; Monte Benham of Kennewick became the head of Permanent Offense, though Eyman remained involved politically. [Wikipedia - Tim Eyman]

In 2012, Eyman sponsored 25 initiatives, only one of which--Initiative 1185--made it onto the November general ballot. Approximately 95% of the money to support the initiative is reportedly from "corporate behemoths, such as oil companies, drug companies, liquor companies," or special interest/pressure groups.

Wikipedia takes a look at Eyman's track record:  

I-2001998Prohibit affirmative action in public employment, education and contracting.[2]Passed by voters with 58%.
I-6951999Cut the state motor vehicle excise tax (the yearly car tabs) and required voter approval for all tax increases.[3]Passed by voters with 56% but declared unconstitutional.
I-7222000Cut state and local property taxes, which fund public services.[4]Passed by voters but declared unconstitutional.
I-7452000Required 90% of transportation funding to be spent on road building.[5]Defeated by voters with 59% opposing it.[6]
I-7472001Cut state and local property taxes.[7]Passed by voters but declared unconstitutional in Superior Court and Supreme Court;[8]
I-7762002Cut local motor vehicle excise taxes.[9]Passed by voters.
I-2672002Divert money from the general fund for road building.[10]Failed to qualify for ballot.
I-8072003Require a supermajority vote for all tax increases.[11]Failed to qualify for ballot.

I-8642003Cut property taxes by 25%.[12]Failed to qualify for ballot.
I-182003Reduce size of King County Council from 13 to 9 membersPassed by voters.
I-8922004Legalize slot machines.[13]Defeated by voters with 62% opposed.[14]
I-9002004Give state auditor ability to conduct performance audits.[15]Passed by voters.
Referendum 652006Repeal ESHB 2661, legalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation.[16]Failed to qualify for ballot.
I-9172006Cap motor vehicle registration charge at $30 a year.[17]Failed to qualify for ballot.
I-9602007Require a 2/3 majority in state Legislature to raise taxes and fees.[18]Passed by voters. Overridden/Repealed by legislature in 2010. (The legislature may repeal an initiative after two years with a simple majority vote.)
I-9852008Attempts to reduce vehicular traffic congestion through the elimination of car-pool lanes and mandatory signal timing across the entire state, among other means.[19]Defeated by voters with 60% opposed.[20]
I-10332009Applies a inflation and population tied cap to tax revenue.[21]Defeated by voters with 55% opposed.[22]
I-10532010Reinstates 2/3 Legislature majority requirement set by I-960 (which was overridden in early 2010).[23]Passed by voters but declared unconstitutional. [24]
I-11252011Restricts toll rate increases and the means by which toll revenue is spent.[25]Defeated by voters with 53% opposed.[26]
I-11852012Reinstates 2/3 statutory requirement for new or increased fees.[27]

Passed by voters with 64%.[28]

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