"Eyman acts like we don’t own our own government, but we do. The problem that we have is that there is too much money in Olympia, and the money talks. Tim Eyman loves corporate lobbyists, and corporate lobbyists love Tim Eyman because Tim Eyman does their work. He’s out here sounding like the people’s champion [but he isn't]... In the last few years, each one of these campaigns has been underwritten by oil companies, the beer industry. BP alone gave over $100,000, Conoco Phillips over $100,000. So, whose interest is Eyman representing?" (Andrew Villeneuve)
The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that Tim Eyman's I-1053, which instituted a super-majority requirement in the legislature for raising taxes, is unconstitutional.
Initiative promoter Tim Eyman and Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan sent out a broadside Thursday calling newly elected Gov. Jay Inslee a "lying whore" in perhaps the most vulgar and juvenile bid for attention that Olympia has witnessed in years.
A big-time case of “apparent fraud” and bogus signatures in petitions for statewide ballot initiatives — including Tim Eyman’s I-517, which has already qualified for the ballot — was disclosed late Wednesday by the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia.
The fraud involves more than 8,000 signatures collected for two campaigns that have hired paid signature gatherers, I-517 and I-522, which deals with genetically modified foods. ...
Out of those signatures, fewer than 5 percent were valid. The same mercenary submitted 2,371 signatures for I-522, less than 4 percent of them valid.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman, the state’s chief elections officer, was furious and called for criminal action. Signature fraud is a Class C felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years.
Let’s hear three jeers for Washington, which yet again has the ignoble distinction of the most regressive tax structure in the nation -- a "soak the poor" system where those with the least pay the highest tax rates.
An updated report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) that examines how state tax systems influence poverty levels found that for the most part, state taxes do little for families living in poverty. In fact, many systems actually make it more difficult for families living on the margins -- because most states tax the poor at a much higher rate than the wealthy.
Washington is (unfortunately) the worst of them all. In 2011, the poorest 20% of Washingtonians – with an average income of just $11,000 – paid 17.3% of their income in state and local taxes. The closest runner-up Florida, where the poorest residents paid at an average rate of 13.5%. At the other end of the income spectrum, Washington’s top 1% pay an average rate of 2.6%, and Florida’s pay an average rate of just 2.1%. .... See rest.
The Seattle Times is reporting: "State officials are investigating whether I-517 supporters illegally relied on contributions intended for I-1185, the popular Tim Eyman initiative to forbid lawmakers to boost taxes without a two-thirds majority vote.... Eyman has run into trouble with state regulators in the past, eventually settling a state lawsuit over diversions of campaign contributions to his own pocket."
The News Tribune is reporting: "In a ruling this morning that is certain to lead to a Supreme Court review, King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller found that tax increases including the closure of loopholes need only a simple majority."
"Sherry Bockwinkel, an early pioneer of Washington's paid signature-gathering industry, filed a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission yesterday alleging that initiative profiteer Tim Eyman and his business partners have failed to disclose campaign contributions and expenditures for I-517, an initiative for which they have apparently been gathering signatures since April. "
See also Complaint filed against Eyman for under-the-radar initiative
The Northwest Progressive Institute and Joel Connelly report: "BP and ConocoPhillips have each contributed $100,000 to the campaign for Initiative 1185, which would (again) put in place the requirement of a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Washington Legislature to enact new revenue measures or close corporate loopholes. Oil refiners’ checkbooks were open two years ago, when BP put in $65,000, with fellow refiners ConocoPhillips and Equilon putting in $50,000 apiece to put Initiative I-1053 on the ballot. It passed."
The citizens of Washington State have gotta start to realize that voting for Eyman initiatives is against their own self-interest.
In 2010 Washington State voters rejected I-1098, which would have established an income tax on the wealthiest 1 or 2% of citizens. And the voters approved Tim Eyman's I-1053, which makes it very hard for legislators to eliminate unfair tax exemptions that benefit the richest corporations. In this video a middle class guy explains his votes against I-1098 and for I-1053.
In 2011, Washington State voters wisely defeated Eyman's I-1125 initiative, which would have restricted toll increases and the uses to which the revenue could have been applied. But I-1125 was a stealth effort to defeat light rail over I-90, which voters approved in 2008.
As reported in Danny Westneat's Eyman's secret war on light rail,
"I've never seen an initiative quite like this, where its intentions are masked from the people who will vote on it," says Grant Degginger, a Bellevue City Council member and former mayor. It's not just that the words "light rail" weren't in Eyman's handout that day. They also are not in the Voter's Guide statement for the I-1125 campaign. Nor in any of Eyman's campaign news releases. Nor in recent op-eds written by Eyman and the initiative's financier, Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman.
The Seattle Times' editorial columnist Toni Balter, in Initiative 1125, Tim Eyman's bundle of bad ideas, called I-1125 a "stink bomb" and wrote, "A region trying to resuscitate itself economically should not blindly follow a political mercenary like Eyman who knows little about transportation."
Similarly, Keep Washington Rolling reported:
Masquerading as an initiative about tolls, I-1125 is really an attempt to halt or stall major transportation mobility projects around the state. If passed, I-1125 would take tolling authority out of the hands of an independent commission and turn it over to the state legislature. No other state allows politicians to set their tolls, and with good reason.
The Everett Herald said "Tim Eyman's Initiative 1125 isn't just one bad idea, it's a bunch of them," in their editorial position against I-1125. And the Seattle Times agreed, saying " is a mess too large."
Joel Connelly said, "I-1125 is the cluster bomb of initiatives: It is designed to do as much damage as broadly as possible. Mr. Eyman is its arms merchant." (Source)
Lest you think that only liberals and unions opposed I-1125, here's a list of businesses and business associations that opposed I-1125 (source):
Washington Roundtable Association of Washington Business Microsoft The Boeing Company Washington REALTORS® Inland Empire Residential Resources Associated General Contractors of Washington American Council of Engineering Companies of WA Group Health Cooperative Seattle Downtown Association Bellevue Downtown Association Greater Seattle Business Association Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Tacoma Chamber of Commerce Greater Spokane Incorporated Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Renton Chamber of Commerce
In February 2002 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Eyman paid himself $165,000 from campaign donations, while claiming to be working for free. This made him the highest paid politician in the state. . Eyman initially denied receiving payments, but later admitted lying. The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, the state equivalent of the Federal Elections Commission charged Eyman with diverting $233,000 from his initiative campaigns. , and Eyman eventually paid $50,000 in fines and was banned for life from handling political committee financial accounts .
From the Wikipedia article on Tim Eyman
"Tim Eyman's latest tax-limiting initiative campaign got shakily off the ground yesterday with the disgraced tax rebel nowhere in sight but still in possession of $157,000 he diverted from initiative supporters' donations."
From Eyman stripped of control