Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Eyman, Hutcherson reveal plans for 2007

In our just-released podcast, I talk about two right wing initiatives that are likely coming our way next year. The first is Tim Eyman's latest recycled libertarian proposal to require legislative supermajorities for any revenue increase.

The second is Ken Hutcherson's initiative to legalize discrimination, which the Antioch Bible Church pastor filed last week.

As I explained in the podcast:
NPI has obtained a copy of the text of this initiative, which does not yet have a number assigned. It was filed on November 28th, which was last week. It’s something of a clone of Tim Eyman’s failed Referendum 65, which tried to force a public vote on ESHB 2661.
Oddly enough, Hutcherson used his own name and Antioch's church address to file the intiative. After Referendum 65's failure last June, some evangelicals had talked about trying again in 2007 with an initiative.

But they'll find that selling it to voters will be pretty tough. Most Washingtonians are not interested in making bigotry the law of the land.

As for Tim Eyman, he's stayed on his predictable cycle - every three to four years he recycles some old idea from the shelf and turns it into an initiative, with various modifications. His latest anti-government initiative strongly resembles I-807, which Eyman failed to qualify for the ballot in 2003.

It's an old pattern. I-917, which failed to make the ballot earlier this year, was built on top of two previous initiatives which were three to four years apart (I-695 and I-776). While Eyman is an opportunist who is willing to latch on to any libertarian or conservative cause that appeals to him, he generally sticks to a stale assortment of tax cuts or spending limits.

This proposed initiative is not a new idea. It is uncreative, unoriginal, and useless. It's designed to obstruct representative democracy from working. Eyman will probably claim it's "wildly popular" (all of his recent initiatives, most of which have failed, have been "wildly popular" - or so he says).

The electorate is sick and tired of anti-governmentism.

The public understands that quality public services - first responders (police, fire, paramedics), libraries, parks, pools, and public schools cost money. So does public infrastructure (like mass transit and roads). These are things the public overwhelmingly wants and supports.

Eyman has absolutely zero successes to speak of this year. It's been very rough sailing. If his wealthy multimillionaire backer (Michael Dunmire) chooses to sink a few hundred thousand into this, it'll get onto the ballot.

If that happens, we will mount a very strong, vigorous campaign to defeat it. Then again, we'll have to see if Eyman is competent enough to buy his way on first. He couldn't manage it this year despite widespread expectations to the contrary.

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