Now that the Washington State Supreme Court has put the kibosh on Tim Eyman’s I-1366 — an incredibly-destructive, Ted Cruz-style scheme to force the Legislature to sabotage the majority vote clause of our state Constitution by holding $8 billion in funding for education and essential public services hostage — we can add it to Eyman’s Failure Chart, a list summarizing the outcome of each of the statewide measures Eyman has qualified or attempted to qualify to the ballot since 1999.
As the Failure Chart’s name implies, Tim Eyman’s record is full of failures. Since 1999, all but one of his statewide measures have met the following three fates:
- Defeated by voters: I-745, I-892, I-985, I-1033, I-1125, I-517 (6)
- Failed to qualify for the ballot: I-267, I-807, I-864, I-917, R-65, I-1325 (6)
- Struck down or partially invalidated by the Washington State Supreme Court: I-695, I-722, I-747, I-776, I-960/I-1053/I-1185, I-1366 (8)
Here’s a few observations regarding the initiatives in the final category.
First, it should be noted that I-695, I-722, I-747, and I-1366 were struck down in their entirety. The other four were partially invalidated, with the three separated by slashes invalidated in one fell swoop (they’re clones of each other).
I-695 and I-747 were subsequently and foolishly reinstated by the Legislature and Governors Locke and Gregoire, although not in their entirety.
(I-747 was reinstated over this organization’s loud and vociferous objections, as is documented in the the Cascadia Advocate’s archives.)
I-722 was never reinstated, and I-1366 won’t be, either. Democrats in the Legislature were united this past session in refusing to capitulate to Eyman’s demands, and their position is not going to change. Two of the plaintiffs in the case against I-1366 were Democratic legislators: our friends Reuven Carlyle and David Frockt, who represent the 36th and 46th Districts, respectively.
The only statewide Eyman initiative that has been implemented with no legal challenge was I-900, from 2005, which concerned expanding the authority of the State Auditor to conduct performance audits.
I-900 was a flawed measure, but as it was not a direct attack on our essential public services or Constitution, it has not been challenged.
Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart shows that Tim Eyman is horrible at legislating. As we have said for years, Eyman is neither a guru nor a king of anything. And it looks like the mass media are finally, finally coming around to that realization, too.
The Seattle Times editorialized this morning:
Tim Eyman is not the state’s tax guru
Instead of continually outsourcing tax-policy changes to Eyman, which are struck down again and again, the Legislature needs to address the flaws in the tax code head-on.
The Supreme Court’s school-financing McCleary ruling — which will require billions in new education spending — should force lawmakers to come to the table. Eyman shouldn’t be invited, but the message voters keep sending through his initiatives should be heard.
What a difference a few years makes. At long last, the Times seems to have shed its bizarre Jekyll/Hyde persona and is finally printing sense in its editorial space.
We agree that it’s time for lawmakers to act boldly and courageously to reform our broken, regressive, upside down tax code, which is holding our state back and opening the door to snake oil salesman Eyman.
And by act, we mean pass legislation to raise the revenue necessary to amply provide for the education of all Washington’s youth plus fund our other neglected essential services. Act doesn’t mean talk, as in debate the problem without doing anything to solve it, or agree to study the problem with another blue ribbon commission or expert panel. The problem has been studied; we’re all too familiar with the problem at this point. What we need are solutions.