Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

DECLINE to SIGN Initiative 917!

Tim Eyman announced today in an email to his supporters that he's sent out petitions for Initiative 917 via snail mail.

Additionally, NPI and Permanent Defense have received reports that paid signature gatherers are already out collecting signatures for Initiative 917. According to the state, I-917 would wipe out some $2.5 billion in revenue, including money intended to upgrade Amtrak Cascades service, fund freight mobility programs, and pay for highway safety projects.

Eyman already has the money he needs for a paid signature gathering campaign. His sugar daddy, multimillionaire Michael Dunmire, seems intent on providing the hundreds of thousands of dollars required for Eyman and his small band of cohorts to buy their way onto the ballot.

The paid signature gathering campaign itself seems to be headed by Roy Ruffino of "Citizen Solutions" which boasts it has been "Qualifying Initiatives & Referenda for Over 15 Years". Eyman has paid Ruffino and his partner to collect signatures for previous initiative campaigns.

Petitioners employed by Ruffino are paid by the signature and therefore have an incentive to collect as many signatures as they possibly can (in order to earn more money). See how direct democracy has become a cottage industry?

Progressive activists should be on the lookout for signature gatherers collecting signatures for Initiative 917 and other right wing initiatives.

If you see petitioners collecting signatures for any right wing initiative, please use Permanent Defense's new reporting tool to tell us about it so we can more efficiently organize and mobilize.

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