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.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Initiative 917 On The Rocks: Permanent Defense launches special coverage section

Permanent Defense has launched a special section to follow the Initiative 917 saga and Tim Eyman's misfortunes. It includes a descriptive timeline, Q&A, and extensive references. You can check it out here.

David Postman has another post up on his Seattle Times blog with Michael Dunmire's reaction. Dunmire, not surprisingly, is siding with Eyman and apparently intends to keep bankrolling his efforts.

While we were compiling the special coverage section, we once again read that letter that Eyman sent to the Secretary of State's office on July 14th, where he writes:
The use of both sources to gather voter signatures requires that we keep extensive records in order to ensure (1) that the signature-gathering firm is paid correctly and (2) to ensure our outstanding volunteers are recognized for their contributions.

Our paid signature-gathering firm maintains its own contemporaneous records that detail the number of completed voter signature sheets, number of signatures and the individual responsible for gathering the voter signatures. Records measuring the efficiency of individuals and the effort in total are kept as input for management decisions.

Our Spokane administrative group on a weekly basis reconciles the paid signature gatherers' tally before funds are released to pay the invoice.

Our administrative office in Spokane maintains extensive contemporaneous weekly records as to the voter signature count for both voter signatures gathered by paid signature gatherers as well as voter signatures gathered by volunteers. Because of our procedures we are highly confident that our records are correct.

The voter signature count by the Secretary of State's office is totally inconsistent with our records and totally inconsistent with various historical measurements.
So that's Tim Eyman, insisting to the Secretary of State that he and his operation keep "contemporaneous records".

But we get a different impression today from Rich Roesler's reporting for the Spokesman-Review:
Despite this being a $422,000 effort, Eyman said no one at the campaign photocopied the petitions before turning them in. He never has, in a decade of doing initiatives, he said.

Nor, he said, did anyone keep a record of the number of petition pages turned in.

He said that Mike Fagan weighed the boxes of petitions at the Spokane office before they were taken to Olympia and submitted, but no one at the campaign kept a record of those weights. The weights were only written on the boxes that were turned in, Eyman said, and state election workers recycled the boxes.
Eyman would like us to believe that someone stole his petitions, that he keeps "contemporaneous records", and that he turned in 300,353 signatures.

Just like he wants us to believe we're the "4th highest taxed state in the nation" (not true) and just like he wanted us to believe, for the longest time, that he wasn't taking money from his contributors for his own personal use.

We can trust that Tim Eyman is a liar, but we can't trust Tim Eyman. He has a long and extensive track record of trying to deceive the press corps, the general public, and even his own supporters.

Eyman's multimillion dollar backer, Michael Dunmire, may agree with him, but it seems hardly anybody else does - even Eyman's fellow Republicans.

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