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.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Columbian editorial on Eyman off the mark

The (Vancouver) Columbian offered a half-right, half-wrong analysis of Tim Eyman's recent failures in a bemusing editorial this morning, curiously titled: In Our View - Eyman in a Slump.

Well, at least they've figured that out!

Though the Columbian's editorial writer mentioned that Eyman is 0-2 for the year, he or she didn't make it clear that Eyman has actually been "in a slump" since 2002. (If you check out our failure chart you can easily see that Eyman and his operation have been on the rocks for a while).

But the worst part of the editorial, by far, was this sentence:
As the initiative kingpin nurses his wounds and looks for solutions to his slump, he should reflect on the basic purpose of initiatives.
First of all, Eyman is not a "kingpin". Random House defines "kingpin" as a person of great importance. In other words, someone who's relevant.

Eyman is actually not relevant and hasn't been for years. He appears to be relevant because media outlets like The Columbian continue to call him a "kingpin" and treat him with a fairness and respect that he doesn't deserve.

The writer's choice of words is also ironic. The writer used language that inflates Eyman's image in an opinion where he or she comments on his failures.

Secondly, the next part of the sentence reveals the author of this piece feels a great deal of sympathy for poor, poor Tim Eyman. "Nurses his wounds"? "Looks for solutions to his slump?"

Those of us Washingtonians who value our quality of life and believe in strong, livable communites don't want Tim Eyman to be successful. We don't want him to find "solutions to his to slump".

And actually, Eyman has indicated that he doesn't worry about being successful. In other words, he doesn't really care about his ballot measures. What he cares about the most is money (and media attention). He's still getting both.

Only someone who is out to line his pockets would ask his supporters to reward him with money in an email announcing a a major failure:
The Secretary of State will be reporting soon that the I-917 campaign turned in about 220,000 valid signatures, a few thousand short of qualifying. That's really close and the lesson we've learned is to work even harder from now on. This experience has also inspired us to rededicate ourselves to provide the voters with a greater voice in the political process.


If you appreciate our past, current, and future efforts, then please donate generously to "Help Us Help Taxpayers." You can fill out the form below and send us a donation of $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more (there are no limits on the amount that can be given) to our offices in Spokane. Or, you can go to our website and contribute by VISA or MasterCard. Either way, please send in your most generous donation RIGHT NOW.

We would be extremely grateful for any financial assistance you can offer. Thank you for your consideration.
(Emphasis mine). Eyman doesn't need to "reflect on the basic purpose of initiatives".

Initiatives are merely the means for bringing Eyman fortune and fame, which is what he's really after. Personal profit is more important to him than ideology.

The author of this editorial either doesn't understand Eyman - or does, but is just being deceptively nice.

Another problem with this editorial is the author's assertion that last year's Initiative 900 "was needed because the Legislature had refused to act on the matter." That's actually not true.

The state Legislature had already passed HB 1064, (giving the state auditor the authority to hire independent contractors to do annual performance audits of state agencies) before Eyman turned in a single signature for Initiative 900.

Bills similiar to HB 1064 had passed the state House in previous sessions, but got held up in the State Senate, which was controlled (at the time) by Republicans, including State Senator Dino Rossi.

The legislation made it through thanks to a change of leadership in the State Senate after the 2004 elections.

The rest of the editorial is okay - standard, if somewhat bland, fare. What you'd expect from the political establishment and the traditional media.

Those of you who are reading the Official Blog from Clark County and Southwest Washington would be better off getting your political commentary in print from alternative media like the Vanguard.

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