Gregoire caves to Eyman and Rossi, calls special legislative session to reinstate I-747
I will be forwarding two bills as executive request legislation for your consideration. One will reinstate the 1% property tax limitation and the other will provide a property tax deferral for all families under our state's median income level. I look forward to working with you on a one day special session devoted solely to property taxes.This is by far the worst decision Gregoire has made as the state's chief executive. It is a stupid, idiotic, and cowardly course of action: the exact opposite of leadership. And it is a major blemish on Gregoire's largely progressive and solid record as governor. It reeks of election-year pandering and unimaginative thinking.
Initiative 747 is cheap right wing policy that addresses a symptom, not a cause. It hurts our common wealth but does nothing to fix our broken and regressive tax structure. It is based on an uncompromising, unrealistic worldview that treats government as an affliction or curse - when in truth it is our government that makes our infrasructure and our quality of life possible.
Gregoire and those Democrats in the Legislature who end up going along with her are betraying the values of our party and allowing Dino Rossi and Tim Eyman to dictate public policy in Washington State. They are refusing to consider the alternatives, instead cowering to right wing pressure and opting to do what Eyman wants just a few weeks away from the opening of the 2008 legislative session.
Gregoire is ignoring the plight of municipalities across the state and wasting an opportunity to replace Initiative 747 with more progressive solutions that make our property tax fairer and more stable without decimating public services.
She is committing a major strategic blunder.
Once again, Democrats are willingly surrendering to Republicans and letting them set the agenda. It's a self-defeating move: it alienates the party's base and the state's progressive movement while saying to biconceptual voters (independents, those who are partially progressive and partially conservative) that the Democratic Party lacks ideas and courageous leaders.
It's bad policy, bad political strategy, and bad judgment. We call on every legislator who truly shares our Democratic values to vote against Gregoire's legislation, either in committee or when it comes to the floor for a vote.
We could not be more disappointed in the Governor than we are tonight.