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, June 16, 2008

Eyman makes appointment to turn in signatures for I-985

In an e-mail to supporters this morning, Tim Eyman announced that he plans to turn in signatures for his traffic nuisance initiative, Initiative 985, this Thursday.
Here's the scoop -- today in Spokane, Mike and Jack will process all I-985 petitions and voter signatures that came in to our PO Box last week from both our volunteers and our paid folks. Based on their cursory analysis over the weekend, they're certain we'll hit the minimum threshold of signatures -- roughly 224,880 -- and so we've made an appointment with the Secretary of State this Thursday, June 19th, 11:00 am, 520 Union Bldg, Olympia.

But we need much more voter signatures than just the minimum. Based on the signature turn-ins in 2005, 2006, and 2007, we can predict that roughly 18% of the voter signatures won't perfectly match the ones the voters submitted on their original voter registration card. So we need to turn-in a bunch of extra voter signatures -- a cushion -- to ensure we qualify I-985 for the ballot. That means we need to reach 275,000 (preferably more) voter signatures before the July 3 deadline.

That means we need to get roughly 50,000 more voter signatures in the next 18 days. That's a tough but achievable goal. With every initiative we've ever done, it's always boiled down to the very end.
Since this is Tim Eyman talking, it's impossible to know how many signatures he really does have. If Eyman does not actually have the minimum required, he probably has less rather than more, and is inflating the number in the hopes of convincing supporters to redouble their efforts.

Even if they do have the minimum, they need a pretty big cushion to ensure qualification, and they've only got just over two weeks.

It's certainly possible they will make it, but what it really comes down to is money. Eyman has no grassroots base of dependable volunteers to collect signatures, so he needs someone to keep the money flowing so he can pay hired petitioners. If he has run out of money, there's an excellent chance I-985 will fall short.

To date Eyman's I-985 has received $469,000 in contributions, much of that money supplied by Michael Dunmire. About $454,000 has been spent, which leaves about $15,000 in his coffers. That isn't very much.

In May, Eyman received several midsize donations from conservative allies.

These included:
  • $10,000 from the BIAW on May 29th
  • $25,000 from Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman Jr. on May 29th
  • $30,000 from the Sam Adams Alliance (an out of state conservative group based in Illinois) on May 2nd
  • $2,500 from the Fremont Dock Company on May 29th
  • $2,000 from John Connors on May 29th
  • $2,000 from Electroimpact (an aerospace tooling business based in Mukilteo, which is next door to Paine Field) on May 13th
  • $1,333 from Puget Sound Security Patrol on May 13th
  • $1,000 from TK Patrick of Bellevue on May 14th
The donations listed above account for 77% of Eyman's fundraising in May.

Reports submitted to Permanent Defense over the last few weeks indicate petition circulation is still going on, but it seems less widespread than in prior years.


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