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.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Eyman gets big check from Dunmire, Permanent Defense preparing to fight I-1033

Remember at the beginning of the year when Tim Eyman announced he was launching a new anti-jobs, anti-community, anti-prosperity initiative - a proposal specially designed to bleed Washington's public services to death?

Well, the signature drive for that initiative (1-1033) remains underway, thanks in no small part to a massive donation from Eyman's financier, Michael Dunmire. Dunmire wrote Eyman a hefty $300,000 check last month, which was immediately plowed into the bank account of Roy Ruffino's "Citizen Solutions".

(That's the name of the operation that hires the mercenary petitioners who collect the signatures for Eyman's initiatives).

With the exception of Dunmire, Eyman's fundraising so far this year has been rather anemic, which isn't surprising, considering it's been that way for years. Since Tim's failed partnership with Great Canadian and other casino owners in 2004, it's only been Dunmire's money that has really kept Eyman going.

Eyman actually started off the campaign by taking out a second loan against his house, which he claimed was necessary to get the initiative rolling despite the fact that he hasn't paid off the first loan he took out last year for I-985.

But with Dunmire's big money behind him, Eyman will probably succeed in qualifying this year's scheme, which is perhaps the most dangerous and destructive measure that he has tried to qualify since 2004's Initiative 864.

"Horrific" is a word we'd use to describe the impact Initiative 1033 would have on our quality of life - and that's probably putting it mildly. It's been purposefully timed to cause widespread havoc in the midst of a crisis.

Washington State, and our many municipal governments, are already struggling just to keep our common wealth intact and our public services operating.

Initiative 1033 would deal our elected leaders and public servants a crippling blow, causing intense pain to all Washingtonians and devastating our economy, along with any hope of a quick recovery. But it is cleverly disguised as something else - a way for all of us to grab a free lunch.

Initiative 1033's backers - Tim Eyman, Michel Dunmire, Jack Fagan, Mike Fagan, and their comrades - want you to believe that government does no good and simply exists to take your money. That is what they say.

You'll never hear them acknowledge all the good things that government does. You'll never hear them agree that our tax dollars are used almost exclusively to pay for wonderful, necessary things: schools, colleges, roads, trails, transit, libraries, parks, pools, firefighters, police, emergency medical response, help for the unemployed, assistance for the elderly, care for the mentally ill, and basic infrastructure like storm drains or sewer systems.

You'll never hear them admit that our common wealth has value because they don't want you to think about the return we get from our tax dollars.

They desperately want the people of Washington to selfishly think only about themselves. They know their scheme will fail if voters make the connection between their tax dollars and the essential services they rely upon on a daily basis.

So they're trying to pull a fast one. They're trying to fool voters. And at the same time they are accusing state legislators like Representative Eric Pettigrew of deception for having the courage to talk about raising revenue and having an honest conversation about our state's budget shortfall. Ironic, but true.

Well, to Tim Eyman his cohorts, we say: We are not fooled. We're here and we're not going away. You won't succeed in tricking the people of Washington State to vote for this shortsighted nonsense if we can help it.

We have fought you before, and we've won - and we intend to prevail over you and your failed conservative dogma again this year.

To our supporters and friends: Know that we remain committed to stopping this vile scheme. We are retooling Permanent Defense and gearing up for the fight ahead. An unprecedented effort may be needed to educate voters. We'll have more news to share very soon about our work.

With your help, we will once again put a stop to a terrible right wing initiative and prevent its backers from wrecking the State of Washington.


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