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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tim Eyman claims he has 270,000 signatures for jobs-killing Initiative 1033

This morning, in his latest electronic screed to supporters and the press, initiative profiteer Tim Eyman declared that his buddies Jack and Mike Fagan (the latter of which is running for Spokane City Council) tabulated all the signatures they have on hand for Eyman's latest scheme to wreck Washington State, and they came up with the number two hundred and seventy thousand.

(241,153 valid signatures are required to qualify an initiative for the ballot this year, up from 224,880 signatures last year thanks to the high turnout in the 2008 gubernatorial election. Initiative sponsors must submit an ample cushion to offset a varying but inevitable percentage of duplicate and invalid signatures).

Eyman's decision to disclose a number is interesting, but the number itself is completely meaningless. Eyman has a long history of deceiving the press and lying to his own supporters. His accounting just can't be trusted.

That was made painfully evident to some of Eyman's own supporters in 2006 when Eyman accused Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed's office of "pilfering" petitions for his ill-conceived Initiative 917, after the Elections Division disclosed it had received far fewer signatures than what Eyman announced he had submitted.

Eyman immediately accused the Secretary of State's office of lying (pot, meet kettle) and claimed he had proof that his number was accurate. As it turned out, his "proof" was a farce - it was simply a piece of paper with Eyman's number of 300,353 on it, stamped by the Secretary of State's receptionist at his request.

A complete check of Initiative 917's petitions, completed in early September 2006 (which I had the opportunity to observe for several days in late August) showed that Eyman had not submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The measure's implosion remains one of the most spectacular failures in Eyman's career as an initiative profiteer.

Later that summer, Eyman sent out a message to his supporters trying to explain what had happened. He included a week-by-week internal tally of signatures, hoping to convince his supporters to believe his story. Ironically, by doing so, Eyman trapped himself in another lie, which NPI uncovered and promptly reported.

So if history is any indication, Eyman's number today is meaningless. The only number that has any significance is the number of signatures the Secretary of State reports receiving next month. If Eyman does not submit a substantial cushion of signatures, it's not unlikely Initiative 1033 could fail the five percent random sample check and possibly be in danger of not qualifying for the ballot.

We don't see that happening. We think Eyman will submit enough signatures. We'd love to be wrong, of course. But we don't expect to be, and that's why we're laying the groundwork for an aggressive fight to beat back Initiative 1033. It's a jobs-killing scheme that Washington State just can't afford.


Post a Comment

<< Home