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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Susan Hutchison now says Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033 "would be a disaster"

Less than three months after telling NPI that she had "no opinion" on Tim Eyman's jobs-killing Initiative 1033, Susan Hutchison has come to the conclusion that the initiative, as we've insisted all along, is simply awful.

At a dinner hosted by the Suburban Cites Association in Tukwila, Hutchison responded to a question about Initiative 1033 by immediately declaring, "I think if it passes it would be a disaster," adding that it "goes too far". The tone of her response suggested her opposition to Initiative 1033 will be worn henceforth as a badge of honor, rather than something she'd prefer that voters not know.

Hutchison had previously told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer she was leaning towards opposing I-1033, and when pressed, suggested she would vote no. Tonight she solidified her position against Tim Eyman's jobs-killing scheme.

We're heartened to see this, but we'd like to see Hutchison take her opposition to the next level by urging her supporters to join her in voting no. If she truly agrees with us that Initiative 1033 would be destructive to our communities, she ought to do everything she can to participate in the effort to defeat it. Sending an email to her supporters would be a good first step.

Hutchison's opponent, Dow Constantine, made clear months ago that he unequivocally opposes Initiative 1033 and has spoken out on many occasions against the shortsightedness of Tim Eyman's initiatives.

Hutchison and Constantine are also in agreement on Washington's other statewide ballot measure, Referendum 71; both plan to vote to approve the referendum in November. (An Approve vote keeps the law).

We'll post a full transcript of Hutchison and Constantine's answers to the Suburban Cities question about Initiative 1033 later tonight.

UPDATE: Full transcript of the I-1033 Q&A:
QUESTION: If Initiative 1033 is approved by the voters, what do you believe will be the impact on plans for annexations and growth in King County?

HUTCHISON: I haven't seen any polls on, uh, 1033 yet, and I'm not quite sure it's... it's on the radar of our voters... yet. But... it's certainly on the radar of all of you, and the mayors I've talked to.

And I think, uh, if it passes, it would be a disaster... for King County and all of our cities throughout the state. You know, I fundamentally don't like government taxing and spending, taxing and spending. And, uh... but 1033 just goes too far.

I think we could agree that, uh, we need to have revenue caps to an extent that do take into account reasonable inflation and employee compensation and healthcare and all those things. Um... Our current tax structure, as we've said many times, is fairly volatile. But instead of refunding surpluses in, uh, good times, we... need to protect, uh, all of our, uh, services that we provide when the economy, uh, takes a downturn, by being able to use those surpluses to fill up our rainy day funds. So, um... I would be against 1033, and will vote against it.

CONSTANTINE: Well, I'm strongly opposed to I-1033, which probably comes as a huge shock to many in this room. [LAUGHTER] I uh, I know at first glance it sounds good to many people, like most of the initiatives do. But objective analysis shows that it will, in fact, be devastating for our state, counties, and cities. It will stop annexations altogether.

And it's going to make it very, very difficult for people to take on new territory, if they're stuck with the same, uh, budget numbers that they had when they had a smaller jurisdiction. It's the kind of legislation that would preclude policymakers from providing the high level of service that their citizens demand.

When a similar initiative passed in Colorado, it was so disastrous that the Republican governor organized the effort and got voters to overturn its key provisions. But the damage was done... in that state. Our office of fiscal management calculated that by 2015, this initiative would cost the state government nearly six billion dollars in tax revenues and deprive cities and counties of another nearly three billion dollars.

I know many city officials are concerned about the potential cost of providing services to new residents. You know... So this would make you use the 2009 budget as your base. And here we are, cutting and cutting and cutting.

Your new base is going to be the rebased lower budget. And... when times improve, you're not going to be able to go back to the level needed to provide the services your citizens expect, to make up for some of the shifting of funds from essential, but long term, functions into immediate needs. You're going to be stuck with this recession-era budget as your base moving forward.

It is a prescription for disaster. And it's a prescription for us staying in this recession for much longer than we need to.
Dow's response was good, and considering the audience, well thought out. What voters need to know, very simply, is this: Initiative 1033 is a jobs killer. It would ravage public services, trap us in a permanent recession, and lead to more layoffs. It is a proven failure and a transfer of wealth from we the people to a small group of wealthy property owners. It is Tim Eyman's most destructive initiative ever. Only by rejecting it can we protect our communities and stave off job losses.

Don't want these bad economic times to get worse? Vote NO on Initiative 1033.


OpenID thereaganwing said...

Government jobs in a socialist economy are like taskmaster jobs in a slave economy.

I am more than proud to suport Tim in his quest to de-fund and defeat the forces of tyranny in King County and Washington State.

Because every task-master, government, socialist, "progressive," job lost will mean 2 real jobs created.

As Reagan said, it's not that you don't know anything, it's just that so much of what you know isn't true.

September 17, 2009 9:28 AM  

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