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, October 12, 2009

Opposition to Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033 just keeps getting stronger

For those of us who've been in the trenches battling Tim Eyman and his lies for several seasons this year, the past few days have seemed like a whirlwind.

For months, a massive, unprecedented coalition has been coming together to beat back Tim Eyman's most dangerous, destructive initiative ever. Now, the coalition's message is finally entering the public consciousness, and the traditional press has finally demonstrated it's paying attention to what's going on.

Take Lynne Varner's most excellent column in today's Seattle Times, entitled, Initiative 1033 would cut into already lean budgets. It's a beauty.

The opening elicits a few chuckles:
How have I lived and worked in the Puget Sound region for more than a decade without meeting Tim Eyman? Carefully, I would say, but that joke is as tired as Eyman's faux-populist rhetoric.

I finally met the E-man a few weeks ago when he came to The Seattle Times to peddle — oops meant push — his latest budget-wrecking effort, Initiative 1033.
Nice description of Eyman and his scheme. Selling stuff - whether it's cheap wristwatches or failed, harmful schemes imported from other states - is definitely his specialty. Tim Eyman has an incredible gift for deception, and he's one of the best sound bite masters of all time.
He is selling a version of snake oil. I-1033 will decrease future public spending but the reality is the state should spend more in the future to make up for the draconian cuts made in the recession. It isn't smart policy to put schools on the budget chopping block at the same time they're being pushed to improve. Many of the people who've lost their jobs in the current recession are flocking to community colleges to get retrained for new jobs. Yet, just as higher education was cut substantially to make up for recent state budget deficits in the past, it would be so again if Eyman gets his way.
Precisely, which is why Initiative 1033 simply makes no sense.

Then, excerpting briefly from our transcript of Governor Chris Gregoire's speech against I-1033 from last Thursday, Varner adds:
"The proponent of 1033 says there will be no cut in services. I just don't get how you can suggest that," Gov. Chris Gregoire says.

I agree. If I-1033 passes, the state Office of Financial Management predicts a $5.9 billion budget hole over six years. There is no way that education, human services, criminal justice and natural resources will not suffer as a result.
In short, this is by far the best column about I-1033 we've seen from the state's editorial writers, and it's definitely worth a read.

In another sign that opposition to I-1033 continues to flourish, two more daily newspapers joined the NO camp over the weekend: The Spokane Spokesman-Review and the Yakima Herald-Republic. The Spokesman has the stronger editorial of the two. The Herald-Republic's editorial board, like The Olympian's and the Tri-City Herald's, was mainly swayed by the devastating impact I-1033 would have on cities and counties, which illustrates how much Washingtonians value home rule.

Cities have also been working to calculate just how devastating Initiative 1033 would be at the local level. The City of Vancouver is estimating that I-1033 would rob $22.2 million out of the treasury by 2015. Vancouver's mayor characterizes the consequences as devastating, saying, "[Q]uite honestly, this is self-destructive at a time when we need all the revenue we have to deliver services. How we will come up with the revenue, I have no idea."

The City of Longview, meanwhile, made its opposition to I-1033 official last Thursday; the City of Bellingham followed suit earlier tonight when its city council unanimously adopted a resolution opposing Eyman's jobs-killing scheme.

Finally, on Facebook, the number of people opposed to Initiative 1033 continues to snowball, with hundreds joining the cause every day. If you're not a fan of NO on I-1033 yet, sign in to Facebook and make your voice heard. Help us send a message to all our fellow citizens to vote NO on Initiative 1033.


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