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, October 7, 2009

Revving up to defeat Tim Eyman's jobs-killing Initiative 1033

After months of flying under the radar, it looks like Initiative 1033 - Tim Eyman's latest scheme to kill jobs, freeze services, and redirect sales taxes to pay for a big tax cut for wealthy property owners - is finally starting to be exposed as the rotten and ill-conceived measure that it is.

This morning the Washington Education Association held a press conference to highlight the consequences of Initiative 1033. Tim Eyman showed up in person to crash the press conference and mug for the camera. He was challenged by HA Seattle's David Goldstein and the Seattle P-I's Joel Connelly, as well as KOMO Television's Bryan Johnson, although he refused to respond to their questions and instead offered a steady stream of recycled sound bites.

During their confrontation, Eyman referred to David Goldstein as "a joke", and told The Olympian's Brad Shannon that the NO on I-1033 ads are "threats, lies and scare tactics." Funny, that about sums up Eyman and Initiative 1033.

Getting nervous, Tim? Is that the best comeback you've got?

The coalition against I-1033 continues to grow. It now includes the
Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, and the Downtown Seattle Association, among many others.

I-1033 is so extreme that even groups which typically remain neutral on Eyman initiatives are opposing it, like the Washington Realtors.

City councils are also voting to oppose I-1033. Among the cities that have done so are Burien, Kirkland, Pullman, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Redmond, NPI's hometown. (Redmond was one of the first cities to declare its opposition).

The Olympian, meanwhile, which has a fairly conservative editorial board (they were only ones to endorse Tim Eyman's failed I-985 last year), have become the first of the state's major daily newspapers to take a position against I-1033. They admit in their editorial they might have sided with Eyman if I-1033's services freeze were only applicable at the state level.

The traditional press has been making much hay out of a poll conducted by a Republican opinion research firm (Rasmussen Reports) circulated by Eyman that shows Initiative 1033 with a sizable lead (61% yes, 31% no). Today there's a new poll out, by SurveyUSA, with very different results. That poll finds 45% of respondents in support for I-1033, 32% opposed, and 22% undecided.

We dislike talking about polls here on The Advocate, partly because we like our coverage to be more substantive than just horse race reporting, but also because we know the only poll that really matters is on Election Day.

It's discouraging to see some in the media are writing headlines saying "Initiative 1033 passing." That's not true because it's not possible.

Ballots haven't been mailed yet, and won't for more than a week. Don't believe the polls... whatever they say. We have the power to defeat this measure. Working together, we can dry up the broad and shallow support for this initiative. But we have to reach out. That means talking to family, friends, neighbors.

We've got a little less than a month to persuade a majority of likely voters to reject Tim Eyman's jobs killing wealth transfer.

It won't be easy. The ballot title Rob McKenna's office crafted for Eyman sounds deceptively good. Our challenge is to get voters to think beyond the ballot title. If they ask questions and look at the consequences, they'll vote no.

Tim Eyman has never been beaten in an odd-numbered election year. Most of the campaigns waged against him have been clunky and unimaginative. It's time to rev up the intensity and throw Eyman on the defensive.

The comments on the NO On I-1033 Facebook page, which now has more than 2,300 fans and is growing by the hour, provide ample evidence that people are sick of Eyman's destructive schemes to wreck our common wealth.

We have to collectively summon the energy to send this foul mess of a ballot measure back to the swamp from which it came... or our communities will suffer a terrible fate. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to spread the word... Protect Washington and Vote NO on Initiative 1033.


Blogger Steve Zemke said...

The conservative Tax Foundation ranks Washington State’s local and state tax burden in the BOTTOM THIRD OF ALL STATES. They rank Washington State as 35th (with 1 being the highest) in terms of state and local tax burden.
You can check the results yourself here:

Of course if you are trying to claim that Washington State's taxes are obscene and unsustainable and out of control, 35th lowest is not a number you want to use. That's why Eyman adds in our Federal income tax and says in the Voter's Pamphlet that we are the eighth highest taxed state in the county.

Of course he neglects to add two other facts. We are also the eighth highest state in terms of income per capita according to the Tax Foundation and the fact that I-1033 is not a Federal initiative and can do nothing to change Federal taxes.

I-1033 only affects state and local taxes and does nothing to change sales taxes paid. We have the highest sales taxes in the country. The Tax Foundation says on property taxes we rank 25th. And remember we have no income tax unlike 43 other states.

Eyman deals in hyperbole and stretching the truth. Forbes magazine has since retracted their ranking of 8th and the Tax Foundation figures Tim uses included Federal income taxes. Tim repeats his false comments over and over hoping that repeating something that's not true over and over will somehow convince people it is true.

Initiative 1033 is a complex measure and does a lot more than Tim says. It is not needed. No one likes to pay taxes but they are the price we pay to keep our communities livable.
Washington State’s taxes rank in the bottom third regarding state and local tax burden per capita. Let's not make things worse by further reducing public services and slowing down recovering from the recession. Vote No on I-1033.

October 7, 2009 2:21 PM  
OpenID sarajane46th said...

Everyone reading NPI should have an elevator speech stating succinctly why you are opposed to I-1033. Here's mine: This is a very destructive Tim Eyman initiative that will lock local and state governments into a level of services that reflects our worst economy in three decades. It takes everyone's sales tax money and returns the "excess" to property owners, but the 35% of us who are renters will never get a dime; 40% of the property owners are commercial property owners. Is it any wonder that Kemper Freeman, Jr., owner of Bellevue Square, is one of Eyman's biggest donors? If you ever hope to see fully funded education budgets in our lifetimes, vote No on 1033.

October 8, 2009 10:01 AM  
OpenID sarajane46th said...

I challenge every elected official and candidate to pledge that you will include your No on 1033 elevator speech in every public appearance between now and election day.

Remember, it's you who will have to govern under it if we don't turn this thing around. Right now 22% are undecided.

October 8, 2009 10:04 AM  

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