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.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tim Eyman's I-1033 is so extreme that even conservatives are coming out against it

A couple weeks ago, NPI broke the story that Republican Susan Hutchison - one of the two finalists vying to be our next King County Executive - had belatedly decided to join her Democratic rival Dow Constantine in taking a strong position against Tim Eyman's jobs-killing wealth transfer, which she aptly termed "a disaster".

As it turns out, Susan Hutchison isn't the only conservative running for office this year who plans to vote NO on Initiative 1033.

On Tuesday night, I attended a Bellevue City Council debate, which did not zero in on any regional issues except for Sound Transit's East Link light rail project, approved by voters last November.

After the forum concluded, however, I made a point of asking candidates their opinions on Initiative 1033, which would directly affect the City of Bellevue.

Don Davidson and Conrad Lee are the two conservative incumbents up for reelection to the Council. (Lee, as many readers will remember, ran against Dave Reichert in the Republican primary for Congress in 2004).

Both replied that they are opposed to 1033.

Councilmember Lee stressed that Bellevue does an excellent job with taxes and that the City does not need any artifical, draconian limits imposed on it. Davidson emphasized that he is against raising taxes, but that he would like all tools available to solve budget problems.

Councilmember Davidson added that he is anticipating that the Bellevue City Council will consider taking an official position against I-1033, but that they had not yet made an announcement.

Hutchison, Lee, and Davidson's opposition to Initiative 1033 stands in stark contrast to the Washington State Republican Party, which happily endorsed the measure last month. But the Party doesn't speak for all conservatives. That much has been made clear by some of the recent feedback that's been sent in to NPI's NO on 1033 grassroots campaign hub.

For example, Michael wrote in to say:
I am against initiative I-1033. I am also a conservative. Please refrain from painting all conservatives into the same box. This is not a conservative issue if anyone happens to read the proposal. There is a place for government spending, particularly state and local government. This proposal goes way too far.
We thank Michael for making this distinction.

Reasonable conservatives can clearly see that I-1033 isn't designed to do any conserving. Quite the opposite: I-1033 been deliberately engineered by anti-government reactionaries to take a wrecking ball to our common wealth.

We also recently heard from Sandra, who wrote in to say:
I appreciate the info on this very important initiative. I am a political and especially fiscal conservative but seriously oppose this poor initiative.
Sandra urged us to emphasize a basic point that we frequently make: Services cost money. There is no free lunch. It's basic mathematics:
If we don't pay for it, we don't get it. No one wants to live in a community with crippled law enforcement and fire fighting, no parks or other services and no infrastructure support to attract new development (and therefore jobs and housing) in our state. It just doesn't make sense. People are fed up with federal spending and unfortunately lump state and local into that bundle, which is giving this initiative momentum without people understanding the implications. Educate and know your opposition.

Thanks for your efforts. Good luck to us all.
If we as a society are unwilling to pool our resources together to do for ourselves what we cannot do individually, then we cannot hope to maintain the quality of life that we enjoy today. Reasonable conservatives understand that.

And even conservatives who are suspicious and unhappy with government can see - if they do their homework - that Tim Eyman's "one-size-fits-all initiative" is a no-holds-barred assault on home rule.

(Home rule is the idea that we should have as much local control over our communities as possible. It's a fierce tradition in Washington... it's why we have so many special districts, besides our nearly three hundred cities).

I-1033's interference with home rule is part of the reason why the former Chair of the Republican Party - Chris Vance, of all people - is publicly opposing it. Writing for Crosscut, Vance recently discussed I-1033 in the context of King County's revenue problems, which stem partly from previous Eyman initiatives that Vance supported:
Tim Eyman's latest initiative, I-1033, would make this situation even worse by capping overall county revenue growth at a factor of inflation plus population. Eyman has already placed a 1 percent lid on property tax revenue; the proposed 1033 cap would prevent sales tax revenue from growing with a recovering economy.

Initiative 1033 is so horrible, so badly conceived, that even conservatives who have eagerly sided with Tim Eyman in the past are disillusioned.

If Conrad Lee and Chris Vance are against I-1033, who is for it?


Blogger Ryan said...

The Mainstream Republicans organization has urged a no vote, too.

October 10, 2009 10:01 PM  

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