Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

BP: Tim Eyman's newest corporate backer

How fitting.

One of the world's greediest, careless, and most despised megacorporations has just today been revealed to be one of the top financial backers of Tim Eyman's latest scheme to wreck representative government in Washington State.

Yes, you read that correctly: BP, the company responsible for the biggest environmental disaster in American history, is now underwriting Tim Eyman.

Bad People, Big ProfitsBP and Tim Eyman. Tim Eyman and BP. Now there's a foul pairing, if we ever saw one. Is BP's embrace of Tim Eyman ugly, stinky, or just plain disgusting?

(Answer: All three!)

The oil giant's North American subsidiary wrote a $50,000 check directly to Eyman's campaign committee on June 1st, 2010, matching the combined contributions given by Tesoro and ConocoPhillips the month before.

Those companies, meanwhile, each plowed in another $25,000. And just a week ago, on July 6th, Equilon sent Tim Eyman a $50,000 check.

But that's not all. BP also donated $15,000 to a separate pro-Initiative 1053 political committee called "Citizens for Responsible Spending". This committee has raised $309,000 from an array of different corporations over the last few weeks. Almost all of it ($299,500) was spent buying signatures from Citizen Solutions.

The oil industry is collectively the largest single funder of Initiative 1053, followed by a smattering of lobbying associations for other industries. They have taken over for Michael Dunmire, at least this year, as Tim Eyman's sugar daddy.

If you're wondering why oil companies spending heavily to assist Tim Eyman, the answer is simple. During the most recent legislative session, Washington's environmental movement urged the Legislature to raise the hazardous materials fee to provide more money for cleaning up polluted waterways, particularly Puget Sound. The oil industry's lobbyists in Olympia fought back hard.

They couldn't stop the idea from winning approval in the House, but they did manage to kill it in the Senate. Now, they're trying to prevent the Legislature from even considering the idea next year by dumping money into Initiative 1053.

If Initiative 1053 passes and takes effect, then all the oil lobbyists have to do is convince a third of each house (in other words, the Republican caucus) not to sign on any bill to raise the hazardous materials fee. And they can kill it.

That's what this is all about. These oil companies aren't sinking money into Initiative 1053 because they think it's good public policy. They're doing it out of greed. They're greedy, selfish, irresponsible polluters who don't want to have to foot the bill for the messes they create.

Naturally, Tim Eyman was only too happy to accept their checks; his greed matches theirs. He doesn't care who funds him, as long as he has a sugar daddy to keep the wheels of his initiative factory turning.

I doubt many readers have forgotten that Eyman previously pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign treasury for his own personal profit. He took his supporters' money for himself. He lied to them, just as he lies to the people of Washington every time he's trying to sell a new initiative. He's a first-rate snake oil salesman, the worst enemy Washington's common wealth has ever had.

We've got a huge challenge ahead of us. These oil companies have already bought the signatures they needed to force a vote on Eyman's initiative. They, along with Bank of America, Alaska Airlines, the Farm Bureau, the Realtors, and the Beverage Association, will no doubt continue to dump money into their own pro-Initiative 1053 political action committee. Their objective: Buy our votes.

It will not be easy to defeat them. But we must. Their greed threatens our state's well-being and our cherished tradition of majority rule.

Winning will require an incredibly creative and imaginative campaign. We're determined to do our part to wage such a campaign. We hope you are, too.


Blogger Steve Zemke said...

BP and Tim Eyman and his new corporate backers of Initiative 1053 are all connected by the common thread of greed. Oil companies like BP have been making huge profis in recent years at the public's expense. Their opposition to Washington State increasing slightly the fees on toxic substances to address cleaning up stormwater runoff puts corporate profit over corporate responsibility. They are making the money from selling oil and want to leave the effects of pollutants from oil use to taxpayers to pay.

Besides it being plain wrong to allow decisions on legislative bills like tax reform and revenue to only 1/3 of the Washington State Legislators to decide, it's just wrong to let companies like BP stick the cleanup costs to taxpayers.

Tell BP and Tim Eyman enough is enough. Say No this November to Initiative 1053. Make the polluters pay for their own cleanup!

July 14, 2010 10:09 AM  
Blogger kirk said...

Thanks Andrew. Right on target.
I very much appreciate the writing and hope it finds a wide audience.

Kirk Prindle

July 14, 2010 2:28 PM  

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