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 22, 2010

Tacoma News Tribune opposes Tim Eyman and BP's Initiative 1053

In an editorial to be published in tomorrow morning's edition, the Tacoma News Tribune is joining teachers, caregivers, first responders, working families, and activists in saying NO to Tim Eyman and BP's unconstitutional scheme to sabotage our cherished tradition of majority rule:
I-1053 would give a minority party outsized power to block tax increases while also disavowing the painful choices forced by hits to existing revenues.

The majority could go directly to the voters for approval – at the risk of waiting months for a budget patch that may never materialize. The Legislature, given the magnitude of the state’s fiscal problems, needs to act more nimbly than that.

The News Tribune editorial board recommends a no vote on I-1053.
I-1053 has been purposely designed to prevent future Legislatures from pursuing a balanced approach to solving future budget crises. I-1053 allows just seventeen state senators to block any proposed budget that incorporates new or even restored revenue to keep our vital services operating.

When Washington's founders wrote its Constitution, they explicitly specified in Article II, Section 22 that a majority vote was the threshold for passage of all legislation. They did so because anything less or anything more than fifty percent plus one is not majority rule, which is the key underlying principle of democracy.

I-1053's sponsors (several of whom are Republican legislators) know that their unconstitutional, undemocratic idea of requiring two thirds votes for all revenue-raising bills would never pass if it was required to meet its own 66.6% threshold. So instead of introducing their scheme as a constitutional amendment like the Constitution requires, they're running an initiative and pretending that the document which serves as our plan of government just doesn't exist.

They and their corporate lobbyist allies want to change the rules so they can be in control even when they're out of power.

Seventy five percent of the money behind I-1053 came from a corporation. Some of America's greediest and most profit-hungry corporations are on I-1053's donor list. BP. ConocoPhillips. Tesoro. Shell. Bank of America. Wells Fargo. USBank. Liberty Mutual. Sierra Pacific. Boise. These corporations all want the security of knowing they can go to just seventeen right wing senators (three of whom are I-1053 sponsors) who will happily kill any bill that attempts to remove their special tax breaks or tax loopholes that they're exploiting.

I-1053 is part of one of the biggest corporate power grabs in Washington's history. I-1053 is not on our ballot because of some uprising against state government. It is on the ballot because a cabal of corporations collectively ponied up more than half a million dollars to buy the required signatures.

They bought their way onto the ballot.

It's time to send them a message: Washington is not for sale.

On or before November 2nd, uphold our Constitution and vote NO on Initiative 1053, as well as the four other corporate initiatives on our ballots.


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