Not long ago, Tim Eyman began promoting a new “Yes on 1125” website that appears to have been commissioned by his No. 2 all-time wealthy benefactor Kemper Freeman, Jr., the man responsible for more than eighty percent of the money behind Initiative 1125. I say appears to have been commissioned by because its text bears all the hallmarks of something written by Kemper and his operatives. Their productions have a distinctive style… as do Eyman’s.
Having worked against Eyman for much of his career, we’re pretty familiar with his writing, and how he chooses to portray himself. Eyman has long been in the habit of falsely implying or claiming that his initiative factory is grassroots, when in fact it is not. We have repeatedly pointed out that Eyman’s mill would grind to a halt were it not for his wealthy benefactors. His operation is wholly dependent on big money. And he knows it. But he pretends otherwise.
Kemper Freeman, Jr., on the other hand, appears to be more of a straight-shooter, at least in terms of disclosing his involvement. Have a look at these two paragraphs from the “Myths vs. Facts” page on the “Yes on 1125” website.
Initiative 1125 was filed by Tim Eyman on behalf of Bellevue Businessman, Kemper Freeman. Mr. Freeman and others want voters to be aware of very serious policy changes coming out of Olympia. These new policies will have a tremendously negative impact on automobile drivers totally changing the way we live and lessening our quality of life. Mr. Freeman believes that voters are being kept in the dark on these changes and that they deserve an opportunity to reaffirm or reject these ideas.
Kemper Freeman paid for the initiative 1125 signature drive to give voters an opportunity to reaffirm long-standing principles of tolling and gas taxes, or to reject them, as they wish. He did so, too, so that the 97% who drive their cars everyday will understand the coming policy of “system wide” tolling all roads.
This has to be the first time that I can remember that an Eyman benefactor has admitted, upfront, to having paid for the signature drive for an Eyman initiative on the campaign website for said initiative. It’s too bad that almost nothing else on the website is accurate. In addition to putting dozens of apostrophes in the wrong place, the person who authored the “Myths vs. Facts” page somehow managed to figure out how to unfairly slam transit in pretty much every passage.
Freeman may not realize it, but every time he talks or publishes something, he provides further evidence for the view that all he seems to care about is destroying and defunding transit — and widening highways. Freeman likes to dismiss transit activists as zealots, but he’s the real ideologue… an uncompromising road warrior from decades past who believes that if we just pave over more terrain, we’ll all be able to happily drive our cars wherever and whenever we want.
In reality, gridlock can only be solved by getting people out of their cars and providing transportation choices. True freedom of mobility means being able to get around without a car. If Freeman understood this, he’d be an enthusiastic supporter of transit, rather than an unrelenting critic.