NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

With I‑1125 defeated, we can now add another entry to Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart

Thanks to vot­ers, Tim Eyman’s Fail­ure Chart has just become more impressive.

As long­time read­ers know, we main­tain a page over at Per­ma­nent Defense which serves as a com­pendi­um of Tim Eyman’s record of spon­sor­ing ini­tia­tives. We call it Tim Eyman’s Fail­ure Chart because most of Tim’s ini­tia­tives — like I‑1125 — have been fail­ures. As of today, the chart com­pris­es six­teen ini­tia­tives, four­teen of which are clas­si­fied as fail­ures. The four­teen failed ini­tia­tives fall into four categories:

  • Two were par­tial­ly void­ed by the Leg­is­la­ture or the Supreme Court (I‑776, neu­tral­ized by jus­tices, and I‑960, sus­pend­ed by lawmakers);
  • Three have been thrown out in their entire­ty as uncon­sti­tu­tion­al by the state Supreme Court (I‑695, I‑722, I‑747);
  • Five have failed to qual­i­fy for the bal­lot (I‑267, I‑807, I‑864, I‑917, R‑65);
  • … and now a total of five have been reject­ed by vot­ers (I‑745, I‑892, I‑985, I‑1033, I‑1125).

The two ini­tia­tives we cur­rent­ly clas­si­fy as suc­cess­es are I‑900 (from 2005) and I‑1053 (from last year). Now that we have suc­cess­ful­ly beat­en I‑1125, restor­ing major­i­ty rule to Wash­ing­ton’s state­house will become Per­ma­nent Defense’s most impor­tant short-term objec­tive, in addi­tion to our most impor­tant long-term objec­tive. In three months, Per­ma­nent Defense will be cel­e­brat­ing its tenth anniver­sary. It’s hard to believe PD will soon be a decade old!

There is cur­rent­ly a law­suit against I‑1053 pend­ing in King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court, but that case could take some time to resolve. In the inter­im, it’s like­ly that Tim Eyman will attempt to get an I‑1053 clone on the 2012 ballot.

Eyman still has debt out­stand­ing from the I‑1053 cam­paign, as he him­self remind­ed his sup­port­ers this week, but all he needs is one wealthy bene­fac­tor to fill his cof­fers with cash, and he can be in busi­ness, as he proved this year with I‑1125, which was under­writ­ten by Belle­vue Square own­er Kem­per Free­man, Jr.

Eyman could not have got­ten I‑1053 on the bal­lot in 2010 with­out help from the likes of BP, Tesoro, Shell, Cono­coPhillips, JPMor­gan Chase, Bank of Amer­i­ca, Wells Far­go, and U.S. Bank. I‑1053 was on the verge of falling apart before the Asso­ci­a­tion of Wash­ing­ton Busi­ness began fundrais­ing from cor­po­rate lob­by­ists on Eyman’s behalf. Three of the afore­men­tioned oil com­pa­nies gave so much to I‑1053 that they made it into the list of Tim Eyman’s top ten all time wealthy bene­fac­tors.

Although I‑1125 is now clear­ly head­ed for defeat, I’ve yet to see a sto­ry ask­ing, “Is Tim Eyman fin­ished?”, as in past years. And that’s prob­a­bly because the nov­el­ty of Eyman los­ing at the bal­lot has worn off.

Every­one seems to com­pre­hend that Eyman will be back ped­dling anoth­er scheme before long, despite los­ing this year. He’s relentless.

For­tu­nate­ly, so are we.

We’ve been doing our best to put a stop to Tim Eyman’s harm­ful ini­tia­tives for near­ly ten years, and we will con­tin­ue fight­ing the good fight in the years ahead. We haven’t always come out ahead in every bat­tle we’ve fought, but we have made a dif­fer­ence. Pri­or to Per­ma­nent Defense’s found­ing in 2002, Tim Eyman had got­ten harm­ful ini­tia­tives past vot­ers for three years in a row (all of which, inci­den­tal­ly, were strick­en by the state Supreme Court).

But since Per­ma­nent Defense’s found­ing, Eyman has not had any con­sec­u­tive wins. Think about that.

Of course, Eyman only needs to suc­ceed every once in a while to remain rel­e­vant. But it has got­ten hard­er for Eyman to gain traction.

More and more Wash­ing­to­ni­ans have begun to real­ize that he is a snake oil sales­man who does­n’t care about our state’s well-being. And so more and more of his ini­tia­tives are fail­ing at an ear­li­er stage.

Sad­ly, in the years ahead, it may be that Tim Eyman will be the least of our prob­lems. Cost­co has just proved that elec­tions can be bought by spend­ing gigan­tic sums of mon­ey, set­ting the stage for fur­ther abuse and manip­u­la­tion of our state’s ini­tia­tive process by pow­er­ful corporations.

Pro­gres­sives need to make address­ing this very seri­ous prob­lem a top pri­or­i­ty, or Wash­ing­ton’s qual­i­ty of life will take an even more seri­ous hit.

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  1. Could you title the var­i­ous ini­tia­tives, please? Not every­one can remem­ber to what the ini­tia­tive num­bers refer. I sure can’t!

    # by bluesky :: November 10th, 2011 at 9:35 PM
    • If you click over to the Fail­ure Chart (which I linked to in the post), you’ll see that each mea­sure includes a sum­ma­ry and addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion. I agree, all the num­bers get pret­ty confusing.

      # by Andrew :: November 10th, 2011 at 10:02 PM
  2. You had me up until the I‑1183/Costco com­ment. Yes, Cost­co pumped a lot of mon­ey into that, but the oppo­si­tion, while pre­sent­ed as a group of cit­i­zens con­cerned with pub­lic safe­ty, was heav­i­ly fund­ed by beer and wine dis­trib­u­tors, most­ly out of state. I, like most peo­ple I know, made up my mind long before see­ing any of the ads the mon­ey went to so I would hard­ly say the elec­tion was “bought”. Most peo­ple don’t see a rea­son to have state run retail stores for liquor. Gov­ern­ment exists to gov­ern and run the essen­tial infra­struc­ture, not to sell lux­u­ry merchandise.

    # by James R :: November 11th, 2011 at 2:04 PM
  3. Ah, thanks!

    # by bluesky :: November 11th, 2011 at 6:33 PM
  4. Is there such as word as Eyman­freude? Because I’m feel­ing it right now! 😀 Three strikes, Tim! You’re out­ta here! 😀

    # by Jeff Isaacson :: November 11th, 2011 at 8:58 PM

One Ping

  1. […] With I‑1125 defeat­ed, we can now add anoth­er entry to Tim Eyman’s Fail­ure Chart […]

    Ping from Morning Rundown for November 11th, 2011 :: November 11th, 2011 at 9:40 AM
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