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.