NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

BP and ConocoPhillips revealed as the big money behind Tim Eyman’s I‑1185

The wheels and gears of Tim Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry are once again being lubri­cat­ed with piles of mon­ey from greedy multi­na­tion­al oil com­pa­nies, new­ly updat­ed Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion records show.

Min­utes ago, Tim Eyman’s trea­sur­er uploaded cam­paign finance reports for the lat­est incar­na­tion of Eyman’s “Vot­ers Want More Choic­es” com­mit­tee for the month of April, which is serv­ing as the repos­i­to­ry for the mon­ey Eyman is rais­ing for I‑1185, his lat­est destruc­tive ini­tia­tive, which is essen­tial­ly a car­bon copy of I‑1053 from two years ago. Of the $247,285.59 raised for I‑1185, more than eighty per­cent$200,000 — came from BP and Cono­coPhillips, which sent Eyman match­ing checks dat­ed April 11th and April 30th, respec­tive­ly.

This isn’t the first time BP or Cono­coPhillips have con­tributed to Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry. As reg­u­lar read­ers no doubt remem­ber, both com­pa­nies were big donors to I‑1053 two years ago, and pri­or to their just-revealed April con­tri­bu­tions, they were already among Eyman’s top ten all time wealthy bene­fac­tors.

As a result of its April 11th con­tri­bu­tion, BP has now moved into the fifth spot on the all-time wealthy bene­fac­tors list, ahead of deceased heli­copter log­ging mag­nate Wes Lemat­ta. And Cono­coPhillips has now gone from being tied for ninth place in the rank­ings to sev­enth place with its own $100,000 check.

Eyman has already fun­nelled some of his new oil mon­ey into the cof­fers of his friends Roy Ruffi­no and Eddie Agrazarm, who run “Cit­i­zen Solu­tions”, the firm that has brought in most of the sig­na­tures for all of Eyman’s recent ini­tia­tives. In fact, the very same day that BP’s check arrived (April 11th), Eyman wrote a check for an iden­ti­cal amount to Cit­i­zen Solu­tions, records show.

If his­to­ry is any indi­ca­tion, con­tri­bu­tions from oth­er cor­po­ra­tions are sure to fol­low. Eyman does­n’t have to report what he hauls in for the month of May until June 10th. That’s sev­er­al weeks from now.

Back in Jan­u­ary, Eyman told his fol­low­ers that he and his cohorts — Mike and Jack Fagan of Spokane — had­n’t decid­ed what their ini­tia­tive would be for 2012. We inter­pret­ed that announce­ment (or non-announce­ment) to mean that Eyman did­n’t have mon­ey lined up to do a sig­na­ture dri­ve.

But evi­dent­ly he had some con­ver­sa­tions with pow­er­ful lob­by­ists as the year wore on, and secured a finan­cial com­mit­ment from BP to launch I‑1185.

We have long said that any­one will­ing to put up half a mil­lion dol­lars to run an ini­tia­tive can buy them­selves a spot on the bal­lot. BP and Cono­coPhillips alone could make sure that Eyman’s I‑1185 qual­i­fies by send­ing the Muk­il­teo prof­i­teer a few more checks. It’s pos­si­ble they already have sent Eyman more mon­ey and we don’t know it yet.

For the last few weeks, we’ve been gear­ing up to fight I‑1185, oper­at­ing under the assump­tion that Eyman had the mon­ey to buy the sig­na­tures he need­ed to get it on the bal­lot. It’s clear that our assess­ment of the dan­ger was spot-on.

Now we must shift into high­er gear.

Wash­ing­ton sim­ply can­not afford for Eyman’s uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic “two thirds for tax increas­es” scheme to remain in place. It’s chok­ing our com­mon wealth and the pub­lic ser­vices our com­mon wealth pays for.

We at NPI will do all we can to defeat I‑1185. But we’re going to need your help. This is going to be an extreme­ly dif­fi­cult bat­tle. But we can’t afford not to fight. Noth­ing less than Wash­ing­ton’s eco­nom­ic secu­ri­ty is at stake. We have to stop Tim Eyman and the pow­er­ful inter­ests that are using him as a pup­pet from win­ning. We have to pro­tect our state’s future.

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4 Comments

  1. I want­ed to sub­mit this com­ment direct­ly to the author, but since I can’t seem to do that, I’m just going to post it here. This arti­cle would be much clear­er if you gave a lit­tle infor­ma­tion about I‑1185, or at least a link to where you are find­ing your infor­ma­tion about the ini­tia­tive. A quick online search yield­ed noth­ing. You say it is “essen­tial­ly a car­bon copy of I‑1053,” but I thought I‑1053 was passed, and even though it was chal­lenged, the inter­net tells me that it was upheld. Why would Eyman pro­pose anoth­er near­ly iden­ti­cal ini­tia­tive if the out­come of I‑1053 is still in effect? I am thor­ough­ly con­fused. I don’t reg­u­lar­ly fol­low your blog, but scan­ning head­lines back to the begin­ning of the year also pro­vid­ed me with no con­text for this blog post.

    # by Kelly :: May 10th, 2012 at 7:32 PM
    • Kel­ly, we don’t have a rul­ing yet on the legal chal­lenge that’s been filed against I‑1053. The ini­tia­tive has *not* been upheld, nor has it been struck down.

      The text of I‑1185 is avail­able on the Sec­re­tary of State’s web­site. If you look through it and com­pare it to the text of I‑1053, you can see the two mea­sures are almost iden­ti­cal. There’s not much that’s dif­fer­ent.

      The rea­son Eyman is doing I‑1185 is that after this Decem­ber, it will become pos­si­ble for the Leg­is­la­ture to sus­pend or amend I‑1053 by major­i­ty vote. The Con­sti­tu­tion says ini­tia­tives can’t be changed with­in two years of pas­sage unless two-thirds of the Leg­is­la­ture agrees to make a change. By replac­ing I‑1185 with I‑1053, Eyman hopes to start the con­sti­tu­tion­al clock over and keep his unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic scheme in place for anoth­er two years. It’s both sad and iron­ic that Eyman is using our state’s Con­sti­tu­tion to keep his Con­sti­tu­tion-sab­o­tag­ing scheme in place.

      # by Andrew :: May 10th, 2012 at 8:59 PM
  2. It would be help­ful when you talk about ini­tia­tives that you include at least a one-sen­tence descrip­tion of what the ini­tia­tives are about. Giv­ing a num­ber does­n’t help those of us who are [lazy and] not as polit­i­cal­ly geeky as oth­ers! Thanks.

    So, what does “I‑1185” pro­pose to do?

    # by bluesky :: May 14th, 2012 at 6:24 AM
  3. Most peo­ple don’t know the half of it. Paid sig­na­ture gath­er­ers our being required to work on both Eyman ini­tia­tives. The mon­ey behind I‑1185 should not sup­port Tim’s oth­er ini­tia­tive.

    # by Bluegill :: May 21st, 2012 at 9:48 AM