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.