Tim Eyman may not have an initiative on the ballot this year, but he has no intention of keeping a low profile this autumn, as he demonstrated yesterday when he went fishing for media coverage using an obscene image for story bait.
In an email to reporters sent yesterday afternoon, Eyman engaged in quite a show of psychological projection, accusing King County Executive Dow Constantine of trying to “blackmail voters” by telling the truth about the impact of his initiatives on Washington and King County’s vital public services. Eyman further attacked Constantine as crass, manipulative, and wrong — all words that effectively describe both his inappropriate behavior and his destructive initiatives.
Constantine had delivered a speech unveiling his proposed budget earlier in the day in which he explained, as I have written many times here, that the days of backfilling are pretty much at an end, and the time of reckoning is fast approaching.
Constantine sensibly wants to prevent King County’s already underfunded and endangered human services from being totally eviscerate, which is why he called for the repeal of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 747 during his speech.
I‑747, which slapped an artificial limit on property tax revenue, has been slowly choking the life out of everything from rural firehouses to urban health clinics for over a decade… and by the way, that’s exactly what it was designed to do.
Eyman is very fond of the “death by a thousand cuts” approach, because it masks the awful consequences of his initiatives, making it easier for him to claim that we can starve our common wealth without any adverse effects on public services. As I wrote last month, he personifies greed better than anyone else in Washington State; he is the definition of a snake oil salesman.
Constantine’s courageous call for the Legislature to repeal I‑747 got Eyman’s attention, as did his proposal to send King County voters a levy to fund early childhood and youth services next year. Prompted by Constantine’s speech, Eyman decided to go fishing for media coverage by sending out an attack email with a false, derogatory subject line (“King County Exec Dow Constantine: “Pay higher property taxes or I’m throwing kids with diabetes under the bus”).
Along with his screed, Eyman enclosed a disgusting image of a woman holding a gun to a baby’s head, which he obtained from the Huffington Post. (If you click through to the HuffPost story, you can see the image; I’m not going to post it here, as I have no interest in making that filth more ubiquitous.)
Initially, no one took the bait. Sadly, this afternoon, KIRO 7’s Essex Porter decided to nibble, and sought an interview with Constantine.
Constantine declined to speak with Porter on camera, telling the station, “I won’t dignify an email depicting violence against children with a response. That has no place in civil debate. The science, however, is clear: investing in healthy children and communities can help every baby born and every child raised in King County get a strong start in life and enter adulthood ready to succeed.”
Porter also contacted Eyman to ask “if he had any moral compunctions about using such a violent image.” Eyman’s response? “I didn’t.” No surprise there: this is unfortunately par for the course for Tim. He will do anything for publicity, including dressing up in costume or hurling put-downs at elected leaders he doesn’t like. After all, what goes better with destructive initiatives than toxic politics?
Tim Eyman’s entire political career could be aptly summed up in three words: ugly, stinky, and disgusting. By the way, those are precisely the words Eyman used to describe his own behavior twelve and a half years ago, after he’d been caught taking money from his supporters for his personal use and then lying about it.
Here’s the good news: From what we can discern, Eyman’s indefensible behavior is starting to catch up with him. I am increasingly encountering Republicans who are unwilling to defend or support Eyman. They’ve started to realize what we’ve known all along: Eyman is a no good, double-crossing, manipulative charlatan who should not be trusted or taken seriously by anyone, anywhere.