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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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4 replies on “Tim Eyman once again goes fishing for media coverage, using an obscene image as bait”

  1. Eyman con­tin­ues to try to obtain free media cov­er­age when­ev­er he can by being out­ra­geous. More and more peo­ple are real­iz­ing that Eyman’s zeal­ous no tax­es lib­er­tar­i­an agen­da is not help­ing them, their fam­i­lies or our state. It main­ly ben­e­fits cor­po­rate inter­ests who put prof­its over all else.

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