NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Newly-filed reports show Tim Eyman received another massive cash infusion in March

Last night, as we were hold­ing our sev­enth Spring Fundrais­ing Gala on Mer­cer Island, Tim Eyman’s trea­sur­er was fil­ing his cam­paign com­mit­tee’s month­ly reports with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion, as required by law.

The new reports show that Eyman has raised near­ly a mil­lion dol­lars for his lat­est and most destruc­tive ini­tia­tive, I‑1366, which would wipe out $1 bil­lion a year from schools and oth­er vital pub­lic ser­vices by slash­ing the sales tax… unless, by April of 2016, the Leg­is­la­ture approves a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment over­turn­ing the League of Edu­ca­tion Vot­ers deci­sion, in which the Supreme Court struck down the two-thirds vote require­ment for rais­ing or recov­er­ing rev­enue.

Black­mail, coer­cive, and dia­bol­i­cal are all words that seem fit­ting to describe I‑1366, a mean-spir­it­ed mea­sure that is pol­i­tics at its worst. I‑1366 is a retread of last year’s I‑1325, which Eyman could­n’t get on the bal­lot due to lack of resources.

For this attempt, Eyman has found a wealthy bene­fac­tor to bankroll this year’s effort. His name is Clyde Hol­land, and he’s a devel­op­er oper­at­ing out of Van­cou­ver. We pro­filed him last month, after PDC reports showed he was the biggest donor to I‑1366, with a $150,000 con­tri­bu­tion, and after Eyman announced that a “suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man” was pre­pared to dou­ble any dona­tion made to his I‑1366 cam­paign com­mit­tee dur­ing the month of March:

Assum­ing Eyman is not lying to his sup­port­ers (some­thing he’s done plen­ty of times) and assum­ing Hol­land is the “suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man” Eyman’s talk­ing about, then it seems he’s pre­pared to open his check­book again to keep the gears of Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry lubri­cat­ed with money.

Eyman will need more of Holland’s mon­ey. His­to­ry has shown that when he doesn’t have a wealthy bene­fac­tor, he doesn’t get on the bal­lot. He needs rich peo­ple like Free­man and Hol­land to write him mul­ti­ple six fig­ure checks every year so that he can stay rel­e­vant. Oth­er­wise his fac­to­ry sput­ters to a halt.

Sure enough, Hol­land has giv­en again to Eyman. The March C3s show that anoth­er $150,000 check from Hol­land was received on March 6th.

That was­n’t the only big mon­ey that rolled in dur­ing the month of March.

Data: Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion | Chart: North­west Pro­gres­sive Institute

Eyman also received $25,000 checks from Ken­neth Fish­er of Camas and Robert Rotel­la of Belle­vue. They describe them­selves as self-employed investors.

Sheryl Cree­don, Oliv­er Hid­den, and Mark Engle­man Enter­pris­es (all based in Van­cou­ver) con­tributed $10,000 apiece, as did Jon Mon­son of Gig Harbor.

Is it just a coin­ci­dence that the vast major­i­ty of Eyman’s mon­ey is com­ing out of Clark Coun­ty (with Belle­vue’s Kem­per Free­man and Robert Rotel­la play­ing a sup­port­ing role)? We don’t think so.

State Sen­a­tor Don Ben­ton, who is Eyman’s best friend in the state­house aside from Pam Roach, is well con­nect­ed in Clark Coun­ty — so well-con­nect­ed, in fact, that he got him­self a sec­ond gov­ern­ment job thanks to the Repub­li­can-dom­i­nat­ed Clark Coun­ty Com­mis­sion. And Clyde Hol­land undoubt­ed­ly knows the coun­ty’s oth­er rich and rabid­ly con­ser­v­a­tive denizens. They could both be help­ing Eyman score money.

In the span of two months, Eyman has raised $623,174.66 in cash con­tri­bu­tions (with half of that com­ing from Clyde Hol­land) and tak­en out two loans total­ing $250,000. He’s trans­ferred near­ly three quar­ters of a mil­lion dol­lars to his asso­ciates at Cit­i­zen Solu­tions to pay peti­tion­ers to col­lect for I‑1366.

Eyman has only tak­en out loans in the past when he’s had some plan for get­ting the mon­ey repaid. Like­ly he has a com­mit­ment from Hol­land to pay back this year’s loans, too. With over half a mil­lion dol­lars raised in Feb­ru­ary and March, Eyman is on track to have a mil­lion dol­lars in cash by the time sig­na­tures are due in July.

It’s a safe bet that I‑1366 will be on the bal­lot in Novem­ber, which is why we’ve start­ed work­ing to put togeth­er a broad and diverse coali­tion to fight I‑1366.

Many local Demo­c­ra­t­ic orga­ni­za­tions have already joined us in tak­ing posi­tions against this mad­ness, as have Fuse Wash­ing­ton and TaxSanity.

The Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, mean­while, will con­sid­er a res­o­lu­tion a week from today oppos­ing I‑1366 that is cer­tain to be adopted.

If you’re part of an orga­ni­za­tion that believes in the val­ues Wash­ing­ton was found­ed on and wants to pro­tect our cher­ished tra­di­tion of major­i­ty rule as well as our schools and uni­ver­si­ties, we invite you to join us in tak­ing a posi­tion oppos­ing I‑1366. We’ve got a mod­el res­o­lu­tion you can use or tweak to your lik­ing. Once your board or gov­ern­ing body has act­ed, please let us know.

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  1. Quit whin­ing. When Jeff Bezos put his mil­lions to sup­port gay mar­riage you were on board. when bill gates put his mil­lions for back­ground check on guns you were on board.

    # by Tom S. :: April 12th, 2015 at 9:44 PM
    • Actu­al­ly, Tom, we don’t like the influ­ence of big mon­ey in elec­tions, peri­od. It does­n’t mat­ter whether it’s being spent to advance pro­gres­sive caus­es or con­ser­v­a­tive causes. 

      That said, mar­riage equal­i­ty and back­ground checks on gun sales aren’t pol­i­cy changes that hurt any­one’s qual­i­ty of life. What Tim Eyman is propos­ing would have a dev­as­tat­ing impact on every­one’s qual­i­ty of life, and we’re not going to stop sound­ing the alarm about it.

      # by Andrew :: April 12th, 2015 at 10:09 PM
  2. Democ­ra­cy is about the will of the peo­ple. I respect the will of the peo­ple. If peo­ple want mar­i­jua­na, gay mar­riage and back­ground checks on guns so be it. they won the argu­ment and the laws were enact­ed. If peo­ple want Eyman’s pro­pos­als then so be it and let the law be enact­ed. My qual­i­ty of life is bet­ter when I have more mon­ey in my pock­et and not have the gov­ern­ment redis­trib­ute my wealth. And I will sound the alarm to say Taxed Enough Already.

    # by tom s :: April 13th, 2015 at 9:28 PM
    • You may respect the will of the peo­ple, Tom, but Tim Eyman does­n’t, unless the vot­ers have elect­ed a can­di­date or passed a mea­sure he agrees with.

      It mat­ters not to him that vot­ers have repeat­ed­ly vot­ed to sup­port the con­struc­tion of Sound Tran­sit’s Link light rail sys­tem, for instance. He’s still against that, and has — with Kem­per Free­man Jr. — active­ly attempt­ed to pre­vent the sys­tem from being built. 

      Eyman is also very dis­re­spect­ful towards the statewide elect­ed offi­cials cho­sen by the voters. 

      I‑1366 is very dif­fer­ent than Eyman’s I‑601 clones. It is not a revote on the idea of hav­ing a two-thirds vote require­ment for rais­ing rev­enue: that’s uncon­sti­tu­tion­al. It’s actu­al­ly an attempt to slash the sales tax by a sub­stan­tial mar­gin, result­ing in the loss of $2 bil­lion per bien­ni­um. Since about two-thirds of every state sales tax dol­lar goes to schools, col­leges, and uni­ver­si­ties, this ini­tia­tive is real­ly a rad­i­cal, rabid­ly right wing attempt to gut school fund­ing in the event the Leg­is­la­ture does­n’t pass the con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment Eyman is demand­ing. It’s extor­tion. And we will be wag­ing a very vig­or­ous cam­paign against it. 

      Tax­es in Wash­ing­ton State are rel­a­tive­ly low com­pared to oth­er states. We rank thir­ty-fifth in the coun­try accord­ing to analy­sis by the Depart­ment of Rev­enue. But unfor­tu­nate­ly, our tax sys­tem is hor­ri­bly regres­sive. Those with the least pay the most. That’s wrong. We need to sub­stan­tial­ly reform our tax system. 

      Tim Eyman and his wealthy bene­fac­tors don’t want real tax reform — they want to lock in the dis­as­trous tax code we have for all time, because it will give them fod­der for future ini­tia­tives to wreck government.

      # by Andrew :: April 13th, 2015 at 9:42 PM

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  1. […] Our ini­tia­tive sys­tem is sooooo bro­ken in […]

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