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.

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Join the coalition opposing I‑1366 — Tim Eyman’s most destructive initiative yet

This Novem­ber, in addi­tion to choos­ing lead­ers at the city, coun­ty, and port lev­el, Wash­ing­to­ni­ans will very like­ly be decid­ing the fate of the most destruc­tive ini­tia­tive that Tim Eyman has ever pro­posed: Ini­tia­tive 1366.

I‑1366 is a clone of last year’s I‑1325, which failed to make the bal­lot because Eyman was­n’t able to find wealthy bene­fac­tors will­ing to under­write it.

I‑1366 would slash the state sales tax by about 13%, rob­bing our state trea­sury of around $1 bil­lion (that’s bil­lion, with a b) a year in rev­enue if the Leg­is­la­ture does­n’t pass a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment requir­ing a two-thirds vote to raise rev­enue. Pos­si­bly inspired by the 2013 gov­ern­ment shut­down, it’s Ted Cruz-style black­mail.

Eyman is now try­ing again, and this time (pos­si­bly thanks to the help of sev­er­al Repub­li­can state sen­a­tors) he has big mon­ey lined up, which means he should be able to buy his way onto the bal­lot. A hand­ful of very rich right wing donors has so far sup­plied over three quar­ters of a mil­lion dol­lars for Eyman’s cam­paign cof­fers, and Eyman has spent about that much on paid sig­na­ture gath­er­ing, through his asso­ciates Roy Ruffi­no and Eddie Agazarm.

Includ­ing $250,000 in loans that he has tak­en out against his home (which he will prob­a­bly find mon­ey to repay, as he has in the past), Eyman has accu­mu­lat­ed over $1.1 mil­lion to date for I‑1366. That total will prob­a­bly go up when Eyman’s trea­sur­er uploads PDC reports for the cur­rent month of May.

With I‑1366 des­tined for the bal­lot, the team at NPI is work­ing to build a coali­tion to fight the ini­tia­tive so that it receives the fierce, vig­or­ous oppo­si­tion it deserves, like we did two years ago with I‑517, Eyman’s self-serv­ing ini­tia­tive on ini­tia­tives.

We already have a num­ber of great part­ners. The King Coun­ty Democ­rats and TaxSan­i­ty were the first to sign up, and the list oppos­ing I‑1366 now also includes the League of Women Vot­ers of Wash­ing­ton, Fuse Wash­ing­ton, the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, and many local Demo­c­ra­t­ic orga­ni­za­tions.

But we’re look­ing for more. We want the biggest, broad­est coali­tion pos­si­ble work­ing to defeat I‑1366. Read­ers, if you are involved with one or more orga­ni­za­tions that cares about effec­tive gov­ern­ment, ful­ly fund­ing our pub­lic schools, fix­ing our bro­ken tax code, and uphold­ing our state Con­sti­tu­tion, please ask those orga­ni­za­tions to join our cause as soon as they pos­si­bly can.

To make things easy, we’ve got a mod­el res­o­lu­tion you can pro­vide to the boards or gov­ern­ing bod­ies of orga­ni­za­tions you work with. This mod­el res­o­lu­tion can be tweaked or adapt­ed as desired, but it’s also well-pol­ished and can be adapt­ed as is once an orga­ni­za­tion has added its name to the There­fore claus­es.

After an orga­ni­za­tion you work with has tak­en a posi­tion, it’s impor­tant they let us know by fill­ing out the form on the NO on I‑1366 web­site so we can update the list of orga­ni­za­tions that are opposed to Eyman’s dia­bol­i­cal plot force law­mak­ers to choose between sab­o­tag­ing our state Con­sti­tu­tion or blow­ing a mas­sive hole in the state bud­get. The loss of $1 bil­lion a year in state sales tax rev­enue would destroy the lit­tle progress that’s been made to date towards McCleary com­pli­ance and cre­at­ing an even big­ger school fund­ing deficit.

Like I‑517 and I‑1125/I‑1033/I‑985 before it, I‑1366 is beat­able, but only if those of us who care about Wash­ing­ton’s val­ues and Wash­ing­ton’s future come togeth­er to stand up to the extrem­ism of Tim Eyman and his wealthy bene­fac­tors.

Take a stand against I‑1366 today, and join the effort to send this uncon­scionable ini­tia­tive to the polit­i­cal grave­yard that it belongs in.

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