NO on Tim Eyman's I-1366
NO on Tim Eyman's I-1366: Our Kids Shouldn't be Hostages to Bad Politics

This morn­ing in Olympia, Tim Eyman showed up at the Sec­re­tary of State’s Elec­tions Annex to turn in sig­na­tures for I‑1366, his lat­est and most destruc­tive ini­tia­tive yet, more than four hours ahead of the 3 PM appoint­ment that he had sched­uled. In a depar­ture from tra­di­tion, Eyman decid­ed not to hold a press con­fer­ence at the Annex. Instead, he brought his own video­g­ra­ph­er along to doc­u­ment the event, and then left Olympia with­out hold­ing a show for the media.

In an ear­ly-morn­ing email sent out ahead of his vis­it to the Elec­tions Annex, Eyman glee­ful­ly announced that he was sub­mit­ting “334,044+” sig­na­tures for I‑1366 (which, if true — and that’s an if — is more than the 25% cush­ion that the Sec­re­tary of State rec­om­mends that spon­sors submit).

246,372 valid vot­er sig­na­tures are cur­rent­ly required to qual­i­fy an ini­tia­tive to the Novem­ber 2015 bal­lot. The Sec­re­tary of State will now begin exam­in­ing Eyman’s peti­tions, count the num­ber of sig­na­tures sub­mit­ted, and then con­duct a ran­dom sam­ple check. If the ini­tia­tive pass­es the check, it will be cer­ti­fied for the Novem­ber 2015 bal­lot. That should hap­pen with­in the next cou­ple of weeks.

Since Eyman revealed in Feb­ru­ary that he would be tak­ing out a loan against his house to finance I‑1366, we’ve been oper­at­ing under the assump­tion that I‑1366 would make the bal­lot. That still has­n’t hap­pened yet, but we’re prob­a­bly only a few days away from a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion announce­ment by the Sec­re­tary of State.

Aside from crow­ing about the suc­cess of the sig­na­ture dri­ve in his email, Eyman also tout­ed endorse­ments for I‑1366 from the Wash­ing­ton State Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, the Lib­er­tar­i­an Par­ty, the mil­i­tant firearms activist Alan Got­tlieb, and right wing sen­a­tors Michael Baum­gart­ner and Doug Erick­sen… who all belong to the usu­al sup­port­ing cast that serves as an amen cho­rus for Eyman’s schemes.

The NO on I‑1336 Coali­tion, by con­trast, is much big­ger and broad­er. The list of par­tic­i­pat­ing orga­ni­za­tions grows longer with every week.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that that NAMI Wash­ing­ton and the League of Edu­ca­tion Vot­ers have joined the fight against I‑1366, along­side NPI, Fuse, the League of Women Vot­ers of Wash­ing­ton, the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, Statewide Pover­ty Action Net­work, PTE Local 17, Wash­ing­ton Envi­ron­men­tal Coun­cil, Wash­ing­ton Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers, and many more peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions. A longer list can be viewed on the coali­tion’s web­site.

Yes­ter­day, we also announced that we have formed a statewide cam­paign com­mit­tee to ensure the NO on 1366 Coali­tion is well served by a capa­ble lead­er­ship team. For­mer Sec­re­tary of State Sam Reed, for­mer State Sen­a­tor Randy Gor­don, for­mer State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Phyl­lis Ken­ney, and NW Media Allies own­er Sue Evans have gra­cious­ly agreed to help NPI pro­vide guid­ance and orga­niz­ing exper­tise. Microsoft alum and vet­er­an activist Matt Loschen serves as treasurer.

I‑1366 is eas­i­ly the most destruc­tive ini­tia­tive that Tim Eyman has ever spon­sored. Either out­come of the ini­tia­tive is dis­as­trous. If the Leg­is­la­ture were to capit­u­late to Eyman’s demand for a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to sab­o­tage Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 22 of our state Con­sti­tu­tion with a super­ma­jor­i­ty vote require­ment for rev­enue, our regres­sive tax sys­tem would be per­ma­nent­ly locked into place.

And if the Leg­is­la­ture did­n’t capit­u­late, a multi­bil­lion dol­lar hole would be sud­den­ly blown into the state bud­get, caus­ing immense harm to our essen­tial pub­lic ser­vices, par­tic­u­lar­ly our state’s uni­ver­si­ties, col­leges, and K‑12 schools.

It is imper­a­tive that I‑1366 be met with a vig­or­ous oppo­si­tion campaign.

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.

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.

Adjacent posts