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.