The most dangerous place in Washington State is no longer between Tim Eyman and a television camera, it seems.
The notoriously brash initiative profiteer, who has in previous years been so eager to get on TV that he has crashed opponents’ press conferences, has suddenly become camera-shy, and is choosing to fire off email missives from home rather than appear in public, where he might be asked uncomfortable questions.
On Monday, as readers of the Cascadia Advocate know, PDC staff released a report concluding that Tim Eyman broke Washington’s public disclosure law again three years ago when he qualified I‑517 to the ballot with a stealth signature drive.
Eyman was invited to appear at the Public Disclosure Commission’s meeting yesterday to speak in his defense, but neither he nor his lawyer showed. The PDC voted unanimously to refer the cases against him to Attorney General Bob Ferguson for prosecution, and also asked Ferguson to widen the scope of the investigation.
Then today, for the second week in a row, Eyman was a no-show at the studios of KING5 Television for a scheduled debate on Initiative 1366 with Fuse founder Aaron Ostrom (Fuse, like NPI, belongs to the coalition that is working to defeat I‑1366, Tim Eyman’s most destructive initiative ever).
Apparently, Eyman’s been getting a case of the cold feet. What else could explain his decision to blow off KING5 and Ostrom not once, but twice?
Though it seems unlikely Eyman will ever show up to debate I‑1366 with Ostrom, the Fuse founder is calling on Eyman to reschedule anyway.
“The voters of Washington deserve to have an open and honest debate about the merits of Initiative 1366,” Ostrom said in a statement released by Fuse.
“This measure would lock in place our upside down tax system and make it impossible to close tax loopholes to fund our schools. I challenge Eyman to come out of hiding and show up for a televised debate next week so that voters can make an educated and informed decision about how to vote on I‑1366.”
“Tim Eyman has illegally filled his wallet by promoting initiatives with bombastic statements and outrageous press stunts. Suddenly, he’s avoiding the press and refusing to defend himself or his latest self-serving initiative, 1366. With only three weeks left until voting begins, Eyman is in hiding and knows he’s in deep legal trouble that could finally end his million-dollar initiative business.”
Eyman also declined to talk to our region’s TV stations earlier this week after the PDC’s report was released. He has said nothing himself about the findings, not even by email, though his lawyer Mark Lamb, who is himself no stranger to controversy, has released multiple statements on Eyman’s behalf (also by email).
Eyman may be out of action, but we are rolling full steam ahead with our efforts to defeat I‑1366, in partnership with a long list of allies that includes Democrats and Republicans. Our aim is to bring together as many Washingtonians as possible to stand together to reject the politics of hostage-taking.
NO on I‑1366 now has a staff of three to facilitate this important work, led by campaign manager Neil Beaver. The coalition continues to enthusiastically welcome individuals and organizations to its roster on a daily basis.
We at NPI would like to extend our thanks to the Faith Action Network, AFT Washington, Community Health Network of Washington, Children’s Alliance, State Senator Andy Billig, and State Representative Marcus Riccelli for recently joining NO on I‑1366. We’re glad to have them all aboard.
If you would like to help defeat I‑1366, you can make a contribution online, or pledge to vote no at the coalition’s website. We’ve only got a few weeks left to finish pulling this campaign together, so any help you can provide now is greatly appreciated. Let’s keep them momentum building!
POSTSCRIPT: Eyman told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer he’s trying to reschedule with KING5, and send Pam Roach in his place, because the station refuses to guarantee that it wouldn’t ask questions about Eyman’s problems with the PDC.