The broad, diverse, bipartisan coalition fighting to defeat Tim Eyman’s awful Initiative 1366 by November 3rd just keeps on getting bigger.
Today, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to put the state’s largest municipality on record as opposed to I‑1366, which would slash $8 billion in sales tax revenue over the next six years — unless the Legislature bows to the will of Eyman and his wealthy benefactors and passes an amendment sabotaging our Constitution’s majority vote requirement for passage of bills and budgets.
I‑1366 is a militant, hostage-taking scheme cooked up by Eyman in the wake of the failed federal government shutdown in 2013. As Eyman’s previous attempts to sabotage majority rule were struck down as unconstitutional by the Washington State Supreme Court in League of Education Voters v. State, Eyman is trying to coerce lawmakers into modifying Article II, Section 22 of our Constitution by taking Washington’s youth (and all the rest of us, too) as his hostages.
Article II, Section 22 is the provision that says we run this state democratically, and that a majority vote is the threshold for passage of legislation. And majority vote means greater than fifty percent. No more, and no less.
Tim Eyman doesn’t want decisions about revenue to be made the way our founders intended… by fifty of ninety-eight representatives and twenty-five of forty-nine senators. He wants to change the rules to allow as few as thirty-three representatives or seventeen senators to dictate what happens by requiring a two-thirds vote.
Ironically, though, changing the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote, because our Constitution is our plan of government, which isn’t meant to be changed lightly. And Eyman does not have the votes. So he is resorting to blackmail. Extortion.
Thankfully, people and organizations all around Washington State are standing up and saying NO to Initiative 1366. Just about every respectable major newspaper in the state has come out against I‑1366, too.
And now, so have our state’s two largest cities. Spokane went first, last week, and now Seattle, the Emerald City, has joined this most noble of causes as well.
Seattle’s resolution opposing I‑1366 was unanimously approved after speeches by Council President Tim Burgess and Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
Burgess briefly explained the harm the initiative would inflict, and urged a no vote. Sawant concurred and emphasized that Scenario 2 of I‑1366 could lock in Washington State’s incredibly regressive, worst-in-the-nation tax code for all time (because it would close off the legislative process as an avenue for tax reform).
The Council then heard public testimony for and against the resolution. Several civic gadflies spoke in favor of I‑1366 and against the resolution, including perennial office seeker Goodspaceguy, who laughably referred to Eyman as a hero.
Representing the NO on I‑1366 Coalition was Sara Kiesler of Fuse Washington, one of the earliest organizations to take a position against the measure, along with NPI, the King County Democrats, and the Washington State Democrats. Sara noted that I‑1366 is a “lose-lose” initiative, and urged voters to reject Eyman’s attempt to toy with our state Constitution, which has served us well since statehood in 1889.
NPI thanks Councilmbers Burgess, Sawant, Harrell, Godden, O’Brien, Okamoto, Bagshaw, Rasmussen, and Licata for their support of our campaign. Together, we can reject the politics of hostage-taking and defeat Tim Eyman’s I‑1366.