NO on Tim Eyman's I-1366
NO on Tim Eyman's I-1366

A new work­week has just begun, and with it has come yet anoth­er elec­tron­ic Tim Eyman mis­sive den­i­grat­ing the oppo­si­tion, brash­ly pre­dict­ing vic­to­ry in Novem­ber for Ini­tia­tive 1366, and of course, ask­ing for mon­ey (“there are no lim­its on how much can be giv­en,” as Tim likes to remind his fol­low­ers in his boil­er­plate pitch).

Like real estate tycoon Don­ald Trump (who he shares a mid­dle name with), Tim Eyman loves to use his com­put­er key­board to sling put­downs. But since he does­n’t have any wish to join social media net­works, his pre­ferred deliv­ery mech­a­nism remains email, as opposed to Twit­ter, which Don­ald Trump frequents.

“I’m very proud to work with a hero­ic team of lead­ers and sup­port­ers who work real­ly hard each year to give the vot­ers a greater voice in their gov­ern­ment,” Eyman’s email begins, with­out cred­it­ing or nam­ing any­one in particular.

He goes on to say:

In Sun­day’s Taco­ma News Tri­bune, there was a NO 1366 col­umn. It’s [sic] open­ing line is hysterical:

“Tim Eyman has been a one-man wreck­ing ball in our state, and his lat­est ini­tia­tive takes his exploits to a whole new level”.

Our oppo­nents are not very bright. They con­stant­ly ignore what the vot­ers have clear­ly said over the past 22 years and instead spend their time obsess­ing over lil ol’ me. I don’t have any spe­cial powers.

It’s cer­tain­ly true that Tim does­n’t have any spe­cial pow­ers. But he does have the back­ing of a hand­ful of extreme­ly wealthy bene­fac­tors like Clyde Hol­land, Kem­per Free­man Jr., Faye Gar­neau, Suzie Burke, Ken­neth Fish­er, and Robert Rotel­la. And that’s worth a whole lot, because the Unit­ed States Supreme Court has held that mon­ey is equiv­a­lent to speech — mean­ing some peo­ple pos­sess the abil­i­ty to speak very loud­ly and influ­ence elec­tions, sim­ply because they hap­pen to be rich.

Telling­ly, last year, when Eyman did­n’t have com­mit­ments from his wealthy bene­fac­tors to fund a sig­na­ture dri­ve, he did­n’t get on the bal­lot at all. This year, he was the recip­i­ent of over a mil­lion dol­lars in con­tri­bu­tions, and he used some of that mon­ey to acquire the sig­na­tures he need­ed to force a vote on I‑1366.

It always makes me laugh when I hear Eyman say that we (his oppo­nents) don’t trust the vot­ers and don’t lis­ten to the vot­ers. It is Tim Eyman who does­n’t lis­ten and who does­n’t want reporters to look at the big picture.

The truth is, Tim Eyman ignores every vote of the peo­ple he does­n’t like.

It was the peo­ple of urban King, Pierce, and Sno­homish coun­ties who vot­ed to cre­ate Sound Tran­sit in 1996 and then empow­er Sound Tran­sit in 2008 to fur­ther expand Link light rail, Sounder com­muter rail, and ST Express bus service.

If Eyman respect­ed those votes, he would­n’t have tried to repeat­ed­ly destroy Sound Tran­sit and stop it from build­ing the light rail sys­tem the peo­ple told him to build with Ini­tia­tives 776 (2002) and 1125 (2011).

It was the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton who cre­at­ed the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion and Wash­ing­ton’s pub­lic dis­clo­sure law all those years ago with Ini­tia­tive 276 — the very same law that Tim has repeat­ed­ly vio­lat­ed with impuni­ty for years.

It was the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton who have con­sis­tent­ly cho­sen Democ­rats like Gary Locke, Chris Gre­goire, and Jay Inslee to gov­ern our state for the entire­ty of Eyman’s career — not Eyman’s friends John Carl­son, Dino Rossi, and Rob McKenna.

If Tim Eyman tru­ly cared about the vot­ers’ will, he’d show a lit­tle more respect for the demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly-elect­ed lead­ers of our state. But instead, he resorts to pet­ty, child­ish name call­ing. For years, Eyman den­i­grat­ed Gov­er­nor Gre­goire as “Queen Chris­tine”. More recent­ly, Eyman called Jay Inslee “a lying whore”.

It was the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton who have repeat­ed­ly vot­ed to require the state to low­er class size, as well as improve pay for our state’s hard­work­ing teach­ers, with Ini­tia­tives 728, 732, and more recent­ly, 1351. To our knowl­edge, Eyman has nev­er called on the Leg­is­la­ture to imple­ment those ini­tia­tives and car­ry out the vot­ers’ will.

And it was the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton who defeat­ed Ini­tia­tive 601’s sib­ling Ini­tia­tive 602 in 1993 and approved HJR 4204 in 2007. I‑602 was an attempt to require a three-fourths vote of the Leg­is­la­ture to raise rev­enue; HJR 4204 low­ered the thresh­old for pas­sage of school levies from a three-fifths vote to a major­i­ty vote.

Tim Eyman does­n’t ever talk about the fail­ure of I‑602 in 1993 or the pas­sage of HJR 4204 in 2007, because those votes con­tra­dict his nar­ra­tive. Hav­ing to acknowl­edge them would mess up his I‑1366 sales pitch.

The truth is often incon­ve­nient for Tim… that’s why he fibs and fab­ri­cates so often. In every cam­paign, Eyman tries to cre­ate a self-ful­fill­ing prophe­cy. It’s why he pumps out email after email pro­ject­ing an air of con­fi­dence and attempt­ing to por­tray his oppo­si­tion as con­fused, crazy, deject­ed, or unnerved.

In this cam­paign, Tim is fac­ing an oppo­si­tion coali­tion that is get­ting stronger and more diverse by the week. Eyman’s list of oppo­nents gone bonkers now includes the Seat­tle Met­ro­pol­i­tan Cham­ber of Com­merce, the Wash­ing­ton Round­table ( a non­prof­it, pub­lic pol­i­cy orga­ni­za­tion com­prised of senior exec­u­tives from major pri­vate sec­tor employ­ers through­out Wash­ing­ton State), the Alzheimers Asso­ci­a­tion, the Asso­ci­a­tion of Man­u­fac­tured Home­own­ers, The Seat­tle Times, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, and The News Tri­bune of Tacoma.

That’s in addi­tion to AARP Wash­ing­ton State, the League of Women Vot­ers, the Chil­dren’s Alliance, Catholic Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices of Wash­ing­ton, OneAm­er­i­ca Votes, the Main­stream Repub­li­cans of Wash­ing­ton State, the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, the Wash­ing­ton State Labour Coun­cil, AFL-CIO, NAMI Wash­ing­ton, Wash­ing­ton Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers, Faith Action Net­work, and dozens more elect­ed lead­ers, orga­ni­za­tions, and indi­vid­u­als.

Who is Eyman cam­paign­ing with? So far, just a hand­ful of extreme Repub­li­can state leg­is­la­tors, like Pam Roach, Doug Erick­sen, Cary Con­dot­ta, and Ed Orcutt (who are lend­ing their names to the op-eds Eyman is ghost­writ­ing) and a fringe gun enthu­si­ast group here and there. That’s pret­ty much it.

Only extrem­ists are cam­paign­ing for I‑1366, because I‑1366 is a coer­cive, mean-spir­it­ed ini­tia­tive that would evis­cer­ate our state’s vital pub­lic ser­vices unless the Leg­is­la­ture bows to the will of Eyman and his wealthy bene­fac­tors and sab­o­tages our Con­sti­tu­tion’s major­i­ty vote requirement.

The NO on I‑1366 coali­tion, on the oth­er hand, is broad and diverse. It con­sists of a wide array of peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions who reject the pol­i­tics of hostage-tak­ing. And it is high­ly moti­vat­ed to defend the val­ues and prin­ci­ples that Wash­ing­ton was found­ed on one hun­dred and twen­ty-six years ago.

Join us in defend­ing our Con­sti­tu­tion and cher­ished tra­di­tion of major­i­ty rule. This autumn, vote NO on Tim Eyman’s I‑1366.

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.

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