Great news to share this evening: Moments ago, the City of Spokane put itself on record as opposed to Tim Eyman’s incredibly destructive I‑1366 by voting unanimously to adopt a resolution urging a NO vote by November 3rd.
The Council acted after hearing testimony from proponents and opponents of I‑1366. League of Women Voters of Washington President Ann Murphy, housing advocate Alfredo LLamedo, State Representative Marcus Riccelli, and Spokane Education Association President Jenny Rose all urged the Council to take a stand in opposition to Eyman’s I‑1366. Civic gadfly George McGrath and former Republican legislator John Ahern, meanwhile, delivered rambling speeches praising I‑1366.
After all testimony had been heard, the Council proceeded to discussion. Councilmember Mike Fagan, an associate of Tim Eyman’s, proceeded to read a speech adapted from the op-eds ghostwritten by Tim Eyman for placement in newspapers across the state. It contained a version of this paragraph, which a reader of The News Tribune of Tacoma astutely noted was appearing in multiple op-eds supposedly written by different extremist Republicans.
You might think that Fagan, being a cosponsor of I‑1366, would know enough about the initiative to write a speech in favor of the initiative himself. But, like a deferential henchman, he relied on talking points developed and refined by Eyman.
At the end of his speech, Fagan announced he would recuse himself from the Council’s vote due to his involvement with Initiative 1366.
Councilmembers Karen Stratton, Jon Snyder, and Amber Waldref proceeded to speak in favor of the resolution and against I‑1366.
Snyder was the most vocal of the three.
“The myth of Tim Eyman is starting to unravel,” noted Snyder. “The real Tim Eyman has spent a career defending the wealthy against paying their fair share.”
Fagan raised a point of order and asked whether Snyder’s remarks were in bounds. Council President Ben Stuckart ruled that they were, as Eyman is the primary sponsor of I‑1366, and is profiting from the initiative campaign.
Snyder proceeded to finish his thought, but not before noting that he has the right to speak freely as a citizen and as an elected leader.
Waldref, the maker of the resolution, was the last to speak. She referenced Marcus Riccelli’s testimony and defended the principle of majority rule, which dates back to the founding of our state. She observed that had a two-thirds vote been required to raise any revenue, Washington would not have a 2015 Transportation Package.
With that, the Council voted. The roll call was as follows:
Voting Aye: Councilmembers Ben Stuckart, Amber Waldref, Jon Snyder, Candace Mumm, Karen Stratton
Abstaining: Councilmember Mike Fagan
Not Voting: Councilmember Mike Allen
The team at the Northwest Progressive Institute thanks Councilmembers Stuckart, Waldref, Snyder, Mumm, and Stratton for their courage and leadership. It is imperative that we come together as a state to defeat Tim Eyman’s I‑1366. Tonight, a majority of the City of Spokane’s elected representatives took a stand in defense of our Constitution, our public schools, our values, and our future.
We salute them and thank them for setting an example for other Washington communities to follow. Happily, Seattle is slated to take up a similar resolution next week. We look forward to seeing that taken up on Monday, October 19th.