NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Tacoma resident notices similarities between Pam and Dan Roach’s pro-I-1366 op-eds

This past week­end, as many read­ers may already know, The Seat­tle Times and The News Tri­bune of Taco­ma each pro­vid­ed space on their op-ed pages for a dis­cus­sion of Tim Eyman’s I‑1366, which is appear­ing on this year’s gen­er­al elec­tion ballot.

The Times ran an edi­to­r­i­al and two columns — one for the ini­tia­tive, signed by mil­i­tant Sen­a­tor Pam Roach, and one against the ini­tia­tive, authored by yours tru­ly.

The News Tri­bune ran one guest col­umn in favor of the ini­tia­tive, signed by Pierce Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Dan Roach, which will be coun­ter­bal­anced by a guest col­umn against the ini­tia­tive on a forth­com­ing date.

Though the columns were signed by dif­fer­ent Roach­es, they do not appear to be orig­i­nal writ­ing, as a sharp-eyed read­er who fol­lows both papers noticed.

“I know Pam Roach and son Dan are polit­i­cal clones, but are they also pla­gia­rists?” asked Taco­ma res­i­dent Joe Beck­er in a let­ter to The News Tri­bune, cit­ing the almost iden­ti­cal word­ing of a para­graph in each of the guest columns. 

“Can’t the pro­po­nents of this bad ini­tia­tive come up with their own orig­i­nal argu­ments?” he wondered.

Good ques­tion, Joe.

We sus­pect that the rea­son the two columns are sim­i­lar­ly word­ed is that Tim Eyman wrote them, and had the Roach­es edit and sub­mit them for publication.

(We ran the two columns through a text dif­fer­en­tia­tor and placed them side-by-side so you can eas­i­ly com­pare them for your­self.)

Eyman has sub­mit­ted a lot of op-eds over the years under his own name to news­pa­pers (he often sub­mits the same op-ed to dif­fer­ent papers), but he’s been keep­ing a low pro­file since the PDC com­plet­ed its inves­ti­ga­tion into his secret mon­ey manip­u­la­tions from 2012. Eyman blew off two sched­uled debates with KING5, ulti­mate­ly arrang­ing to have anoth­er extrem­ist Repub­li­can (Doug Erick­sen of What­com Coun­ty) take his place on a third attempt.

Hav­ing read thou­sands of emails, com­mu­niques, and pro­mo­tion­al pieces writ­ten by Tim Eyman over the years, I’m pret­ty famil­iar with his style and word choice, and his fin­ger­prints are all over both of these columns.

Eyman’s name may not be on the byline, but it’s his writ­ing and his argu­ments nonethe­less. The Roach­es are act­ing as sur­ro­gates for Eyman because he does­n’t want to remind vot­ers that it’s his ini­tia­tive by going on cam­era and sign­ing op-eds. It’s the lat­est tac­it admis­sion from Eyman that he knows his name is toxic.

Eyman tried a sim­i­lar approach with his ini­tia­tive on ini­tia­tives two years ago, stay­ing off the cam­paign trail and let­ting Mark Baer­waldt han­dle Yes on I‑517 in the hopes that vot­ers would­n’t real­ize he was the spon­sor. It did­n’t work. We let vot­ers know I‑517 was a self-serv­ing Eyman ini­tia­tive, and it was over­whelm­ing­ly defeated.

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One Ping

  1. […] 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 […]