NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Bipartisan campaign to defeat Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1366 will soon enter its final day

With Elec­tion Night 2015 only hours away, the broad, bipar­ti­san coali­tion work­ing to defeat Tim Eyman’s Ini­tia­tive 1366 is remind­ing vot­ers to get their bal­lots in and cast an emphat­ic NO vote on Tim Eyman’s lat­est bad idea.

I‑1366 would repeal $8 bil­lion in fund­ing for K‑12 schools, high­er edu­ca­tion, and oth­er vital pub­lic ser­vices over the next six years if leg­is­la­tors refuse to bow to Eyman’s will and sab­o­tage our Con­sti­tu­tion’s major­i­ty vote requirement.

I‑1366 is opposed by

Repub­li­cans and Democrats

  • Main­stream Repub­li­cans of Wash­ing­ton State
  • Wash­ing­ton State Democrats
  • For­mer Gov­er­nor Dan Evans (R)
  • Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee (D)
  • For­mer Sec­re­tary of State Sam Reed (R)
  • King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine (D)
  • For­mer Sec­re­tary of State Ralph Munro (R)
  • Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic Leader Sharon Nel­son (D)
  • For­mer King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Louise Miller (R)
  • State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mar­cus Ric­cel­li (D)

Faith lead­ers

  • Wash­ing­ton State Catholic Conference
  • Faith Action Network
  • Rev. Steve Baber – Co-chair of the WA Chris­t­ian Lead­ers Coalition
  • Rev. Sharon Moe – Methodist pas­tor at First Methodist
  • Rab­bi Daniel Wein­er – Tem­ple De Hirsch Sinai
  • Rev. Joanne Enquist – Geth­se­mane Luther­an Church


  • Seat­tle
  • Spokane
  • Kirk­land
  • Red­mond

Advo­cates for kids, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, and seniors

  • Wash­ing­ton State PTA
  • League of Women Vot­ers of Washington
  • AARP Wash­ing­ton State
  • League of Edu­ca­tion Voters
  • Chil­dren’s Alliance
  • NAMI Wash­ing­ton
  • Wash­ing­ton State School Direc­tors’ Association
  • Asso­ci­a­tion of Wash­ing­ton School Principals

Busi­ness and labor

  • Wash­ing­ton Roundtable
  • Seat­tle Met­ro­pol­i­tan Cham­ber of Commerce
  • Wash­ing­ton State Labor Coun­cil, AFL-CIO
  • SEIU 775
  • Wash­ing­ton Edu­ca­tion Association
  • Wash­ing­ton Fed­er­a­tion of State Employees
  • Wash­ing­ton State Coun­cil of Fire Fighters

Not to men­tion newspapers:

  • The Seat­tle Times: “A tox­ic com­plex pro­pos­al that would make the Leg­is­la­ture even more dysfunctional…”
  • The Spokesman Review: “Reduc­ing the sales tax would be dev­as­tat­ing to social ser­vices, pub­lic health…and efforts to pre­vent and fight wildfires.”
  • The Columbian: “[I‑1366] would place the Leg­is­la­ture in a posi­tion where it can be held hostage by a minor­i­ty of lawmakers.”
  • The Taco­ma News Tri­bune: “I‑1366, anoth­er prod­uct of the Tim Eyman ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry, is a threat to pub­lic education.”
  • The Tri-City Her­ald: “It would dev­as­tate the state bud­get unless the Leg­is­la­ture bows to the will of Eyman and his backers.”
  • Wal­la Wal­la Union Bul­letin: “I‑1366 is extor­tion, black­mail — or per­haps it could be called polit­i­cal terrorism.”

The ever-grow­ing strength and diver­si­ty of the NO on I‑1366 coali­tion has cer­tain­ly not escaped Tim Eyman’s notice these past few weeks.

In a half­heart­ed attempt to counter our momen­tum, Eyman has been send­ing out peri­od­ic emails to the media and his fol­low­ers with the sub­ject pre­fix BIG ENDORSEMENT. The lat­est such mes­sage arrived just this morn­ing, bear­ing a tes­ti­mo­ni­al from KVI’s John Carl­son, who has been a pal of Eyman’s for years.

None of the endorse­ments Eyman has tout­ed are sig­nif­i­cant or note­wor­thy to us. They’ve all been mil­i­tant Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors, a tiny smat­ter­ing of news­pa­per edi­tors friend­ly to Eyman, zeal­ous ide­o­log­i­cal talk radio hosts like Carl­son and Dori Mon­son, or extrem­ist right wing groups that almost always take Eyman’s side… like the Nation­al Fed­er­a­tion for Inde­pen­dent Busi­ness, known for its junk faxes.

We’re not impressed.

Nor are we impressed with Eyman’s attempt to project his own des­per­a­tion onto us, his oppo­nents, as he has repeat­ed­ly tried to do all month. Today, he wrote:

No one knows how the vot­ers will vote until elec­tion night. It’s incred­i­bly excit­ing. It’s why the oppo­nents of 1366 were so fran­tic, hys­ter­i­cal, and des­per­ate to get the courts to block the vote — because they knew they could­n’t con­trol how the vot­ers vot­ed on it. Because they could­n’t buy the out­come they wanted.

Wow. It takes a whole lot­ta chutz­pah for some­one who bought his way onto the bal­lot with six fig­ure checks from real estate devel­op­ers and hedge fund man­agers to sneer that his oppo­nents are try­ing to “buy the outcome”.

Last year, Tim Eyman tried to qual­i­fy a near­ly iden­ti­cal mea­sure to I‑1366 to the bal­lot — I‑1325. He failed, because he did­n’t have enough mon­ey to buy the out­come he want­ed. This year, he was suc­cess­ful in con­vinc­ing sev­er­al wealthy indi­vid­u­als (Clyde Hol­land, Kem­per Free­man, Jr., Ken­neth Fish­er, Robert Rotel­la) to write him big checks to fund a sig­na­ture drive.

That is the only rea­son why I‑1366 is on the bal­lot. We’re not vot­ing on I‑1366 because Wash­ing­to­ni­ans like Tim Eyman’s ideas. Any­one with enough mon­ey can get any­thing they want on the bal­lot using paid sig­na­ture gath­er­ers. It does not have to be con­sti­tu­tion­al… or even with­in the scope of the peo­ple’s ini­tia­tive power!

Had long­time friend of NPI David Gold­stein had a few wealthy bene­fac­tors behind him in 2003, we feel pret­ty con­fi­dent he would have qual­i­fied I‑831, the ini­tia­tive to declare Tim Eyman a horse’s ass, to the bal­lot in 2003.

Vol­un­teer sig­na­ture gath­er­ing on I‑831 was going pret­ty well until a Thurston Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court judge blocked the ini­tia­tive at the Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s behest. (David did not have the resources to retain coun­sel for an appeal to the state Supreme Court, or hire paid sig­na­ture gath­er­ers to sup­ple­ment his vol­un­teer effort.)

We went to court to stop I‑1366 because it is clear­ly beyond the scope of the ini­tia­tive pow­er. An ini­tia­tive as dan­ger­ous and destruc­tive as I‑1366 needs to be fought on all fronts. King Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge Dean Lum agreed with us that Eyman’s I‑1366 was beyond the scope, but declined to grant an injunc­tion remov­ing it from the bal­lot. The state Supreme Court like­wise declined to grant an injunc­tion. And so we have con­tin­ued to fight I‑1366 in the court of pub­lic opinion.

The response to our cam­paign has been sim­ply won­der­ful. Peo­ple all over Wash­ing­ton have told us they’re vot­ing NO on I‑1366 because they agree that the last thing we need is for our state’s pol­i­tics to become more like U.S. con­gres­sion­al pol­i­tics. Tim Eyman may find Ted Cruz and the dys­func­tion­al Tea Par­ty wing of the House Repub­li­can con­fer­ence inspir­ing, but most Wash­ing­to­ni­ans do not.

Hob­bled by the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion’s find­ing that he vio­lat­ed cam­paign dis­clo­sure law, Eyman has been cam­paign­ing for I‑1366 from the shad­ows. Ret­i­cent to appear in pub­lic, he has been fir­ing off email mis­sives from home and try­ing to engage reporters on the phone with­out answer­ing ques­tions about his legal woes.

He has done his best to sound con­fi­dent, with brash state­ments like, “Unlike our oppo­nents, we trust the vot­ers to make the deci­sion on 1366. Tomor­row night we find out what the vot­ers think about 1366. It’s real­ly exciting.”

But his actions belie his words. If Eyman trusts the vot­ers, why isn’t he out cam­paign­ing for I‑1366? Why isn’t he try­ing to sell this garbage ini­tia­tive with the same gus­to he has shown in the past? What’s he afraid of?

We have been work­ing hard to earn every vote that we can, because we do trust the peo­ple of this state to make the cor­rect deci­sion when they have the infor­ma­tion they need to cast an informed vote. We’re out there every day ask­ing and urg­ing Wash­ing­to­ni­ans to vote NO on I‑1366.

We will keep at it until 8 PM tomor­row night.

Eyman, mean­while, is holed up at home, where he’s been doing a lot of ghost­writ­ing for the mil­i­tant Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors who are car­ry­ing his water.

He has ven­tured out only occa­sion­al­ly — to argue for I‑1366 before the Seat­tle Times edi­to­r­i­al board and to debate Sam Reed in Thurston Coun­ty, for instance.

Not want­i­ng to show his face on cam­era, he’s deployed sur­ro­gates to oth­er edi­to­r­i­al board meet­ings and to debate I‑1366 on-air on TVW, KBTC, and KING5, but has blown off many pub­lic forums and oth­er earned media opportunities.

We haven’t turned down any­body who has want­ed to engage with us. Our broad, bipar­ti­san coali­tion has enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives to forums and field­ed ques­tions from vot­ers. We’ve made lots of infor­ma­tion about the cost and con­se­quences I‑1366 avail­able on our web­site. The text, the offi­cial impact state­ment, and analy­sis of its destruc­tive harm are all read­i­ly acces­si­ble there. Eyman’s web­site just has a recent fundrais­ing let­ter and not much else 1366-related.

This orga­ni­za­tion has been a part of many suc­cess­ful cam­paigns against destruc­tive Tim Eyman ini­tia­tives dur­ing Per­ma­nent Defense’s thir­teen plus years of oper­a­tion. We destroyed I‑892 in 2004. We defeat­ed I‑985 in 2008. We knocked down I‑1033 in 2009. We stopped I‑1125 in 2011. And we crushed I‑517 in 2013.

We can beat back this lat­est bad idea from Eyman, too. Join us in defend­ing Wash­ing­ton’s Con­sti­tu­tion and com­mon wealth by vot­ing NO on I‑1366.

Be sure to return your bal­lot to a drop box by 8 PM tomor­row, or to a post office by the last out­go­ing mail col­lec­tion time. Be a voter! 

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