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.
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)
- 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
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!