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.

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart has been given a new entry following yesterday’s I‑1366 ruling

Now that the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court has put the kibosh on Tim Eyman’s I‑1366 — an incred­i­bly-destruc­tive, Ted Cruz-style scheme to force the Leg­is­la­ture to sab­o­tage the major­i­ty vote clause of our state Con­sti­tu­tion by hold­ing $8 bil­lion in fund­ing for edu­ca­tion and essen­tial pub­lic ser­vices hostage — we can add it to Eyman’s Fail­ure Chart, a list sum­ma­riz­ing the out­come of each of the statewide mea­sures Eyman has qual­i­fied or attempt­ed to qual­i­fy to the bal­lot since 1999.

As the Fail­ure Chart’s name implies, Tim Eyman’s record is full of fail­ures. Since 1999, all but one of his statewide mea­sures have met the fol­low­ing three fates:

  • Defeat­ed by vot­ers: I‑745, I‑892, I‑985, I‑1033, I‑1125, I‑517 (6)
  • Failed to qual­i­fy for the bal­lot: I‑267, I‑807, I‑864, I‑917, R‑65, I‑1325 (6)
  • Struck down or par­tial­ly inval­i­dat­ed by the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court: I‑695, I‑722, I‑747, I‑776, I‑960/I‑1053/I‑1185, I‑1366 (8)

Here’s a few obser­va­tions regard­ing the ini­tia­tives in the final category.

First, it should be not­ed that I‑695, I‑722, I‑747, and I‑1366 were struck down in their entire­ty. The oth­er four were par­tial­ly inval­i­dat­ed, with the three sep­a­rat­ed by slash­es inval­i­dat­ed in one fell swoop (they’re clones of each other).

I‑695 and I‑747 were sub­se­quent­ly and fool­ish­ly rein­stat­ed by the Leg­is­la­ture and Gov­er­nors Locke and Gre­goire, although not in their entirety.

(I‑747 was rein­stat­ed over this orga­ni­za­tion’s loud and vocif­er­ous objec­tions, as is doc­u­ment­ed in the the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate’s archives.)

I‑722 was nev­er rein­stat­ed, and I‑1366 won’t be, either. Democ­rats in the Leg­is­la­ture were unit­ed this past ses­sion in refus­ing to capit­u­late to Eyman’s demands, and their posi­tion is not going to change. Two of the plain­tiffs in the case against I‑1366 were Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors: our friends Reuven Car­lyle and David Frockt, who rep­re­sent the 36th and 46th Dis­tricts, respectively.

The only statewide Eyman ini­tia­tive that has been imple­ment­ed with no legal chal­lenge was I‑900, from 2005, which con­cerned expand­ing the author­i­ty of the State Audi­tor to con­duct per­for­mance audits.

I‑900 was a flawed mea­sure, but as it was not a direct attack on our essen­tial pub­lic ser­vices or Con­sti­tu­tion, it has not been challenged.

Tim Eyman’s Fail­ure Chart shows that Tim Eyman is hor­ri­ble at leg­is­lat­ing. As we have said for years, Eyman is nei­ther a guru nor a king of any­thing. And it looks like the mass media are final­ly, final­ly com­ing around to that real­iza­tion, too.

The Seat­tle Times edi­to­ri­al­ized this morning:

Tim Eyman is not the state’s tax guru

Instead of con­tin­u­al­ly out­sourc­ing tax-pol­i­cy changes to Eyman, which are struck down again and again, the Leg­is­la­ture needs to address the flaws in the tax code head-on.

The Supreme Court’s school-financ­ing McCleary rul­ing — which will require bil­lions in new edu­ca­tion spend­ing — should force law­mak­ers to come to the table. Eyman shouldn’t be invit­ed, but the mes­sage vot­ers keep send­ing through his ini­tia­tives should be heard.

What a dif­fer­ence a few years makes. At long last, the Times seems to have shed its bizarre Jekyll/Hyde per­sona and is final­ly print­ing sense in its edi­to­r­i­al space.

We agree that it’s time for law­mak­ers to act bold­ly and coura­geous­ly to reform our bro­ken, regres­sive, upside down tax code, which is hold­ing our state back and open­ing the door to snake oil sales­man Eyman.

And by act, we mean pass leg­is­la­tion to raise the rev­enue nec­es­sary to amply pro­vide for the edu­ca­tion of all Wash­ing­ton’s youth plus fund our oth­er neglect­ed essen­tial ser­vices. Act does­n’t mean talk, as in debate the prob­lem with­out doing any­thing to solve it, or agree to study the prob­lem with anoth­er blue rib­bon com­mis­sion or expert pan­el. The prob­lem has been stud­ied; we’re all too famil­iar with the prob­lem at this point. What we need are solutions.

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One Comment

  1. You know, the fact that this ini­tia­tive won the pop­u­lar vote does not bode well for our state’s future.

    # by Mike Barer :: May 27th, 2016 at 11:21 PM
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