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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.

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Three of Tim Eyman’s wealthiest benefactors are hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump

Faye Garneau, one of Seattle’s richest denizens and a major donor to disgraced initiative profiteer Tim Eyman, says she’s planning on participating in a fundraiser for Donald Trump in Seattle, even though the mogul is running an un-American presidential campaign and tanking in the polls.

“He’s honest, he’s talking bluntly. He’s not really a true politician in some respects,” Garneau told The Seattle Times’ Jim Brunner.

Garneau must be living in some alternate universe if she actually believes that. Donald Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person ever to be nominated by a major party for the office of President of the United States. Trump lies with impunity; much of what he says is rated False by independent fact checkers.

Only last week Trump doubled down on his assertion that President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “founded ISIS” — an utterly preposterous fabrication.

But perhaps Garneau is attracted to con men. After all, she’s supported Tim Eyman and given him money for years, and there’s arguably none better in this state at parting rich fools from their money than Eyman. Eyman has been enriching himself at the expense of his donors for years. It is now a proven fact that Eyman has been double-dipping on his campaigns — paying himself a salary and accepting kickbacks from his buddies Roy Ruffno and Eddie Agazarm, who run his signature drives.

Most of the other hosts of the fundraiser also have an association with Eyman:

[Garneau] joins several previously named Trump hosts, including billionaire money manager Ken Fisher and real-estate developer Clyde Holland, both big GOP donors from the Vancouver area. The location of the fundraiser has not been disclosed.

Hosts also include state Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison, Clyde Hill developer Hossein Khorram and Brina Sanft, volunteer chair for Trump’s campaign in King County.

State Sens. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Brian Dansel, R-Republic, who have been working as paid staff for the Trump campaign, also are hosts.

The extremely wealthy Fisher and Holland were the two men who put up most of the money for Eyman’s hostage-taking I-1366 in 2015.

I-1366 would have wiped out $8 billion in funding for public services over six years unless the Legislature had agreed to sabotage Washington’s cherished tradition of legislative majority rule. I-1366 was unanimously declared unconstitutional by the Washington State Supreme Court in May.

Benton and Ericksen are among Eyman’s chief pals in the Senate. (Eyman is also very close to Pam Roach, R-31st District). Benton carries Eyman’s water in committee hearings and on the Senate floor, and can be seen conversing with Eyman on the Capitol Campus during session.

Ericksen often appears at Eyman press conferences to watch from doorways, and subs for Eyman on the campaign trail when Eyman doesn’t want to be the face of his own initiative campaign, or when Eyman isn’t available. In debates, he’s been known to fiercely defend the giant oil companies that operate in his district, like BP.

Ericksen, along with Spokane County’s Michael Baumgartner, helped engineer an endorsement of I-1366 by the Washington State Republican Party last year.

WSRP Chair Susan Hutchison, who seven years ago ran for King County Executive and publicly came out against Eyman’s 2009 initiative, has hitched her wagon to Trump, repeatedly insisting that The Donald will make Washington State competitive in November, a fantasy that nobody else seems to share — not even the party’s gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant, who had been trying for months not to antagonize Trump supporters, but now says he won’t vote for Trump.

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