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.

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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