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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.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Tim Eyman countersues State of Washington, claims he’s not guilty and is being persecuted

Dis­graced ini­tia­tive pro­mot­er Tim Eyman has at last filed an answer to the State of Wash­ing­ton’s law­suit against him and his asso­ciates — and it’s a doozy.

In a ten page plead­ing filed today with Thurston Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court, Eyman assert­ed through his lawyer Mark Lamb that he has­n’t done any­thing wrong and is being per­se­cut­ed — uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly — by Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son’s office. Accord­ing­ly, Eyman is coun­ter­su­ing and request­ing declara­to­ry judg­ment find­ing that the relief sought by the state vio­lates his con­sti­tu­tion­al rights.

Besides a dis­missal of the state’s suit, Eyman also wants an injunc­tion bar­ring the state from seek­ing or impos­ing its own pre­vi­ous­ly request­ed injunc­tion block­ing him from engag­ing in future finan­cial manipulations.

And he wants the state to pay Lam­b’s attor­ney’s fees, too.

Fer­gu­son’s office had no imme­di­ate com­ment on the plead­ing. But judg­ing by this answer and its coun­ter­claims, it seems that we are head­ed for a trial.

Whether that tri­al will take place in Thurston Coun­ty, where the state filed its law­suit, remains to be seen, as Eyman is object­ing to the venue.

It’s true Eyman does­n’t live in Thurston Coun­ty. But Eyman is in Thurston Coun­ty fre­quent­ly and has actu­al­ly filed his own actions in Thurston Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court rep­re­sent­ing him­self. We imag­ine that Eyman is only con­tend­ing that Thurston Coun­ty is an incon­ve­nient, inap­pro­pri­ate venue for this suit because he wants to con­tin­ue to delay a poten­tial judg­ment against him for as long as possible.

Fif­teen years ago, when then-Attor­ney Gen­er­al Chris Gre­goire sued Eyman for con­ceal­ing pay­ments to him­self and fail­ing to file truth­ful reports, Eyman’s attor­ney nego­ti­at­ed a set­tle­ment, in which Eyman agreed to nev­er again to serve as a cam­paign trea­sur­er. The set­tle­ment was announced in July of 2002.

This time, though, Eyman wants to play hard­ball and drag every­thing out.

He’s up against a very tough oppo­nent in Ferguson.

Hav­ing suc­cess­ful­ly tak­en on defen­dants like Don­ald Trump and the Gro­cery Man­u­fac­tur­ers Asso­ci­a­tion in the courts, Fer­gu­son is unlike­ly to back down. And that’s a good thing, because Eyman’s con­duct has been atrocious.

Eyman has repeat­ed­ly refused to clean up his act despite hav­ing been giv­en many oppor­tu­ni­ties to do so. He’s clear­ly not sor­ry for his behav­ior. It is vital that he be held account­able for his repeat­ed law­break­ing by the courts.

Most of the answer Eyman sub­mit­ted to the court con­sists of state­ments admit­ting to basic facts while deny­ing all alle­ga­tions of wrongdoing.

Eyman’s attor­ney Mark Lamb states in this plead­ing that Eyman and his lim­it­ed lia­bil­i­ty com­pa­ny (“Watch­dog For Tax­pay­ers”) will present a num­ber of coun­ter­claims and affir­ma­tive defens­es. These are, in their words:

  • Fault of a nonparty.
  • Statute of limitations.
  • Fail­ure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
  • Unclean hands.
  • Equi­table Estoppel.
  • Plain­tiff’s claims vio­late the Defen­dan­t’s right to equal pro­tec­tion under the laws as guar­an­teed by the Four­teenth Amend­ment to the Unit­ed States Constitution.
  • Plain­tiff brings this suit in vio­la­tion of the First Amend­ment to the United
    States Con­sti­tu­tion and Arti­cle I Sec­tion 5 of the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion by assert­ing a vague and ambigu­ous inter­pre­ta­tion of RCW 42.17A (includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to 42.17A.445) which does not apply to Defen­dan­t’s con­duct in this case.
  • The relief sought by Plain­tiff vio­lates the Defen­dants’ rights under Arti­cle 1 Sec­tion 4 & Arti­cle II Sec­tion 1 of the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion which enshrines the right of the peo­ple to peti­tion and reserves for the cit­i­zens of this state the pow­er of initiative.
  • The relief sought by Plain­tiff vio­lates the Defen­dants’ rights under the First
    Amend­ment to the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion and Arti­cle I Sec­tion 5 of the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion which grants the cit­i­zens of this state the right to freely speak, write and pub­lish on all subjects.

“Defen­dant reserves the right to assert addi­tion­al Affir­ma­tive Defens­es as the facts and cir­cum­stances of Plain­tiff’s Com­plaint are more ful­ly deter­mined through dis­cov­ery,” the plead­ing adds.

The oth­er defen­dants in the suit — William Agazarm and Cit­i­zen Solu­tions — have yet to file an answer to the state’s law­suit. In the past, they have also been rep­re­sent­ed by Mark Lamb, but it’s pos­si­ble they have now retained their own counsel.

Look for more analy­sis from NPI regard­ing this case in the days to come.

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