Disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman has taken a break from excoriating Democratic elected leaders in his latest multiweekly email missive, choosing instead to launch a ferocious broadside at Republican State Representative Joyce McDonald. What could McDonald have possibly done to merit such scorn? Answer: She has sinned by not being loyal to Eyman and Eyman’s agenda.
McDonald, you see, is the Ranking Member of the House State Government Committee, which is considering legislation that would bring much needed transparency and accountability to the underground signature gathering industry. McDonald has sponsored a striking amendment to the bill, which will refine the language before it is set to receive a “do pass” recommendation tomorrow.
It is not unusual for an Eyman email to be mean-spirited — in fact, most Eyman emails could be described that way. But this email is more than mean-spirited, it’s a nastygram in the extreme. About the only thing missing is profane utterance or two, or a crude photo to accompany the hyberbolic text.
Here’s a plethora of snippets from the email that illustrate what I’m talking about:
- “Joyce McDonald’s callousness and cowardice”
- “marred and scarred by Joyce McDonald’s anti-initiative heresy”
- “This is a brutal betrayal”
- “Dante’s Inferno described the nine Circles of Hell. There should be a tenth circle for legislators [like McDonald]”
- “I am livid that ‘Republican’ Joyce McDonald is selling us out.”
After urging his followers to send angry “get in line behind my agenda” emails to the entire House and Senate Republican caucuses, Eyman then provided Joyce McDonald’s personal mobile telephone number and urged his followers to send a furious barrage of calls and texts to her non-official line as well.
It’s really something how, in the same breath, Eyman can allege that this proposed bill would subject paid signature gatherers to harassment while he himself is subjecting a member of the Legislature — from his own party — to a campaign of harassment. Eyman’s stance on privacy is simple: he believes in privacy for himself and when it serves his interests, and he doesn’t believe in it otherwise.
As the old adage goes, a wounded animal can be a very dangerous animal. It’s been years since Tim Eyman qualified an initiative to the Washington State ballot — the last five consecutive measures he said he was doing have all ended in failure, which is unprecedented — but within Republican circles, he still has influence, and in Trumplike fashion, Eyman is trying to work his shrinking base into a later in an attempt to get Republicans to abandon this necessary, bipartisan legislation.
Curiously, Eyman has not singled out State Representative Larry Haler, the original prime sponsor of HB 1537, for his role in introducing the legislation last year, or Representative Terry Nealey, who signed on as a cosponsor. Both are Republicans. Eyman and Haler sat next to each other yesterday during the hearing on HB 1537, in the row in front of me, and were engaged in conversation part of the time.
Haler and Nealey aren’t mentioned by name in today’s email, although their email addresses are listed in Eyman’s call to action.
Readers, if you are represented by a Republican in the Washington State Legislature, please let us know by using our contact form so that we can work with you to respond in a constructive way to Tim Eyman’s latest attempt to intimidate our elected representatives into doing his bidding.