Bob Feguson speaks at a press conference announcing new lawsuit against Tim Eyman
Bob Feguson speaks at a press conference announcing new lawsuit against Tim Eyman

Dis­graced ini­tia­tive pro­mot­er Tim Eyman has tak­en a hia­tus from pitch­ing destruc­tive ini­tia­tives that would wreck pub­lic ser­vices in Wash­ing­ton in order to ful­ly focus on launch­ing a series of email and Face­book broad­sides against the state’s chief law enforce­ment offi­cial, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bob Fergsuon.

It is Fer­gu­son’s duty and respon­si­bil­i­ty as Attor­ney Gen­er­al to hold Eyman account­able for his bla­tant vio­la­tions of Wash­ing­ton’s pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws — a duty Fer­gu­son has been tak­ing very seriously.

In an effort to counter Eyman’s stonewalling in the extreme legal defense strat­e­gy, Fer­gu­son’s office last week asked Thurston Coun­ty Supe­ri­or Court Judge James Dixon to approve an order requir­ing Eyman to pay $156,000 in con­tempt penal­ties that Eyman has racked up for refus­ing to turn over records in the prin­ci­pal State of Wash­ing­ton v. Tim Eyman cam­paign finance enforce­ment case.

After a hear­ing on Fri­day morn­ing of last week, Dixon grant­ed the State’s motion. Fer­gu­son now has a court-approved claim on a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of the cash that is sit­ting in Eyman’s check­ing accounts in Unit­ed States Bank­rupt­cy Court.

But that’s not all.

Fer­gu­son’s office has also angered Eyman by deter­min­ing that a cou­ple of the twelve push polls slat­ed to appear on this Novem­ber’s bal­lot should use the phras­ing cost­ing an inde­ter­mi­nate amount of mon­ey instead of spec­i­fy­ing a mis­lead­ing dol­lar fig­ure stretched over ten years.

(Eyman’s push polls, for those unaware, are non-bind­ing mea­sures that appear on the bal­lot any­time the Leg­is­la­ture pass­es a bill that increas­es or recov­ers state rev­enue. They are waste­ful, cost­ly, and decep­tive, and you can learn all about them by read­ing this thor­ough primer at our Per­ma­nent Defense pro­jec­t’s web­site.)

“When­ev­er elect­ed offi­cials act like they’re above the law, it’s frus­trat­ing,” raged Eyman, who has a long, long, long his­to­ry of act­ing like he’s above the law.

“But what do you do when it’s the chief law enforce­ment offi­cer of the state? All you can do is expose the wrong­do­ing, put a spot­light on the hypocrisy, and crit­i­cize the law­less­ness. Cor­rup­tion comes in lots of dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes. Any­body wan­na argue this isn’t more corruption?”

Like Don­ald Trump, Tim Eyman is real­ly good at pro­ject­ing his faults onto oth­ers, and he has made Bob Fer­gu­son his num­ber one foil. The for­mer King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber is in his sev­enth year as Attor­ney General.

Fer­gu­son was so effec­tive and respect­ed in his first term as AG that Repub­li­cans did­n’t even field a can­di­date against him. Fer­gu­son’s oppo­nent in the gen­er­al elec­tion end­ed up being a Lib­er­tar­i­an, whom Fer­gu­son eas­i­ly crushed.

Fer­gu­son has tak­en on the Gro­cery Man­u­fac­tur­ers Asso­ci­a­tion, Motel 6, the Navy, the Depart­ment of Ener­gy, Trump regime offi­cials, and many, many oth­er tar­gets in his tire­less efforts to defend our Con­sti­tu­tions and our laws against cor­rup­tion, pol­lu­tion, and dis­crim­i­na­tion. Most of the suits Fer­gu­son has filed as Attor­ney Gen­er­al have gone very well for the State of Washington.

That track record of win­ning no doubt makes Eyman very nervous.

Eyman has repeat­ed­ly tried to exploit frus­tra­tion among Wash­ing­ton’s right wing base with Fer­gu­son for his own per­son­al gain. In Trum­p­like fash­ion, Eyman has giv­en Fer­gu­son a dis­parag­ing nick­name — “Fas­cist Fergie”.

“The costs of lit­i­ga­tion, bank­rupt­cy, and oth­er crap com­ing from the AG’s attacks on me and my fam­i­ly are bru­tal,” reads the clos­ing stock para­graph of one of Eyman’s email tem­plates (a tem­plate he pulled out for use today). “Obvi­ous­ly, you’re under no oblig­a­tion to help, but I hope you will anyway.”

Eyman does his very best to make it sound like all of his woes are Bob Fer­gu­son’s fault. He even accused Fer­gu­son of egging his home and cars last weekend.

“Did Bob Fer­gu­son egg our house on Sat­ur­day?” was the sub­ject of the email Eyman sent yes­ter­day to his fol­low­ers. (No, I’m not mak­ing this up.)

“Yes­ter­day morn­ing, I spent hours clean­ing off the splat­tered, dried-on egg shells, egg whites, and egg yolks on the side of our house and cars,” Eyman wrote in the open­ing para­graph of that mis­sive. “As soon as I saw it, I thought to myself ‘Did Fer­gu­son do this?’ Ya, I know, it sounds pret­ty far-fetched: a statewide elect­ed offi­cial — the Attor­ney Gen­er­al — doing such pet­ty van­dal­ism to me and my fam­i­ly. But it’s about the only thing left for him to do to us.”

Eyman’s email did not include any pic­tures of the sup­posed egging, lead­ing me to won­der if it real­ly hap­pened at all. Absolute­ly noth­ing Eyman says can be trust­ed.… noth­ing. Eyman lies effort­less­ly, and is an unapolo­getic fabricator.

For instance, ear­li­er this year, Eyman false­ly alleged in a series of emails that Lin­da Dal­ton (one of the state attor­neys work­ing on State of Wash­ing­ton v. Tim Eyman) was fired by Fer­gu­son for shov­ing anoth­er attor­ney and los­ing a motion. Eyman made this alle­ga­tion after Dal­ton filed a Notice of With­draw­al from the case. The real rea­son for Dal­ton’s with­draw­al, how­ev­er, was her long-planned retirement.

No mat­ter how much Eyman rages, the fact remains that he dug the hole that he is in him­self. Eyman is his own tor­men­tor; he inflict­ed these prob­lems on himself.

Eyman chose to break Wash­ing­ton State’s cam­paign finance laws. He knew what he was doing was wrong, and he did it any­way. He is an unapolo­getic, ser­i­al offend­er. Eyman also chose to file for bank­rupt­cy as a means of stalling the State’s efforts to hold him account­able for break­ing those laws. When that did­n’t work, he tried to back out of the bank­rupt­cy. That did­n’t work, either.

It is worth not­ing that while all this was going on, Eyman got him­self into more trou­ble by inex­plic­a­bly steal­ing a chair from the Lacey Office Depot.

Eyman has­n’t blamed Bob Fer­gu­son for his deci­sion to become a pet­ty crim­i­nal… at least not yet. Per­haps by the end of this week, he’ll have done just that.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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