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.

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

Keep Washington Rolling goes up on the air with its first NO on I‑976 television ads

Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling, the coali­tion fight­ing Tim Eyman’s I‑976, has gone up on the air with its first tele­vi­sion ads, focus­ing on the threat that I‑976 rep­re­sents to pub­lic safe­ty. The Office of Finan­cial Man­age­ment has ana­lyzed that I‑976 would gut $4.2 bil­lion in state and local trans­porta­tion fund­ing over the next six years, includ­ing mon­ey for the Wash­ing­ton State Patrol and road safe­ty projects.

The ini­tial tele­vi­sion spot fea­tures pro­fes­sion­al engi­neer Tom Wil­son, and notes that the Skag­it Riv­er Bridge col­lapse was a rude awak­en­ing that reminds us how many bridges and over­pass­es we have that are in poor con­di­tion.

Watch the ad:

The sec­ond ad fea­tures Wash­ing­ton State Patrol troop­er Court­ney Stew­art, and makes the same points as the ad fea­tur­ing star­ring Tom Wil­son.

Watch the ad:

The third ad stars Regi­na Dove, and explains how I‑976 would hurt tran­sit in the Emer­ald City by rolling back vot­er-approved fund­ing for Metro bus ser­vice:

Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling has a long and dis­tin­guished his­to­ry of defend­ing Wash­ing­ton State’s bipar­ti­san, vot­er-approved trans­porta­tion invest­ments.

In 2005, KWR suc­cess­ful­ly defeat­ed Kir­by Wilbur and John Carl­son’s I‑912, a mea­sure that sought to repeal the fuel tax increas­es at the heart of the 2005 Trans­porta­tion Pack­age. At the out­set of that cam­paign, many pun­dits did­n’t think the mea­sure could be stopped, but KWR ran a bril­liant cam­paign that per­suad­ed vot­ers the invest­ments were worth keep­ing.

I‑912 failed with a 54.62% NO vote.

In 2011, KWR was reac­ti­vat­ed to fight Tim Eyman’s I‑1125, an attempt to block Sound Tran­sit’s East Link project and pro­hib­it the state from using vari­able tolling to raise funds for crit­i­cal cor­ri­dors like State Route 520. Once again, the coali­tion appealed to vot­ers to turn down a bad right wing ini­tia­tive that would pre­vent vital projects from mov­ing for­ward. Vot­ers lis­tened.

I‑1125 failed with a 53.21% NO vote.

Now Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling is fight­ing Tim Eyman’s I‑976.

The NO on I‑976 cam­paign began more than a year ago when NPI’s Per­ma­nent Defense project began gear­ing up to ensure that I‑976 would get the vig­or­ous oppo­si­tion that it tru­ly deserves. For instance, our team at NPI built and hosts KWR’s NO on I‑976 web­site, which view­ers of the tele­vi­sion ads are urged to vis­it to learn more about the impacts of Ini­tia­tive 976.

We’re very hap­py to be able to oppose I‑976 along­side so many oth­er orga­ni­za­tions, from Trans­porta­tion Choic­es Coali­tion and El Cen­tro de la Raza to the League of Women Vot­ers of Wash­ing­ton State and the Wash­ing­ton State Labor Coun­cil to Microsoft and Vul­can. You can see a com­plete ros­ter of coali­tion mem­bers over at the NO on I‑976 web­site. It’s pret­ty long.

Microsoft, Vul­can, Ama­zon, Expe­dia, Alas­ka Air­lines, Puget Sound Ener­gy, and oth­er major firms in our region have stepped up in a big way to ensure Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling has the resources need­ed to tell the sto­ry of why I‑976 must be reject­ed to the state’s more than four mil­lion vot­ers.

Wash­ing­ton’s labor com­mu­ni­ty is also step­ping up big. Unions like the Labor­ers, Pacif­ic North­west Region­al Coun­cil of Car­pen­ters and SEIU have com­mit­ted resources to ensure that Eyman’s I‑976 goes down to defeat this Novem­ber.

So far, the coali­tion has report­ed rais­ing over a mil­lion dol­lars.

If you’d like to help with a con­tri­bu­tion, you can do so online if you’d like.

Tim Eyman likes to sneer that his oppo­si­tion con­sists of “Big Busi­ness, Big Labor, politi­cians, and the press,” who he claims are out of touch. But that’s just anoth­er Eyman lie. I‑976 is broad­ly opposed by a large num­ber of civic orga­ni­za­tions, activist lead­ers, and grass­roots groups in addi­tion to Eyman’s favorite foils.

Among the orga­ni­za­tions that took an ear­ly posi­tion against I‑976 were NPI, All Aboard Wash­ing­ton, The Urban­ist, North Seat­tle Pro­gres­sives, the Tran­sit Rid­ers Union, Seat­tle Sub­way, and Trans­porta­tion Choic­es Coali­tion.

Eyman con­ve­nient­ly omits all of us when he trash­es his oppo­si­tion.

Orga­ni­za­tions like ours have done a lot of work to build this coali­tion and empow­er it to be suc­cess­ful. We know the rea­son Tim Eyman does­n’t want to acknowl­edge that work is that it does­n’t fit into the false nar­ra­tive he’s try­ing to ped­dle, fram­ing this fight as him and a cit­i­zen army ver­sus a bunch of pow­er­ful inter­ests.

The truth is, it’s Eyman and a few Eyman fans ver­sus every­body else.

Busi­ness­es large and small, unions that rep­re­sent work­ing peo­ple, envi­ron­men­tal groups, civic orga­ni­za­tions, and a huge num­ber of indi­vid­ual activists all oppose I‑976. Eyman has a few ador­ing fans who are cheer­ing him on from Face­book and email, and there are Repub­li­can Par­ty groups in his cor­ner.

Eyman him­self is pret­ty much the extent of the Yes cam­paign. There isn’t a prop­er cam­paign com­mit­tee work­ing to pass the mea­sure. It’s just Eyman. And that’s the way Tim likes it, because he gets to go on cam­era over and over and over again.

Eyman’s big advan­tage is that he has a bal­lot title that does not say any­thing about the cost and con­se­quences of Ini­tia­tive 976, or even imply that the mea­sure has a down­side. (The bal­lot title is all that vot­ers will see on their bal­lots.)

You would­n’t know from read­ing the I‑976 bal­lot title that the mea­sure imper­ils Amtrak Cas­cades, Link light rail expan­sion, essen­tial bus ser­vice, van­pools, tran­sit grants, the Wash­ing­ton State Patrol, con­struc­tion of new fer­ry­boats, the replace­ment of unsafe bridges and over­pass­es, vital freight mobil­i­ty projects, and cru­cial road main­te­nance in more than six­ty cities.

That’s why Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling is going up on tele­vi­sion: to make sure that vot­ers under­stand the impacts before they mark an oval on their bal­lot.

In the past, inef­fec­tive oppo­si­tion cam­paigns to Eyman mea­sures have result­ed in bad out­comes for Wash­ing­ton State. For­tu­nate­ly, this time, this year, there’s a strong cam­paign in place work­ing to defeat I‑976. That sig­nif­i­cant­ly increas­es the chances of a good out­come when the bal­lots are all count­ed.

There’s much work still to do to secure vic­to­ry, but we’re on the road to suc­cess, and it’s won­der­ful to see the coali­tion grow­ing in strength every day.

Join us in vot­ing NO on Tim Eyman’s I‑976 by Novem­ber 5th. Share these ads with your friends. Make sure your friends and fam­i­ly know what’s at stake. It’s crit­i­cal that Wash­ing­to­ni­ans join forces this year to reject this destruc­tive ini­tia­tive.

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4 Comments

  1. A cou­ple of my friends refuse to believe Court­ney Stew­art is a real WSP [Wash­ing­ton State Patrol] troop­er. Wrong Shield, no Sergeant Stripes. No tie or hat. I say she is. Why the ambigu­ous uni­form? I’m pro­mot­ing the “No Vote”, but now it’s all about the uni­form not being cred­i­ble. I’d appre­ci­ate your answer. Thank you.

    # by Jan Fuller :: September 27th, 2019 at 7:26 PM
  2. Court­ney isn’t wear­ing her offi­cial uni­form, badge, or hat in the ad because that would con­sti­tute the use of state resources in oppo­si­tion to a bal­lot mea­sure, which is not allowed. Court­ney is a real Wash­ing­ton State Patrol troop­er, though!

    # by Andrew Villeneuve :: September 28th, 2019 at 4:21 PM
  3. This ad is mis­lead­ing. It sug­gests that Ms. Stew­art is a spokesper­son for WSP and that WSP endors­es this cam­paign.

    # by Gordon Lee :: October 4th, 2019 at 7:49 PM
  4. I dis­agree. In the sec­ond spot, Troop­er Stew­art is speak­ing for her­self and oth­er troop­ers who feel the same as she does; she is not speak­ing for the agency that she works for. The Wash­ing­ton State Patrol’s name is nev­er spo­ken and nev­er appears onscreen. The agen­cy’s insignia nev­er appears. Pub­lic ser­vants have the same free­dom of speech rights as the rest of us and ought to be free to exer­cise them.

    # by Andrew Villeneuve :: October 5th, 2019 at 11:15 AM

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  1. […] This is the campaign’s fourth ad over­all. Its pre­vi­ous spots, which launched last month, are “Engi­neer”, “Troop­er”, an…. […]