Fed up with Tim Eyman’s lying and the media’s incessant repetition of Eyman’s lies, Solicitor General Noah Purcell today issued an extraordinary statement refuting Eyman’s claims that Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office is sabotaging the defense of I‑976, Eyman’s most recent con against the people of Washington.
Purcell has been personally overseeing the state’s defense of the measure, which a submajority of voters backed in the November 2019 general election. It is the Attorney General’s job to defend measures passed by voters, even if they were dishonestly written and laden with constitutional defects, as I‑976 is.
Eyman has baseless argued that the AGO shouldn’t be defending I‑976 because the office is biased against him and incapable of mounting a zealous defense.
Here’s what Purcell had to say about Eyman’s fabrications today.
Mr. Eyman claims that the nonpartisan, career attorneys in our Office who wrote the ballot title for I‑976 intentionally included language that would cause it to be struck down. The claim is ridiculous.
The language in the ballot title that the judge found potentially misleading was a direct quote from the initiative, which Mr. Eyman wrote. And Mr. Eyman specifically argued for that language to be included in the title, as shown in the attached 2018 court filing.
It is astonishing that he can claim with a straight face that our Office sabotaged the Initiative by including in the title language that he wrote and that he argued should be included.
Mr. Eyman claims that the Attorney General’s Office is opposing Pierce County’s attempt to intervene in the case. That is a lie. We did not and will not oppose their effort to intervene, and we have told Pierce County’s attorneys that. We look forward to working with them.
Mr. Eyman says we are sabotaging defense of the initiative because he sent us ideas for arguments to include in our briefing and we didn’t make them. But we researched every argument he sent us, and they were terrible arguments.
For example, he suggested that we argue that the plaintiffs should have to “post a bond” in order to obtain a preliminary injunction, but court rules and multiple decisions from our state Supreme Court make clear that government agencies (like Seattle or King County) do not need to post a bond to seek an injunction.
We will not apologize for refusing to make bad arguments.
Mr. Eyman says it is unethical for the Attorney General’s Office to defend Initiative 976 while separately suing him for violating Washington’s campaign finance laws.
As his own attorneys admitted in their briefs, that is untrue.
“While the AG pursuing PDC legal claims against the sponsor of a ballot initiative that it is defending on behalf of Washington State voters may appear at first glance to be a conflict of interest, it is not.”
Finally, Mr. Eyman says there are various arguments we should have made and things we should have done.
He is wrong about that. Mr. Eyman is not an attorney.
Our attorneys reviewed every one of Mr. Eyman’s suggestions, but they were all deeply flawed.
Even if he had a point, he could have intervened in this case three weeks ago to make whatever arguments he wanted instead of waiting to intervene until now. While our attorneys were working long hours to defend I‑976, sometimes until 3 or 4 in the morning, and taking time away from their families over Thanksgiving, Mr. Eyman was spending his time on TV criticizing them.
If he thinks there were better arguments to make, he could have made them himself. He chose to focus on getting media attention instead.
Getting media attention and parting fools from their money are Tim Eyman’s only real skills as a politician, so it’s understandable that Eyman relentlessly seeks media coverage. What’s not so easy to understand is why television stations like KING5 continue to air Eyman’s lies unchallenged on their broadcasts.
Eyman is better at manipulating the media than any other political figure that I can think of, with the notable exception of Donald Trump, who Eyman idolizes.
(Birds of a feather flock together, as the saying goes.)
Tim Eyman is often described by reporters as a full time professional sponsor of initiatives, or an “initiative king”, when in reality, Eyman is totally incompetent at writing initiatives that can withstand constitutional scrutiny. You might think after twenty years he’d have learned how. But he doesn’t care, because his true occupation is scamming people. Initiatives are a means to an end for him.
What happens to Eyman’s initiatives after they qualify is ultimately not important. After all, if a measure gets struck down, Eyman can just run that same con again in a couple years. Rinse and repeat. Being able to run the cons year after year is what is important. Once you understand this fact, it will not seem strange that Eyman likes to brags about having won just by qualifying something to the ballot and forcing a public vote on it. What he is really celebrating is that he’s still in business as a scammer and a con artist despite all the evidence that he is a scammer.
There are many scammers in this world… dishonest people who are up to no good and would like your money, as much as they can possibly get their hands on.
For instance, there are people running Windows technical support scams over the phone, people running email phishing scams, and people running door-to-door sales scams. Eyman specializes in political scams that typically take the form of initiatives intended to defund public services. He also specializes in being a disruptive, rules-flouting nuisance at public hearings and meetings.
The media can’t seem to get enough of Eyman, and he knows it.
Before Eyman walked into the Secretary of State’s office to declare his candidacy for governor a couple weeks ago, he remarked to the friend who was following him (smartphone in hand and ready to record), that it was time to get on with “the dog and pony show”. Those were his words: “dog and pony show”.
Eyman absolutely loathes people who get in his way and frustrate his ability to perpetrate cons against the people of Washington State. That is why he contemptuously refers to Attorney General Bob Ferguson as “Fascist Fergie”, and it’s why he is accusing Ferguson’s office of sabotaging the defense of I‑976.
Eyman would love nothing more than to diminish Ferguson’s credibility with Washingtonians, and I suspect that’s why he continues to level daily broadsides against Ferguson and the attorneys tasked with defending Initiative 976, including Solicitor General Noah Purcell, who is widely respected and well regarded.
Eyman’s grasp of the law is extremely poor, but that isn’t stopping him from playing armchair legal strategist and generating critiques of Purcell’s every move that are intended to be fodder for nightly news segments about I‑976.