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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.

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

AGO’s Noah Purcell issues scathing rejoinder to Tim Eyman’s claims of I‑976 sabotage

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.

They wrote:

“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.

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