NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Tim Eyman claims he sold the family home to pay legal bills, but there’s no record of a sale

After hav­ing been wiped out by the vot­ers as a can­di­date for gov­er­nor back in the sum­mer, dis­hon­est ini­tia­tive ped­dler Tim Eyman quick­ly went back to his old habit of shak­ing his elec­tron­ic tin cup and ask­ing his fan club for mon­ey. Not for a cam­paign or a future polit­i­cal project of some sort, but for him personally.

“I real­ly need your help to sur­vive the Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s per­se­cu­tion of me and my fam­i­ly,” Eyman’s post-elec­tion email pitch begins. (This is a ref­er­ence to the law­suit that Eyman is a defen­dant in, which alleges that he com­mit­ted seri­ous vio­la­tions of Wash­ing­ton State’s pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws back in the 2010s.)

Orig­i­nal­ly, Eyman’s email went on to say: “The only rea­son we’re still here is thanks to the heart­felt prayers and gen­er­ous sup­port from friends like you.”

How­ev­er, last week, an increas­ing­ly des­per­ate Eyman began using a mod­i­fied pitch that removed the line above. The new pitch goes like this:

I real­ly need your help to sur­vive the AG’s per­se­cu­tion of me and my fam­i­ly. After 8 years of inves­ti­ga­tion and lit­i­ga­tion, Fer­gu­son’s law­suit explic­it­ly asks for a life­time ban on all my future polit­i­cal activ­i­ty. That’s what it’s always been about — shut­ting down the most effec­tive tax­pay­er pro­tec­tion orga­ni­za­tion in state history.

Tax­pay­ers pay for his team of lawyers — I got­ta pay for mine — do your best — I real­ly need your help (recent­ly had to sell house in Muk­il­teo to pay my lawyers — that’s how bad this is).

Empha­sis is mine.

Ordi­nar­i­ly, when some­one states that they’ve sold their house (whether in con­ver­sa­tion or in anoth­er medi­um), they can be pre­sumed to be telling the truth. But the words above came from the key­board of Tim Eyman, for whom lying is like breath­ing. And when it comes to peo­ple like Eyman (and Trump) the “trust but ver­i­fy” prin­ci­ple does­n’t work. There is no trust, there is only verification.

Accord­ing­ly, our team at NPI looked to see if Eyman’s home had been sold.

But we could not find any evi­dence of a sale.

We checked Zil­low and Redfin and pub­lic records. Eyman’s home is nei­ther list­ed as on the mar­ket, nor shows as hav­ing passed into new own­er­ship. It remains in his and Karen’s pos­ses­sion, just as it has been since they bought it new in 1998.

Tim Eyman's home on Redfin

The Eyman fam­i­ly home, list­ed as “off mar­ket” on Redfin

TIm Eyman's home on Zillow

The Eyman fam­i­ly home on Zil­low, show­ing as hav­ing last sold on 08/20/1998, when it was pur­chased brand new by Tim and Karen Eyman

Now, it could be that Eyman is plan­ning to sell the home and has­n’t done so yet.

But remem­ber his email said “recent­ly had to sell house”.

“Had to” is past tense. The impli­ca­tion is that the home is no longer in the Eyman fam­i­ly’s own­er­ship. But that’s not true. It’s a fab­ri­ca­tion. One appar­ent­ly intend­ed to secure the sym­pa­thy of Tim’s fans and get them to open their wallets.

“Recent­ly had to sell house in Muk­il­teo to pay my lawyers — that’s how bad this is” is a lot more pow­er­ful of a sales pitch than “The only rea­son we’re still here is thanks to the heart­felt prayers and gen­er­ous sup­port from friends like you.”

It is impor­tant to note that Tim Eyman’s legal and finan­cial prob­lems are entire­ly of his own mak­ing. After get­ting sued and fined by the state for vio­lat­ing pub­lic dis­clo­sure laws in 2002, Eyman could have cleaned up his act and care­ful­ly fol­lowed the law. But he did­n’t. Instead, he con­coct­ed new schemes for evad­ing pub­lic dis­clo­sure and lin­ing his own pock­ets. Rather than accept­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for his wrong­do­ing, Eyman is whin­ing about being per­se­cut­ed and ask­ing the peo­ple he already duped to bail him out… with a fresh fab­ri­ca­tion as a lure.

The con just goes on… and on… and on.

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