Failed gubernatorial candidate and dishonest initiative promoter Tim Eyman claimed today that his most recent payment to his attorney Richard Sanders has left him almost entirely bereft with cash and pleaded with his fans to send him more money as soon as possible to help him with his debts.
To make his case, Eyman enclosed in his email photographs of payments to Goodstein Law Group PLLC for $25,000 and $10,000 (totaling $35,000) followed by a screenshot of balances in two Bank of America accounts prior to the transmission of the payments. Goodstein is the firm that employs Sanders, a former Supreme Court justice with a very libertarian bent. While on the Court, Sanders wrote several dissents arguing that Eyman’s initiatives should be upheld.
Since 2019, Sanders has been defending the notorious chair thief and initiative pitchman against a campaign finance accountability lawsuit filed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the state’s chief law enforcement officer.
“I paid $35K to Richard Sanders’ law firm today,” Eyman wrote. “$25K from my legal defense fund. $10K from my personal account. It drained me dry.”
“I’ve put it all on the line. I owed Richard’s law firm $305K. Our agreement was that his firm would only handle the notice of appeal if I paid them at least $75K of that. I need to raise more. A lot more,” Eyman added.
(The boldfaced words above were capitalized in Eyman’s email for emphasis.)
Eyman’s financial problems extend far beyond his debt to Sanders and Goodstein Law Group. He owes millions of dollars to the people of the State of Washington as a result of his serious, repeated violations of Chapter 42.17A RCW, the state’s public disclosure law. The amount Eyman owes includes contempt penalties, a judgment against him by the courts, and attorney’s fees. That’s right: as the losing party, Eyman is responsible for the costs of both sides of the litigation.
Eyman conveniently failed to mention that even more weighty obligation to his fan club in his email today, probably because he knows his Trump loving friends aren’t going to be excited about giving him money so that he can turn around and send it to the state treasury. Regardless, Eyman is on the hook, and the Attorney General’s office has been working diligently to collect from him in installments.
Eyman presently owes Washingtonians $5,413,169.83, plus accruing interest.
In anticipation of being in that hole, Eyman filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington in November of 2018. The case was assigned to Judge Marc Barreca.
Declaring bankruptcy was one part publicity stunt and one part attempt to delay Ferguson’s campaign finance enforcement case by way of the federal courts.
Ferguson wasted little time in obtaining a comfort order to allow his office to proceed with the case in state court, thus evading Eyman’s delaying maneuver.
Although Eyman wasn’t actually bankrupt at the time he filed for bankruptcy, he is definitely bankrupt now as a result of having lost his court case and having hired lawyers whose mounting bills he cannot afford to pay.
For once, Eyman isn’t exaggerating when he says he’s put it “all on the line”.
His own attorneys have placed liens against his home in Mukilteo, according bankruptcy court pleadings filed by the State of Washington.
The state, represented by Ferguson’s office, isn’t happy about those liens, and wants them voided. The State contended in a filing last week: “The actions taken by Debtor’s Counsel [Vortman & Feinstein, Goodstein Law Group] to encumber the Eyman Home erode the protection available to the State and other creditors of the Estate to recover from the non-exempt equity in the home.”
The state is asking that it “be allowed to record and perfect its judgment lien in Snohomish County with respect to the judgment entered in Thurston County Superior Court, Case no. 17–2‑01546–34,” and that, “except for the lien of the State of Washington and any statutory or property tax liens, any future liens that are placed upon the Eyman home prior to termination of the Chapter 11 plan will be void unless notice has been provided according to the terms of the plan and Bankruptcy Court approval of recording has been granted.”
The state’s complaint and prayer for relief is below.State of Washington bankruptcy complaint regarding the Eyman home
Eyman has previously taken out mortgages against his Mukilteo family home to finance initiative campaigns. Now the home — Eyman’s most valuable asset — is the center of a dispute between Eyman, his attorneys, and the state.
Eyman’s apparent objective is to transfer sole ownership to Karen Eyman so that the home can be placed out of the reach of Eyman’s creditors.
As noted by Ferguson’s office in a May 21st, 2021 legal filing:
“The State understands that Debtor Eyman is continuing to work on a proposal to sell the community property portion of the Eyman home to Karen Eyman. Due to the current liens on the home, Debtor Eyman’s counsel would be paid from the proceeds if these encumbrances were not removed.”
You can understand why Eyman is so desperate for cash. He needs millions of dollars to satisfy all the debts that he’s racked up.
Eyman says his friends Dave McMullen (the Chair of the Pierce County Republicans) and Chris Leyba will be hosting a fundraiser for him on Sunday August 1st at the Puyallup Elks Club, ahead of the Pierce County Republican Party’s “All American Family Picnic” planned for 3 — 7 PM at the same venue.
“It’ll be my opportunity to thank folks in person for helping me and my family through the last eight and a half years — we never woulda made it without you. So put August 1st on your calendar. But please don’t wait until then to donate my legal defense fund. This insanity must be appealed,” Eyman wrote.
“I need your help now more than ever before.”
“My fight is your fight. My fight is our fight.”
“Please… I implore you… donate today.”
Left unsaid is the fact that Eyman is in the situation he’s in because of choices that he made. It was Eyman who demanded kickbacks from his buddies. It was Eyman who steered funds meant for one initiative to another. It was Eyman who chose to violate the Fair Campaign Practices Act, repeatedly. And it was Eyman who chose to stonewall when investigations were opened into that lawbreaking.
Attorney General Ferguson makes a great bogeyman and scapegoat because he is despised by the Trump-loving Republican base for his hard work to uphold Washington’s progressive laws and stop Trump’s minions from destroying environmental and worker protections. But the truth is that Tim Eyman is his own persecutor. He has no greater enemy and no greater tormentor than himself.