With nothing on this year’s ballot to sell, and with a multimillion dollar Fair Campaign Practices Act penalty and its associated costs hanging over him, right wing provocateur Tim Eyman has lately been focused on self-preservation, sending email after email to his followers touting his appeal of Judge James Dixon’s historic judgment against him in early 2021 and asking them to barrage Attorney General Bob Ferguson with hostile emails.
From October 7th until the day before Election Day, every single email missive from Eyman concerned Eyman’s appeal in State of Washington v. Tim Eyman, with Eyman’s calls to action ranging from “Send an email to Bob Ferguson right now — tell him what you think about tomorrow’s court battle between him and Richard Sanders” to “watch Richard Sanders spar w/ appeals court judges during his opening statement. With his sharp mind, he made it look easy — it’s not.”
Finally, though, on November 7th, with the nearness of Election Day impossible to ignore, Eyman switched gears and sent out election-related commentary.
“For our country, I’m praying for a red wave,” Eyman declared in all caps, before explaining that he had invited himself to the Washington State Republican Party’s election night party at the Bellevue Hyatt with Tiffany Smiley, Matt Larkin, and other candidates and was eager to be joined by as many followers as possible.
“I urge you to join me at tomorrow’s Election Night Victory Celebrations at the Bellevue Hyatt. It’ll be a great chance for all of us to hug, high-five, hoop, holler, and celebrate our victories together. Election returns will be coming in from across the nation starting at 5pm so let’s start celebrating early,” Eyman wrote.
Unfortunately for Eyman and his followers, the “red wave” Eyman had prayed for never came. Republicans eventually captured control of the U.S. House, but by the slimmest of margins, and some Republicans (like Andy Biggs) have said they won’t vote for Kevin McCarthy to be speaker when the 118th Congress convenes, portending two years of chaos and division for House Republicans.
Meanwhile, Democrats held the U.S. Senate after scoring a series of hard-fought wins and flipped three governorships (Maryland, Massachusetts, Arizona) along with holding on to governorships in a host of swing states.
In Michigan, a state Eyman has bragged about trying to bring voter suppression schemes to this year, voters reelected Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, an NPI alum. Voters also ended Republican control of the Legislature and adopted a constitutional amendment enshrining reproductive rights into the Michigan State Constitution.
In Washington, Democrats dominated: there was a blue wave instead of a red one. Patty Murray defeated Tiffany Smiley, Kim Schrier defeated Matt Larkin, Steve Hobbs was retained as the first Democratic Secretary of State in over half a century, and voters enlarged Democrats’ legislative majorities.
Eyman has said nothing publicly about any of the aforementioned outcomes, but the NPI team has no doubt that he’s extremely disappointed.
Eyman had fantasized earlier this year about voters electing a Republican-controlled Legislature that would take on Governor Jay Inslee and potentially adopt a slew of right wing initiatives introduced by his friend Brian Heywood.
Not only did Republicans fail to capture control of the Legislature, they lost seats to the Democrats. That’s right: in what was supposed to be a “red wave” election year, Republicans went backwards and saw their own numbers in Olympia shrink!
Eyman and other Republicans had assumed that people would rise up and side with them, furious over Democratic governance of Washington State.
But we knew from our research polling that voters wanted continued Democratic control of the Legislature. Democrats had an advantage every time we asked, and our pollster asked over 700 likely voters which party they wanted to see in charge of the Legislature three different times — each in a different season.
The election results validated our research and left Republicans stunned.
They had fed and then eagerly bought into a massively hyped “red wave” narrative without stopping to consider that perhaps a lot of people just weren’t interested in handing power to a party that worships a sociopath, wants to deny bodily autonomy to most Americans, end free and fair elections, and ignore the climate crisis. It must also be noted that Republicans only captured the U.S. House because of gerrymandering — otherwise, they wouldn’t have.
In Washington State, without the ability to aggressively rig the map and stack the deck for their candidates, Republicans found themselves losing, again and again. Without control of either chamber of the Legislature, they won’t be able to play games like repeatedly forcing special sessions to negotiate budgets or forcing Governor Inslee’s appointees to leave office by voting down their confirmations.
As for Eyman, he hasn’t run a successful signature drive for a scheme to wreck government since this time four years ago. If he fails to qualify anything to the ballot next year, his drought would reach four years in length — a new record.
Will Eyman infer any divine message from the election results? Probably not — but if he is truly a person of faith, he might pause to consider that what he wants for himself and the country is not what God wants. Jesus instructed his disciples to feed the hungry, care for the sick, shelter the unhoused, and love their enemies — and Republicans like Eyman have almost totally shunned those teachings.
To quote Scripture:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me. I assure you, as often as you did it for the least among you, you did it for me.”
— Matthew 25:35–40
I have worked to counter Eyman’s destructive ideas for over two decades, and I cannot recall Eyman ever having discussed volunteering for a charity, participating in a food, toy, or clothing drive, going out to plant trees or clean up the environment, or doing anything constructive for our state and region.
I know many conservatives who are actually into conservation and participate in the environmental movement; Tim Eyman is not among them. I know many conservatives who give generously to charity; I am unaware of any charitable giving by Tim Eyman. I know many conservatives who are active in their churches helping others. I’ve never seen Tim Eyman use his list to support such efforts.
If Eyman does any good works, he does them privately and quietly.
Eyman uses the word “love” in his emails lot, and he tells his followers he loves them. He also clearly loves his family. That’s good. But does he love anyone else?
There’s actually a relevant passage from Scripture about this very subject — it’s a part of the Gospel of Luke known as the Sermon on the Plain:
“For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit [is] that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.”
– Luke 6:32–25
What I pray for is that people like Tim Eyman will find something more useful to do with their lives than scamming other people out of their money and seeking the devastation of our country and state’s common wealth, on which all families and businesses in America and Washington State depend.