August 4th, 2004
Eyman’s Initiative 18 lawsuit is ridiculous
Ballot WatchdoggingIn the Courts
Once again, Tim Eyman is sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong… into other people’s business.
Initiative 18 is a King County initiative originally sponsored by the King County jail guards’ union that would reduce the size of the King County Council from thirteen members to nine.
The union was mad at the council because their pay was cut, and alas, decided to file an initiative to reduce the size of the Council.
All that money, spent just on revenge. To get some help, they hired initiative profiteer Tim Eyman, who not only loves making money, but taking up a cause against a government that doesn’t even have jurisdiction over him.
Eyman lives in Mukilteo, in Snohomish County, but that doesn’t stop him from attacking the “Cadillac” King County Council for no particular reason other than the fact that it has thirteen members.
Eyman, and the jail guards union, have claimed that it’s too much bureaucracy, and that the Council should be reduced. But any government is obviously too much government for Tim and his cronies in the jail guards’ union.
Perhaps they would prefer if the criminal justice system were dismantled and criminals were allowed to roam free. Or that funding for public services was cut off and everyone was left to fend for themselves.
There is nothing wrong with having thirteen seats on the King County Council. It’s not a “Cadillac” Council. That’s just another stupid label that Tim Eyman has attached in order to defame his opponents.
King County is the state’s largest county and home to its largest city. The problem is that the county is very diverse. There are urban, suburban, and rural communities and cities throughout the county.
In order to represent all of these people, more seats are needed on the King County Council than in other counties.
Shrinking the council by four seats won’t save very much money. In fact, it will almost cost more money to downsize than it would to stay the same. Districts have to be realigned and reassigned. They will become larger.
A councilman or councilwoman will have to represent more people. A broader constituency means the council members will be more removed from the electorate.
I-18 should be seen for what it is- a dim-witted attempt to get revenge on the very people who are trying to do their best to govern the state’s largest county.
The council has tried its best to accommodate the wishes of the people who signed the initiative. The council has basically agreed to the amendment, but voted to postpone the changes for another couple of years.
But either that’s too much, or not enough, for Washington’s premier initiative profiteer. Tim has filed a lawsuit to stop the “sabotage” of Initiative 18 by the County Council.
The Council voted 9-4 to postpone effective changes to downsize the Council- an overwhelming majority.
The jail guards’ union even agreed to the postponement, but Tim Eyman decided not to follow suit. Instead, he filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the Council’s amendment.
Now, along with the son of the late Kent Pullen, who used to be a council member, Eyman is a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit to stop the King County Council from making those changes. Curiously, the lawsuit was filed in Snohomish County.
Clearly, no change is fast enough for Tim Eyman, even when it isn’t his issue or his government. Eyman’s meddling is outrageous. He has no business interfering with King County’s affairs.
It is clear that Eyman initiatives, and Eyman-backed initiatives, can only mean bad news for Washington State and its communities.
And voters are quickly beginning to realize this fact. 3 of the last 4 Eyman initiatives have failed to make the ballot- and one only succeeding because of heavy financial support by the gambling industry- the special interests.
There is no tax revolt, and no mass anti-government movement in Washington State. It is a myth spread by Tim Eyman and his small band of supporters, who don’t even show up when Tim comes to Olympia to turn in signatures. It’s the largest political sham in the history of the State of Washington.
And the electorate is finally beginning to see it for what it is.