Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi: Friends and Allies

Threat Analysis

Washington State GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi likes to promote himself as a sunny independent thinker who will bring prosperity to Washington State.

But what most people don’t know about Dino Rossi is his extremist positions – including his ties to initiative profiteer Tim Eyman, as well as his similarity to previous GOP candidates John Carlson (2000) and Ellen Craswell (1996).

Did you know that:

  • Dino Rossi supported Initiative 200, Tim Eyman’s first initiative, which attacked affirmative action, back in 1998.
    • “He [Rossi] supported anti-affirmative action Initiative 200.” (Seattle Weekly, Dino Buys Big Time, 8/4/2004)
    • “He [Rossi] supported I-200, the successful anti-affirmative-action initiative championed by [John] Carlson.” (The Stranger, The Salesman, 8/19/2004)
  • Dino Rossi supported Initiative 807, Tim Eyman’s 2003 attempt to require a supermajority vote of the Legislature for any tax increases.
  • Dino Rossi supported Tim Eyman’s I-695, which slashed road and transit funding, and defended it in the spring of 2000.
    • ‘”There’s a lot of people politically in a little bit of a box,’ said Sen. Dino Rossi, the ranking Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee. ‘They [opponents] said the sky was going to fall if 695 passed, and unless a little bit of the sky does fall they’re going to sound like they were telling stories during the campaign.'” (Seattle Times, Legislators employ I-695 to promote long-held agendas, 1/9/2000)
  • Dino Rossi supported slashing public services, sponsoring bills which proposed more tax cuts in the wake of I-695.
    • “Last year (2000), he [Rossi] was among several lawmakers offering tax-cut bills, catching the momentum generated by Initiative 695, [Tim Eyman’s] $30 car-tab measure.” (Seattle Times, Property-tax-cut talk is big in 5th, 10/18/2000)
  • Dino Rossi supported the “direction” of Tim Eyman’s I-745, which would have required 90% of transportation funding to be spent on roads.
    • “But Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Issaquah, the top Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said the state has barely tried to keep even with needed highway construction. [Of Eyman’s proposal], he said, ‘It’s going in the direction many of us have been trying to push. That’s not to say mass transit doesn’t have a role, but it’s not the Utopia people say it is.'” (AP, Seattle P-I, I-695 sponsor sets sights on gridlock with initiative, 12/16/1999)
  • Dino Rossi supported an unsuccessful Tim Eyman effort to kill Sound Transit’s light rail effort in 2003.
    • “Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Issaquah, said he hasn’t seen Eyman’s proposal but supports the concept of a revote because the light-rail project has changed in recent years. ‘Why not put it back on the ballot?’ said Rossi, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. (Seattle Times, Eyman kicks off effort to kill light-rail project, 2/15/2003)
  • Tim Eyman endorsed Dino Rossi’s bid for governor from Day One, and has repeatedly referenced Rossi in his emails to supporters.
    • “Initiative king Tim Eyman cheered on Rossi from the crowd. ‘Taxes are out of control and tax increases should be a last resort,’ Eyman said later. ‘Rossi embodies that philosophy not by what he has said, but by what he’s done.’ After his speech, Rossi posed with his wife and four children as the crowd chanted ‘Dino! Dino!'” (King County Journal, Rossi says he needs $5 million, 11/11/2003)
    • “Our taxpayer-protection efforts over the past six years have changed Washington’s politics forever. This was an incredibly successful election for taxpayers: * Dino Rossi ran for Governor touting his courageous efforts to balance a $2.6 billion deficit without raising taxes. He’s on the verge of victory due to his efforts to protect taxpayers from the insatiable desire of politicians to raise taxes.” (Tim Eyman, Email to Supporters, 11/3/2004)

The Washington State Democrats also have a page where Dino Rossi’s conservative positions are outlined in comparison to Craswell’s and Carlson’s.

It’s clearly apparent, from their own words, that Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi are friends and allies, sharing the same ideals and philosophies on taxation.

Though Dino has supported many of Eyman’s initiatives, this year he tried to skirt the issue and refused to comment on supporting either I-864 and I-892 in order to soften his image as he ran for Governor.

And that bid for the governor’s seat was firmly and openly supported by a very eager Tim Eyman, who longed to see someone of his own creed occupying the Governor’s Mansion. Ever faithful, Tim has even recently urged his supporters to back Rossi’s call for a revote.

Permanent Defense exists to oppose people like Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi, who, in positions of power, have shown are capable of contributing to a more regressive tax structure and damaging the public services of Washington State.

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