February 13th, 2005
Three Years: Statement from the Founder
This week and this month, Permanent Defense is proud to celebrate three years of political activism in Washington State – opposing Tim Eyman, fighting for real tax reform, and promoting the value of public services.
February 2005 marks the end of our third year of operation and the beginning of our fourth.
The last year has been Permanent Defense’s most successful year to date. Working together with our friends and allies, we have accomplished much of what we set out to do a year ago.
Last year, in this statement, I wrote about how imperative it was that we stop Tim Eyman and his initiative factory from causing further devastating harm to Washington State. Thanks to your hard work, and our cooperation with other groups opposed to Eyman, we successfully defeated both I-864 and I-892.
I’d like to reflect on some of the things we’ve accomplished this past year- from February 2004 to February 2005. I’m proud of what this project has been able to accomplish, and I’m confident that we will continue to be successful in our efforts to change Washington State for the better.
- We defeated Initiative 864 in July of 2004, destroying a threat that would have brought certain disaster to local governments and public services across the state. We fought this issue for a year (June 2003 to July 2004) and won, dispelling Eyman’s myths and rumors about the tax climate.
- We defeated Initiative 892 in November of 2004, with voters rejecting Eyman’s attempt to proliferate our state with slot machines by a landslide. We mailed flyers, distributed yard signs, appeared in the media, and attended community events to voice our opposition to I-892.
- We debuted a new e-newsletter for the press – Permanent Defense Focus!, which has helped to counter the lies that Tim Eyman continually feeds the media.
- We retooled our site through January Launch, July Relaunch, and December Update, with lots of new sections and features, especially the Release Center and the Permanent Defense Forum.
- We had three times the traffic to our website this year of what we had in 2002 and 2003 combined, with thousands of visits to our site.
In the years since Permanent Defense was founded, Tim Eyman has had one initiative which passed at the polls: Initiative 776. All of the others have been failures. Eyman is currently is in an 0 for 4 slump and is trying to break out of it by qualifying an initiative to the people that would overload our state with audits.
Eyman’s proposal would have the state shelling out around $90 million every biennium so we can pay to audit every single state agency, program, and account and would require the auditor’s office to expand by four times its current size over the next decade.
Fortunately, the state House and the state Senate are considering much more practical legislation that has the state auditor’s support.
We will continue to vigorously oppose Eyman on all the issues. And we will step up our efforts to fight for real tax reform, including pushing for a state homestead exemption.
We’ll talk about a long term plan for fixing Washington’s tax structure, including alternatives to the state sales tax and the obnoxious “business & occupation tax”. We’ll also talk about tackling the state’s current funding problems.
We will continue to roll out improvements and additions to our website during the next year. So, I hope you’ll stand with us as we embark on the beginning of another year of political activism, and take a moment to pause and reflect on our achievements and accomplishments from the last one.
Thanks for your involvement. Here’s to another successful year!