February 13th, 2006
Four Years: Statement from the Founder
Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense proudly celebrates four years of political activism in Washington State, fighting Tim Eyman’s senseless initiatives, working to reform the state’s tax structure, and promoting the value of public services.
The arrival of February 2006 marks the end of our fourth year of operation and the beginning of our fifth year.
Our fourth year was very eventful. We faced significant obstacles but we were successful in accomplishing many important goals. Here’s a review of what we achieved this past year:
- In late February 2005, Permanent Defense’s founder, along with David Goldstein of TaxSanity and Steve Zemke of Taxpayers for Washington’s Future, testified before the House Finance Committee in favor of House Bill 1744 (the homestead exemption proposal) to create a fairer property tax structure.
- Throughout the spring of 2005, Permanent Defense organized to fight Initiative 900, Tim Eyman’s overload of performance audits. Upon the filing of Initiative 912, the leadership of Permanent Defense decided to set up a sister organization, Washington Defense, to oppose the repeal of the 2005 Transportation Package while Permanent Defense fought I-900.
- In the summer, following the end of the signature drives, Permanent Defense’s website was retooled through the annual July Relaunch and readied to oppose Initiative 900. Washington Defense’s website was readied to oppose Initiative 912.
- Throughout the summer of 2005 Permanent Defense’s founder spoke before numerous organizations, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Municipal League, to urge an endorsement against Initiative 900.
- In August Washington Defense PAC was launched to raise money to fight a grassroots campaign against Initiative 912.
- During the fall Permanent Defense supporters worked extremely hard to fight against Initiative 912, and, when time allowed, oppose Initiative 900 as well. A strong emphasis was placed on defeating I-912 due to the fact that it would have repealed some $5 billion in needed transportation funding, whereas I-900, though poorly drafted and unnecessary, would not have gutted state revenues.
Ultimately, Initiative 912 failed in a significant defeat for Tim Eyman and his fellow anti-tax zealots. Eyman had predicted its passage and even attempted to latch onto the effort to wipe out the gas tax increase. Though Initiative 900 passed, the real Eyman initiative was destroyed in a huge, landmark victory.
Despite the failure of I-912, Eyman has decided to press ahead with his plans to mount an assault on the other revenue sources for the 2005 Transportation Package. In 2006, Permanent Defense will work to protect over $2.6 billion in transportation funding from being wiped out by Eyman’s initiative.
Permanent Defense will also vigorously oppose Eyman’s outrageous attack on Washington State’s newly amended anti-discrimination law, which now prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Not only will we fight these senseless onslaughts on our quality of life, but we’ll continue our work to map out a long term plan for fixing Washington’s tax structure, including alternatives to the state sales tax and the obnoxious “business & occupation tax”.
As in past years, we’ll be rolling out numerous improvements and additions to our website during the next twelve months.
Great challenges lie ahead, but we can overcome them and make Washington State a better place to live, work, and visit.
Thanks for your involvement during the past 365 days. Here’s to another successful year!