Tim Eyman is not a guru… or a king… or a champion

Rethinking and ReframingStatements & Advisories

Several media outlets have in recent weeks continued to inexplicably refer to failed zealot Tim Eyman as if he were a divine political force. The Seattle Times calls Eyman a “guru” in an editorial this morning, only a couple weeks after making room for him on the op-ed page to hawk his latest initiative. And the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, in an editorial back on December 9th, called him a “king”.

The point about this ridiculous, unnecessary reverent treatment has already been made, by us and other activists and organizations, but apparently it needs to be repeated.

So once again: guru, as defined by respected dictionaries, means wise leader, intellectual, or mentor…and Eyman is none of those. He’s a false front: looks big, thanks in part to undeserved media attention, but hasn’t had a meaningful impact.

And given his incompetence this year, when he was expected to have no trouble qualifying at least Initiative 917, but still failed to do so, the label of guru is even more inaccurate.

Tim Eyman is not a guru. Nor is he a king, or a champion, or a populist. Those words are simply not synonymous with “failure”. He does not enjoy wide support. Voters are sick and tired of his stale assortment of tax cuts and spending limits. That’s why they’re rejecting right wing initiatives and right wing ideology.

Eyman had zero successes to speak of in 2006….which has been the story for several years now with really only one minor exception. Consider:

  • He failed to qualify Referendum 65 in June
  • He saw I-747 ruled unconstitutional in June
  • He failed to qualify Initiative 917 in September
  • He opposed Mayor Nickels’ Seattle roads package, but it passed anyway
  • He lost the court battle against Sound Transit over collection of the MVET

These are merely at the top of an earlier string of defeats from immediate years past, including the failure of I-912 (the gas tax repeal, which Eyman strongly backed publicly but otherwise didn’t have a hand in) the failure of I-892 (legalization of electronic slot machines plus tax cuts), I-864 (property tax cuts), I-807 (spending limits), and I-267 (controlling how transportation funding is spent).

It is time for editorial writers, reporters, television anchors, and talk show hosts to stop this “guru” and “king” nonsense. The accurate label – which can be concluded by any individual capable of drawing conclusions from the facts with no spin attached – is failure.

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2006: A year of victories for Permanent Defense, a year of defeats for Tim Eyman
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Five Years: Statement from the Founder

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