September 27th, 2011
Statement on Tim Eyman’s lawsuit against the City of Redmond
Earlier today, Tim Eyman (represented by Seattle attorney Daniel Quick) filed a lawsuit against NPI’s hometown, the City of Redmond, which seeks to force Mayor John Marchione and the city council to forward petitions for an initiative orchestrated by red-light camera opponent Scott Harlan to the King County Elections Division for processing.
Based on the advice of Redmond’s attorney, the city’s elected leaders last week concluded that the anti-camera measure Harlan spearheaded (with publicity arranged by Tim Eyman) did not concern a subject that could be legitimately put to a public vote under the laws of the State of Washington. After reaching this determination, the city made it known that it would not be sending the petitions for Redmond Initiative No. 1 to King County Elections for verification.
Scott Harlan subsequently threatened to sue the city, but not surprisingly, it is Tim Eyman’s name that is appearing on the lawsuit.
Neither Eyman nor Harlan resides within Redmond.
“Once again, Tim Eyman is interfering in the affairs of a jurisdiction in which he has no vote,” said NPI founder Andrew Villeneuve, who is a lifelong Redmond resident. “Several of Tim Eyman’s poorly written, ill-conceived statewide initiatives have directly hurt the people of Redmond and eliminated funding for public services in Redmond. Now Tim has is taking us and our elected leaders to court in an attempt to garner more publicity for himself.”
“The issue of whether it makes sense for the city to maintain and operate red-light cameras is a serious one that combines many topics, including public safety, fiscal responsibility, and civil liberties. An issue like this deserves true discussion and debate that goes beyond sound bites and talking points. We have no objection to Tim Eyman using his First Amendment rights to express his views on red-light cameras, but by filing this lawsuit, Eyman has gone from commentator to litigator. As a resident of Redmond, I know I speak for many of my neighbors when I say that Tim Eyman’s interference in our city’s business is not welcome.”