First day to file initiatives to the people in 2012 is recycling day for Tim Eyman

Threat Analysis

Today was the first day to file initiatives to the people for the 2012 ballot, and Tim Eyman took advantage, filing five different drafts electronically with Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office. The Elections Division has not yet made the drafts available for download, so we haven’t read through them yet, but we do know what they’re about.

Of the five initiative drafts Eyman filed today, four are clearly retreads of measures he’s filed before. Here’s a short history of each recycled scheme.

  • Eyman’s first draft, titled “Protect the Initiative Act” appears to be a rehashed version of several measures that he’s filed over the years, but never attempted to qualify for the ballot. Previous measures with near-identical titles sought to expand the amount of time allowed to gather signatures on a measure and make it easier for petitioners to file frivolous claims of harassment with the police. There are probably similar ideas in this incarnation.
  • Eyman’s second draft, titled “Son of 1053”, is obviously intended to be the sequel to Eyman’s unconstitutional, undemocratic I-1053 (2010), which itself was the sequel to I-960 (2007), which was based off of I-807 (2003). But even I-807 was a recycled initiative. It was a do-over of Linda Smith’s I-601, which narrowly passed in 1993 but was later suspended by the Legislature. I-601 was the right wing’s first successful effort to subvert Article II, Section 22 of the Constitution and require two-thirds votes for revenue increases.
  • Eyman’s third draft doesn’t have a title, but it’s about vehicle fees. More specifically, it’s about capping vehicle fees as thirty dollars. Where and when have we seen this movie before? Oh yeah… here! In 1999 (I-695), 2002 (I-776) and 2006 (I-917). The first of those three (I-695) was a clone of a measure Eyman had filed the year before, and the idea for that came from the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Jim Gilmore of Virginia.
  • Eyman’s fourth draft also doesn’t have a title; but it does have a subject: “automatic ticketing cameras”. This appears to be a measure that would restrict or ban red light cameras and other kinds of cameras set up to catch people who break traffic laws. It’s no secret that Eyman dislikes red light cameras (and their cousins). He tried to impose limits on cities’ deployment of red light cameras with a provision in I-985 (2008), but voters overwhelmingly rejected the measure. Since then, he’s fought cameras in Mukilteo and attached his name to anti-camera efforts in Bellingham, Longview, Monroe, Lynnwood, and Redmond.

We haven’t reviewed the “Stop Government Fraud Act” yet, but supposedly it would create a new government agency headed by an inspector general to investigate fraud. No doubt Eyman’s proposal requires some percentage of some existing revenue source to be dedicated to this new agency, much like how I-900 (2005) required part of the sales tax to go the state auditor’s office. Wonder how Tim’s going to spin this proposal? He’s always saying that government can’t be trusted. Wouldn’t creating a new government agency simply result in more government that can’t be trusted?

At a press conference in January last year, Eyman, flanked by his cohorts, said he would be running an I-1053 clone in 2012. At the time, he did not announce an effort for 2011 (though he later secured money from Kemper Freeman, Jr. to run I-1125). Unless Eyman decides to run one of these other schemes – or something altogether different – any forthcoming announcement will really just be a re-announcement of what he’s already committed to doing.

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