January 9th, 2012
Whatever happened to “Let the voters decide?”
Earlier today, in lieu of holding a press conference at Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office in the Legislative Building to discuss his plans for 2012, Tim Eyman drafted and began sending out an email to his followers (and the press) announcing that he intends to be active in opposing any and all efforts to raise revenue in the Legislature during the sixty-day session that begins today and will last until at least mid-March.
Emphasis is ours:
One of our top priorities in 2012 is beating back tax increases (hence our PAC’s name change to: Voters Want More Choices “No New Taxes 2012”). That means fighting against the umpteen bills being pushed in Olympia to raise taxes (Democrats’ new income tax bill, Democrats’ new property tax increase, Democrats’ new capital gains tax bill).
But we feel it is particularly important for us to take the lead in opposing the two tax increases being put on the ballot (Gregoire’s 10% sales tax on the April ballot and her task force’s $21 billion tax increase on the November ballot). We don’t want them increased in Olympia and we don’t want them put on the ballot (and if they are put on the ballot, we want voters to vote no).
That last sentence sure is a doozy, isn’t it? But at least Tim Eyman is being honest for a change. For years, he’s falsely said or implied that he doesn’t want to make raising revenue impossible – merely difficult. He’s also said or implied that he has no objection to elected leaders asking voters to raise revenue. For instance, in 2002, just days before Permanent Defense was founded, he told the Seattle Weekly:
We’ve always contended that any tax increase that any taxing district wants to support is fine, as long as it goes to the voters.
But today, we’ve seen Tim Eyman’s true colors. Mr. “Let the Voters Decide” has just said, plainly and unequivocally, that he is against letting voters decide whether to save services that are on the chopping block. He doesn’t want to put the matter in the people’s hands. His direct democracy evangelism is a sham, and this is simply the latest proof. A true citizens should be in in charge missionary would welcome the Legislature’s interest in referring a question on any topic of importance to the people. But the initiative and referendum, to Eyman, are simply a means to an end… the end being the destruction of Washington’s common wealth.
Inflicting sabotage is always what Eyman’s initiative factory has been about. All of his initiatives have been deliberately written to cause harm.
As Eyman’s own words demonstrate, there are no circumstances under which his dogma – which he shares with his idol Grover Norquist – condone taxes being raised.
It doesn’t matter that our social safety net is in danger of being eviscerated. It doesn’t matter that Washington is failing to adequately provide for the education of its youth, as our state Supreme Court just ruled. It doesn’t matter that the state and its many local governments continue to lay off public workers, making our unemployment problem even worse. As far as Tim Eyman is concerned, an all-cuts budget would be welcome news. In fact, his goal is to ensure that this happens… he wants Washington’s government wrecked so it cannot serve its people.
The remaining reporters who still cover state affairs as part of the Capitol press corps owe it to their readers to challenge and expose Eyman when he masquerades as a proponent of direct democracy with fake slogans such as “let the people decide”. Empowerment and self-determination are the opposite of Eyman’s real agenda, and the media ought to know that by now.