September 13th, 2019
Tim Eyman hit with additional sanctions and ordered to report $766,447 in personal ‘gifts’ as campaign contributions
Eye on Money: DevelopmentsRethinking and ReframingStatements & Advisories
Today, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon granted Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s motion to impose additional sanctions on disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who has consistently tried to evade accountability for his violations of Washington’s public disclosure law through a legal defense strategy we’ve dubbed “stonewalling in the extreme”.
Dixon ruled that contributions Eyman has previously received as personal ‘gifts’ qualify as campaign contributions and affirmed that Eyman remains in contempt because he has failed to comply with the Court’s discovery orders.
Dixon also awarded the state attorney’s fees.
Northwest Progressive Institute founder Andrew Villeneuve called the ruling a significant development in the case that brings Eyman closer to his day of reckoning.
“The barricades that Tim Eyman has thrown up to shield himself from accountability are crumbling,” said Villeneuve.
“For years, Tim has tried to pretend that the fundraising he does for himself is separate from the fundraising he does for his initiative committees. But that is a fiction. The truth is that money given to benefit Tim Eyman benefits his initiative factory, and money given to whichever scam Eyman happens to be hawking at the moment benefits Eyman.”
“Just look at how I-976, Eyman’s latest initiative, got onto the ballot. The lion’s share of the money that paid for signature gathering came from Eyman himself; Eyman claimed he cashed out his and his wife’s retirement fund in order to make the signature drive a reality. The PDC reports for I-976 make it look like Eyman is his own biggest donor. Except he’s really not, because he doesn’t have a way of supporting himself without the continuing generosity of wealthy supporters like Kemper Freeman, Jr., who stated in a deposition that he wanted to make sure Eyman had enough ‘grocery money.'”
“There is simply no separation between Eyman’s personal and political funds anymore because he has mixed them so thoroughly.”
“It is entirely appropriate that Judge Dixon has found that the ‘gifts’ Eyman has been soliciting are really campaign contributions and are subject to public disclosure. If Eyman won’t comply and file the requisite reports, he’ll find himself in even more trouble.”