Category Archives: Announcements

“Fidalgo” is here: Welcome to the new Permanent Defense, circa 2016!


Today, after many months of hard work, the team at NPI is pleased to unveil Permanent Defense 9.0, codenamed “Fidalgo”.

As you probably noticed from the moment you pulled up, the site looks a lot different than it used to, and that’s no accident. “Fidalgo” is nothing less than a sweeping, thoughtful top-to-bottom redesign.

The previous incarnation of the site, codenamed “Camano”, lasted for more than six years, which in Internet years is more like a century. We figured the time was ripe to give Permanent Defense’s online home a visual overhaul.

Unlike with “Camano”, however, not much has changed under-the-hood. Six years ago, when we migrated Permanent Defense to WordPress, we were confident we’d picked the perfect content management system for the project, and not a day has gone by since when we’ve regretted that decision. Because we already had a rock-solid backend to work with, we were able to concentrate on giving Permanent Defense a beautiful, polished new exterior that’s responsive, mobile-friendly, and pleasing to the eye.

“Fidalgo” isn’t merely eye candy, though. There’s also a plethora of new and improved content. Missing or incomplete pages from bygone years that weren’t previously imported from the archives are now part of the site, and there are a number of new pages, too. Here’s a summary of highlights of this new version:

  • Brand new responsive design. Whether you’re visiting from a smartphone, tablet, notebook, or desktop with a big high-resolution monitor, you’ll be able to browse a website that’s accessible, visually appealing, and neatly-organized.
  • Streamlined navigation. The new mobile-friendly Permanent Defense navbar makes it easy to move between pages and posts. It’s a modern replacement for the flat, antiquated set of buttons found in prior versions.
  • Breadcrumbs to aid in wayfinding. In addition to the new navbar, there’s also a breadcrumb widget providing contextual navigation assistance.
  • Updated graphics. Everywhere you look, you’ll see new graphics, with the notable and worthy exception of the timeless Permanent Defense logo that dates back to the site’s inception. The bigger your display, the more you’ll be able to see of Mount Baker, which graces the site’s nameplate.
  • Modern charts. The new Permanent Defense utilizes JavaScript and HTML5 to render charts instead of Adobe Flash, which is an insecure, dying technology.
  • New intuitive page hierarchy. Permanent Defense’s more than one hundred pages are now organized into an intuitive hierarchy, which simplifies browsing.

New pages include:

  • Current Campaigns. Learn about the right wing initiatives we’re presently fighting.
  • Think Before You Ink. What to be on guard against when approached by a petitioner.
  • Archive. Useful landing page for exploring old content.

And finally, be sure to check out our completely redesigned Dangerous Initiatives reference, which contains comprehensive, in-depth profiles of right wing initiatives that have appeared on Washington’s ballot during the Eyman error.

We took great care in redesigning the site not to break anything.

For the most part, PD’s permalinks have not changed, so you shouldn’t run into errors while following external links. Any permalinks that did change due to modifications to the site’s hierarchy were given redirects. Sadly, that’s something a lot of mass media outlets completely neglect to do when they launch new incarnations of their websites. We dislike broken links and link rot as much as you do, so we’ve done our best to ensure existing URLs continue to resolve properly.

We hope you enjoy the new Permanent Defense!

NPI’s Villeneuve files Petitioning Industry Accountability Act


This morning in Olympia, Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve filed a new statewide initiative called the Petitioning Industry Accountability Act. The intent of the initiative is to require that signature gathering companies pay their fair share in business and occupation taxes to our state.

“Qualifying initiatives to the ballot has become a big business in Washington,” said Villeneuve. “On an annual basis, millions of dollars may be spent to force public votes on legislation, particularly when people with wealth desire to make changes to our state’s body of laws. The companies that do the work of gathering signatures for these campaigns ought to be complying with our worker protection laws and paying their taxes like any other business. But we have discovered that most of them aren’t.”

“For far too long, this industry has operated underground. It’s time we started the process of changing that. This is the very first draft of this legislation, which we would be happy to see become law either through the initiative process or the legislative process. For the time being, this idea is in the research phase. We look forward to refining and improving it in response to the feedback we receive from our supporters, the public, and the press.”

Permanent Defense Tenth Anniversary celebration for volunteers and supporters a success


On February 13th, 2012, Permanent Defense celebrated its tenth anniversary (February 2002 – Februry 2012), commemorating a significant milestone: one decade of maintaining Washington’s first list of defense against harmful right wing initiatives, especially Tim Eyman’s.

Our work is far from finished, but we had many successes to celebrate, including our recent victory over Eyman’s I-1125 last November. NPI’s staff, board, and contributors met for a special dinner celebration to mark the occasion, joined by many supporters. A brief recap of the event was published on NPI’s Cascadia Adovcate.

Nine Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its ninth anniversary, marking the conclusion of one hundred and eight months of continuous operation. PD now begins its tenth year of existence. Remarkably, in fifty-two weeks, it will reach the end of its first decade.

When Permanent Defense first went live on February 13th, 2002, it was devoted to a single purpose: defeating Tim Eyman’s Initiative 776, which sought to prevent Sound Transit from constructing Central Link by taking away one of ST’s two principal sources of revenue. Unfortunately, PD’s first mission was unsuccessful: Initiative 776 passed narrowly despite the best efforts of a well-organized opposition coalition.

But unlike the NO on I-776 campaign and other campaigns against Eyman initiatives from years past, PD did not go away, dissolve, or close its virtual doors after that disappointing election. Rather, it was strengthened by the loss. In the spirit of its name, it became a permanent campaign against right wing initiatives.

And it has made a difference. Prior to Permanent Defense’s formation, Eyman had gotten an initiative past voters for several years running. After Permanent Defense’s first year, Tim Eyman’s streak of consecutive victories ended. Since I-776, voters have approved just three Eyman initiatives: I-900, I-960, and I-1053.

Unfortunately, Eyman needs to be successful only occasionally to remain relevant, as the last election showed.

There’s no question this last year (PD’s ninth) ranks as the toughest in its history. We fought five right wing initiatives, and regrettably, two of them, including Eyman’s I-1053, got through… and by sickeningly large margins.

Eyman has already announced he intends to run I-1053 again in 2012. Thankfully, it appears that his initiative factory has run out of money for a spell, and consequently, he doesn’t have an initiative in the works for this year (2011). But that doesn’t mean Eyman won’t be trying to cause mischief.

And it doesn’t mean Permanent Defense can go on hiatus. There may be other right wing initiatives to fight, and we need to begin laying the groundwork to stop Eyman’s I-1053 clone in 2012. It will take a Herculean effort to show voters that nullifying majority rule goes against everything our country and our state’s founders believed in. They gave us a system of representative government which has endured for centuries. I-1053, like I-960 and I-601 before it, are purposely intended to wreck that system.

The campaign against I-1053 failed because it came together too late. Resources were not committed until the very end, and by that point, the battle had already been lost. We at Permanent Defense are committed to making sure this never happens again. We’ll be spending our tenth year in infrastructure-building mode, so we have greater resources to commit early and often against Eyman and his schemes.

We’re taking a critical step forward today by forming a Rapid Response team, which will respond and react to right-wing misinformation in the media through comments and letters to the editor on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to be part of the team, you can sign up on our volunteer page.

Although we endured some significant setbacks during the past twelve months, there were some bright spots. A few days after our last anniversary, we gave PD’s virtual home its biggest overhaul to date with Version 8, codenamed “Camano”, transforming it from a collection of static web pages to a powerful, database-driven site. has never looked better, and it’s much simpler to implement changes, thanks to the ease of administration offered by WordPress.

We’re also proud of, the combined campaign site we built to provide information about the corporate fronts behind each of the five right wing initiatives on the 2010 ballot. Three of them (I-1082, I-1100, I-1105) were overwhelmingly defeated by voters; the other two (I-1053, I-1107) passed, as mentioned previously. Some of the features and tools we built for will probably be incorporated into Permanent Defense itself, to help activists, voters, and reporters better track and understand right wing initiatives.

Finally, we’re thankful that Tim Eyman was unsuccessful in his efforts to prevent records of who signed his initiatives from being turned over to interested citizens. Our state has a tradition of open government, and open government doesn’t just mean accountable elected leaders. People who sponsor and sign initiatives are not entitled to anonymity. The process of citizen lawmaking must be transparent, and we’re glad the courts have recognized that.

Significant obstacles lie ahead on the path towards a better quality of life for our state and our country. There really hasn’t been a better time to get involved. If you are not already, consider becoming a volunteer.

Your voice and your ideas are Permanent Defense’s greatest asset.

“Camano” is here: Welcome to the new Permanent Defense


Last week, Permanent Defense celebrated its eighth anniversary, which means the project is only twenty four months away from being a decade old. As we were contemplating the significance of the occasion a few weeks ago, we decided it would be fitting to begin PD’s ninth continuous year of operations by giving it a new virtual home. To that end, we’ve completely reengineered and rebuilt this site, giving it a new engine, new transmission, new body, and a new coat of paint.

We’ve kept the content and what we consider to be the key, distinctive elements of the old site’s identity, but other than that, everything has been overhauled.

Version 8, or Camano, is by far the most ambitious reorganization and relaunch Permanent Defense has ever undergone. It’s also the most solid: we’re pretty confident that we’re not going to need to retool on this scale for a long time, if ever, because the free software stack we’re using makes it easy to implement and roll out improvements to the functionality and to the look-and-feel.

In its Web 1.0 incarnation, Permanent Defense was a collection of static content that had to be updated manually. As the site grew, maintenance became a big chore for us, and it became hard to keep everything accessible and functional. But in the future, maintenance won’t be so time-consuming, because Permanent Defense is now powered by the best content management system ever created… WordPress!

(Yes, we’ve finally gone Web 2.0!)

With WordPress now responsible for storing and serving content, we no longer need to worry about archiving old pages and posts to a separate subdomain to keep the primary Permanent Defense site manageable. What we’ll use the archives for is to preserve the visual identity of the old site, and show what it looked like at various points in time. The archives will basically be a series of time capsules.

Although we’re launching Camano today, we’re not done with the new site yet. We still have many more posts and pages to import, and it’s slow going, because we’re cleaning up the code as we go so it’s lean, mean, and compliant with W3C standards. Expect to see some empty placeholder pages in places for some time to come, but rest assured we’re working on finishing what we’ve begun. We want to be consistent and thorough… it just takes time!

Finally, here’s a quick overview of some of the biggest changes:

  • As should be evident, the site has a brand-new look-and-feel. We kept the navigation menu and the main logo the same, but pretty much everything else has changed. The site is now rendered in a larger gray Georgia font, which looks more readable and professional than the smaller red Tahoma we were using. Tahoma is still in use on sidebars, but it’s gray too… not red. The footer is also totally revamped. It contains shortcuts to Media Center categories, a tag cloud, links to other NPI projects, site search, and an image selected at random from one of our pages.
  • We’ve added a rather comprehensive biography of Tim Eyman, which presents a history of his activities beginning in the late 1990s. It’s required reading for any progressive in Washington who isn’t familiar with what Tim has been up to.
  • Research and Reports now houses our investigative work, which we’ll be doing more of in the future. Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart is there, along with our in-depth report on the demise of I-917 and our analysis of propositions on the 2004 primary ballot.
  • We’ve combined the Press Box, Release Center, and the Journal into the Media Center. The Media Center is Permanent Defense’s blog and news feed. It contains the statements and advisories we send out, along with occasional analysis of right wing initiatives that we’re fighting. All of our prior releases going back to 2002 can be found in the Media Center.
  • Finally, Essays & Position Papers is where our “big picture” analysis from years past can be found (as opposed to the news-style posts in the Media Center, which usually chronicle or react to some development that falls within the scope of the project). All essays going back to 2002 will eventually be restored to their original home here.

That about sums it up. We’re excited about this overhaul and we hope it makes the site more readable and useful for voters, supporters, and reporters.

Eight Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its eighth anniversary, marking the end of ninety six months of opposing harmful right wing initiatives, especially those sponsored by Tim Eyman. These last fifty two weeks – our eighth year – rank among the most difficult – but also the most rewarding – in our history. The following is a brief recap of our accomplishments:

  • Throughout our eighth year, we were part of the realization of one of Permanent Defense’s two original goals: the successful completion of Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail line. Staff were invited on several test runs of the line prior to its July 18th grand opening, and Permanent Defense’s parent organization, the Northwest Progressive Institute, provided extensive coverage of that event. We were again present for the December 19th opening of the Airport Link extension, which brought the line into the City of SeaTac.
  • We tirelessly worked as part of one of the biggest coalitions in Washington State history to defeat Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033, the Mukilteo profiteer’s most destructive measure ever. After a frenzied October, which saw an unprecedented mobilization of clergy, municipal leaders, activists, community groups, and progressive organizations, we won a spectacular victory that spanned the Cascade Mountains. Our triumph marked Eyman’s second consecutive defeat at the ballot and his first in an odd-numbered year.
  • As part of the effort to defeat Initiative 1033, we built a grassroots campaign hub and organized opposition to the initiative through social networking. By Election Day, the NO on Initiative 1033 Facebook page co-maintained by Permanent Defense had surpassed thirteen thousand fans. We also worked to ensure that journalists heard about the consequences of I-1033 by regularly responding to Tim Eyman’s propaganda.
  • In the aftermath of the election, we began preparing to oppose Tim Eyman’s next measure, a do-over of Initiative 960 (2007) which the Legislature is poised to suspend. We provided an opposition presence at Eyman’s kickoff event in the Secretary of State’s office on January 11th.
  • Finally, we began work on a major overhaul of Permanent Defense’s website (Version 8, codenamed Camano) which will officially launch this week as part of our anniversary celebrations. Our new website runs on an incredibly powerful free software stack, and is ten times more robust than every prior incarnation.

We also continued to lobby the Legislature to reform the initiative process. The House and Senate are each considering bills we support that would make a difference. One would make it harder for Tim Eyman to go ballot title shopping, another would require mercenary petitioners to be more accountable.  We are hopeful that at least one of these bills will make it out of the statehouse this year.

We know that despite our successes, the underlying problems that allow Tim Eyman to exist – especially our regressive tax structure, but also a lack of political courage – remain unaddressed. These problems will not be solved by simply defeating forthcoming right wing ballot measures like Initiative 1053. Every time we defeat a Tim Eyman initiative, we are merely treating a symptom. Solving the underlying problems will take nothing less than a Herculean endeavor, and a strategic shift on the part of our movement. Permanent Defense’s parent organization, the Northwest Progressive Institute, was formed in August of 2003 to help make this strategic shift possible.

Although Permanent Defense’s narrowly focused work remains important, the larger work that NPI is undertaking has become even more critical and more important, because the clock is ticking. For too long, we have dithered and procrastinated, and allowed ourselves to be more concerned about winning elections than addressing the conditions that are precipitating the decline of our communities, our state, and our country. That must change. Our future depends on our ability to grow our common wealth, not just safeguard what we have.

Thanks for being a supporter and staying committed to the tough goal of neutralizing harmful right wing initiatives, year after year. Together, we will continue to provide a much needed first line of defense against new threats to our future.



Welcome to the NO on I-985 Coalition blog. Here, you can find the latest news from the campaign and commentary on recent news articles.

The Coalition is a diverse group of Washingtonians fighting to preserve and enhance our collective quality of life.

We oppose Initiative 985 because it would further cripple our already dysfunctional transportation system, moving us backwards instead of forwards.

Traffic congestion already costs our economy, our environment, and our families. We simply can’t afford to make it worse by approving an ill-conceived initiative that will bring us bigger traffic headaches.

Decline to Sign Referendum 67

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

Our parent organization’s blog has a post about a message sent out by Representative Steve Kirby earlier today concerning insurance industry trickery. Insurers, using a shell PAC called “Consumers Against Higher Insurance Rates” are attempting to collect signatures to force a vote on a consumer protection act that the industry wants repealed.

Referendum 67 is not about screening you from higher insurance rates, it’s about rolling back safeguards that defend your family. If you are approached by a petitioner to sign Referendum 67, decline and immediately report your encounter to Permanent Defense so we can track and respond to their activities.

May Campaign Update debuts


The Journal is back after a long hiatus, newly integrated into the latest and greatest version of Permanent Defense’s online home (Version 7, the May Campaign Update, codename Whidbey). We have worked hard to improve the user experience. Here’s a summary of the major changes we’ve made.

New slogan/motto. We recently restyled Permanent Defense’s tagline to emphasize its broader mission of fighting against bad libertarian ideas (Opposing Right Wing Initiatives and Fighting Tim Eyman). This change is permanent as of this update.

Page Background Adjusted for Easier Reading. A number of visitors have long complained that Permanent Defense’s stucco background, which has been used on the site since its inception in February of 2002, makes reading text too difficult. So we’ve refitted the stucco pattern to appear on the screen where there isn’t page content. (Where there is, you’ll see a white backdrop).

Improved accessibility. Almost every image on the site uses an alternate tag now

Faster loading. The site now uses more optimized graphics (especially for navigation) and a leaner, better codebase, which means it will load more quickly in your browser.

Darker red theme. We used a softer, darker hue of red for text and buttons in this version to reduce the amount of glare or annoyance caused by the previously brighter color used throughout our site.

New address for the archives. The Permanent Defense Archives, which are being restored, reorganized, and expanded, will in the future be accessible at archives (dot) permanentdefense (dot) org. We hope to complete our work on the archive as part of this summer’s July Relaunch.

Reshaped Navigation. Old sections of our site that have outlived their usefulness have been removed (such as the Press Box, which is now integrated with the Release Center). The Permanent Defense Journal is now incorporated into the left navigation menu. And there is a major distinction between the two types of buttons in the menu – red ones take you to sections inside of Permanent Defense’s site, blue ones take you to other parts of the Northwest Progressive Institute’s network.

Front Page Changes. We’ve refreshed the appearance of the menu centers on the front page (Breaking News, Releases, and the Journal) which help you find important information about our latest activities. The front page sports a new NO on I-960 banner and a frequently asked questions (or FAQ) about Initiative 960.

A more useful Release Center. We’ve retooled the Release Center/Newsroom to help you easily browse official statements, special reports, our document library, tax references, and press coverage of right wing initiatives. The Release Center has incorporated the now retired Press Box as mentioned above.

Updates for all permanent sections. We’ve carefully and thoroughly revised all the major sections of our website, including our about and contact pages, Links & Resources, Dangerous Initiatives, and the Action Center. Essays: Our Arguments includes a new exposition on I-960 and Reasons presents the case against Tim Eyman’s undemocratic idea.

New materials available. Handouts are available for download to help educate the public about the harmful consequences of Initiative 960. They can be downloaded from either the Action Center or the Release Center.

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What we do

Permanent Defense works to protect Washington by building a first line of defense against threats to the common wealth and Constitution of the Evergreen State — like Tim Eyman's initiative factory. Learn more.

Protecting Washington Since 2002

Have you been asked to sign a right wing initiative? If so, tell us about your encounter with the petitioner.

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