Category Archives: Ballot Watchdogging

Eyman’s paid mercenaries are set to hit the streets with I-1053 petitions

Ballot WatchdoggingEye on Money: DevelopmentsThreat Analysis

Mercenary signature gatherers hawking petitions for Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1053 will be hitting the streets over the next few days, Permanent Defense has learned.

Individuals with knowledge of Eyman’s activities have confirmed to Permanent Defense that the Mukilteo profiteer is once again hiring his pals Roy Ruffino and Eddie Agrazarm, who run “Citizen Solutions”, to orchestrate the paid signature gathering drive for Initiative 1053. Coincidentally, Eyman has issued two appeals for money to his supporters this week. Eyman wrote today:

To be successful, we need everyone — from now until July 2nd — to focus and concentrate on ways to get signatures and raise funds. Everything else is a distant, distant second.

I’m calling and meeting with supporters every day and Jack & Mike are busting their butts processing petitions and checks and credit card donations. Raising funds for signature gathering is the most important. It’s the lifeblood of this effort.

Partially-filled and fully-filled petitions are arriving every day now in our post office box in Spokane but not at a pace to ensure success. We’ve got to pick up the pace on signatures and money.

Apparently, Eyman’s patron Michael Dunmire hasn’t written his annual check yet. Last year, Dunmire paid off the loans Eyman took out for Initiative 985 and then provided several hundred thousand dollars for Initiative 1033. So far, however, he has not refilled the coffers for Eyman’s “Voters Want More Choices” committee, even though he is a co-sponsor of I-1053.

Eyman prints petitions for Initiative 1053

Ballot WatchdoggingThreat Analysis

Tim Eyman announced this morning in a message to his followers that he has begun printing up petitions for Initiative 1053, his do-over of Initiative 960 from 2007. Eyman also said several petitions have already been circulated at a Republican state committee meeting. Like I-960, I-1053 brazenly contradicts Article II, Section 22 of the Washington State Constitution, which says that each house of the Legislature shall operate on the principle of majority rule.

The Initiative 1053 petition contains the words “Tougher to Raise Taxes” at the top. It naturally fails to acknowledge that giving a minority of the Legislature veto power over the majority is undemocratic.

Activists who see right wing signature gatherers out collecting signatures for I-1053 are urged to report their experience to Permanent Defense so we can better track Eyman’s signature drive.

I-960 passes random sample check

Ballot Watchdogging

The Secretary of State’s office just put out a release saying that a random sample check has determined that Initiative 960 has sufficient valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot, as expected:

According to elections officials, a check of petition signatures submitted in support of the proposal has shown that the measure meets constitutional requirements for a minimum of 224,880 valid voter signatures. The measure will appear on the November 6th General Election ballot.

Initiative 960 would require two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval for tax increases, legislative approval of fee increases, certain published information on tax-increasing bills, and advisory votes on taxes enacted without voter approval. The official ballot summary on Initiative 960 reads, “This measure would require either a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature or voter approval for all tax increases. New or increased fees would require prior legislative approval. An advisory vote would be required on any new or increased taxes enacted by the legislature without voter approval. The office of financial management would be required to publish cost information and information regarding legislators’ voting records on bills imposing or increasing taxes or fees.”

Sponsors of Initiative 960 submitted a total of 314,504 petition signatures to the Secretary of State. Election officials conducted a random sample of 9,607 signatures, of which 8,410 were valid signatures – 1,197 were determined invalid. Signatures are invalid if the signer is not a registered voter or if he or she signed more than once.

The petition was checked using the “random sample” process authorized by state law. Under the process, a statistically valid percentage of the signatures are selected at random and checked against voter registration records. A mathematical formula is then applied to the results to obtain a projected rate of invalidation.

Election officials examined 9,607 (a 3 percent sample) on Initiative 960. From that inspection, it was determined that the measure had an invalidation rate of 17.1 percent.

There is a possibility that I-960 will still not go before voters in November, if the state Supreme Court accepts for review the case filed by Futurewise and SEIU 775 and decides for the plaintiffs. But the likelihood is that I-960 will be on the ballot, and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that it fails.

Setback in I-960 lawsuit

Ballot WatchdoggingThreat Analysis

Via our parent organization’s blog, some bad news:

Judge refuses to block I-960 from ballot
Before actually granting the state’s motion, the judge explained the various reasons why she did not want to address the issues raised by the plaintiffs. At one point she even paused and clearly stated, “This is very limited review.”

She did not address the constitutionality of the measure, noting that would, however, be appropriate for post-election review.

And while acknowledging that the scope issue was pertinent to the case, she basically sidestepped it. For example, she refused to look at the supermajority issue on the basis that a similiar requirement was approved years ago as part of Initiative 601 (and is now on the books, although the Legislature has not considered the law to be binding, and no court has considered its validity or constitutionality.)

So we didn’t get the definitive ruling for or against the suit that I thought we would get from the Court. Restraint evidently weighed heavily on Judge Shaffer’s consideration of the plaintiffs’ request.

Futurewise and SEIU 775 could still appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, which might come out of summer recess to hear two other unrelated cases that also pertain to the 2007 general election this November.

Eyman should think twice before he gloats…this may not be over yet.

Costly oversight could lead to rejection of I-917 petitions

Ballot WatchdoggingStatements & Advisories

Once again, initiative profiteer Tim Eyman has made a costly mistake, printing up thousands of petitions for Initiative 917 that are invalid under state law, Permanent Defense has learned.

The news was first reported by MajorityRules.org, a citizen action organization which shares Permanent Defense’s mission of fighting Tim Eyman and his anti-tax initiatives, working for real tax reform in Washington State, and promoting the value of public services.

Eyman carelessly forgot about (or ignored) a new state law that requires initiative petitions to include an oath that must be signed by the signature gatherer who circulated the petitions.

The oath affirms that the person who circulated the petition followed state law and did not bribe voters or forge their signatures.

The Secretary of State has announced that petitions that are out of compliance with the law will be rejected – which apparently means all of the original petitions Eyman printed up for Initiative 917 are worthless and won’t count.

But that’s not what Eyman told his supporters. In a letter this month, Eyman blatantly lied, assuring his supporters that the old petitions are “still good and acceptable” when in fact they’re not.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this is not the first time Eyman has made such a costly mistake printing up petitions for an initiative. In 2003, MajorityRules reported that Eyman had failed to correctly print the initiative text on the reverse side of the petition as required by law.

Eyman sent out new petitions late in the signature drive, but never got enough new signatures on the valid petitions. Eyman lied to his supporters then as well, telling them it was OK to send in their petitions and failing to admit his error.

“You can’t trust anything Eyman says,” said Permanent Defense Chair Andrew Villeneuve. “He lies to the voters, he lies to the press, and he lies to his own supporters. He should not be taken seriously by anyone.”

“When Eyman fails or makes a significant mistake like this, he never admits it,” Villeneuve added. “Eyman refuses to talk about his failures. He doesn’t even acknowledge them. He seems to live in his own fantasy world.”

It will be interesting to see how Eyman will attempt to spin himself out of this one. He’s been caught explicitly lying to his supporters. Since the original petitions for Initiative 917 do not include the required declaration and the petitioner’s signed oath, they will be rejected by the Secretary of State. The original petitions are clearly not “still good and acceptable.”

“Eyman, just like his initiatives, is careless and reckless,” Villeneuve said. “He has taken money from his own supporters for personal profit and lied about it. He has routinely run afoul of the public disclosure laws. He continually distorts the facts and gives the public false information.”

“This guy would be out of business right now if it wasn’t for special interest money,” Villeneuve noted. “His last two initiatives were financed by a multimillionaire and the gambling industry.”

We wonder if Tim Eyman has told his wealthy backer, Michael Dunmire, about his costly mistake.

“Did Eyman go to Dunmire and admit that he made this mistake – or is Eyman lying to Dunmire too?” asked Villeneuve. “Either way, he has wasted a large amount of money on a serious oversight.”

Eyman’s Initiative 18 lawsuit is ridiculous

Ballot WatchdoggingIn the Courts

Once again, Tim Eyman is sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong… into other people’s business.

Initiative 18 is a King County initiative originally sponsored by the King County jail guards’ union that would reduce the size of the King County Council from thirteen members to nine.

The union was mad at the council because their pay was cut, and alas, decided to file an initiative to reduce the size of the Council.

All that money, spent just on revenge. To get some help, they hired initiative profiteer Tim Eyman, who not only loves making money, but taking up a cause against a government that doesn’t even have jurisdiction over him.

Eyman lives in Mukilteo, in Snohomish County, but that doesn’t stop him from attacking the “Cadillac” King County Council for no particular reason other than the fact that it has thirteen members.

Eyman, and the jail guards union, have claimed that it’s too much bureaucracy, and that the Council should be reduced. But any government is obviously too much government for Tim and his cronies in the jail guards’ union.

Perhaps they would prefer if the criminal justice system were dismantled and criminals were allowed to roam free. Or that funding for public services was cut off and everyone was left to fend for themselves.

There is nothing wrong with having thirteen seats on the King County Council. It’s not a “Cadillac” Council. That’s just another stupid label that Tim Eyman has attached in order to defame his opponents.

King County is the state’s largest county and home to its largest city. The problem is that the county is very diverse. There are urban, suburban, and rural communities and cities throughout the county.

In order to represent all of these people, more seats are needed on the King County Council than in other counties.

Shrinking the council by four seats won’t save very much money. In fact, it will almost cost more money to downsize than it would to stay the same. Districts have to be realigned and reassigned. They will become larger.

A councilman or councilwoman will have to represent more people. A broader constituency means the council members will be more removed from the electorate.

I-18 should be seen for what it is- a dim-witted attempt to get revenge on the very people who are trying to do their best to govern the state’s largest county.

The council has tried its best to accommodate the wishes of the people who signed the initiative. The council has basically agreed to the amendment, but voted to postpone the changes for another couple of years.

But either that’s too much, or not enough, for Washington’s premier initiative profiteer. Tim has filed a lawsuit to stop the “sabotage” of Initiative 18 by the County Council.

The Council voted 9-4 to postpone effective changes to downsize the Council- an overwhelming majority.

The jail guards’ union even agreed to the postponement, but Tim Eyman decided not to follow suit. Instead, he filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the Council’s amendment.

Now, along with the son of the late Kent Pullen, who used to be a council member, Eyman is a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit to stop the King County Council from making those changes. Curiously, the lawsuit was filed in Snohomish County.

Clearly, no change is fast enough for Tim Eyman, even when it isn’t his issue or his government. Eyman’s meddling is outrageous. He has no business interfering with King County’s affairs.

It is clear that Eyman initiatives, and Eyman-backed initiatives, can only mean bad news for Washington State and its communities.

And voters are quickly beginning to realize this fact. 3 of the last 4 Eyman initiatives have failed to make the ballot- and one only succeeding because of heavy financial support by the gambling industry- the special interests.

There is no tax revolt, and no mass anti-government movement in Washington State. It is a myth spread by Tim Eyman and his small band of supporters, who don’t even show up when Tim comes to Olympia to turn in signatures. It’s the largest political sham in the history of the State of Washington.

And the electorate is finally beginning to see it for what it is.

Initiative 864 fails to qualify!

AnnouncementsBallot Watchdogging

WE DID IT!!!! Thanks to all of your hard work and perseverance, and that of our allies and fellow Eyman opponents, we’ve helped to ensure the defeat of I-864.

Eyman first began working on this measure over a year ago. More than 365 days later, Eyman has nothing to show for efforts. Our victory means that thousands of firemen, librarians, and other public services employees can rest comfortably tonight knowing their jobs will not be on the chopping block in November.

We’ve worked hard from the beginning to stop Initiative 864, and we’ve succeeded. It’s obvious that Washingtonians do not support or desire the radical, dangerous proposal that Tim forcefully advocated for over a year. The citizens of this state clearly do not support drastic rollbacks of public services.

Tim’s lack of support was evident in the fact that he couldn’t raise more than $260,000 for Initiative 864, and collected less than 160,000 signatures.

About 198,000 are required and it usually takes more than 230,000 signatures to ensure qualification for the ballot.

Not only is Tim’s support base eroding, but so is the electorate’s patience with Tim. Voters refused to be lured into signing their communities into oblivion. The qualify of life in our state’s communities is clearly more important to Washingtonians than a “slash and burn” approach to taxation.

Our efforts have significantly helped to broaden the public awareness of Initiative 864, and doubtless contributed to its defeat.

To everyone who participated in the effort, joined the complaint to the PDC, wrote letters to the editor or to legislators, to everyone who stood up in their community and called attention to this issue, to everyone who volunteered their time and energy to help get the message out – THANK YOU.

While we have a great victory in the death of Initiative 864, there is still Initiative 892. Tim’s other measure is the largest expansion of gambling in state history and will be on the November ballot. Thousands upon thousands of dollars were contributed by out of state, foreign gambling consortiums that went to hire paid signature gatherers to help the industry buy its way onto the ballot.

In response to the threat of I-892, opponents are forming a powerful coalition of diverse interests, from Native American tribes to the Christian Coalition, to stop this measure. And in a few days, we’re re-launching Permanent Defense to rededicate ourselves to the task of fighting Eyman and I-892.

No matter what lies ahead in the future weeks and months, Permanent Defense will be there, doing its part to oppose Eyman and promote real tax reform.

And we know you’ll be there with us as we move forward on this important mission: to bring fairness and sanity to the tax structure in the state of Washington. We cannot move forward without removing the obstacles in our path, and the biggest obstacle is Tim Eyman.

I-892 most likely will be on the ballot, but I-864 is dead. That’s worth a pause for celebration. And then the fight against expanded gambling in Washington will begin. We’ll be in the thick of it, and we hope you will be too.

Be sure to check back on July 6th for the Permanent Defense July Relaunch!

Have a great Fourth of July, and thank you

Critical moment in 2004 campaign season

Ballot Watchdogging

This campaign began months ago with the launch of Tim Eyman’s so-called “25% property tax initiative” which Permanent Defense has opposed and fought for a year, since Tim Eyman announced it last June, along with many other opponents.

The test of all that hard work comes this week. The signature deadline for I-864 and I-892 is fast approaching. Tim Eyman needs more than 197,000 signatures- he needs 250,000 because of errors, duplicities, and other common problems with signatures.

Thus, paid signature gatherers will be out in full force- hoping to make a buck off of your name, and helping to qualify I-864 and I-892 for the ballot.

IT IS CRUCIAL that you be alert and focused when you are out and about over the next few days, especially the first couple days of this week. DO NOT allow yourself to be subverted or dragged into signing I-864 and I-892.

I-892 and I-864 would be DEVASTATING to Washington’s communities. There is simply no other way to put it- together, the two initiatives represent a cutback in needed public services like fire departments and libraries, and an expansion of gambling into neighborhood bars and bowling alleys.

For months, we’ve worked hard to fight this initiative. We must redouble, even retriple, our efforts, now, to ensure that I-864 and I-892 do not qualify for the November ballot. We do this by helping to inform voters. The more voters know about these initiatives, the less willing they are to sign them.

That’s because voters who are informed know of the consequences- the consequences of signing or voting for these initiatives.

So be especially alert this week, and help us out by spreading the word. Remember, the Voter Education Center includes a great deal of useful information, including flyers and an awareness handout that you can download.

The Release Center has been updated with a number of new links and downloads, as has the Action Center. These three centers will continue to serve as online hubs for, hopefully, the last week in our campaign against Initiative 864 and Initiative 892.

There are many ways for you to get involved. You can volunteer with us to help aid voters, report signature gathering activity when you see it by calling 1-800-856-2465, and spread the word in your community by downloading our flyers and distributing them among family, friends, and neighbors.

Even the smallest effort helps to make a difference. Working together, we can achieve victory this year and ensure that our communities will be safe from drastic cutbacks in public services and a huge expansion of gambling.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on our efforts throughout this week.

Folklife efforts a great success

Ballot Watchdogging

The volunteer effort at NW Folklife throughout Memorial Day weekend was a great success. Volunteers from Permanent Defense, TaxSanity.org, and the Voter Education Committee alerted voters to the dangers of I- 864 and I-892.

Many voters were dissuaded from signing the petitions after what they learned about the initiative’s devastating effects on Washington communities.

Tim Eyman is relying on out of state paid signature gatherers to collect names for his initiatives. Thanks to the volunteers at Folklife, many of these paid signature gatherers decided to stop deceiving voters. They gave up and left.

Our success at Folklife is noteworthy, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We still need your help to get voters informed about the dangers of Eyman’s initiatives and the problems with paid signature gathering.

The new Voter Education Center includes a great deal of useful information, including a couple new flyers and a voter awareness handout that you can download.

The Release Center has been updated with a number of new links and downloads, as has the Action Center. These three centers will serve as online hubs for the last great stage in our campaign against Initiative 864 and Initiatives 892.

There are many ways for you to get involved. You can volunteer with us to help aid voters, report signature gathering activity when you see it by calling 1-800-856-2465, and spread the word in your community by downloading our flyers and distributing them among family, friends, and neighbors.

Even the smallest effort helps to make a difference. Working together, we can achieve victory this year and ensure that our communities will be safe from drastic cutbacks in public services and a huge expansion of gambling.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on our efforts throughout the weeks ahead.

Permanent Defense joining forces with other Eyman opponents to educate voters

Ballot Watchdogging

We are pleased to announce that we are now working together with other Eyman opponents to work for reform in the initiative process and promote good ethics for signature gatherers.

Since 1999, Tim Eyman’s initiative factory has churned out a number of proposals which have done nothing to create real tax reform and have instead caused major cuts and reductions in public services.

Tim Eyman is always quick to point out that we are highly taxed and that taxes have “skyrocketed” since 1980 or whatever other date he dreams up. Has Tim ever gone back to look to check at the increase in services the state has experienced, or the increasing number of citizens the state must serve?

Better education, higher quality fire protection, new libraries, clean pools, and green parks are just some of the things our tax dollars pay for. But many voters don’t equate dramatically lower taxes with drastic cuts in public services.

That’s often because voters don’t know the truth about what they’re signing and what they’re voting for. Many voters don’t realize that their signature is just like their primary vote.

And with out-of-state mercenaries patrolling Washington’s strip malls and public gatherings, hunting for primary “votes” so they can be paid, we see a system in which proponents are able to deceive voters into signing on for their plan without any critical voice to balance the petitioners’ quick sales pitch.

These proposals aren’t just minor changes in Washington’s tax structure. What’s possibly the largest rollback in local property taxes in state history is being sold to voters without any mention of the consequences- namely, horrific cuts in public services.

Or the fact that the largest expansion of gambling in the state’s history, which legalizes 19,000 new slot machines and means that your local neighborhood bar or bowling alley can become a mini casino, is being touted primarily as a state property tax cut.

Indeed, Tim Eyman’s I-864 and I-892 do so much damage that it’s impossible for any concerned citizen not to take action. Permanent Defense, a group of longtime concerned citizens which counts over two dozen Washingtonians from all walks of life, age, and political belief among its membership, believes that voters must have access to all the information in order to make an informed decision.

To fulfill its vision of aiding taxpayers and alerting voters, Permanent Defense is joining other Eyman opponents in an effort to get the information to voters who need it, and to spread the word about the shortcomings of the initiative process and the dangers of I-864 and I-892.

We cannot simply exist as a voice on the Internet. We must do our part to get the message to voters this year.

Our mission will not be simple and it will not be easy. If we do not create a strong spirit of action and become more involved, we will lose to Eyman again.

We have been working hard to get the message out to an increased number of people, as have a number of Permanent Defense members. We are proud of our efforts, and we thank those who have stepped forward.

But we have a ways to go. July 2nd is a little over a month away, and this is the last stage of the campaign. Your help is needed now. Our new working relationship with other Eyman opponents gives you access to a wider array of resources, and allows us to work with people who have the same goal that we do.

The new Voter Education Center includes a great deal of useful information, including a couple new flyers and a voter awareness handout that you can download.

The Release Center has been updated with a number of new links and downloads, as has the Action Center. These three centers will serve as online hubs for the last great stage in our campaign against Initiative 864 and Initiatives 892 . These three centers will serve as online hubs for the last stage in our campaign against Initiative 864 and Initiatives 892.

There are many ways for you to get involved. You can volunteer with us to help aid voters, report signature gathering activity when you see it by calling 1-800-856-2465, and spread the word in your community by downloading our flyers and distributing them among family, friends, and neighbors.

Even the smallest effort helps to make a difference. Working together, we can achieve victory this year and ensure that our communities will be safe from drastic cutbacks in public services and a huge expansion of gambling.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on our efforts throughout the weeks ahead.

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Victory: I-976 struck down!

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.

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