Category Archives: Election Postmortem

Eyman initiatives have real consequences

Election PostmortemRethinking and Reframing

Years after their passage, the aftershocks of Tim Eyman’s dangerous initiatives are still being felt.

In an article published in the Everett Herald yesterday, the story of the struggling town of Gold Bar is told. Ever since the passage of Initiative 695 in 1999, Gold Bar has been in trouble. And now, the city is in danger of having to disincorporate.

The city’s troubles are indeed the result of Eyman initiatives, as the article notes:

The reason Gold Bar and numerous other cities around the state are struggling financially can be traced to the passage of the car tab initiative in 1999, which lowered licensing fees to a flat $30 rate.

Since then, Gold Bar has lost about $707,000 in revenue, according to the Association of Washington Cities. That loss is bigger than the city’s 2005 general fund of about $508,000. The city already has tightened its belt, cutting expenses on staff training, laying off staff and restructuring the police service contract with the county, which has saved the city about $194,000, said Hester Gilleland, the city’s clerk and treasurer.

The reality is that cities need money to operate. It costs us money to live in a society – something that Tim Eyman has never been intelligent enough to recognize. There comes a point when there is simply nothing left to cut and no belt-tightening left to do: the government simply stops functioning.

Public services, such as police and fire protection, swimming pools and libraries, roads, parks and public schools – aren’t free. Without money to operate those services, the government has no choice but to stop providing them. This seriously endangers the health of Washington state’s communities.

Gold Bar is unfortunately at the end of its string. But the city’s residents haven’t got anybody to blame except themselves.

Hawkins [mayor of Gold Bar] said she finds it ironic that even she voted for Initiative 695 – the major cause of the city’s financial headaches.

The town’s registered voters supported the initiative by a vote of 354-138. Courts eventually struck down the measure, but state lawmakers heeded the will of the people and adopted $30 license tab fees anyway.

In 2002, voters approved a second car-tab initiative, which eliminated a $15 license registration fee that Snohomish County and several other counties had been charging.

That money was earmarked for street repairs. As a result, the street fund in Gold Bar dropped from $17,200 in 2002 to nothing in 2004, Gilleland said.

“Even though these initiatives are appealing, they are giving a death warrant for local government,” Hawkins said.

Voters have been tricked into voting with their pocketbooks thanks to Tim Eyman and his sadistic rhetoric. Even mayors have been sold on the premise that they can have it all and not pay for it. By refusing to look at both sides of the equation, and refusing to acknowledge that tax cuts are equivalent to cuts in public services, Eyman and his cronies have distorted the truth and caused a lot of damage.

The Republican position that we must “live within our means” may sound appealing, but it is insane. Too many years of tax cuts are wreaking havoc on Washington State and its many local governments. If something isn’t done in the next few years, city halls across the state will be forced to close and some counties may even collapse into insolvency.

At a time when many rural citizens are angry about the lack of local control in their quest for “property rights”, they risk losing out and ceding more power to officials that are further away. Many of these people are the same folks that eagerly embraced Tim Eyman’s initiatives.

You get what you vote for, and they will pay dearly for their lack of vision and their self-centered thinking. If they’re upset about losing local control, then they should join the bandwagon in clamoring for the state Legislature to pass a budget that will plug the deficit with new revenues.

Cities and counties need money to operate. They’re out of funding. Without the state’s help or increased local revenue, there is no hope for them. And the state cannot possibly provide them funding when it faces its own budget shortfall.

It’s time for people who have been avoiding reality to acknowledge it. We cannot afford any more tax cuts. We need new revenues and real tax reform. We must fund public services or be forced to stop providing them.

Voters defeat Initiative 892!

Election Postmortem

WE’VE DONE IT! Thanks to your hard work and support, Initiative 892 has been soundly defeated by Washingtonians – right now, 60% of voters are rejecting I-892.

Initiative 892’s failure is Eyman’s fourth defeat in a row and a great victory for this organization. Since our founding in February of 2002, Eyman is 1 for 5 – he’s won on I-776 (though it did not accomplish any of its goals) and he’s failed with I-267, I-807, I-864, and I-892. He has no successes this year. Best of all, Washington’s communities are saved from the proliferation of 18,255 new electronic slot machines in neighborhood bars, restaurants, and bowling alleys.

The 2004 election has been a nail-biter in the presidential race and in other contests which are still not over, but you can take comfort that Initiative 892 is dead, and that common sense has prevailed over Eyman’s lies and misinformation. Eyman, of course, says he’ll be back with a new version of I-892. (He said the same thing about I-864, we haven’t seen anything yet). Eyman is now all talk and no show. His celebrity status is fading away as more and more people realize the fraud he is.

THANK YOU for all of your dedication, your attention, and your willingess to help the cause during this campaign. So many of you volunteered to help that we simply couldn’t get materials to all of you: we apologize, but thank you for standing with us.

In the next few days we will make a couple announcements (in the next issue of Extra!) and let you know where we go from here. But for now, pause to celebrate I-892’s defeat and hope for a good outcome in the presidential race and other tight contests.

Congratulations on our success!

Voters support public services in primary

AnnouncementsElection Postmortem

Permanent Defense today released the results of its research into the fate of levies and propositions statewide on the September 14th primary ballot to the public and the press. The research, which took over a week to compile, is an extensive look at levies and propositions from the twenty four counties (out of thirty nine) that had levies and propositions on their primary ballot.

The results indicate an overwhelming support of public services from voters, says NPI’s founder and executive director, Andrew Villeneuve, who launched Permanent Defense in 2002 as a first line of defense against threats to Washington’s common wealth.

“Out of 132 levies and propositions that were on the primary ballot, 100 were approved. That’s a huge measure of success, especially considering that more than half of the measures that were approved required a 60% supermajority vote and 40% minimum turnout, which they met.”

“Voters are willing to pay for increased taxes because they know that their local fire department, library, school district, or parks system needs money to operate,” Villeneuve said. He noted that communities benefit from strong public services.

“The government cannot provide these services for free. It’s important that we fully fund them so that our communities remain safe, vibrant places to live. And funding public services contributes to the economy because it provides good-paying jobs for citizens.”

Tim Eyman, however, often says public expenditures are too high, and rails against elected officials for not lowering taxes.

Voters clearly disagree with this sentiment, as evidenced by their votes in the primary.

The results of local levies and propositions in the primary election are an excellent measure of what voters think about taxes and public services. They surpass polls and surveys as a way to gauge voters’ moods and feelings towards government.

To create the report, Permanent Defense contacted each county’s auditor or elections officials to determine requirements for each levy or proposition’s passage, as well as election returns and a description of the levy or proposition.

The results, broken down and analyzed by county and by category, are accessible on Permanent Defense’s website.

Eyman claims premature victory on I-776 court ruling

Election PostmortemIn the Courts

Tim Eyman, notorious for making sensational predictions, lying about finances, being deceptive to voters and declining to face the reality of his own tax cuts, has declared victory in the I-776 court ruling which has not yet been made public. Eyman’s “victory” statement is an unfounded gamble based on wild speculation and wishful thinking. On Monday, October 6th, Eyman sent an email which was titled:

Supreme Court to uphold Initiative 776 this Thursday, derailing Sound Transit’s light rail and its pursuit of $500 million in federal funds

The body of the email includes sentences like:

“But the Supreme Court wasn’t buying Sound Transit’s delusional second-subject fantasy…….”

“That’s why it’s so satisfying to watch them suffer with the Supreme Court’s affirmation of I-776. I-776 blows a huge 20% hole into the side of Sound Transit’s battleship.”

“Two days from now (Wednesday afternoon) on the State Supreme Court’s website (www.courts.wa.gov), they will announce that their decision on I-776 will be released on Thursday. Once they do affirm I-776 on Thursday, just sit back and watch the taxpayer-financed political hacks at Sound Transit go into full-blown damage control.”

Once again, Eyman is trying to act as our political meteorologist. The only problem is that he never studied judicial weather and he predicts an overturning downpour when there may be a upholding sun.

Eyman is making big, wild gambles that are based solely on what he heard the judges say to Sound Transit’s lawyers in one day in the courthouse, and what he desperately hopes. Furthermore, his quotes from the email are only ones aimed at Sound Transit. The article doesn’t mention any questions justices asked the Attorney General, who is defending the initiative as required to by law.

PD conducted an investigation following the reception of the email to see if a leak had enabled Eyman to learn the ruling in advance. This is what the State Supreme Court said in an email response to our inquiry:

The court does not announce its decisions in advance, even to the parties of the case. It does try to announce one day in advance which opinions will be published, but the result is never given in advance.

The Attorney General’s office said:

We certainly have no independent knowledge either when the opinion is coming out or what its contents are. In the past, most of the hot “tips” we’ve heard about cases coming down turn out to be unfounded rumors. We will be anxiously awaiting the official ruling when it comes out.

Premature victory declarations will not help Eyman to continue to destroy the State of Washington. Sensationalized messages, as in this case, are as pointless as the tax cuts Eyman promotes, for they come at the heavy cost of uprooting public services.

The impact of Initiative 695: One commuter’s story

Election PostmortemRethinking and Reframing

Christine Dorsey of Kitsap County writes:

I live in Kitsap County and Eyman’s antics have thoroughly disrupted my life. I commuted by ferry to Seattle, so I was very dependent on transit to get me from my home to the Kingston ferry.

When the car tabs initiative passed [I-695] ,I lost my bus route, so I had to drive 16 miles to the ferry terminal and pay an additional 50.00 a month for parking, then the ferry fares jumped dramatically.

I then lost my job in Seattle because I couldn’t get a bus to my office on time and the transit times were cut. All around Tim Eyman’s initiatives wrecked my job and my lifestyle. There still is no bus route in my area and I wonder what the elderly and school age kids do if they don’t have a car.

This is one of many examples of damage resulting from Tim Eyman’s initiatives. I-695 has hurt many people. Yet most conservatives are oblivious to this. They, of all people, should know, yet they continue to support Eyman’s ridiculous anti-tax rhetoric. Have they failed to notice that ferry fares have skyrocketed since the 1990s?

In part, that’s due to the recession, but the implementation of Tim Eyman’s I-695 is primarily to blame.

We have a simple message for our fellow Washingtonians: Don’t let Eyman get away with wrecking your life. Don’t let a fraternity watchmaker from Mukilteo dictate our government’s money flow.

Decline to sign Initiative 807.

  • 1
  • 3
  • 4

You are here:

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.

Protecting Washington Since 2002

Newsroom Archives