Category Archives: Eye on Money: Developments

PDC votes to refer case against Tim Eyman to Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsStatements & Advisories

This morning in Olympia, after hearing staff summarize their findings in Case 13-027 (Protect Your Right To Vote On Initiatives and Tim Eyman) and Case 15-078 (Voters Want More Choices and Tim Eyman), the five-member Public Disclosure Commission voted unanimously to refer the matter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson for prosecution, owing to the seriousness of the violations.

Northwest Progressive Institute founder and executive director Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to Eyman’s initiatives for over thirteen and a half years, applauded the PDC’s action and urged the Attorney General to swiftly follow up by initiating legal proceedings against Eyman.

“Today, our Public Disclosure Commission took a crucial, important vote to hold Tim Eyman accountable for his outrageous abuse of our state’s initiative process and repeated, deliberate violations of our cherished public disclosure law,” Villeneuve said.

“As Commissioner Anne Levinson said, the violations alleged in these cases are extremely troubling. The Commission’s statutory authority is simply inadequate to ensure that the punishment fits the crime. We applaud the PDC for referring this grave matter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson with an explicit request to broaden the scope of the state’s investigation to past and present periods.

“Tim Eyman needs to be held accountable for his wrongdoing as well as his stonewalling, which impeded PDC staff from finishing their investigation in time for the 2013 general election two years ago, when I-517 appeared on the ballot. ”

As PDC staff noted in their report, it appears that Eyman has been receiving kickbacks from his associates Citizen Solutions for over a decade, profiting from his own signature drives without disclosing that to the people of Washington State.

In the words of PDC staff:

Finally, staff found evidence that the undisclosed $308,185 payment Mr. Eyman received from Citizen Solutions on July 11, 2012 may have been one in a series of such payments. Staff obtained sworn testimony from Edward Agazarm, a former principal of Citizen Solutions, Incorporated, that on multiple occasions between 2004 and 2011, after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in committee funds to Citizen Solutions to qualify his initiatives for the ballot, Mr. Eyman then sought and received payments back from the firm ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 per campaign. Mr. Agazarm testified that these payments compensated Mr. Eyman for services he rendered to Citizen Solutions, Incorporated. He stated that among other services, Mr. Eyman was compensated for bringing business to the signature gathering firm, including the business generated by Mr. Eyman’ s own initiative committees.

“For too long, Tim Eyman has operated as though he were above the law, without regard for the consequences,” Villeneuve said.

“Even today, as the Public Disclosure Commission was listening to staff present the allegations against Tim, he was shamelessly sending out yet another email shaking his electronic tin cup. He never quits hitting his followers up for money.”

“The state has repeatedly fined Eyman before for violating our public disclosure law, and even reached an agreement with him that he never again serve as a campaign treasurer, but he has continued to manipulate money himself for electoral purposes using a shell company that he controls, as PDC staff have documented.”

“Tim Eyman’s wealthy benefactors may not be bothered by his run-ins with the law, but we as a people can no longer tolerate his abusive behavior and destructive schemes to wreck our government.”

“It is our fervent hope that the Attorney General will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law, and win a conviction. As the Spokesman-Review has editorialized, ‘If Eyman is found guilty of these charges, he should forever be banished from initiative campaigns.'”

PDC investigation finds Tim Eyman broke Washington’s public disclosure law, again

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsStatements & Advisories

This morning, the staff of the Public Disclosure Commission released the results of the agency’s long-running investigation into Tim Eyman’s I-517, the initiative on initiatives Eyman qualified in 2012, which was overwhelmingly rejected by voters in November of 2013. PDC staff found Eyman and his initiative factory repeatedly violated RCW 42.17A by concealing the source of the I-517 campaign’s funding, and are recommending that the Commission refer the case to Attorney General Bob Ferguson for prosecution.

The investigation, initiated by a complaint filed three years ago by activist Sherry Bockwinkel of Tacoma, stretched on for two and a half years, and was slowed by Tim Eyman’s refusal to fully cooperate and turn over records sought by PDC staff in a timely fashion. State attorneys were ultimately called upon to assist the PDC in enforcing its subpoena power, and last week, Eyman turned over a number of records to the state, resulting in the postponement of the hearings that had been scheduled on the matter in Thurston and Snohomish County Superior Courts.

“We’re very pleased that the PDC has finally finished its investigation into Tim Eyman’s I-517 and has concluded that Tim Eyman must be held accountable for concealing campaign money,” said NPI founder and executive director Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to Eyman initiatives for thirteen and a half years. NPI has been in regular contact with PDC staff about the investigation; in May of 2014, Villeneuve traveled down to Olympia and testified alongside several representatives of Washington’s business community, expressing concern that the investigation was still unresolved.

“The documentation collected by the PDC and published as exhibits to its findings confirms what we have long known to be true: Tim Eyman used contributions made in support of the campaign for his last I-601 clone, I-1185, to qualify I-517, a self-serving initiative intended to make it easier and cheaper for him to qualify future initiatives to the ballot in Washington State,” said Villeneuve. “Tim Eyman deliberately chose to run a stealth campaign in violation of our state’s public disclosure law, deceiving his own donors and withholding information about his activities from the public.”

“At long last, Tim Eman’s misdeeds are catching up to him,” Villeneuve added. “The day of reckoning has come. We emphatically urge the Public Disclosure Commission to adopt the staff’s recommendation that this case be referred to the Attorney General for prosecution. The wrongdoing detailed in these findings is part of a pattern of behavior that stretches back to nearly the beginning of Eyman’s career.”

In February of 2002, Eyman admitted having taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from campaign funds for his own personal use while at the same time lying to the press, the public, and his own followers in claiming that he was working as a volunteer.

“It was the biggest lie of my life” that no donations had made their way into his personal bank account, Eyman told The Associated Press’ Dave Ammons, admitting, “The fact is, it is true that I made money in past campaigns and planned to make money on future campaigns.” Ammons also memorably reported that Eyman told him: “I want to continue to advocate issues and I want to make a lot of money doing it.”

Eyman has certainly profited handsomely from his initiative factory over the years. As PDC staff note in their findings, it appears Eyman has been double-dipping for a long time. He pays himself a salary out of campaign funds (which is disclosed in PDC reports), but then he also gets kickbacks from his buddies Eddie Agazarm and Roy Ruffino, who control the shady signature gathering firm Citizen Solutions.

NPI, along with Civic Ventures’ David Goldstein, has long suspected that Eyman gets a cut of the money that is expensed to pay for his signature drives.

Now we know it’s true.

It’s quite the racket: Eyman raises money from wealthy benefactors on a near-annual basis to fund a signature drive for an ill-conceived scheme to wreck government, telling them he needs over a million dollars to qualify for the ballot, when in reality, he needs less. This ensures that when the drive is completed, there is plenty of money left over for Eyman’s associates to pocket as profit, and to send back to Eyman for his personal use… or, in the case of the I-1185 campaign, to qualify a second initiative (I-517) with a stealth signature drive.

Eyman profits whether his initiatives win or lose (and nearly all of them have either been rejected by voters, failed to qualify, or been struck down by the courts).

The case numbers in this matter are 13-027 and 15-078. The Public Disclosure Commission will take up both at its meeting this Thursday, September 24th, at 9:30 AM in 711 Capital Way, Room 206 in Olympia. NPI will be there and is happy to make representatives from its staff, board, and advisory council available to the press to take questions and comment about the cases.

Statement on the Supreme Court’s order in Huff v. Wyman

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsFrom the Campaign TrailIn the Courts

This morning, the Washington State Supreme Court rendered a preliminary verdict in Huff v. Wyman, the scope challenge to Tim Eyman’s I-1366. The Court has ruled unanimously that plaintiffs’ request for an injunction should be denied, which we understand means that I-1366 will appear on the November 2015 ballot.

“While we are disappointed in this order, this outcome was not unexpected, and we have continued all summer to lay the groundwork needed for an autumn campaign in partnership with NO on I-1366 coalition staff,” said Northwest Progressive Institute founder Andrew Villeneuve, who posted a first read of the Court’s order to NPI’s principal publication, the Cascadia Advocate.

(The Cascadia Advocate is a sister project of Permanent Defense).

“I-1366 is the most destructive initiative Tim Eyman has ever proposed,” Villeneuve said. “It would wipe out $8 billion in sales tax revenue over six years unless the Legislature agrees to a constitutional change that would sabotage the Constitution’s majority vote requirement for passage of bills — which dates back to statehood.”

“I-1366 represents an attempt by Tim Eyman to blackmail a significant number of our state’s lawmakers into voting against their values by taking Washington’s youth as hostages. I-1366 is an outrageous abuse of the people’s initiative power, and we are committed to mounting a strong campaign to defeat it in November. We’re ready to bring Washingtonians together to uphold our Constitution and protect the values our state was founded on.”

The growing coalition against I-1366 now includes AARP Washington State, OneAmerica Votes, the Mainstream Republicans of Washington, Washington State Democratic Party, League of Women Voters of Washington, NAMI Washington, and dozens more. An updated list is available from the NO on I-1366 coalition.

In a separate development, Jerry Cornfield of The Herald reported last night that state attorneys have filed a motion in Snohomish County Superior Court seeking to compel Eyman to cooperate with the Public Disclosure Commission’s stalled, long-running investigation into Eyman’s I-517, the 2013 “initiative on initiatives” that Washington voters overwhelmingly defeated. The investigation stems from a complaint filed by activist Sherry Bockwinkel in August of 2012.

“We are pleased to see that Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office is assisting the PDC with its investigation into Tim Eyman and his associates’ wrongdoing,” said Villeneuve. “This complaint is over three years old and should have been resolved long ago, but it’s evident that Tim Eyman and his associates have not been fully cooperating with investigators — despite what they told The Herald. Eyman has a long history of flouting our public disclosure law. It heartens us to see that the PDC hasn’t given up on this case and is pursuing it with the help of our state attorneys. We look forward to seeing the investigation completed.”

Facts about I-1366 that Tim Eyman didn’t bother to mention

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsFrom the Campaign TrailStatements & Advisories

This morning, Tim Eyman sent an email to the press, taking another opportunity to crow about getting signatures submitted for I-1366 and ostensibly provide information pertaining to the initiative. Here are some very important facts he didn’t bother to share:

  • Initiatives cannot be used to change the state Constitution: Eyman has falsely been calling I-1366 a constitutional amendment initiative. There is no such thing. The initiative power can only be used to create, modify, or repeal statutes. Any change to the Constitution must originate in the Legislature (Article XXIII).
  • Loss to the state treasury starting in April 2016 if the Legislature doesn’t capitulate to Eyman’s demand to sabotage Article II, Section 22 (which requires majority vote to pass all bills): About $1 billion per year
  • The essential public services that would be most harmed by a sudden, massive cut in sales tax revenue: Washington’s public K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities
  • Lowest percentage of the Legislature that could block any change to the tax code they didn’t like under Tim Eyman’s desired rules: 12% (seventeen senators out of one hundred and forty-seven total legislators)
  • Most recent addition to the rapidly-growing NO on I-1366 Coalition roster: The Washington Council of Fire Fighters (added today!)
  • Reported cost of Eyman’s I-1366 signature drive so far: $1 million, exactly (source: Public Disclosure Commission data, last updated June 9th)
    • Cost of petitioner labor: Estimated to be $462,625 (assuming average signature cost of $1.17 multiplied by 337,954 submitted signatures, see this post for more details on the methodology)
    • Cost of coordinators: Estimated at $168,977 (assuming an override of fifty cents per signature for 337,954 signatures)
    • That leaves hundreds of thousands of dollars unaccounted for – and Eyman was recently raising funds to make another $100,000 payment for signature gathering. This money isn’t needed to compensate petitioners or coordinators – so where’s it going?
  • Blast from the past: Our Founding Fathers were strongly for majority rule, and we should be listening to them — not Tim Eyman. Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 22:

    If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority, respecting the best mode of conducting it, the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater, and give a tone to the national proceedings. Hence, tedious delays; continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good.

More information about the NO on I-1366 coalition is available here.

NPI’s Permanent Defense responds to the discovery of thousands of fraudulent I-517 and I-522 signatures

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsFrom the Campaign TrailStatements & Advisories

This afternoon, the Secretary of State Kim Wyman announced that, after reviewing petitions submitted for Tim Eyman’s I-517 and Chris McManus’ I-522, her office had asked the Washington State Patrol to open a criminal investigation into what she called “the worst apparent initiative fraud anyone can remember.” As many as eight thousand signatures for I-517 and I-522 may be fraudulent.

Since mid-spring of 2012, when we first learned that Tim Eyman and his friends Roy Ruffino and Eddie Agazarm were making an attempt to quietly and illegitimately collect signatures for a second initiative by piggybacking on the signature drive for I-1185, we have been watchdogging and monitoring the I-517 campaign as closely as possible… a difficult task, given that Tim Eyman and his pals ran the entire operation in stealth mode up until the very end.

Prior to today’s announcement, we had already documented a troubling set of discrepancies with the I-517 campaign, many of which were included in the complaint against the I-517 campaign filed with the Public Disclosure Commission by Sherry Bockwinkel last August. Sadly, the PDC has so far failed to launch a full-scale investigation in response to the complaint. We urge the PDC to bring the complaint out of limbo and open a formal inquiry immediately.

We thank Secretary of State Kim Wyman and her team for referring this matter to the State Patrol for a full investigation. We understand that the State Patrol is already investigating fraudulent signatures that were submitted as part of last year’s charter schools initiative, and we will be following that investigation as well.

However, we need more than an investigation into these fraudulent signatures. The signature gathering industry in our state has been operating for years out of the public eye with next to no oversight. Our research has found that our state’s signature gathering firms, like Eddie Agazarm and Roy Ruffino’s Citizen Solutions, have been exploiting their petition workers for years and failing to comply with our worker protection laws. It is time for lawmakers and the Department of Labor & Industries to fully investigate this industry and ensure that firms like Citizen Solutions are brought into full compliance with our laws. Instances of fraud are less likely to occur if regulators do their job.

We applaud the Secretary of State’s Elections Division for planning to meet with elections officials in Oregon to discuss how to toughen our state’s laws and regulations. We believe we should learn from Oregon’s experience so we can prevent the same kind of problems from getting completely out of hand here.

Tim Eyman would like us all to think that signature fraud is a problem that doesn’t exist. But as this and past incidents demonstrate, he is dead wrong. He’s against oversight anbd regulation of the signature gathering industry because it could negatively affect his profits.

NO on 1185: Permanent Defense calls on Washingtonians to stop greed, reject latest oil-soaked Eyman initiative this November

Ballot WatchdoggingEye on Money: DevelopmentsRethinking and ReframingStatements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Earlier today in Olympia, Tim Eyman made his annual appearance at the Secretary of State’s Elections Division (as usual, accompanied by Jack and Mike Fagan) to turn in signatures for his latest initiative, made possible by more than a million dollars in contributions from some of the world’s most powerful corporations. The list includes BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper Snapple Group (through the American Beverage Association), Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Crown Imports, and Heineken USA (through the Beer Institute).

Initiative 1185 is a clone of Initiative 1053, sponsored by Eyman two years ago and backed by many of the aforementioned corporations. It would sabotage our plan of government by allowing one-third of either house of the Legislature to decide the fate of any bill seeking to raise revenue for Washington’s common wealth. I-1053 was itself a clone of I-960 (from 2007), which was based on I-601 (from 1993).

“Initiative 1185, like its predecessors, is a serious threat to the health of our democracy,” said NPI founder Andrew Villeneuve. “Our republic is built on the idea of majority rule with minority rights. Our Constitution explicitly sets the standard for passage of legislation as a majority vote – an interpretation recently affirmed by King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller, who concluded that I-1053, I-1185’s predecessor, is unconstitutional on multiple grounds.”

“I-1185 is an illegitimate attempt to amend Article II, Section 22 of our state’s Constitution, which says that a majority vote is the threshold for determining the fate of a bill. I-1185 tries to undemocratically require a higher standard of two-thirds for some bills – specifically, any bills that would raise revenue to fund vital public services like our schools and universities,” Villeneuve added.

“I-1185 is purposely intended to create gridlock in our statehouse, so that a small group of reactionary legislators can wield veto power over important decisions about our state’s budget. That’s wrong.”

“We urge Washingtonians to join us this fall in taking a stand against unchecked corporate greed by voting NO on Initiative 1185.”

“The only reason this measure is going to be on our ballot is because nine corporations and corporate fronts collectively shelled out more than a million dollars to hire mercenary petitioners to collect signatures. They’re betting that they can trick the people of Washington into approving this scheme to shield their tax breaks and tax loopholes from possible repeal. They’ve made it clear they are unwilling to pay their fair share in membership dues to our state, while at the same time disingenuously calling on our state’s leaders to strengthen investment in our schools, universities, roads, and bridges.”

“Here’s what the people of Washington need to know: We can only afford to keep our pubic services strong if we all pitch in, pay our fair share, and work to make our tax system fairer and more equitable. Unfortunately, that’s the last thing these corporations want. We’ve seen their true colors – they’re cheaters who want to rig the system for their own advantage. And they must be stopped.”

Throughout the rest of the summer and into the autumn, NPI’s Permanent Defense will be working with other concerned Washingtonians to build a strong coalition to oppose I-1185 and educate voters as to its true cost and consequences.

An updated list of the top ten contributors to Initiative 1185 is available at Permanent Defense’s Eye on Money page.

The chart shows that the top nine contributors are responsible for a whopping 93% of the total (estimated to be $1,131,704). All of the other contributors – combined – are responsible for only 7%. These figures make it plainly clear that this initiative was bought and paid for by powerful interests, including some of the world’s biggest and most profitable companies.

Who are the top nine?

  • Beer Institute: $400,000
  • BP: $100,000
  • ConocoPhillips: $100,000
  • Tesoro: $100,000
  • Equilon/Shell: $100,000
  • American Beverage Association: $100,000
  • WA Beer & Wine Distributors: $100,000
  • WA Realtors: $25,000
  • WA Restaurant Association: $25,000
  • Everyone Else (multiple entities): $81,703.95

FOR MORE: See State Representative Reuven Carlyle’s blog post about I-1185, The painful irony of using majority rule to eliminate majority rule.

Voters Want More Choices begins 2011 with no wealthy benefactor in sight

Eye on Money: Developments

New reports filed with the Public Disclosure Commission last week indicate that Tim Eyman is still searching for a new benefactor to prop up his sputtering initiative factory, two months after the Mukilteo profiteer revealed he didn’t have the money lined up to buy his way onto the ballot this year.

Excluding a large money transfer from Help Us Help Taxpayers (another one of his PACs), Eyman’s reincarnated Voters Want More Choices committee has brought in just $15,200 so far this year. This sum, along with the aforementioned transfer, is being applied towards the loan Eyman took out against his house last year, leaving Voters Want More Choices with a deficit of $196,101.06.

Years ago, such a debt would have been insignificant, because Eyman’s wealthy benefactor would have taken care of it with a check or two. But so far in 2011, nobody with deep pockets has come to Eyman’s rescue.

If Eyman can’t find a benefactor, he will likely end the year still in debt. At present, Voters Want More Choices is taking in an average of only $7,600 a month. Even if Eyman managed to double his monthly average starting this month, he’d still finish 2011 with only $152,000 raised – not enough to cancel the debt.

Eyman won’t be able to use all of what he raises to pay off his loan, either, because he’ll presumably need to pay himself and his associates.

Eyman no doubt recognizes the predicament he’s in, which explains why he sounds so desperate in his recent letters and emails. Without money – lots of money – the gears of his initiative factory cannot turn.

That was quite evident two months ago when Eyman revealed that, for the first time since the new millennium began, he wouldn’t be doing a signature drive this spring. Instead, he used his annual press conference in the Secretary of State’s office to announce his plans for 2012. It was a telling moment.

Without his initiative factory, Eyman has no real power. He needs it to be in operation so he can enjoy the occasional success and remain relevant.

If history is any indication, Eyman will find a new wealthy benefactor. That’s why it’s important that we spend 2011 in infrastructure-building mode. We have to assume that an I-1053 clone will be on the ballot in 2012, and we have to be prepared to respond forcefully. Voters need to understand what measures like I-1053 are really designed to do: take away majority rule and sabotage representative democracy.

In fundraising letter, Eyman claims he has “whittled down” I-1053 debt to “below $200K”

Eye on Money: Developments

Since announcing to his followers that he was “hitting the big panic button” a few weeks ago, Tim Eyman has managed to shave $38,000 plus off the total amount of his outstanding debt from last year. Or so he claims in a fundraising appeal recently sent out via snail mail and forwarded to NPI’s Permanent Defense.

The letter doesn’t say how Eyman managed to “whittle” his I-1053 down to “under $200k”; nor does it disclose exactly how much of Eyman’s debt is still outstanding.

Given how anemic Eyman’s fundraising has been, we’re inclined to think at least a chunk of that money is from either wealthy conservatives (like Bellevue Square owner Kemper Freeman Jr., an Eyman fan) or from corporations (Association of Washington Business chieftain Don Brunell urged lobbyists last fall to help Eyman cover his debt).

Reports for contributions received in February are due March 10th, so at that time, we should be able to see just who has been funneling money into Eyman’s presently idle initiative factory… if Eyman’s treasurer files the reports on time.

Eyman says he’s “hitting the big panic button”

Eye on Money: Developments

Apparently unable to convince either corporate lobbyists or Michael Dunmire to pony up the cash needed to pay off the $250,000 loan he took out against his house to help finance I-1053, Tim Eyman is shaking his electronic tin cup harder than ever, pleading with his supporters to help pay off the debt so he can move forward with his next scheme. In a message sent out this morning, Eyman says:

I haven’t been showing it, but I’m seriously concerned. We are raising funds for the next 2/3’s initiative and to pay off my 2nd mortgage loan (when donations weren’t coming in fast enough to pay the bills for last year’s I-1053 signature drive, I loaned the campaign $250,000 that got I-1053 over the finish line). I said to myself “it’s either this or we fail” and decided that I-1053 was just too important to fall short. So I jumped off that steep cliff hoping and praying that our supporters — all of you — would catch me this year. We have spent the last month highlighting some bad anti-1053 bills, asking you to email legislators, and helping with some local initiatives. But thus far, we’ve not hit the big panic button on this top priority.


Eyman claims he has only managed to pay off $12,000 of the $250,000 loan, leaving him with $238,000 in debt. “[I]magine how scary that is for the Eyman family,” he says later in the message.

Wait a second… Tim Eyman is asking for sympathy? Now that’s rich!

Considering the way he treats others (belittling elected leaders, demonizing public servants, and attempting to undermine the public’s trust in government), he’s the last person in the state who is deserving of anyone’s sympathy.

Eyman created his own financial crisis by using his house as collateral to secure funds for his 2010 initiative. He took a risk and now he’s going to have to deal with the consequences. Given how little money he raised independently last year (more than 80% of the money for I-1053 came from corporations) we’re guessing the loan won’t be paid off until Eyman hooks up with a new sugar daddy… or an old one.

BP again donates to 1053; JPMorgan Chase joins pantheon of greedy corporations trying to sabotage democracy

Ballot WatchdoggingEye on Money: Developments

As elections officials across Washington State prepare to put several million ballots in the mail to Washingtonians, skittish corporate operatives working for the Association of Washington Business are busily soliciting and accepting funds to prop up Tim Eyman’s scheme to sabotage our democracy, which they apparently fear isn’t going to sell itself despite Tim’s gift for media manipulation.

Days after the AWB itself loaned $60,000 to “Citizens for Responsible Spending” (which is not run by or for any “citizens”), a new onslaught of checks suddenly began arriving from wealthy corporations.

Since the beginning of the month, Tesoro and ConocoPhillips have each put up another $25,000, while BP contributed $35,000, bringing its aggregate total to $100,000 and making it the single largest corporate donor to Tim Eyman’s assault on our cherished tradition of majority rule.

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase, which acquired WaMu from the FDIC in a hastily-arranged fire sale only two years ago, sent in $30,000 at about the same time. Chase is the fourth Wall Street bank to contribute to I-1053 (the others are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and USBank).

“It’s ironic that so many Wall Street banks, which nearly collapsed under the weight of all the bad bets they made, are trying to wreck our state government so it can’t work for us after being bailed out by the federal government,” said NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve. “Their shamelessness knows no bounds. Let’s be clear: This is about wanton, unchecked greed. It’s as simple as that. ”

An updated analysis by NPI has found that a whopping ninety one percent of the money behind I-1053 came from a corporation. Only nine percent came from individuals, and some of the individual donors are affiliated with corporations that donated.

The analysis found that:

  • $315,000 came from big oil companies,
  • $305,589.89 came from corporate trade groups and lobbies like the Farm Bureau, Realtors, Bankers Association, and the Association of Washington Business,
  • $93,000 came from timber and pulp companies,
  • $57,500 came from Wall Street banks,
  • $65,000 came from real estate developers like Kemper Freeman Jr./Martin Selig,
  • $114,968.00 came from other companies large and small, including Alaska Airlines, Philip Morris USA, Schnitzer Steel, Liberty Mutual Group, and Simplot.
  • Only $91,123.40 came from individuals.

A breakdown is available at

“Were it not for the likes of BP, Bank of America, Tesoro, JPMorgan Chase, ConocoPhillips, and Simpson/Green Diamond Resource Co., we would not be voting on Initiative 1053. This is not a citizen’s initiative. It’s a cold, caclulated attempt to trick we the people of Washington into giving up our sovereignty,” Villeneuve said. “The corporate lobbyists behind 1053 want to tighten their grip on our Capitol. Under this measure, all they have to do is persuade seventeen of Washington’s forty nine senators to side with them and they can defeat any bill that would end their special tax breaks. That’s not democratic, fair, or constitutional.”

Learn more about why Initiative 1053 is a bad idea.

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