Category Archives: From the Campaign Trail

Eyman’s I-1366 certified for ballot; jeopardizes $8 billion in revenue through 2021

From the Campaign TrailRethinking and ReframingStatements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

As required by law, the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) has completed a fiscal impact statement for Tim Eyman’s I-1366, which was today certified for the November 2015 statewide ballot by Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

According to OFM’s analysis, I-1366 is an even greater threat to Washington’s future than previously believed. The 13% sales tax cut that I-1366 would impose if legislators don’t submit to Eyman’s demand for a constitutional amendment to sabotage Article II, Section 22 translates to a loss of $1.4 billion a year in 2017, the first year it would fully be in effect. It only gets worse after that.

Through 2021, Washington’s treasury would be deprived of approximately $8 billion in funding for vital public services like schools and universities.

“OFM’s fiscal impact statement for I-1366 confirms what we’ve been saying for months about I-1366: This is the most destructive, mean-spirited initiative that Tim Eyman has ever qualified for the ballot,” said Northwest Progressive Institute founder Andrew Villeneuve. “Eyman doesn’t have the votes in the Legislature to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2013 League of Education Voters decision, so he’s resorted to blackmail. And he’s taking Washington’s young people as his hostages.”

“We can see what’s at risk by looking at the state budget. The sales tax is easily our state’s largest single source of tax revenue, supplying nearly half of the money that goes into the general fund. And more than half of the general fund goes to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.”

“Education is our single largest responsibility as a people. And, in the words of our Constitution, it is also our paramount duty. We are obligated, as a society, to make ample provision for the education of Washington’s youth.”

“”The Supreme Court has determined we have not been meeting this obligation and ordered our legislators to act. The slight progress the House and Senate have made to date towards complying with the Court’s McCleary orders is jeopardized by I-1366. Legislators just agreed on a bipartisan basis to put more money into schools and lower tuition. That carefully crafted agreement will be undone in the span of a few months if I-1366’s first scenario comes to pass,” Villeneuve said.

“And under other I-1366’s second scenario, our regressive tax code would be locked into place permanently. As few as seventeen senators – twelve percent of our entire Legislature – could kill any attempt to raise or recover revenue for our state treasury. Our founders strongly believed that decisions like these should be made by the many, not a few. We should honor and uphold the Constitution they gave us by rejecting I-1366.”

OFM’s analysis also determined that funding for implementation of I-900, Tim Eyman’s performance audits initiative from ten years ago, would be cut by Scenario 1 of I-1366. I-900 stipulated that a percentage of state sales tax revenue be dedicated to funding performance audits. Ironically, money for conducting those audits is now at risk along with the other public services that the sales tax funds.

“Tim Eyman has never been concerned with the harmful, messy consequences of his initiatives,” Villeneuve noted. “In his rush to imitate the militant tactics of Ted Cruz and U.S. House Republicans, he thoughtlessly put funding for his own initiative from ten years ago in jeopardy along with funding for education, public safety assistance to local governments, and countless other vital public services.”

“As the old adage goes, Any fool can burn down a barn, but it takes a real carpenter to build one. Tim Eyman has demonstrated he knows how to start fires, but in the span of fifteen years, he has not helped put any out, nor has he contributed to the building of a better Washington. I-1366 represents a new low for his initiative factory.”

Washingtonians have decisively rejected some pretty bad Tim Eyman initiatives in the past, but only when the case to vote no has been effectively made by people and organizations that do care about building a better Washington.

That’s why, since February, the team at NPI has been working to organize and empower Washingtonians from across the political spectrum to fight I-1366.

“We encourage everyone who wants to uphold our Constitution, protect our common wealth, and defend Washington’s values to step up and help us kick the effort to beat I-1366 into high gear,” said Villeneuve. “There’s a lot of work that needs doing between now and when ballots drop. We urge people to get involved in this campaign.”

The growing coalition against I-1366 includes the Washington Association of School Principals, League of Women Voters of Washington, the League of Education Voters, Statewide Poverty Action Network, Washington Environmental Council, Washington State Democratic Party, and many more. An evolving list of organizations opposed to I-1366 is available on the NO on I-1366 website.

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.

NO on I-1366 Committee forms; will respond to Tim Eyman’s signature turn-in tomorrow

From the Campaign TrailStatements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Efforts to build a broad coalition to stop Tim Eyman’s I-1366 received a major boost today with NPI and Permanent Defense founder Andrew Villeneuve’s announcement of the formation of a statewide campaign committee to oppose the initiative.

I-1366 would slash the state sales tax by about $1 billion a year in April of 2016 if the Legislature fails by that time to adopt a constitutional amendment permanently sabotaging the Constitution’s requirement that bills receive a majority vote.

“Over the last few months, the team at NPI has worked to assemble a broad coalition to stand up for Washington’s kids against the bad politics of blackmail,” said Villeneuve. “Today, we and our partners are shifting our efforts into higher gear with the formation of NO on Tim Eyman’s I-1366, a statewide campaign committee that will ensure our growing coalition is well served by a capable, bipartisan leadership team.”

NO on Tim Eyman’s I-1366 has five initial officers: Villeneuve, former Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed, former Democratic State Senator Randy Gordon, former Democratic State Representative Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney, and NW Media Allies owner Sue Evans.

Microsoft alum and veteran activist Matt Loschen serves as the committee’s treasurer.

The committee’s C1-PC has been submitted to the Public Disclosure Commission and will soon be available online following processing of the accompanying signature card.

“We are committed to building a campaign that honors and defends the values that Washington was founded upon,” said Villeneuve. “Everyone who believes in upholding majority rule and protecting our state from the destructive politics of hostage taking will be welcome to join our cause, no matter what party they belong to, and no matter what underlying values system they subscribe to.”

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Matt, Sue, Sam, Phyllis, and Randy on this effort. And I want to thank the many organizations that have already pledged to help defeat I-1366, from the League of Women Voters of Washington and the Statewide Poverty Action Network to the Washington Environmental Council and the Washington State Democratic Party.”

“We are still in the beginning stages of this organizing effort, and we expect to have an even longer roster as we get closer to autumn.”

Tim Eyman has a 3 PM appointment to turn in signatures tomorrow (Thursday), July 2nd, 2015 with the Secretary of State. Following Eyman’s submission of signatures, the committee will outline why it is imperative that voters reject I-1366 and give the media an opportunity to learn more about the coalition’s next steps.

Washington State Democratic Party joins coalition opposing Tim Eyman’s I-1366

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

Some very good news to share: This weekend in Pasco, the Washington State Democratic Party took a position strongly opposing Tim Eyman’s I-1366, following in the footsteps of the King County Democrats and several local Democratic organizations. A resolution approved by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC) – based on Permanent Defense’s model resolution opposing I-1366 – urges Washingtonians to refrain from signing I-1366 and to emphatically vote NO in the event I-1366 qualifies for the ballot.

NPI thanks the Washington State Democratic Party for taking an early position opposing I-1366 and setting a good example for other organizations to follow.

“I-1366 is the most destructive, mean-spirited initiative ever proposed by Tim Eyman,” said NPI founder and executive director Andrew Villeneuve. “I-1366 doesn’t just warrant defeat if it makes the ballot: it deserves to be resoundingly crushed. To give I-1366 the burial it deserves, we’re building an unprecedented, broad, and diverse coalition to fight it. The Washington State Democratic Party was a dependable partner in the incredibly successful campaign against I-517 in 2013, and we’re very pleased to once again have the party with us in this effort.”

“The stakes simply couldn’t be higher. Tim Eyman is trying to blackmail lawmakers into gutting our state’s cherished tradition of majority rule by taking our schools and universities as hostages. Our schools are already underfunded, but Eyman wants to deprive them of billions more if the Legislature doesn’t do as he demands.”

“Eyman may think he’s being clever by ripping a page right out of Ted Cruz’s playbook. But that’s the same playbook that brought us the costly, stupid, and irresponsible 2013 federal government shutdown, which even many Republicans admit was disastrous. We have a moral and constitutional obligation to support our children and ensure that every young person gets a good public education. Those are Washington values that date back to statehood. In 2015, we will stand strong in defense of those values with our campaign against I-1366.”

Washingtonians to enjoy an Eyman-free November this year, evidence suggests

From the Campaign TrailStatements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

For the first time in eight years, voters in Washington won’t have to decide the fate of a Tim Eyman initiative in November. That’s the conclusion we reached this week after completing our latest threat analysis assessment.

In January of this year, Tim Eyman announced that his 2014 initiative would be I-1325, a Ted Cruz-inspired scheme to coerce the Legislature into passing a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature to raise revenue. I-1325 would wipe out $1 billion per year in funding for schools and and other vital public services in the event the Legislature did not pass such an amendment by mid-April of next year.

I-1325 is perhaps the most harmful, senseless, and mean-spirited initiative Tim Eyman has ever offered. Consequently, NPI’s Permanent Defense has been keeping a close eye on it, and laying the groundwork to fight it in the event it makes the ballot.

“For the past few weeks, we have been searching the state looking for evidence of an I-1325 signature drive,” said NPI founder and executive director Andrew Villeneuve. (NPI’s Permanent Defense, which Andrew founded in February of 2002, has now been tracking and organizing opposition to Tim Eyman’s incredibly destructive initiatives for over twelve years).

“Our network of activists have reported seeing petitions for a number of other initiatives, including I-1351 (class size), I-1329 (money in politics) , and the now-canceled I-1356 (cancer research). But the signature drive for I-1325 appears to be nonexistent. We’ve done a lot of looking, and the lack of evidence of a signature drive leads us to conclude that Eyman is going to come up way short. We believe it’s likely there are a few I-1325 petitions circulating in private, out of public view, but those petitions won’t yield the hundreds of thousands of signatures that Eyman needs.”

“Historically, Tim has relied almost exclusively on paid petitioners to get on the ballot,” Villeneuve explained. “But he hasn’t been able to hire people to collect for him this year, because hasn’t found a wealthy benefactor to put up money for I-1325.”

“Without a wealthy benefactor, he’s sunk. At least for now, he can probably raise enough to live on from smaller donors, but not employ signature gathering crews. Deprived of six figure checks from the likes of Michael Dunmire, Kemper Freeman, BP, or ConocoPhillips, the gears of Eyman’s initiative factory simply can’t turn.”

As of June 10th, Eyman’s campaign committee had reported raising a total of $191,341.05. $166,323.30 of that amount has been spent, mostly on “officers compensation” and “printing and mailing services”.

But there are no reported payments to “Citizen Solutions”, the crooked signature gathering business operated by Eyman’s associates Eddie Agazarm and Roy Ruffino, or to any other signature gathering business.

That explains why petitions for I-1325 are so hard to find on the street. Nobody’s carrying them, except perhaps a few very motivated Eyman fans.

Eyman must know I-1325 is on the verge of failing, but he hasn’t been upfront with his supporters about the status of the signature drive. Eyman is perpetuating an illusion, mainly through occasional mailings and multi-weekly emails imploring his followers to invest time and money in a campaign that doesn’t really exist.

As recently as this morning, Eyman was once again asking for money, writing, “Everyone has from now until Thursday, July 3rd — 9 days — to donate dollars and collect signatures […] We need your help. Please contribute TODAY so this initiative effort is a success.”

246,372 valid signatures are currently required to place an initiative before the voters for their consideration. Signatures for an initiative to this November’s ballot are due no later than July 3rd, 2014 at 5 PM.

Because petitions inevitably have duplicate and invalid signatures, the Secretary of State’s office advises initiative sponsors to collect at least 325,000, so that the campaign has a cushion that can offset the signatures that won’t be counted.

Getting 325,000+ signatures is difficult and time-consuming, which is why campaigns usually make use of paid petitioners. Some campaigns use a mix of paid crews and volunteer gatherers, but campaigns that attempt to make the ballot with volunteers alone often fail, due to a lack of coordination, commitment, and preparation.

“We stand ready to mobilize against I-1325 in the unlikely event that it does make the ballot,” Villeneuve said. “We are very pleased that several other organizations have already taken a strong position opposing I-1325, including the Washington State Labor Council and the Washington State Democratic Party. But not having to fight this awful initiative in November would be a great blessing, because the last thing Washington needs is more Tim Eyman initiatives. Our common wealth and our cherished tradition of majority rule have been imperiled enough. We need to move beyond just having a conversation about tax reform and McCleary compliance; we need action and leadership from our elected representatives to uphold our Constitution and support our vital public services, especially our schools and universities.”

Washington State Democratic Party adopts resolution opposing I-1325

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

The Washington State Democratic Party today became the latest organization to take a position opposing Tim Eyman’s I-1325 by adopting a resolution at its 2014 State Convention in Spokane recommending that voters decline to sign I-1325 petitions from now through July 3rd (the deadline for submitting signatures) and further recommending an emphatic NO vote in the event it qualifies for the ballot.

Several weeks ago, the Washington State Labor Council also adopted a resolution opposing I-1325 at its annual COPE Convention.

Introduced in January by Tim Eyman, I-1325 is a Ted Cruz-inspired scheme that would wipe out $1 billion in funding for education and other vital public services every year unless the Legislature passes a constitutional amendment sabotaging Article II, Section 22 by requiring two-thirds votes for any bill that would increase revenue.

Such a restriction had previously been unconstitutionally imposed by a series of I-601 clones sponsored by Eyman, which were invalidated last year with the Supreme Court’s League of Education Voters decision.

The Washington State Democratic Party was an important part of the coalition that successfully defeated Tim Eyman’s I-517 last year, along with NPI’s Permanent Defense. I-517 went down to defeat in historic fashion, with over 62% of voters casting no votes. In King County, the vote against I-517 topped 73%.

Washington State Labor Council takes position opposing I-1325 at 2014 COPE Convention

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

Good news to share: Today, at its annual Committee on Political Education (COPE) Convention, delegates from the Washington State Labor Council’s member unions took a position opposing Tim Eyman’s latest initiative, a Ted Cruz-style scheme intended to coerce lawmakers into approving a constitutional amendment to permanently require two-thirds votes to raise or recover revenue.

The WSLC is Washington State’s AFL-CIO affiliate. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is the nation’s largest labor federation, directly representing tens of millions of working men and women, and indirectly representing hundreds of millions more.

I-1325 contains a provision that automatically wipes out $1 billion in funding for education and vital public services like foster care if the Legislature does not pass the constitutional amendment Eyman wants by April 15th, 2015.

Constitutional amendments may only originate in the Legislature, which is why Eyman is resorting to extortion: he can’t get the undemocratic two-thirds vote scheme he has spent millions of dollars promoting reinstated any other way.

Eyman filed I-1325 back in January and launched a signature drive for the measure several weeks later. He has until July 3rd to submit at least 246,372 valid signatures of Washington voters. To offset duplicate and invalid signatures, he really needs around 310,000 signatures. So far, it doesn’t appear that Eyman has found a wealthy benefactor willing to put up the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to bring in paid signature gathering crews. Eyman has relied heavily on paid petitioners to collect signatures since he started up his initiative factory.

The Washington State Democratic Party is expected to join the WSLC and NPI in opposing I-1325 next month, when it holds its biannual convention. A resolution opposing I-1325 has been submitted to the convention for consideration, and is currently in the hands of the convention’s Platform & Resolutions Committee.

Washington Realtors says it “strongly opposes” I-517

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

Another one of the trade associations that backed Tim Eyman’s I-1185 last year has decided to take a formal position against I-517, Eyman’s initiative on initiatives, which he and his associates at “Citizen Solutions” qualified for the ballot by piggybacking on the I-1185 signature drive last year. (We believe this piggybacking occurred in violation of Washington State’s public disclosure laws).

The Washington Realtors announced earlier today that its legislative steering committee has finished studying Eyman’s I-517 and overwhelmingly concluded it was poorly written and infringed on property rights. They have chosen to take a position against the measure, urging a no vote. From their press release (PDF):

“While we respect the initiative process, as an organization that champions private property rights as well as the health and recovery of small businesses we have major concerns with I-517,” said Michael Schoonover, a commercial real estate broker and the 2013 vice president government affairs for the Washington Realtors. “I-517 would impede and interfere with both.”

The Washington Realtors’ legislative steering committee, the 25 member group appointed to determine the organization’s policy positions based on their impact on the real estate industry, reviewed the provisions of I-517 and overwhelmingly voted to oppose the measure on behalf of its more than 15,000 members.

“I-517 does not allow business owners to restrict or inhibit in any way signature gathering at the entrance and exits of their shops, an activity that often irritates the public who do not want to engage in any given political debate,” says Schoonover.

“Many of our members have storefront offices and, like so many other small businesses, work hard to attract clients and customer through their doors. It is their rights at stake here.”

Last year, the Washington Realtors donated a total of $50,000 to the Association of Washington Business’ political action committee; most of that money was then sent to Eyman’s associates Roy Ruffino and Eddie Agazarm at Citizen Solutions to cover the cost of the I-1185 signature drive.( The AWB activated its PAC last year principally for the purpose of helping raise money for I-1185).

By the time summer weather had set in, AWB and its members, along with other business trade associations like the Realtors and the Restaurant Association, had written checks in excess of a million dollars to Eyman’s PAC or directly to Citizen Solutions for signature gathering. Approximately $1.2 million of the $1.4 million raised ultimately went to Citizen Solutions.

But they were duped by Eyman, Ruffino, and Agazarm. The true cost of the I-1185 signature drive was only a fraction of this amount.

We know from talking to petitioners that they were being paid one dollar a signature, and the Secretary of State recorded 320,003 signatures as having been submitted. That means the signature drive could not have cost much more than $320,000.

Even if there were, say, $100,000 in additional or miscellaneous expenses, that still leaves more than three quarters of a million dollars unaccounted for. Where’d it go? We can only assume into the pockets of Eyman and his associates,who also ripped off their own workers. (They told petitioners they needed to collect for both I-517 and I-1185 at the same time or they’d be fired… and they were expected to collect I-517 signatures without any compensation).

This arrangement was documented in the Public Disclosure Commission complaint filed by Sherry Bockwinkel last year. The investigation remains open and ongoing; the PDC says it won’t be finished until after the election is over.

We’re glad to see that the Realtors have joined the diverse and bipartisan coalition working to defeat I-517. I-517 is Tim Eyman’s most self-serving initiative yet. It was conceived to make getting signatures cheaper and easier so that Eyman & Co. could make more money. NPI’s Permanent Defense strongly urges a no vote on I-517.

Wenatchee World urges a no vote on 517: “A legal pedestal for signature gatherers is neither necessary nor egalitarian”

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

Yet another major Washington State newspaper has come out against Tim Eyman’s Initiative 517. In an editorial published earlier today, the Wenatchee World offered a cogent analysis of I-517, dissecting proponents’ arguments and rejecting them as unsound. As publisher Rufus King and his editorial board noted, I-517 is really about giving petitioners special rights that nobody else would have.

The collectors of initiative signatures have a right to petition the government, they have a right to free speech, but that just makes them like everybody else. It does not make them a class of the anointed, separated by privilege. Exercising their right does not give them powers and protections beyond those of ordinary citizens. It does not give them the right to violate the rights of others. It does not make them a protected class.

The Bill of Rights grants every American the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, while state law stipulates that harassment of anyone is illegal. Tim Eyman, Eddie Agazarm, Paul Jacob and Mark Baerwaldt know this, but they want to make the initiative business easier and cheaper.

Every provision in I-517 was written to make pursuing initiatives at the state and local level (even invalid or unconstitutional initiatives) more lucrative and rewarding. I-517 purports to protect the rights of petitioners, but it’s really a Help initiative profiteers make even more profits initiative.

Section 2 of I-517 was conceived to ensure that paid, out of state petitioners could set up shop right in front of store entrances and exits and intercept shoppers, but initiative opponents could not stand next to them with a “think before you ink” message. Decline to sign campaigns would be criminalized.

The mechanism? I-517 says that no one can maintain an “intimidating presence” within twenty-five feet of a petitioner. What constitutes an “intimidating presence?” The initiative doesn’t define these words, but presumably if a petitioner calls up the police and says, “I feel threatened”, that’s grounds for the initiative opponent to be arrested, or asked to leave. Law enforcement would be required under I-517 to “vigorously protect” petitioners, but not initiative opponents.

This doesn’t make sense, nor is it fair. The World says:

Imagine, pass I-517 and a store owner with distinct and protected property rights and a uniform set of rules could prohibit a charitable solicitor from setting up at his door, or a religious pamphleteer, or a political candidate seeking votes, but not a petition signature collector. The managers of a convention center, fairgrounds or stadium, can set rules for public conduct in their facilities, but signatures gatherers would be exempt, because Initiative 517 says they shall not be deterred. They have super rights.

We agree. We strongly urge a NO vote on I-517 this fall.

“Get Ready” goes up on the air as the NO on I-517 Coalition’s first television spot

From the Campaign Trail

This morning, the NO on I-517 Coalition, which NPI’s Permanent Defense is proud to be part of, launched its first television ad urging a no vote on Tim Eyman’s I-517. The spot is now airing on a number of television stations in the Puget Sound region. Here’s a description of it from the coalition’s press release:

“Get Ready” shows the intrusive nature of I-517 by depicting scenes of what petitioning inside of public buildings could look like. Signature gatherers are shown trying to get signatures from people reading in a quiet section of a library, baseball players at a neighborhood ballgame, fans getting food from a concession stand at CenturyLink Field, and shoppers trying to go into a store to get groceries.

Petitioners are already allowed under current law to gather signatures outside of public buildings and on public sidewalks, but under I-517, the scenes in “Get Ready” would become Washington’s new reality.

I-517 also makes it illegal for anyone to interfere with a signature gatherer’s activities in any way. Section 2 of I-517 explicitly says that petitioners must be allowed to operate directly in front of the entrances and exits of “any store”, even freestanding stores on private property. I-517 just goes too far.

“Our concern is to ensure our customers have the best experience they can, and I-517 would negatively impact that experience,” said Jan Teague of the Washington Retail Association. “We worry about our customers being harassed and not being able to do anything to stop it. That’s why our coalition is working to educate voters about the consequences of I-517. We urge all Washingtonians to join us in voting no on 517 and protecting free speech and property rights.”

The NO on I-517 Coalition is one of the most diverse efforts to defeat a ballot measure in Washington State history. It includes businesses and trade associations, labor unions, civic groups, sports teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC, and people and groups from across the political spectrum, such as the Washington State Democratic Party and the Mainstream Republicans of Washington.

Governor Jay Inslee and former Attorney General Rob McKenna, who ran each other for the state’s top position last year, are both opposed to I-517, as is former Auditor Brian Sonntag and former Secretaries of State Sam Reed and Ralph Munro.

Those who would like to view the ad can watch it on YouTube.

The ad’s transcript is as follows:

Narrator: Get ready. With Tim Eyman’s Initiative 517, paid signature gatherers will have free reign. Inside stadiums, zoos, libraries…. wherever they want. Even if they violate property rights.

517 grants signature gatherers such special rights that restricting them in any way is a crime. And under 517, every initiative with enough signatures would qualify, even if it’s clearly illegal or unconstitutional.

Vote no on 517… before we can never say no again.

The Secretary of State’s office says ballots should reach all Washington State voters by October 22nd. We urge all Washingtonians to join us in voting NO on I-517 and rejecting Tim Eyman’s latest self-serving initiative.

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