Category Archives: From the Campaign Trail

Bellevue Chamber of Commerce: NO on 1125

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

Following in the footsteps of many local chambers of commerce around Washington State, the Bellevue Chamber has taken a strong NO position on I-1125. The endorsement is significant because Bellevue is the home of Tim Eyman’s No. 2 all-time wealthy benefactor, Kemper Freeman, Jr. Freeman owns Bellevue Square, Bellevue Place, and Lincoln Square (which his company dubs “The Bellevue Collection”).

Freeman has not hesitated to part ways with business groups that do not rigidly adhere to the ideology he believes in. He previously left the Bellevue Downtown Association due to “differences of opinion” that “could not be resolved.”

“We appreciate the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to Initiative 1125,” said Steve Mullin, president of the Washington Roundtable. “The Chamber understands that our state’s recovery and future vitality are  dependent on trade, agriculture and innovation – and that requires a transportation network that moves goods and workers efficiently.  I-1125 is the wrong prescription for Washington State’s economy.”

The Bellevue Chamber also took a position supporting Costco’s I-1183, a right wing proposal to privatize liquor, which NPI strongly opposes.

Wenatchee World urges NO vote on I-1125

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

One of the more widely read newspapers in Eastern Washington has declared its opposition to the latest scheme to come out of Tim Eyman’s mill. The Wenatchee World, published from the heart of central Washington, urged voters this weekend to say NO to Initiative 1125. Here’s a key excerpt from their editorial:

I-1125 will make it more difficult to set and raise highway tolls. It will restrict who sets tolls, how toll revenues are spent, where they can be collected and for how long. That might bring temporary satisfaction to some, but it will shut down an important means to finance big highway projects. It will strain the already-limited resources for transportation funding, put upward pressure on the gas tax once again, and make it certain that more taxes from here will go to pay for the big projects over there. Projects delayed will increase costs and congestion and add to business and building expense everywhere. Initiative 1125 is an exceptionally bad trade.

This is a solid analysis. It is no accident that I-1125 would prevent Washington State from flexibly using tolls as a funding mechanism for rebuilding crumbling bridges and highways. Nor is it an accident that I-1125 contains a provision intended to prevent Sound Transit from ever bringing light rail across Lake Washington. This is all by design.

For more than a decade, Tim Eyman has sponsored initiatives intended to paralyze public services, destroy our common wealth, and wreck government. I-1125 is just the latest bad idea from his initiative factory. It must be rejected this November if key projects like SR 520 or East Link light rail are to be kept on track.

Vote NO on I-1125.

Faith leaders speak out against Tim Eyman’s I-1033

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign TrailStatements & Advisories

Earlier this week, the NO on I-1033 Coalition held a press conference featuring four religious leaders opposed to Initiative 1033. The event was covered by KING5, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, NPI, and was mentioned by The Seattle Times.

The NPI Advocate has been publishing the full statements of each of the faith leaders who spoke as part of a special series on Initiative 1033. Many more faith leaders have also signed onto a letter opposing Initiative 1033 which can be viewed at the Washington Association of Churches’ website.

Highlights from Wednesday’s media event:

Reverend Chris Boerger, Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: “We cannot, for the sake of a few people whose greed has gotten in the way, decide to make public policy on the basis of greed. We need to make public policy on the basis of what would best serve the public, and 1033 does not do that.”

Rabbi Janine Schloss, of the Washington Coalition of Rabbis: “Judaism teaches us to speak up and it requires us to live our lives according to the highest values. And so, as someone who takes my faith seriously, I cannot vote for Initiative 1033. Because I will not be responsible for hurting let alone myself, but for hurting more importantly, my neighbors, my community, and all those who share the blessing of living in the State of Washington.”

Reverend Greg Rickel, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia: “It is smoke and mirrors, designed to make people who are already suffering believe they will benefit, when in fact, they will not. Ultimately, no one will. 1033 is, at best, laziness on the part of leadership and social Darwinism at its worse. ”

Rev. Joyce Martin Emery, Transitional Synod Executive, Synod of AK/NW Presbyterian: “1033 guarantees more cuts that would be made in healthcare and education and social services. So we just cannot sit still, but must speak against this, because the gap between the rich and the poor would widen, and it would harm those that are vulnerable.”

Governor Gregoire says I-1033 would “devastate” Washington

From the Campaign TrailStatements & Advisories

At the Washington Conservation Voters’ annual Breakfast of Champions this morning, Governor Chris Gregoire made a special appearance to urge activists to do everything possible to defeat Tim Eyman’s jobs-killing Initiative 1033, which freezes services and budgets at current levels, locking in cuts, and redirecting future sales taxes to pay for a special property tax cut for the rich.

Gregoire described I-1033 as the “one thing that will ensure we devastate the State of Washington”, forestalling any hope of economic recovery.

Emphasizing the extroadinary nature of the threat I-1033 represents, Gregoire said of her speech, during her remarks: “I don’t do this very often. In fact, I don’t recall ever having done it as governor. I come here from the bottom of my heart to tell you, I will not stand by, I will not be silent, as Washington State faces yet another [destructive] initiative. ”

The governor attacked I-1033 with intensity, saying she found Tim Eyman’s efforts to fool the public into believing there’s a free lunch “incomprehensible”. “The proponent of 1033 says there will be no cut in services. I just don’t get how you can suggest that,” Gregoire said.

Read a full transcript of Gregoire’s remarks at the NPI Advocate.

Permanent Defense challenges Tim Eyman to reschedule carpool lane “victory lap” if I-985 passes

From the Campaign TrailRethinking and ReframingStatements & Advisories

Over the last few weeks, more and more voters have been taking a closer look at Initiative 985… and they don’t like what they see.

Sponsored by Washington’s version of Grover Norquist,  Initiative 985 is a recipe for transportation disaster. If enacted, the measure would open high occupancy vehicle lanes during rush hour in Puget Sound, paralyzing the bus system, slowing emergency response vehicles, and potentially forcing the closure of federally funded transit access ramps on highways.

(I-985 would also steal hundreds of millions of dollars away from the general fund, which pays for our schools and first responders, making our state’s projected deficit far worse and canceling some of the savings implemented by Governor Chris Gregoire).

Several weeks ago, the Seattle Times reported: “Eyman is so certain voters will approve the initiative in November’s election he’s planning a ‘Freedom Drive’ on Dec. 4 with a sign on his pickup saying, ‘Drive in this lane. You paid for it.'”

In the event that Initiative 985 is approved and takes effect – which remains a possibility, albeit one that has been diminishing in likelihood with every passing day – the Permanent Defense team challenges sponsor Tim Eyman and his cohorts to reschedule their convoy for the next day – December 5th, 2008, at 6 PM, on SR 520 in Bellevue.

That’s when the westbound carpool lane, restricted today to vehicles carrying three or more people, would be open to everyone – and subequently filled.

During the middle of rush hour.

If Tim Eyman and his friends accept our challenge, we promise to show up to provide publicity. We would be more than happy to station ourselves on the pedestrian overpass near Evergreen Point and take video/pictures of Eyman’s convoy as it waits in the infamous Lake Washington Line, crawling towards the water.

Though it would be cold and dark, we would have our cameras ready as Eyman’s pickup slowly rolled under us, foot by foot, trapped behind a packed Sound Transit bus that’s running behind schedule because it’s been stuck in traffic.

For that is the future of the commute for thousands of people in Puget Sound who are certain to end up spending more time in their cars and less time with their families if Initiative 985 passes and takes effect.

We urge voters to reject that future, and reject Tim Eyman’s selfish, thoughtless, me-first approach to public policy. Our high occupancy vehicle lanes – like the parking spaces we’ve set aside for disabled Americans – are a valuable resource that encourages people to commute together. Taking that resource away would unfairly punish people who are already doing their part to reduce gridlock.

Just as it wouldn’t make sense to open federally-mandated parking spaces for the disabled to everyone most of the time, it doesn’t make sense to allow solo drivers to use our HOV system during Tim Eyman’s incorrect definition of “off peak hours”.

It would be tantamount to paying people to drive.

Traffic is already bad enough. Our projected budget deficit is already bad enough. And our schools are already underfunded.

Washington State just can’t afford Initiative 985.

Governor Gregoire strongly opposed to I-985

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

Recently, the NPI Advocate published an interview with Chris Gregoire which included a question asking for her position on Initiative 985. Here’s the governor’s interview with NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve:

ANDREW: You’ve been good about coming out and telling people where you stand on issues; that’s something your opponent doesn’t do. Do you have a position on Initiative 985, the traffic measure – the More Traffic Measure?

GOVERNOR: Opposed.

ANDREW: You’re opposed?

GOVERNOR: Opposed.

ANDREW: You don’t like the idea of opening carpool lanes during rush hour?

GOVERNOR: No! It won’t work! Because it’s this… micromanaging… saying, these hours [referring to the set six hours when carpool lanes will remain carpool lanes]…well, it doesn’t work like that on every road! So what we’re going to end up with is an inability to enforce from a law enforcement perspective – it won’t work – and we’re going to have worse congestion, not better. Worse congestion.

So, it’s a bill of goods, it’s not going to work, and oh by the way, it’s going to steal money from the general fund… which means we’re going to steal money from education, or healthcare, or community safety.

ANDREW: And you’re aware that the initiative actually prohibits spending money on ferries and rail and other [alternatives to highways]…?

GOVERNOR: Yeah!

ANDREW: I mean, it’s ridiculous.

GOVERNOR: Yeah. Absolutely. So, absolutely opposed.

Initiative 985 would steal money away from underfunded services like our schools, worsen your commute, and lengthen the amount of time you’re away from your family. I-985 is a bad idea. Vote no.

We’re renewing our commitment to defeat Tim Eyman’s Initiative 892

From the Campaign Trail

As one season ends, another begins.

Election season is now upon us, and Tim Eyman’s Initiative 892 is on the ballot. Funded by out of state, foreign gambling conglomerates, Initiative 892 asks voters to grant the gambling industry the right to invade Washington communities.

I-892 is a malicious, destructive initiative, financed by a scheming gambling industry, and falsely promoted by Tim Eyman as a plan to give everyone a free pony (sorry, make that property tax cut). But Initiative 892 isn’t about property tax cuts. It’s about the biggest expansion of gambling in the history of the state.

Initiative 892 would allow the installation of 18,255 slot machines in neighborhood bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants, and would create $23 billion in new wagering… as admitted by Tim Eyman himself.

As we move forward into August, September, and October, a great battle looms before us. We have won one victory against Tim Eyman with the failure of Initiative 684, but now we face a well-funded, powerful foe… Eyman’s partners in the the gambling industry.

The industry will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda. They have lobbied intensely to the Legislature to have electronic slot machines approved, to no avail. Now, they are trying the “back door” – the initiative process.

Tim Eyman has been defeated at the ballot box before, when voters resoundingly voted down Initiative 745. We’ve beaten Eyman once before at the ballot, and we can do it again.

We hereby renew our commitment to see I-892’s defeat through to the end. We are resolved to continue opposing this awful initiative every step of the way until Election Day.

And we can do it. We’ve already seen Eyman’s winning streak come to an end. Of the last four initiatives that Eyman has attempted to qualify to the ballot, only one has made it. Three have failed. And one only succeeded because of huge contributions from gambling conglomerates.

Fewer and fewer people are buying the snake oil Tim Eyman is selling. Unable to secure financing for what he really wants to put on the ballot, Eyman has made a pact with the gambling industry to serve as their front man, promoting this ridiculous tax refunds for slot machines plan. How fitting that he’s now a tool of an industry that preys on people in order to generate profits.

We can fight both Eyman and the gambling industry and win. But only if we organize and mobilize for victory every day from now through Election Day.

Opponents confront Tim Eyman in Olympia during submission of signatures for I-892

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsFrom the Campaign TrailThreat Analysis

On Sunday, June 27th, 2004, Tim Eyman announced that he had 235,000 signatures on hand to turn in to the Secretary of State’s office this morning for Initiative 892, his scheme to expand gambling in every corner of the state. The minimum requirement for the 2004 ballot is about 198,000 signatures.

To counter Tim’s lies and deceitful statistics, Permanent Defense’s Andrew Villeneuve journeyed to Olympia with fellow activists David Goldstein and Steve Zemke to talk to reporters and confront Eyman at his press conference for I-892 at the Secretary of State’s Elections Annex.

We were were successful in throwing Eyman off script as he attempted to go through his rehearsed sales pitch. Although Eyman refused, and still refuses to admit it, the initiative is primarily about an expansion of gambling. It places 19,000 slot machines into neighborhood bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants.

Eyman ignored questions about I-864, the other initiative he claims to be attempting to be qualifying for the ballot. He completely disregarded questions from reporters, brushing them off and attempting to shut them down. The press refused to be daunted, however, and continued to ask questions.

Eyman was interrupted during his press conference by Zemke, who heads Taxpayers For Washington’s Future, an ally of Permanent Defense. Eyman had propped up a graph showing a general rise in property taxes since 1980 and was complaining about the increase in taxes to the press.

But Tim’s graph didn’t take into account inflation, or population growth, or new development (which causes an increase the number of properties assessed by the state). Steve correctly pointed out that Eyman’s graph was worthless because it did not make apples-to-apples comparisons.

More people means more public services, which requires money. More properties means more revenue for the state. And any economist knows that inflation is a continual increase in the cost of products and services, which is a factor that influences the entire economy- including property values.

Tim’s claim that his initiative has wide popular support is also a myth. Tim hasn’t run a campaign powered by volunteer supporters in years. All of his initiatives since 1999 have relied on paid signature gatherers to get on the ballot. I-892 is no exception.

There is no broad-based movement in the state of Washington agitating for these anti-tax initiatives. But there is an alliance between Tim Eyman and the gambling industry, with the goal of swindling voters into believing that I-892 is a good initiative because they’ll save a few bucks on their property taxes. I-892 is the most massive expansion of gambling in state history.

Alone on Monday with no sidekicks in tow, Tim Eyman himself reminded us all he’s just become a mouthpiece for the gambling industry. For the past fifteen weeks, Eyman has paid himself to the tune of $3,100 a week. That’s more than many Wal-Mart employees make in a month.

The backers of I-892 are giant gaming and gambling conglomerates, like Great Canadian Gaming of British Columbia, which is accused of allowing loan sharking in its Canadian casinos and not keeping true to an investment made jointly with Allegiance Capital of Texas. The investment was a floating casino, a “cruise ship” of sorts, which now sits off of Taiwan and is a den of prostitutes.

Other backers include Michaels Associates of Nevada, which was recently fined $50,000 by the WSGC for lax oversight that resulted in a $250,000 embezzlement, and Washington Gaming, the third largest donor, which is currently more than $900,000 delinquent in state taxes.

Washington Gaming co-owner Tim Iszley is a leading member of the Entertainment Industry Coalition, which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid signature gatherers to get 892 on the ballot.

The initiative was financed by out of state, foreign gambling interests, and its signatures were collected by out of state workers from California and other areas.

I-892 was sold to Washingtonians by petitioners as an initiative to cut their property taxes. Petitioners conveniently failed to mention that the initiative would bring about the biggest expansion of gambling in state history.

Washington voters will vote no on I-892 in November because they will know the initiative is bad for their communities. Permanent Defense remains dedicated to its mission of opposing Eyman and will continue to fight against I-892 until its defeat in November.

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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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