Category Archives: Threat Analysis

Firefighters speak out

Rethinking and ReframingThreat Analysis

A number of firefighters have contacted us, concerned about the effects of Initiative 864, and asked us to help them spread their message. Initiative 864 means REAL cuts for REAL firefighters, and that’s jobs lost in an already downbeat economy. Not to mention the drop in your level of protection, would could lead to higher insurance rates. So, here’s the firefighters in their own words:

From Brandon Knopp, a King County volunteer firefighter:

It would be great to cut taxes and all. But has anyone stopped and thought about what it will do to the Fire and Police departments?

I am a volunteer fire fighter out in a rural are in King County. My Chief met with the King County Police Chiefs and Fire Chiefs, and they are all concerned about this 25% cut.

A few examples of how it would back just some of the local fire and police departments:

  • Federal Way Fire Department would lose about 10 fire fighters.
  • Maple Valley would lose 3 or 4.
  • King County would not be able to fund King County Medic One and therefore we would not have ANY paramedics in the South King County area.

And one of bigger issues is that departments like mine would be shut down. Our district is adjacent to Maple Valley and Enumclaw.

If this 25% cut went through, Maple Valley and Enumclaw would not be able to cover our 26 square mile district. There would be no fire or aid protection in that area.

And if you look in Eastern Washington, it’s almost ALL volunteer departments So, say goodbye to our forests if they catch fire, because there won’t be anyone to put them out.

So…please, please, please take what I have said into consideration before supporting this 25% cut.

From Tim Kienitz, Clark County Fire District #6:

As a firefighter I am faced with the potential of losing my job. That in itself is a bad thing, as I have a family to support. The worst part of it is what it would do to the community that I serve.

The service of EMS and Fire protection we offer to the community would be crippled because of manpower cuts and service would suffer. I fear that because of the political climate in the country about taxes people will not understand that the money they pay goes to protect their very lives.

From Shawn, a suburban firefighter:

I am a member of a mid sized fire department with less than 50 paid employees, serving a mostly suburban community. Recently we met with our administration regarding a contingency plan in case I-864 passes. Losing revenue by cutting property taxes in our Fire District translates to laying off 15 firefighters and firefighter paramedics and closing one of our 3 fire stations.

In turn, our response times would increase and service levels would decrease to that of the early 90’s while our call volume will have doubled from the same time. I hope the voters in the state of Washington will come to realize that this initiative WILL gut our public services and our Fire Departments will lose their effectiveness in making a timely response to their emergency.

Protect your quality of life and your local community… decline to sign Initiative 864.

Eyman proposes gambling-for-tax cuts scheme

Threat Analysis

Tim Eyman’s new plan to add to the state’s list of woes involves a $400 million state property tax cut. Eyman says education would be shielded, but that claim is as phony as Eyman himself.

He’s proposing to pay off the $400 million cut, which would have been deflected onto criminal justice and other state programs, by opening up the rest of the state to gambling. It’s an idea so pitiful it goes below the legislature’s half-hearted plans to fix our state’s regressive tax system.

The latest plan, a complete disgrace, just serves to prove the profligate initiative filer is all about announcing and not about doing. For the past ten months, Eyman has done nothing but announce new plans and shake his electronic tin cup.

Last June he said his intention was go after state property taxes. In the meantime, he was busy collecting money for himself. In December, he announced a new version of his 25% property tax slashing plan: local property taxes, not state property taxes, would be targeted. Since then, he’s supposedly been working on Initiative 864. And now, he announces he plans to attack state and local property taxes – and use expanded gambling to cover the costs of cutting the former.

Eyman doesn’t produce results for his supporters. He has had no successful initiative since 2002. And his plans slash millions of dollars from parks, libraries, pools, police, & fire response.

Real savings from reduced taxes equal real cuts, and at the local level, the cuts are direct. What’s the great thing about saving a couple hundred dollars a year if your local fire station is forced to shut down?

Eyman never mentions that insurance rates could also rise if Initiative 864 is passed. He also never takes note that his initiative badly hurts the local governments that are already doing an efficient job. And he proposes to jack up gambling to pay for his latest idea.

The two-part tax-cut drive is not much of a new twist for Eyman. He’s changed his story so many times that it’s more like a ten part plan, with each part of the plan changing the part that came before. The new plan would only add to the woes now facing Washington State. Eyman would have us believe that we’d be better off laying off  local firefighters and policemen and saving money, but he’s wrong.

Eyman’s constant mantra about government waste, corruption, and inefficiency is tiring and old. Year after year, it’s the same laundry list of complaints: Sound Transit, vehicle tabs, property taxes, the state Legislature, and on and on.

The new initiative will not shield education. It’s a lie that is so pathetic, it’s hard to describe. Schools are hardly shielded when funding for libraries, pools, parks, and extra curricular programs is slashed.

Education is more than just school. Kids need support outside of school, especially kids in need of help. And the money that will “save” education will come from prisons and the criminal justice system.

Is Seattle destined to be the Las Vegas of the Northwest? If Eyman has his way, Washington will transform into a lawless society like Haiti where a powerless government can do nothing to serve or protect its citizens, or another Reno/Las Vegas, the “sin capital of the world.”

Initiative 864 and his new plan will not create new jobs. His plan will, in fact, cut jobs. Washington has a regressive tax system, but Tim’s initiatives just make an already broken system worse.

The reason that Kemper Freeman Jr. and the Lemattas of Vancouver give money to Eyman is because the initiatives give huge windfalls to wealthy property owners. Both the Lemattas and Freeman own a lot of property.

Don’t let Tim Eyman and Voters Want More Choices deceive you. There is no free lunch. A 25% property tax cut, and a state property tax cut to boot, is madness and insanity. It will break more than it will fix.

There is no benefit in having less firemen and policemen on patrol. There is no way to make up for library cutbacks, park closures, and mothballed pools. The cuts that would result from Initiative 864 would be so sweeping, so drastic, that there would be no way to plug them.

Two Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

It’s exciting and amazing to think that Permanent Defense is now two years old and still going strong! As we celebrate our two year birthday, I’d like to say thank you to all our supporters, who have responded to our requests to lobby legislators and promote real tax reform. Those of you who have subscribed to Extra! have done a great thing- you’ve committed yourselves to staying informed on what’s going on in Washington politics.

As in years past, we need to stop Tim to protect our state. And we’re confident that we can do it this year. Tim’s proposal is so downright awful that people are becoming opposed to it as soon as they hear about it.

Initiative 864 is too devastating to ignore. If we don’t act, we will lose the quality of life we enjoy in our communities.

I’d like to reflect on some of the things we’ve accomplished this past year- from February 2003 to February 2004.

We saw the defeat of Tim’s initiative last year, Initiative 807, in July, after fighting it with our allies David Goldstein and Steve Zemke. We won, and Eyman’s measure never made it onto the ballot… his first initiative failure in four years.

We relaunched our site in July with a redesign, including new features, and content. We launched our new domain name, www.permanentdefense.org, to make our site more easily accessible. We continued to send messages to the media and to legislators about the defects in Tim’s plan.

Last spring, last summer, last fall, and last winter, we have been preparing to fight the 25% property tax initiative. It’s here, and we’re fighting. Opponents to I-860/I-864 filed a ballot title challenge and language challenge, causing Eyman to try and “back out” of his initiative and go for legal advice. Opponents also made the rounds with the media in December 2003. A surprised Tim was then confronted with questions from his ready opponents while he tried to reel off his latest proposal- the 25% property tax initiative.

Incredibly enough, Tim hasn’t even told his supporters about his filing of Initiative 860, or Initiative 864. That’s because he knows it’s being challenged and doesn’t want his people to even know it.

Just like when Tim shut them out in the dark for years about his pocketing of $165,000. Instead, Tim attempts to rouse fury and anger out of his supporters towards Washington government. One of the worst things about Tim’s across the board tax cuts is that it really penalizes the local governments doing a good job… the ones that can’t cut any “fat”. Tim thinks everyone should be accountable to his “standard”, but his proposals hurt the localities that are already efficient. This doesn’t make any sense!

With our alternative Homestead Exemption proposal, which was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, we offer the means for real tax reform, not just the “slash and burn” advocated by Eyman and his fellow cronies. Eyman wants to burn down the “rainforest” so that the wealthy can use the land for cattle grazing.

That’s not our approach.

We want positive human interaction with the “rainforest”- an effective solution for Washington’s regressive tax system. Our proposal directly benefits middle and lower income families. It doesn’t give large windfalls to the rich as Tim’s proposal does.

Two years of opposing Eyman is a great track record. And we’re now excited to bring you January Launch, which commenced on January 30th. You can read all about it via the link from our home page. Please take the time to check out the new content.

Eyman launches 2004 attack on public services

Threat Analysis

Tim Eyman has unveiled his newest initiative effort for 2004 after the apparent failure of Initiative 807- axing property taxes by 25 percent. The profligate initiative filer’s latest attempts at controlling the state fiscally appear to be failing, with I-267 falling apart last December and I-807 now short of money and signatures.

Eyman promised a “voter veto” of any taxes passed in Olympia this year, a blatant attempt to intimidate Legislature. There is no such thing as a “voter veto” in this state or this country (a referendum is not a veto, it is a forced public vote on a bill). Tim is trying to goad people into believing that there is. To “get revenge”, he’s going to try to slice property taxes again- meaning that public education, parks, pools, police, fire, healthcare, and libraries would have to suffer once more.

Eyman will be attempting to get this initiative on the November 2004 ballot.

Tim is back…and he has more lies to spread

Ballot WatchdoggingRethinking and ReframingThreat Analysis

The following is an original statement by Tim Eyman on July 2nd (in italics). Interjected between each blockquote is Permanent Defense’s response, in roman font.

If politicians had one ounce of compassion for the average taxpayer, I-776 would not be necessary.

Politicians care about taxpayers, Tim. The problem is, we don’t give them enough money to fix Washington’s problems. It’s not their fault we keep blowing holes in the budget every year.

Washington is the 2nd highest taxed state in the nation- I-776 keeps us from hitting #1.

Please, Tim. Stop spreading lies. In 2001 you said we were the 4th highest taxed state. Do you mean to tell us that, despite your initiatives, we moved up in your fraudulent rankings? Incredible!

I-776 offers $30 tabs on your car, truck, motorcycle, motorhome, and other vehicles. Working class folks, not just rich people, should be able to afford a newer vehicle. $30 is reasonable.

Obviously not. We are out of money for transportation infrastructure and you don’t care.

When political judges vetoed voter-approved I-695, politicians frantically embraced $30 tabs during that election year.

Well, no wonder. They were surprised by our misinformed vote and didn’t have the courage to fix the motor vehicle excise tax in a responsible way.

Gary Locke said “Despite the court’s ruling, we have no intention of returning to the old system of high license tab fees. $30 license tabs are here to stay.”

It actually costs more than $30 to pay your registration even if you repeal excise taxes.

Passing I-776 also sends politicians a message: don’t increase taxes and fees unless you ask voters’ permission first (read I-776’s language).

Remember, Tim, you’ve gotten into hot water before by having more than one subject in an initiative. Once again, you try to do too much.

Leadership involves listening.

But you never listen. You’re too busy talking.

Taxpayers want their voices heard.

But not in your words.

With voter approval, politicians must convince us that current revenues are being spent as effectively as possible before we OK more – that’s accountability.

Well, they try, but you blast them with the usual: you always say politicians are lying.

I-776 ensures a long-overdue revote on light rail.

We don’t need a revote. What we need is more mass transit. The people of Seattle voted in Greg Nickels as mayor in 2001. That means that the majority of people in Seattle want light rail, because Nickels is a strong advocate of it.

By ensuring “$30 Tabs for Everyone”, I-776 brings accountability to the worst government agency in state history: Sound Transit. I-776 repeals car taxes which provide 20% of their funding and forces this reckless rogue agency to get renewed.

Actually, Sound Transit may not be affected. Sorry, Tim. The agency can use its dollars to repay its debt, so I-776 will do nothing to Sound Transit’s Central Link project.

If politicians still want light rail, then put a new tax package before the voters.

Why? Your initiative won’t stop Sound Transit, and we in Puget Sound approved Sound Transit in 1996 anyway by saying yes to Sound Move.

Beginning construction with a majority opposed is arrogant and unacceptable.

The majority of people in this region want light rail.

In January, a poll commissioned by the King County Council showed 68% of King County voters wanted a revote on light rail (the numbers in Pierce and Snohomish must be stratospheric).

Numbers change, Tim. You can’t hurt Sound Transit.

Washington is the 2nd highest taxed state in the nation, so the problem isn’t lack of taxes.

Once again, Tim, you lie. We don’t know where you get your statistics from, but they’re not true.

Voters have been clear:

No, we haven’t. We send different messages at each election.

$30 tabs and voter approval for tax and fee increases. I-776 sends that message again.

Because it wasn’t irresponsible enough the first time?

Anything but an overwhelming “Yes” for I-776 will be seen by politicians as an endorsement of higher taxes. I-776 helps everyone so we ask for your support this November.

It doesn’t help us at all. It eliminates funding for road improvements and transit.

We’ve faced some extraordinary challenges this year.

Exactly, and none of them weren’t deserved.

But standing here today, there is no doubt that Permanent Offense, its’ leaders and its’ supporters, have never been more unified and more energized.

Uh huh. That’s what you’d like people to believe.

Our supporters kept their eye on the ball, stayed focused, and made I-776 a reality. More than 250,000 citizens voluntarily signed our I-776 petitions because they believed in the simple principle that politicians should keep their promises.

Actually, Tim, you used paid-signature gatherers to buy your way onto the ballot. Most people are too polite to refuse signing a document that someone is earning wages from.

But frankly, it would be incredibly inconsiderate of us to not give credit to those most responsible for our continued success: our opponents, our detractors, and their allies in the press.

Tim thinks we help him, but we don’t.

Permanent Offense – the four of us – would be nothing without you.

That’s why you took money from your supporters, isn’t it, Tim?

It is incredibly gratifying to me to watch our initiatives continue to elicit such contempt from the elitists in government, business, labor, and the ivory towers of the media but continue to garner overwhelming victories by regular voters each and every year.

A misinformed voter will vote on anything that puts money into his or her pocket. You and your lies, Tim.

To watch you all sputter and huff and puff with no real impact on the electorate is an illustration of the disconnect you have with the hopes, dreams, and fears of the average taxpayer.

Tim, you’re the one that stole the money. You are completely out-of-touch and we’ve seen no indication that your attitudes will change anytime soon.

Work yourself into a lather if you want to concerning our efforts to limit taxes in Washington state, it makes no difference to me, because to the average voter, you have all reached the point of near-irrelevance.

Earlier, you complained about people playing dirty, Tim. You yell at opponents for doing it, then you encourage it. Way to be consistent.

Throughout our campaign, we have sent our supporters a monthly letter keeping them updated on our progress. I’d like to read an excerpt from the letter we sent in May:

Our opponents and their allies in the press have pulled out all the stops to derail our efforts to protect taxpayers this year. Big Labor’s fraudulent scheme to attack our bank account, the government’s lawsuit against Tim, blaring smear headlines in the newspapers, scoffing editorials, and politicians’ vicious threats and scare tactics.

It has been the most ruthless, relentless, shameless, transparent effort to stop an initiative campaign in state history. They’ve emptied their chamber on us. They dropped their A-BOMB. We’ve seen their worst.

We didn’t do everything we could have done to stop I-776, but we never stooped to breaking the law. There’s not much one can do against paid-signature gatherers.

Let’s take all their venom and use it to energize us. Let’s absorb all their attacks and become stronger.

You’ll only get weaker when you’re forced to deal with the Attorney General’s lawsuit against you.

If we work together and succeed this year despite all THIS, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish in the future.

That must be why you’re begging you’re supporters for money to pay your legal defense bills with.

Our supporters took that message to heart. The qualification of I-776 for the ballot is a testament to the faith, loyalty and junkyard-dog determination of our supporters. It is truly an extraordinary accomplishment and one that is worthy of the history books.

Three words: Paid-signature gatherers. Junkyard dog determination, indeed.

Thanks to our supporters’ perseverance, Permanent Offense and Tim Eyman will be a punching bag for pompous politicians, pious political practitioners, and premadonna press people for years to come. We hope so. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. Because thanks to our supporters, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish in the future.

There’s a huge limit. When you’re forced to pay the state for breaking the law, we’ll laugh, and when you use paid-signature gatherers again, we’ll point it out. You lied, and it’s obvious if you’d take your supporters’ money without asking or saying anything, then cover it up, you’re not to be trusted with government management.

Tim’s words are, once again, up front and cleverly themed to include nothing about any money-taking, only the fact that “I’ve busted my butt off for years” and “my need to be compensated”.

Tim’s message is once again full of potholes. When he says, “we’ve beaten them handily year after year”- referring to business groups, labor unions, and the press – he has conveniently forgotten that only one initiative out of four was really successful. Two were tossed out by courts, one failed, and one is unfortunately on our books.

Tim says that voters, year after year, “agreed with our common-sense ideas of reasonable taxes and increased accountability.” In reality, the public was misinformed. Tim is essentially calling budget-slashing, transportation-gutting, police & fire-chopping, ferry fare-skyrocketing, park-closing reasonable.

After I-695 was thrown out in court, the Legislature went back and re-instituted it.  This is the first year we haven’t been able to backfill the giant hole I-695 blew in state and county budgets. By approving I-747, voters decided that police, firemen, and public employees’ salaries really didn’t matter very much.

Tim’s “team”, Permanent Offense, can’t even manage their own finances. They let Eyman sneak thousands under their noses, then they turn around and expect us to take their advice on how to manage government. Simply ridiculous.

As for the accusations about the Washington State Labor Council playing dirty… he’s just exaggerating to attract attention. We don’t condone what WSLC tried to do, but it’s nothing compared to Eyman’s trickery.

Eyman also says that he gets “an avalanche of phone calls, emails, faxes and letters from supporters offering their encouragement.” We haven’t seen any of that correspondence, Tim. How do we know you’re telling the truth?

Tim says that, after I-695, “I figured that I-695 was such a tremendous victory for taxpayers and that it sent such a clear and unambiguous message to politicians I figured my work was done.”

It’s obvious why politicians didn’t accept I-695’s message: it was an irresponsible initiative.

Eyman then goes on to proclaim that, after I-695 “It’s also when I made a decision: that I couldn’t work for free.” So you decided to sneak money and lie about it! Real clever, Tim! All the while trying to hold the “moral high ground” against your opponents.

Tim laments that there are people, such as politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and others: working around the clock, all year long, to raise the taxes of Washingtonians. But no one does that. That’s what Tim would like people to believe. He asks people “to stand with me now”. Why should anyone do that?

Obviously he’s a liar, a cheat, and deceiver.

It’s time to send Tim and pals a real clear message: Stop. Enough. If voters have the sensibility to reject Initiative 776, then it will prove that finally people understand that Tim Eyman and Permanent Offense don’t have the public interest at heart.

Their goal is to help themselves.

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