Tag Archives: Anniversary Message

Fourteen Years: Statement from the Founder

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its fourteenth anniversary, marking one hundred and sixty-eight months of continuous operation. Since going live on February 15th, 2002, Permanent Defense (PD) has been a fierce defender of Washington’s Constitution, common wealth, and vital public services, unceasingly organizing opposition to destructive initiatives proposed by Tim Eyman and other malicious actors.

Permanent Defense: Fourteen YearsPermanent Defense was born out of a realization that passivism (passive resistance) is a fatal response to right wing initiatives. We believe that only effective antidote to Tim Eyman’s toxic politics and destructive initiatives is relentless activism that informs, educates, and persuades the public to protect their public services by rejecting Eyman’s snake oil and voting against his schemes when they appear on the ballot. PD exists to provide such antidote, on a year-round basis, as the oldest project of the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI).

Today marks the conclusion of Permanent Defense’s fourteenth year and the beginning of its fifteenth. Last February, we were able to celebrate the first Eyman-free November in eight years. Unfortunately, as we anticipated might happen, Eyman was able to line up new wealthy benefactors to get the gears of his initiative factory turning again. With an ample supply of cash from real estate developers and hedge fund managers, Eyman was able to buy his way onto the ballot with I-1366, a clone of I-1325, which failed to qualify in 2014.

With the possible exception of I-1033 from 2009, I-1366 is perhaps the most destructive initiative Eyman has ever qualified for the ballot.

Seemingly inspired by the failed federal government shutdown of 2013 orchestrated by Ted Cruz, I-1366 threatened to wipe out $8 billion in funding for our public schools and other vital public services unless the Legislature capitulated to Tim Eyman’s demand to overturn the Supreme Court’s League of Education Voters decision by April 15th, 2016. LEV is the Court’s landmark decision upholding Article II, Section 22 of our Constitution, which provides that all bills shall pass by majority vote of greater than fifty percent. That includes revenue bills, which Eyman has always wanted subjected to an undemocratic higher standard of two-thirds.

From the day we learned that Eyman was printing petitions for I-1366, we began organizing to defeat it. There was no point in waiting — it would have meant squandering valuable time. We spent the first half of 2015 in coalition-building mode, building an online presence for the coming NO campaign and working to secure commitments from individuals and organizations in opposition to I-1366.

Once I-1366 made it to the ballot, we shifted into mobilization mode.

We supported the lawsuit to have I-1366 removed from the ballot due to being outside the scope of the initiative process, which sadly was not successful.

We launched a political action committee with bipartisan leadership to fight I-1366, and worked cooperatively with our allies to craft a strong con voter’s pamphlet statement.

We conducted research to discern how to most effectively counter Eyman’s deceptive sales pitch for I-1366.

We raised funds and placed ads to educate voters. We helped brief editorial boards and city councils so they could take an informed NO position.

We regularly published analysis documenting the harm I-1366 would do here on Permanent Defense and on NPI’s sister project websites.

We did more than we have ever done to defeat a Tim Eyman initiative, and yet it wasn’t enough. We fell short of victory in November when I-1366 narrowly passed. The November 2015 general election ended up setting a new record as the election with the worst voter turnout since the state began registering voters in the 1930s.

To have worked so hard and to have come up short by such a small margin was disappointing. Regrettably, the NO coalition lacked the financial muscle it should have had, and much of the money that was raised materialized late, after voters had already started voting. We probably could have defeated I-1366 had our community as a whole been more engaged and better organized. NPI’s Permanent Defense certainly did its part.

Though we didn’t have much to work with, we were still able to defeat I-1366 in four counties (King, Jefferson, Thurston, and San Juan) and significantly narrow Eyman’s margin of victory statewide. Impressively, as the count went on, the NO vote rose from 57% to more than 61% in King County.

We vowed on Election Night to keep fighting, and we have. We’re proud that our state’s Democratic representatives and senators stayed unified and refused to capitulate to Eyman in the wake of the election. We strongly support the lawsuit filed by our friends Reuven Carlyle, David Frockt, Eden Mack, Tony Lee, Angela Bartels, Paul Bell, and the League of Women Voters of Washington to have I-1366 invalidated.

We’ve already had one victory in that legal challenge. It was a joyous day when King County Superior Court Judge William Downing struck down Eyman’s I-1366 in its entirety as unconstitutional. Judge Downing agreed with all of our side’s arguments, finding that I-1366 was unconstitutional every way to Sunday.

Judge Downing’s decision has now been appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court, which will render a final verdict. Oral argument will be heard next month and a decision is expected sometime in the weeks to follow.

We believe we stand an excellent chance of winning on appeal, and we look forward to the day when we can add I-1366 to Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart.

At the same time we were organizing against I-1366, we kept on encouraging the Public Disclosure Commission to finish its long-delayed investigation into Tim Eyman’s willful violations of our state’s public disclosure law. Our efforts were rewarded in September of 2016 when PDC staff wrapped up their investigation and presented their findings to the Public Disclosure Commission, which unanimously voted to refer the case to Attorney General Bob Ferguson for prosecution.

We have long believed that Eyman was getting kickbacks from the paid signature gathering company he hires every year. Without being able to examine that firm’s books, we couldn’t prove it. But PDC staff were able to confirm that it was happening.

And the Commissioners, recognizing and appreciating the severity of Eyman’s offenses, deemed that a more comprehensive investigation was warranted. They asked Attorney General Ferguson to broaden the scope of the investigation to discern whether Eyman’s 2012 violations were part of a larger pattern.

This investigation is currently ongoing, and we hope it results in Tim Eyman being held accountable in a court of law.

In the meantime, we have an important success to celebrate: the opening of Sound Transit’s University Link light rail extension. U-Link is opening months ahead of schedule and under budget, thanks to outstanding project management by Sound Transit and the contractors it selected to build the project.

We would not be celebrating University Link’s grand opening this spring had Tim Eyman succeeded in his early 2000s campaign to destroy Sound Transit and prevent it from building the rail spine our region desperately needs and deserves. Fortunately, Eyman’s war on Sound Transit was a failure. ST survived, endured, and today is one of the highest-performing and most widely respected regional transit agencies in the country. The agency has delivered Central Link, Airport Link, and now University Link light rail, with the Angle Lake Link extension due this autumn.

In 2002, at the time Permanent Defense was founded, Sound Transit didn’t have many friends. It was under attack in the press, in the courts, and via initiative (thanks to Eyman). Permanent Defense stood with Sound Transit against those attacks, and made the defeat of Eyman’s I-776 its first priority.

Even after I-776 narrowly passed, we didn’t give up. We vowed to keep on fighting, and Sound Transit did likewise, managing to get I-776 partially invalidated in court and securing federal funding to break ground on Central Link.

Since that first campaign, we have fought numerous Eyman initiatives that tried to mess with Sound Transit and WSDOT in one way or another. Most of those schemes have been failures. But Eyman hasn’t given up. He resents our success and still wants to see Sound Transit destroyed. Eyman recently redeclared war on Sound Transit by announcing his intention to qualify I-1421 to the November 2016 statewide ballot. I-1421 seeks to repeal one of the funding sources the Legislature made available to Sound Transit for its Phase III (ST3) expansion package. It would also repeal billions of dollars in funding for Amtrak Cascades and freight mobility projects.

I-1421 must be defeated — and it can be, if it is effectively opposed. We will be at the forefront of efforts to ensure that it is.

Eyman has also threatened to qualify a second initiative to the November 2016 ballot. This one, intended as a sequel to I-1366, is an attempt to slap a one-year expiration date on any future revenue increase. It’s unconstitutional, of course, but Eyman doesn’t care.

Eyman already has $1.2 million in financing lined up to qualify these measures. Three-quarters of that sum came from his wealthy benefactors.

Eyman is already circulating petitions for I-1421, and will doubtless be printing up petitions for his other scheme by the time spring gets underway.

We can save ourselves and the state we love a lot of trouble in 2017 and beyond if we stop Eyman cold at the ballot this year. Though we appreciate the fine work of Paul Lawrence and the Pacifica Law Group legal team, it shouldn’t be necessary to have to go to court to get Eyman’s malicious schemes thrown out. These terrible initiatives shouldn’t be getting past the voters in the first place.

After our experience fighting I-1366 last year, we resolved to work more proactively to raise money on a year-round basis as well as organize. Permanent Defense’s parent organization NPI raises money year-round, but the vast majority of it goes to support NPI’s core mission along with NPI’s other projects and publications.

We came to the decision last year that to become more effective, Permanent Defense needed its own treasury. And so, we’ve given it one. Today, we are proud to announce the formation of Permanent Defense PAC, a continuing political action committee that will serve as a bulwark against Tim Eyman’s noxious initiative factory. Donations to Permanent Defense PAC will be used to ensure Eyman’s destructive initiatives are met with the vigorous opposition they deserve. You can contribute to Permanent Defense online or by mail (PO Box Redmond, WA 98073).

Here are three other ways you can help:

  • If you are not a member of the Northwest Progressive Institute, we urge you to become one. Members are the backbone of NPI’s supporter community, providing the time, talent, and treasure that makes NPI’s work possible.
  • If you see a petitioner collecting signatures for an Eyman measure like I-1421, we ask that you report your experience immediately so we can track Eyman’s signature drives.
  • And if you are free on the evening of April 1st, 2016, we encourage you to join us for NPI’s eighth Spring Fundraising Gala, where we will talk about our next steps for 2016 and beyond.

As I said last year, through perseverance and hard work, we have won many victories over the years. Tim Eyman may be relentless, but so are we. We don’t give in and we don’t give up, because our Constitution and our commonwealth need safeguarding.

We need this fighting spirit to be contagious. Join us in helping make it so.

Here’s to a great fifteenth year for Permanent Defense.

Thirteen Years: Statement from the Founder

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its thirteenth anniversary, marking one hundred and fifty-six months of continuous operation. Since going live on February 15th, 2002, PD has steadfastly provided the Union’s Forty-Second State with badly needed, year-round opposition to destructive right wing initiatives – chiefly those sponsored by Tim Eyman.

As its name implies, it has a simple, vital protective mission: Maintain a first line of defense against threats to the common wealth and Constitution of Washington.

Permanent Defense: Thirteen YearsOver the span of its thirteen-year existence, PD has organized opposition to over two dozen right wing initiatives, working cooperatively with other citizens and organizations to build strong and diverse ballot coalitions capable of connecting with voters. It hasn’t been easy work; not every effort has been successful.

Happily, though, most of the campaigns Permanent Defense has been a part of have ended in victory. That’s something to be very proud of.

Prior to PD’s founding, as we first noted three years ago when PD was celebrating its tenth anniversary, Tim Eyman was getting an initiative past the voters every year. Since PD was founded, however, Eyman has had no consecutive victories at the ballot. His record since 2002 has been marked by consecutive defeats instead.

We’ve made this point on past anniversaries, but it’s always worth emphasizing.

Diving a little deeper, we can quantity Permanent Defense’s successes with some numbers. Over the course of thirteen years, Permanent Defense and NPI have opposed twenty-eight right wing initiatives, including sixteen sponsored by Tim Eyman. Six of those twenty-eight did not make the ballot; fourteen more were defeated by voters.

NPI and Permanent Defense have also been involved in several referendum campaigns. Most of those have also ended in success, notably R-55 (2004), R-67 (2007), R-71 (2009), and R-74 (2012). A couple others have not.

Although we’ve been successful in more than two-thirds of our defensive campaigns, the other side still has a batting average of over .280, to borrow a widely-understood metric from baseball.  That’s an average most baseball players would be happy with. (For those curious, the MLB league-wide batting average for 2014 was .250). Unless we take advantage of our own opportunities to go to the plate and drive in runs, we’ll always be behind. Defense is important, but offense is what wins games.

Politics may not be a sport – real lives are at stake, after all – but the same principle applies. Permanent Defense’s work is important, but going on offense is more important still. That is why, for almost all of its history, Permanent Defense has been part of something larger: the Northwest Progressive Institute. NPI is working to help progressives learn to go on offense, while ensuring that through PD, Tim Eyman’s initiative factory continues to get the year-round opposition it deserves.

And Permanent Defense has been thriving. Its thirteenth year went incredibly well.

At this time last year, Tim Eyman was trying to qualify a Ted Cruz-inspired scheme to blackmail the Legislature into passing a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote to raise revenue. Eyman was unable to find a wealthy benefactor to finance a signature drive for I-1325, and it thankfully didn’t make the ballot.

After I-1325 crashed and burned, Eyman tried to convince the business community (which he had betrayed in 2012) to give him money to front a new statewide initiative to prohibit cities like SeaTac and Seattle from setting their own minimum wages.

However, as with I-1325, Eyman could not find any wealthy benefactors willing to finance a signature drive. He did receive some seed money, in the form of two $50,000 contributions from Seattle Republicans Faye Garneau and Suzie Burke, plus a smaller contribution from Don Root, but his appeals for funds otherwise went unanswered.

The last time that two successive Eyman schemes failed to qualify for the ballot was 2006, eight years ago. That was also the last time that Washington enjoyed a general election ballot free of any Eyman initiatives.

The 2014 midterms may have yielded some awful results, particularly in other states, but Washington bucked the national trend with a progressive ballot sweep. Initiatives to lower class size and make background checks on gun sales universal were approved, while an initiative that attempted to thwart universal background checks was defeated.

And that wasn’t all. Voters also denied Eyman ammunition for additional attacks on legislators by voting “Maintained” on the two unconstitutional advisory votes that appeared on the ballot.

I-1325’s failure last year so disappointed Eyman that he has resolved to try to qualify a measure that is almost identical to the 2016 ballot: I-1366.

Like I-1325, I-1366 would wipe out a billion dollars a year in funding for schools and other vital public services if the Legislature does not pass a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote to raise revenue. It’s the worst scheme Eyman has ever come up with, and that’s saying something.

Eyman has still apparently not found a wealthy benefactor to put money behind this awful idea, so he’s decided to take out a mortgage on his house to fund a signature drive for the time being. Eyman is spending $150,000 in borrowed money to employ paid signature gatherers to collect signatures for I-1366 for the next few weeks.

In the past, Eyman has been able to find a wealthy benefactor to finance his initiative factory when he needed one. We are therefore assuming that I-1366 will be on the ballot. If it meets the same fate as I-1325, all well and good, but we can’t afford to wait and hope that Eyman falls short. I-1366 is incredibly destructive and it needs opposition now. We will provide that early opposition and ask other organizations to join us in building a strong coalition to defeat I-1366.  To do that, we need your help.

  • If you are not a member of the Northwest Progressive Institute, we urge you to become one. Members are the backbone of NPI’s supporter community, providing the time, talent, and treasure that makes NPI’s work possible.
  • If you see a petitioner collecting signatures for I-1366, we ask that you report your experience immediately so we can track Eyman’s signature drive.
  • And if you are free on the evening of April 10th, 2015, we encourage you to join us for NPI’s seventh Spring Fundraising Gala, where we will explain what we’re doing to mobilize opposition to I-1366.

Through perseverance and hard work, we have won many victories over these past thirteen years. Tim Eyman may be relentless, but so are we. We don’t give in and we don’t give up, because our Constitution and our commonwealth need safeguarding.

We need this fighting spirit to be contagious. Join us in helping make it so.

Here’s to a great fourteenth year for Permanent Defense.

Twelve Years: Statement from the Founder

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its twelfth anniversary, marking one hundred and forty-four months of continuous operation. Since February 15th, 2002, PD has served as a critical first line of defense against threats to the commonwealth and the Constitution of Washington State, fighting destructive right wing ballot measures and opposing Tim Eyman’s initiative factory.

Permanent Defense: Twelve YearsPD is also the Northwest Progressive Institute’s oldest project; it became part of the Northwest Progressive Institute when NPI was founded on August 22nd, 2003.

Much has changed in the twelve years since Permanent Defense was launched, in both politics and technology. Permanent Defense happens to be older than the publishing platform it currently runs on (WordPress), older than much of the political blogosphere (including Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and Politico), and, as mentioned, older than its own parent organization (NPI).

But one thing has not changed: the commitment to ensuring that harmful right wing ballots get the immediate opposition they deserve. That is what Permanent Defense does and does well. For twelve years, PD has worked to protect Washington. Prior to PD’s founding, Tim Eyman was winning at the ballot every year, though his first three successful initiatives were all later overturned by the Supreme Court.

Since PD was founded, however, Eyman has had no consecutive victories at the ballot. This was true two years ago when Permanent Defense celebrated its tenth anniversary, and it remains true today.

While our state and our region remain in need of a progressive movement that can go on offense, Washington’s common wealth and Constitution cannot be left undefended.

That is why Permanent Defense’s work is so important. Campaigns and coalitions come and go, but Permanent Defense is always there. Its resilience stems from its relentlessness; it is a project that lives up to its name.

I am very pleased to report that Permanent Defense’s twelfth year was one of its greatest yet, accentuated by two great victories for our Constitution and our commonwealth: one in court, and one in the court of public opinion.

Early on in the year, the Washington State Supreme Court finally ruled that the undemocratic provision at the heart of Eyman’s I-601 clones… as well as I-601 itself… was unconstitutional. As a consequence, majority rule was restored to our statehouse, and revenue can now be raised by majority vote, like our founders intended.

After having avoided the justiciable controversy in past cases, the Court finally made it unequivocally clear in League of Education Voters v. State of Washington that the words “majority vote” in Article II, Section 22 mean a majority… greater than fifty percent. No more and no less. The ruling is not even a year old yet, but already it ranks as one of the Court’s best and most important decisions.

Later in the year, Permanent Defense worked closely with many other organizations, including some that had supported Eyman’s I-601 clones, to build a strong and diverse coalition to oppose Initiative 517. The goal of Eyman’s I-517 was to make it cheaper and easier for Eyman to qualify initiatives to the ballot, so he could make his initiative factory more lucrative and profitable.

When we first started working against I-517, we were told by many people that it would be difficult to win. But we proved the skeptics wrong on Election Night when the initial results showed I-517 losing, and losing big.

The magnitude of the victory only increased in the days that followed, and within a week, I-517 had become Tim Eyman’s biggest defeat ever, percentage-wise. In the end, the coalition against I-517 claimed 62.71% of the vote. It was the only campaign that received more than a million votes in the election.

Although our electoral focus was on defeating I-517, we also worked to help Washingtonians understand that the five “advisory votes” on their 2013 ballot were really push polls required by Tim Eyman’s I-960. Our efforts to help educate voters paid off. Even though the wording of the questions strongly encouraged voters to vote “Repealed”, a majority of Washingtonians nevertheless defied Eyman and chose to vote “Maintained” instead on three of the five push polls.

While we take great pride in these successes, we know there is more work to do. Tim Eyman hasn’t called it quits. In fact, he remains as obsessed as ever with making his two-thirds to raise revenue scheme the law of the land.

Since our founders very wisely did not make it possible to amend the Constitution by ballot initiative, Eyman is hawking a Ted Cruz-style measure that would repeal $1 billion in funding for our public schools each year unless the Legislature approves a constitutional amendment to make Eyman’s two-thirds scheme permanent.

Eyman is essentially attempting to blackmail lawmakers by taking our schools hostage. It is outrageous and we will not stand for it. With your help, we will ensure that Eyman’s I-1325 receives the fierce opposition it deserves.

We know from over a decade of experience fighting right wing initiatives that getting an early start makes a huge difference. Given that Eyman has printed up petitions for I-1325, there can be no doubt that Eyman is serious about getting I-1325 to the ballot.

In the past, Eyman has consistently been able to find a wealthy benefactor to finance his initiative factory when he needed one. We are therefore assuming that I-1325 will be on the ballot. If it doesn’t make it, all well and good, but we can’t afford to wait and hope that Eyman falls short. I-1325 is incredibly destructive and it needs opposition now. We will provide that early opposition and ask other organizations to join us in building a strong coalition to defeat I-1325.  To do that, we need your help.

  • If you are not a member of the Northwest Progressive Institute, we urge you to become one. Members are the backbone of NPI’s supporter community, providing the time, talent, and treasure that makes NPI’s work possible.
  • If you see a petitioner collecting signatures for I-1325, we ask that you report your experience immediately so we can track Eyman’s signature drive.
  • And if you are free on the evening of April 25th, 2014, we encourage you to join us for NPI’s sixth Spring Fundraising Gala, where we will celebrate the victory over I-517 and explain what we’re doing to mobilize opposition to I-1325.

Through perseverance and hard work, we have won many victories over these past twelve years. Tim Eyman may be relentless, but so are we. We don’t give in and we don’t give up, because our Constitution and our commonwealth need safeguarding.

We need this fighting spirit to be contagious. It is no exaggeration to say that our region’s future depends on our efforts.

Here’s to a great thirteenth year for Permanent Defense.

Nine Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its ninth anniversary, marking the conclusion of one hundred and eight months of continuous operation. PD now begins its tenth year of existence. Remarkably, in fifty-two weeks, it will reach the end of its first decade.

When Permanent Defense first went live on February 13th, 2002, it was devoted to a single purpose: defeating Tim Eyman’s Initiative 776, which sought to prevent Sound Transit from constructing Central Link by taking away one of ST’s two principal sources of revenue. Unfortunately, PD’s first mission was unsuccessful: Initiative 776 passed narrowly despite the best efforts of a well-organized opposition coalition.

But unlike the NO on I-776 campaign and other campaigns against Eyman initiatives from years past, PD did not go away, dissolve, or close its virtual doors after that disappointing election. Rather, it was strengthened by the loss. In the spirit of its name, it became a permanent campaign against right wing initiatives.

And it has made a difference. Prior to Permanent Defense’s formation, Eyman had gotten an initiative past voters for several years running. After Permanent Defense’s first year, Tim Eyman’s streak of consecutive victories ended. Since I-776, voters have approved just three Eyman initiatives: I-900, I-960, and I-1053.

Unfortunately, Eyman needs to be successful only occasionally to remain relevant, as the last election showed.

There’s no question this last year (PD’s ninth) ranks as the toughest in its history. We fought five right wing initiatives, and regrettably, two of them, including Eyman’s I-1053, got through… and by sickeningly large margins.

Eyman has already announced he intends to run I-1053 again in 2012. Thankfully, it appears that his initiative factory has run out of money for a spell, and consequently, he doesn’t have an initiative in the works for this year (2011). But that doesn’t mean Eyman won’t be trying to cause mischief.

And it doesn’t mean Permanent Defense can go on hiatus. There may be other right wing initiatives to fight, and we need to begin laying the groundwork to stop Eyman’s I-1053 clone in 2012. It will take a Herculean effort to show voters that nullifying majority rule goes against everything our country and our state’s founders believed in. They gave us a system of representative government which has endured for centuries. I-1053, like I-960 and I-601 before it, are purposely intended to wreck that system.

The campaign against I-1053 failed because it came together too late. Resources were not committed until the very end, and by that point, the battle had already been lost. We at Permanent Defense are committed to making sure this never happens again. We’ll be spending our tenth year in infrastructure-building mode, so we have greater resources to commit early and often against Eyman and his schemes.

We’re taking a critical step forward today by forming a Rapid Response team, which will respond and react to right-wing misinformation in the media through comments and letters to the editor on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to be part of the team, you can sign up on our volunteer page.

Although we endured some significant setbacks during the past twelve months, there were some bright spots. A few days after our last anniversary, we gave PD’s virtual home its biggest overhaul to date with Version 8, codenamed “Camano”, transforming it from a collection of static web pages to a powerful, database-driven site. PermanentDefense.org has never looked better, and it’s much simpler to implement changes, thanks to the ease of administration offered by WordPress.

We’re also proud of StopGreed.org, the combined campaign site we built to provide information about the corporate fronts behind each of the five right wing initiatives on the 2010 ballot. Three of them (I-1082, I-1100, I-1105) were overwhelmingly defeated by voters; the other two (I-1053, I-1107) passed, as mentioned previously. Some of the features and tools we built for StopGreed.org will probably be incorporated into Permanent Defense itself, to help activists, voters, and reporters better track and understand right wing initiatives.

Finally, we’re thankful that Tim Eyman was unsuccessful in his efforts to prevent records of who signed his initiatives from being turned over to interested citizens. Our state has a tradition of open government, and open government doesn’t just mean accountable elected leaders. People who sponsor and sign initiatives are not entitled to anonymity. The process of citizen lawmaking must be transparent, and we’re glad the courts have recognized that.

Significant obstacles lie ahead on the path towards a better quality of life for our state and our country. There really hasn’t been a better time to get involved. If you are not already, consider becoming a volunteer.

Your voice and your ideas are Permanent Defense’s greatest asset.

Eight Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its eighth anniversary, marking the end of ninety six months of opposing harmful right wing initiatives, especially those sponsored by Tim Eyman. These last fifty two weeks – our eighth year – rank among the most difficult – but also the most rewarding – in our history. The following is a brief recap of our accomplishments:

  • Throughout our eighth year, we were part of the realization of one of Permanent Defense’s two original goals: the successful completion of Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail line. Staff were invited on several test runs of the line prior to its July 18th grand opening, and Permanent Defense’s parent organization, the Northwest Progressive Institute, provided extensive coverage of that event. We were again present for the December 19th opening of the Airport Link extension, which brought the line into the City of SeaTac.
  • We tirelessly worked as part of one of the biggest coalitions in Washington State history to defeat Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033, the Mukilteo profiteer’s most destructive measure ever. After a frenzied October, which saw an unprecedented mobilization of clergy, municipal leaders, activists, community groups, and progressive organizations, we won a spectacular victory that spanned the Cascade Mountains. Our triumph marked Eyman’s second consecutive defeat at the ballot and his first in an odd-numbered year.
  • As part of the effort to defeat Initiative 1033, we built a grassroots campaign hub and organized opposition to the initiative through social networking. By Election Day, the NO on Initiative 1033 Facebook page co-maintained by Permanent Defense had surpassed thirteen thousand fans. We also worked to ensure that journalists heard about the consequences of I-1033 by regularly responding to Tim Eyman’s propaganda.
  • In the aftermath of the election, we began preparing to oppose Tim Eyman’s next measure, a do-over of Initiative 960 (2007) which the Legislature is poised to suspend. We provided an opposition presence at Eyman’s kickoff event in the Secretary of State’s office on January 11th.
  • Finally, we began work on a major overhaul of Permanent Defense’s website (Version 8, codenamed Camano) which will officially launch this week as part of our anniversary celebrations. Our new website runs on an incredibly powerful free software stack, and is ten times more robust than every prior incarnation.

We also continued to lobby the Legislature to reform the initiative process. The House and Senate are each considering bills we support that would make a difference. One would make it harder for Tim Eyman to go ballot title shopping, another would require mercenary petitioners to be more accountable.  We are hopeful that at least one of these bills will make it out of the statehouse this year.

We know that despite our successes, the underlying problems that allow Tim Eyman to exist – especially our regressive tax structure, but also a lack of political courage – remain unaddressed. These problems will not be solved by simply defeating forthcoming right wing ballot measures like Initiative 1053. Every time we defeat a Tim Eyman initiative, we are merely treating a symptom. Solving the underlying problems will take nothing less than a Herculean endeavor, and a strategic shift on the part of our movement. Permanent Defense’s parent organization, the Northwest Progressive Institute, was formed in August of 2003 to help make this strategic shift possible.

Although Permanent Defense’s narrowly focused work remains important, the larger work that NPI is undertaking has become even more critical and more important, because the clock is ticking. For too long, we have dithered and procrastinated, and allowed ourselves to be more concerned about winning elections than addressing the conditions that are precipitating the decline of our communities, our state, and our country. That must change. Our future depends on our ability to grow our common wealth, not just safeguard what we have.

Thanks for being a supporter and staying committed to the tough goal of neutralizing harmful right wing initiatives, year after year. Together, we will continue to provide a much needed first line of defense against new threats to our future.

Five Years: Statement from the Founder

Announcements

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense proudly celebrates five years, or sixty months, of political activism in Washington State, fighting Tim Eyman’s senseless initiatives, working to reform the state’s tax structure, and promoting the value of public services. Launched in early February of 2002, Permanent Defense has remained in continuous operation for half a decade. It became a project of the Northwest Progressive Institute in 2003.

The last twelve months, our fifth year, presented many challenges, but was arguably our most successful ever. The following is a brief recap of our amazing accomplishments:

  • Throughout the spring of 2006, we monitored right wing signature drives, allowing citizens to report on their experiences with petitioners – many of whom lied or fabricated information in order to get a signature.
  • We worked with our allies at Washington Won’t Discriminate to fight Referendum 65, a right wing effort to legalize discrimination masterminded by Tim Eyman. We won a huge victory in June of 2006 – it never made the ballot, and the amended civil rights law remains in place.
  • We organized and mobilized to fight Initiative 917, Tim Eyman’s attempt to repeal sorely needed transportation funding enacted in 2005 by the state Legislature. When I-917 failed a random sample check of signatures at the end July, we sent representatives to Olympia to observe the full signature check. I-917 ultimately failed to make the ballot a month later and we won another huge victory.
  • We teamed with broad based coalitions to beat two other right wing initiatives that did make the ballot – Initiatives 920 (repealing education funding) and 933 (pay or waive: land use mayhem). We were victorious again in November of 2006 as both were overwhelmingly defeated.
  • We renewed our efforts to urge the Legislature to enact initiative process reform in early 2007.

We also witnessed two courts issue rulings which we support – in June of 2006, Initiative 747 was ruled unconstitutional, and in December of 2006, the state Supreme Court ruled Sound Transit may continue to collect its motor vehicle excise tax so it can repay critical bonds.

We met all of our goals and responded to all the challenges laid before us in this last year – successfully. 2006 was nothing short of remarkable.

Despite our victories last year, Tim Eyman isn’t going away. We will continue our opposition to his senseless onslaughts on our government, our communities, and our quality of life. We will fight against his “Minority Rules” initiative to cripple representative democracy until it is defeated.

As we pledged last year, we will continue our work to map out a long term plan for fixing Washington’s tax structure, including the development of a property tax homestead exemption as well as alternatives to the state sales tax and the obnoxious “business & occupation tax”.

In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out numerous improvements and additions to our website, as we have in years past.

After our successes last year, we are confident we can overcome any challenges in our path and make Washington State a better place to live, work, and visit.

Thanks for your involvement during the past 365 days – here’s to another year of triumphs and successes!

Four Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense proudly celebrates four years of political activism in Washington State, fighting Tim Eyman’s senseless initiatives, working to reform the state’s tax structure, and promoting the value of public services.

The arrival of February 2006 marks the end of our fourth year of operation and the beginning of our fifth year.

Our fourth year was very eventful. We faced significant obstacles but we were successful in accomplishing many important goals. Here’s a review of what we achieved this past year:

  • In late February 2005, Permanent Defense’s founder, along with David Goldstein of TaxSanity and Steve Zemke of Taxpayers for Washington’s Future, testified before the House Finance Committee in favor of House Bill 1744 (the homestead exemption proposal) to create a fairer property tax structure.
  • Throughout the spring of 2005, Permanent Defense organized to fight Initiative 900, Tim Eyman’s overload of performance audits. Upon the filing of Initiative 912, the leadership of Permanent Defense decided to set up a sister organization, Washington Defense, to oppose the repeal of the 2005 Transportation Package while Permanent Defense fought I-900.
  • In the summer, following the end of the signature drives, Permanent Defense’s website was retooled through the annual July Relaunch and readied to oppose Initiative 900. Washington Defense’s website was readied to oppose Initiative 912.
  • Throughout the summer of 2005 Permanent Defense’s founder spoke before numerous organizations, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Municipal League, to urge an endorsement against Initiative 900.
  • In August Washington Defense PAC was launched to raise money to fight a grassroots campaign against Initiative 912.
  • During the fall Permanent Defense supporters worked extremely hard to fight against Initiative 912, and, when time allowed, oppose Initiative 900 as well. A strong emphasis was placed on defeating I-912 due to the fact that it would have repealed some $5 billion in needed transportation funding, whereas I-900, though poorly drafted and unnecessary, would not have gutted state revenues.

Ultimately, Initiative 912 failed in a significant defeat for Tim Eyman and his fellow anti-tax zealots. Eyman had predicted its passage and even attempted to latch onto the effort to wipe out the gas tax increase. Though Initiative 900 passed, the real Eyman initiative was destroyed in a huge, landmark victory.

Despite the failure of I-912, Eyman has decided to press ahead with his plans to mount an assault on the other revenue sources for the 2005 Transportation Package. In 2006, Permanent Defense will work to protect over $2.6 billion in transportation funding from being wiped out by Eyman’s initiative.

Permanent Defense will also vigorously oppose Eyman’s outrageous attack on Washington State’s newly amended anti-discrimination law, which now prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Not only will we fight these senseless onslaughts on our quality of life, but we’ll continue our work to map out a long term plan for fixing Washington’s tax structure, including alternatives to the state sales tax and the obnoxious “business & occupation tax”.

As in past years, we’ll be rolling out numerous improvements and additions to our website during the next twelve months.

Great challenges lie ahead, but we can overcome them and make Washington State a better place to live, work, and visit.

Thanks for your involvement during the past 365 days. Here’s to another successful year!

Three Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

This week and this month, Permanent Defense is proud to celebrate three years of political activism in Washington State – opposing Tim Eyman, fighting for real tax reform, and promoting the value of public services.

February 2005 marks the end of our third year of operation and the beginning of our fourth.

The last year has been Permanent Defense’s most successful year to date. Working together with our friends and allies, we have accomplished much of what we set out to do a year ago.

Last year, in this statement, I wrote about how imperative it was that we stop Tim Eyman and his initiative factory from causing further devastating harm to Washington State. Thanks to your hard work, and our cooperation with other groups opposed to Eyman, we successfully defeated both I-864 and I-892.

I’d like to reflect on some of the things we’ve accomplished this past year- from February 2004 to February 2005. I’m proud of what this project has been able to accomplish, and I’m confident that we will continue to be successful in our efforts to change Washington State for the better.

  • We defeated Initiative 864 in July of 2004, destroying a threat that would have brought certain disaster to local governments and public services across the state. We fought this issue for a year (June 2003 to July 2004) and won, dispelling Eyman’s myths and rumors about the tax climate.
  • We defeated Initiative 892 in November of 2004, with voters rejecting Eyman’s attempt to proliferate our state with slot machines by a landslide. We mailed flyers, distributed yard signs, appeared in the media, and attended community events to voice our opposition to I-892.
  • We debuted a new e-newsletter for the press – Permanent Defense Focus!, which has helped to counter the lies that Tim Eyman continually feeds the media.
  • We retooled our site through January Launch, July Relaunch, and December Update, with lots of new sections and features, especially the Release Center and the Permanent Defense Forum.
  • We had three times the traffic to our website this year of what we had in 2002 and 2003 combined, with thousands of visits to our site.

In the years since Permanent Defense was founded, Tim Eyman has had one initiative which passed at the polls:  Initiative 776. All of the others have been failures. Eyman is currently is in an 0 for 4 slump and is trying to break out of it by qualifying an initiative to the people that would overload our state with audits.

Eyman’s proposal would have the state shelling out around $90 million every biennium so we can pay to audit every single state agency, program, and account and would require the auditor’s office to expand by four times its current size over the next decade.

Fortunately, the state House and the state Senate are considering much more practical legislation that has the state auditor’s support.

We will continue to vigorously oppose Eyman on all the issues. And we will step up our efforts to fight for real tax reform, including pushing for a state homestead exemption.

We’ll talk about a long term plan for fixing Washington’s tax structure, including alternatives to the state sales tax and the obnoxious “business & occupation tax”. We’ll also talk about tackling the state’s current funding problems.

We will continue to roll out improvements and additions to our website during the next year. So, I hope you’ll stand with us as we embark on the beginning of another year of political activism, and take a moment to pause and reflect on our achievements and accomplishments from the last one.

Thanks for your involvement. Here’s to another successful year!

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.

You are here:

What we do

Permanent Defense works to protect Washington by building a first line of defense against threats to the common wealth and Constitution of the Evergreen State — like Tim Eyman's initiative factory. Learn more.

Protecting Washington Since 2002

Have you been asked to sign a right wing initiative? If so, tell us about your encounter with the petitioner.

We’re social

Follow Permanent Defense on Facebook and Twitter for campaign and project updates.

Permanent Defense on Facebook Permanent Defense on Twitter

Newsroom Archives