Tag Archives: I-1125

Tim Eyman’s Mukilteo neighbors voted down Initiative 1125, official results show

Election Postmortem

A couple of weeks ago, county canvassing boards across Washington State met to finalize the results of the November 2011 general election. The certification of the election means that we finally have official results that we can analyze and study.

(It doe take a long time to count all of the votes under our vote-by-mail system – which does not have a separate deadline for postmarking ballots, unlike Oregon – but the wait is well worth it, in our view).

Prior to the deadline for returning ballots (November 8th, at 8 PM) Initiative 1125 sponsor Tim Eyman was predicting a close outcome for his own measure, only a few weeks after having boasted that it was “leading in Seattle”. On October 25th, Eyman sent out an email update to his followers, requesting that they contact as many friends and family as possible to “push I-1125 in these final days”:

RE: We need your help to push I-1125 in these final days

Even though our internal polling among likely voters shows I-1125 ahead, we know it’s gonna be close. So we need your help to push I-1125 in these final days. Email your friends and encourage them to vote for I-1125. Call your relatives and prod them to support I-1125. Talk with your co-workers and encourage them to pass I-1125.

In the end, the election didn’t up being that close – and I-1125 did not end up ahead. More than 53% of Washingtonians voted against I-1125, including majorities in key swing counties like Snohomish, where Eyman lives. Eyman may well have expected to lose Snohomish County – it’s been consistently turning his measures down in recent years (with the exception of I-1053 last year) – but what about his own neighborhood?

If Eyman is walking his talk, shouldn’t he at least be winning on his home turf… even if he’s losing greater Snohomish County?

After all, selling initiatives is his full-time gig, and it stands to reason that nowhere is it easier for him to go door-to-door than in his own precinct.

We were curious to know the answer to this question. So we checked the official results, which are broken out at the precinct level. And, as it turns out, not only did Eyman lose his own precinct (Mukilteo 18) he lost it handily. More than 54% of his civic-minded neighbors gave I-1125 a thumbs down.

Amazingly, that’s a higher percentage than the cumulative vote against I-1125 in Snohomish County (51.66%) and statewide (53.21%).

I-1125 also failed in every other Mukilteo precinct except Mukilteo 15, where it passed. Here’s the breakdown for all of Mukilteo’s precincts:

Precinct Turnout Yes on I-1125 No on I-1125
Mukilteo 1 65.16% (686 voters registered, 447 voted) 45.41% (193 votes) 54.58% (232 votes)
Mukilteo 2 59.23% (753 voters registered, 446 voted) 44.94% (191 votes) 55.06% (234 votes)
Mukilteo 3 59.92% (474 voters registered, 284 voted) 48.51% (130 votes) 51.49% (138 votes)
Mukilteo 4 62.81% (406 voters registered, 255 voted) 40.83% (98 votes) 59.17% (142 votes)
Mukilteo 5 55.39% (789 voters registered, 437 voted) 48.33% (203 votes) 51.67% (217 votes)
Mukilteo 6 53.59% (599 voters registered, 321 voted) 46.62% (145 votes) 53.38% (166 votes)
Mukilteo 7 66.11% (419 voters registered, 277 voted) 39.10% (104 votes) 60.90% (162 votes)
Mukilteo 8 64.61% (373 voters registered, 241 voted) 43.10% (103 votes) 56.90% (136 votes)
Mukilteo 9 54.25% (553 voters registered, 300 voted) 46.53% (134 votes) 53.47 (154 votes)
Mukilteo 10 43.09% (427 voters registered, 184 voted) 46.33% (82 votes) 53.67% (95 votes)
Mukilteo 11 46.35% (561 voters registered, 260 voted) 44.62% (112 votes) 55.38% (139 votes)
Mukilteo 12 60.52% (775 voters registered, 469 voted) 40.00% (182 votes) 60.00% (273 votes)
Mukilteo 13 64.52% (589 voters registered, 380 voted) 42.23% (155 votes) 57.77% (212 votes)
Mukilteo 14 55.18% (685 voters registered, 378 voted) 45.30% (164 votes) 54.69% (198 votes)
Mukilteo 15 33.13% (323 voters registered, 107 voted) 59.22% (61 votes) 40.78% (42 votes)
Mukilteo 16 54.78% (785 voters registered, 430 voted) 41.29% (173 votes) 58.71% (246 votes)
Mukilteo 17 48.06% (826 voters registered, 397 voted) 46.07% (176 votes) 53.93% (206 votes)
Mukilteo 18 54.74% (780 voters registered, 427 voted) 45.85% (188 votes) 54.15% (222 votes)
Mukilteo 19 60.18% (447 voters registered, 269 voted) 45.42% (119 votes) 54.58% (143 votes)
Mukilteo 20 44.81% (770 voters registered, 345 voted) 47.60% (159 votes) 52.39% (175 votes)
Mukilteo 21 55.10% (343 voters registered, 189 voted) 43.42% (76 votes) 56.57% (99 votes)

Thanks to the Snohomish County Auditor’s office for this data.

It’s reassuring to know that even Tim Eyman’s neighbors had the wisdom to see through his most recent scheme. I-1125 was a poorly written, thoughtlessly conceived initiative that deserved to be defeated. And thankfully, it was.

Statement on the apparent defeat of I-1125

Election PostmortemStatements & Advisories

Following the release of the first returns for the 2011 general election, NPI’s Permanent Defense published the following statement, reacting to the apparent defeat of Tim Eyman’s I-11125.

Many long months of working to educate voters about the cost and consequences of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125 thankfully appear to be paying off tonight.

Although many ballots have yet to be counted, early returns suggest that when the election is certified, Washington will have rejected yet another senseless Eyman scheme to paralyze transportation planning and wreck government.

“We’re pleased to see that I-1125 is failing both east and west of the Cascades,” said NPI founder Andrew Villeneuve, observing that the initiative was losing in counties like Whitman as well as King, Snohomish, Kitsap, and Island counties. “Tonight, Washingtonians are thoughtfully saying yes to safe roads and no to Tim Eyman’s plot to slap handcuffs on the wrists of our transportation planners. This is a significant victory for our common wealth and for the common good.”

“For months, we’ve been working alongside many friends and allies to ensure that I-1125 received the opposition it deserved,” Villeneuve added.

“We’re delighted that those efforts have paid off. We’re especially grateful to each and every activist that helped phonebank, put up yard signs, knock on doors, and distribute literature. Getting out the vote requires a big time commitment, but it’s crucial. Donations of time are just as important as donations of money.”

“We thank the voters for considering the concerns that we raised, and ultimately agreeing with us that Washington simply couldn’t afford I-1125.”

Danny Westneat assails Tim Eyman’s secret war on light rail

From the Campaign TrailRethinking and Reframing

Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat has a blistering must-read column in today’s edition of the Seattle Times, taking Tim Eyman and Kemper Freeman Jr. to task for quietly trying to stop Sound Transit’s East Link project through a sneaky provision buried in I-1125, which is intended to kill East Link, but doesn’t actually mention the project or even include the words “light rail”.

When Tim Eyman went before the Bellevue City Council recently, he handed out a sheet describing what his latest idea, Initiative 1125, would do.

It’s what was missing from the sheet that got the most attention.

“I’ve never seen an initiative quite like this, where its intentions are masked from the people who will vote on it,” says Grant Degginger, a Bellevue City Council member and former mayor.

“If you’re trying to kill light rail, just come out and say so.”

It’s not just that the words “light rail” weren’t in Eyman’s handout that day. They also are not in the Voter’s Guide statement for the I-1125 campaign. Nor in any of Eyman’s campaign news releases. Nor in recent op-eds written by Eyman and the initiative’s financier, Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman.

The words “light rail” aren’t in I-1125 or in Eyman’s campaign materials because Eyman and Freeman apparently don’t want to be seen as trying to overturn the will of the voters. (The phrase will of the voters is one of Eyman’s favorites). Both Eyman and Freeman opposed Sound Transit 2 when it was on the ballot three years ago, but they lost. In fact, they didn’t just lose, they lost big.

As Westneat notes:

[P]utting light rail across the Interstate 90 bridge is already voter-approved, by a 57 percent vote in the 2008 election. Brochures from that campaign show a rendering of the bridge with light rail running on it, along with before-and-after drawings of how the traffic lanes would be altered. So it’s hard to argue people didn’t know what they were voting for. Then, anyway.

Of course, in Tim Eyman’s mind, a vote of the people only counts when it goes his way. Eyman views his own losses as temporary setbacks, but he demands that his opponents recognize his victories as permanent. It’s quite the double standard.

Please join us in voting NO on I-1125 this autumn. Keep Sound Transit’s East Link project on track, keep our roads safe, and keep Washington rolling.

The Columbian: I-1125 “threatens greater harm” to our transportation system “than any proposal we’ve seen in years”

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

The Columbian has joined the list of newspaper editorial boards opposed to Tim Eyman’s anti-tolling, anti-light rail I-1125. In an editorial published today, the Vancouver-based paper denounced I-1125 as “inedible soufflé was cooked up by professional initiative chef Tim Eyman and leavened with expensive dough: a $1 million donation from Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman Jr.”. The editorial went on to criticize several of I-1125’s thoughtless provisions.

The worst of I-1125’s many flaws would be its mandate for Washington to do something that not one of the 50 state does: politicize the setting of tolls. All states correctly place that function in the hands of experts in transportation, finance, planning and management. In Washington state, we have an independent, bipartisan commission that sets tolls. Eyman and Freeman, however, want that job turned over to the Legislature, to be ground up in the partisan turbines of politics.

Washington State actually has a long tradition of having an expert commission set toll rates. We agree – it makes no sense to change that approach. It has always worked for us and it can continue to work, so long as we reject I-1125.

Vote NO on I-1125 this autumn and keep our roads safe.

The News Tribune: I-1125 is “a monkey wrench aimed squarely at the state’s efforts to keep cars moving”

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

The campaign against Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125 continues to gain momentum. Across the state, editorial boards are universally coming out against I-1125, because it jeopardizes transportation projects that Washington needs to replace and repair unsafe roads and bridges. The latest paper to oppose I-1125 is the News Tribune of Tacoma, which called I-1125 “a monkey wrench aimed squarely at the state’s efforts to keep cars moving on overcrowded roads.”

As the News Tribune observes, there are lot of “dumb things” in I-1125.

It would forbid variable tolling, a strategy designed to relieve rush hours by encouraging people to make unnecessary trips before or after. This would also threaten plans to finance the replacement SR 520 bridge and the Alaskan Way tunnel in Seattle, among other projects.

The initiative also contains a payoff to Kemper Freeman Jr., a Bellevue real estate magnate who opposes light rail. An innocent-sounding provision in the initiative would have the effect of sabotaging a planned extension of Sound Transit’s light rail system across Lake Washington to Bellevue on the Interstate 90 bridge.

Why should a state initiative tell Puget Sounders they can’t have the light rail system they voted for? Here’s a guess: It might have something to do with the more than $1 million Freeman paid to bankroll I-1125.

Section 2 of I-1125 is proof that Tim Eyman only cares about the will of the voters when voters agree with him. Each time he has tried to play transportation planner (like with I-745 in 2000, or I-985 in 2008), voters have said no. But Eyman isn’t listening.

It’s time once again to say no to another counterproductive, thoughtless Tim Eyman measure. Vote NO on Initiative 1125 and keep Washington rolling.

Everett Herald: I-1125 is a “formula for more gridlock”

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

The Everett Herald yesterday became the latest newspaper to declare its opposition to Tim Eyman’s ill-conceived I-1125, highlighting some of the initiative’s destructive consequences in a fairly-well written editorial. A couple key snippets:

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125 isn’t just one bad idea, it’s a bunch of them.

Their cumulative effect would severely damage the state’s ability to build and maintain the roads and bridges necessary to support a vibrant economy and good-paying jobs. We strongly encourage voters to reject it this fall.

The Herald goes on to say:

It is soundly opposed by the state’s major business groups and employers, including Boeing and Microsoft, for good reason. They know that with per-capita gasoline consumption dropping, and gas-tax revenue along with it, alternatives are needed to pay for our road infrastructure and keep commerce moving. Viable tolling options must be one of them, especially for major projects. I-1125 would wipe out the truly effective ones, leading to more traffic delays throughout the region.

Defeating I-1125 is key to keeping vital projects like the new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge or Sound Transit’s East Link light rail on track. That’s why Keep Washington Rolling – an extremely broad coalition of businesses and organizations with very different views on major issues – has come together to fight I-1125. Join us in ensuring that our roads are safe… vote NO on Initiative 1125.

Seattle Times calls I-1125 “a mess too large”

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

The Seattle Times, which has enthusiastically supported two of Tim Eyman’s last four initiatives (and firmly opposed the other two), has made public its stance on Initiative 1125. In an eight paragraph editorial, the paper, owned and controlled by the Blethen family, urged voters to save road projects and vote no.

By restricting the state’s management of its highways, including tolls, Initiative 1125 would make it more difficult to build needed roads and bridges.

The whole state has an interest in this. Tolls are a way to help pay for expensive parts without dipping too heavily into the common pot. Without tolls, the biggest projects either would not get built, or would guzzle all the other road money. That is how a toll on the Highway 520 bridge-replacement project in Seattle protects money in Yakima and in Spokane.

The editorial ends by listing some of the projects that would be jeopardized by I-1125: the new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, the Columbia River Crossing, and Sound Transit’s East Link light rail system. All of them would be “messed up”, the editorial says, proclaiming I-1125 to be “a mess too large”.

It looks like most, if not all, of Tim Eyman’s fair-weather friends have abandoned him this year. Only his closest followers and sympathizers have come out in favor of I-1125, while the opposition has become more and more widespread.

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.

NPI’s Permanent Defense responds to submission of signatures for I-1125

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

This morning, at the Secretary of State’s Elections Annex at Union and Cherry in Olympia, Tim Eyman and his associates turned in an estimated three hundred and twenty plus thousand signatures for Initiative 1125, paid for by developer and Bellevue Square owner Kemper Freeman, Jr. Although the Secretary of State still has to conduct a random sample check to verify that enough valid signatures were submitted, it’s a safe bet that Eyman has succeeded in buying his way onto the ballot again.

“The only reason we’re voting on Tim Eyman’s latest scheme to mess with plans to replace crumbling infrastructure like the SR 520 Floating Bridge is because one wealthy developer sunk half a million dollars into it,” said NPI founder Andrew Villeneuve.

“Around this time of year, Tim likes to put a number on a whiteboard and say, ‘Look at how many people signed and are in support of our initiative!’ But during the signature drive for I-1125 (as with other Eyman measures) paid petitioners working for Eyman cajoled people into signing by telling them that they don’t have to decide whether they support the measure or not because signing it only puts it on the ballot. It’s one of their favorite tactics for convincing people to succumb to the pressure they exert.”

“The people Eyman uses to get signatures just want to make a buck. They don’t necessarily believe in his cause. They may not even be Washington residents.”

“What we hope people understand is that there is no grassroots uprising going on here. The only reason Eyman was able to do a signature drive is because Kemper was willing to pay for one.”

“Tim frequently says he wants to have a debate about the merits of his ideas, but he ignores the fact that he pays for petitioners to go out and deceive people. We know people are being misled and lied to because we’ve documented it. We saw petitioners for I-1125 in action this spring. We recorded their sales pitch. And they weren’t even trying to accurately represent what I-1125 would do.”

State Treasurer Jim McIntire has already warned that I-1125’s passage could hinder Washington State’s ability to finance critical projects like the new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge using tolls. If I-1125 prevents the state from collecting the needed toll revenue to finance the project, it could actually increase the cost to taxpayers across the state, because SR 520 is a state facility.

“The Legislature did not draw up the plans for tolling SR 520 overnight,” Villeneuve noted. “Years of public input have gone into designing this project and its financing mechanism. That’s why construction hasn’t been started sooner. Now, the state is trying to move forward and get this done, and Eyman is trying to throw a monkey wrench into it.”

“Tim is constantly admonishing the Legislature for ignoring the will of the voters. In reality, the Legislature does listen. Lawmakers were paying attention when voters said NO to Initiative 912 (the 2005 fuel tax rollback), which Tim strongly supported and wrongly predicted would pass. Lawmakers were paying attention when voters said YES to Sound Transit 2, which Tim fiercely opposed and wrongly predicted would fail.”

“And they were paying attention when voters overwhelmingly rejected Eyman’s own Initiative 985 – his last attempt to mess with transportation planning and restrict tolling – in the same election.”

“It’s funny… he didn’t mention any of those recent votes at his press conference today.”

As NPI’s Permanent Defense has previously pointed out, I-1125 contains a clause intended to mess with Sound Transit’s East Link project, a major part of the voter-approved Sound Transit 2 measure. The clause seeks to prevent the state Department of Transportation from transferring part of the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge over to Sound Transit, even though that is exactly what a longstanding agreement between King County, Seattle, Mercer Island, and the state government calls for.

The clause is no doubt one of Bellevue Square owner Kemper Freeman Jr.’s favorite parts of the initiative. (Freeman despises Sound Transit, can’t stand the thought of light rail coming to Bellevue, and has actively worked to try and stop ST from fulfilling its promises to voters and its obligations to taxpayers.)

NPI’s Permanent Defense intends to work closely alongside the many other individuals and organizations coming together to vigorously oppose Initiative 1125.

“Over the next few months, we’ll be working to help the people of this great state make sense of the cost and consequences of Tim Eymans’ Initiative 1125,” Villeneuve said. “We’re confident that if voters understand the ramifications, they’ll handily vote this ill-conceived scheme down and keep projects like the new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge on track.”

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