Tag Archives: I-1185

NO on 1185: Permanent Defense calls on Washingtonians to stop greed, reject latest oil-soaked Eyman initiative this November

Ballot WatchdoggingEye on Money: DevelopmentsRethinking and ReframingStatements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Earlier today in Olympia, Tim Eyman made his annual appearance at the Secretary of State’s Elections Division (as usual, accompanied by Jack and Mike Fagan) to turn in signatures for his latest initiative, made possible by more than a million dollars in contributions from some of the world’s most powerful corporations. The list includes BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper Snapple Group (through the American Beverage Association), Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Crown Imports, and Heineken USA (through the Beer Institute).

Initiative 1185 is a clone of Initiative 1053, sponsored by Eyman two years ago and backed by many of the aforementioned corporations. It would sabotage our plan of government by allowing one-third of either house of the Legislature to decide the fate of any bill seeking to raise revenue for Washington’s common wealth. I-1053 was itself a clone of I-960 (from 2007), which was based on I-601 (from 1993).

“Initiative 1185, like its predecessors, is a serious threat to the health of our democracy,” said NPI founder Andrew Villeneuve. “Our republic is built on the idea of majority rule with minority rights. Our Constitution explicitly sets the standard for passage of legislation as a majority vote – an interpretation recently affirmed by King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller, who concluded that I-1053, I-1185’s predecessor, is unconstitutional on multiple grounds.”

“I-1185 is an illegitimate attempt to amend Article II, Section 22 of our state’s Constitution, which says that a majority vote is the threshold for determining the fate of a bill. I-1185 tries to undemocratically require a higher standard of two-thirds for some bills – specifically, any bills that would raise revenue to fund vital public services like our schools and universities,” Villeneuve added.

“I-1185 is purposely intended to create gridlock in our statehouse, so that a small group of reactionary legislators can wield veto power over important decisions about our state’s budget. That’s wrong.”

“We urge Washingtonians to join us this fall in taking a stand against unchecked corporate greed by voting NO on Initiative 1185.”

“The only reason this measure is going to be on our ballot is because nine corporations and corporate fronts collectively shelled out more than a million dollars to hire mercenary petitioners to collect signatures. They’re betting that they can trick the people of Washington into approving this scheme to shield their tax breaks and tax loopholes from possible repeal. They’ve made it clear they are unwilling to pay their fair share in membership dues to our state, while at the same time disingenuously calling on our state’s leaders to strengthen investment in our schools, universities, roads, and bridges.”

“Here’s what the people of Washington need to know: We can only afford to keep our pubic services strong if we all pitch in, pay our fair share, and work to make our tax system fairer and more equitable. Unfortunately, that’s the last thing these corporations want. We’ve seen their true colors – they’re cheaters who want to rig the system for their own advantage. And they must be stopped.”

Throughout the rest of the summer and into the autumn, NPI’s Permanent Defense will be working with other concerned Washingtonians to build a strong coalition to oppose I-1185 and educate voters as to its true cost and consequences.

An updated list of the top ten contributors to Initiative 1185 is available at Permanent Defense’s Eye on Money page.

The chart shows that the top nine contributors are responsible for a whopping 93% of the total (estimated to be $1,131,704). All of the other contributors – combined – are responsible for only 7%. These figures make it plainly clear that this initiative was bought and paid for by powerful interests, including some of the world’s biggest and most profitable companies.

Who are the top nine?

  • Beer Institute: $400,000
  • BP: $100,000
  • ConocoPhillips: $100,000
  • Tesoro: $100,000
  • Equilon/Shell: $100,000
  • American Beverage Association: $100,000
  • WA Beer & Wine Distributors: $100,000
  • WA Realtors: $25,000
  • WA Restaurant Association: $25,000
  • Everyone Else (multiple entities): $81,703.95

FOR MORE: See State Representative Reuven Carlyle’s blog post about I-1185, The painful irony of using majority rule to eliminate majority rule.

Greedy oil industry once again propping up Tim Eyman’s initiative factory

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

More than a month after Tim Eyman announced that he would attempt to qualify a clone of Initiative 1053 for the ballot in 2012 (I-1185), we finally know what it was that prompted him to launch his signature drive: a commitment from oil industry lobbyists to dump money into his campaign coffers.

Reports filed with the Public Disclosure Commission last night show that BP and ConocoPhillips, two of the world’s biggest oil companies, each contributed $100,000 directly to the latest incarnation of Eyman’s “Voters Want More Choices” campaign committee in April, while Tim Eyman revealed in an email to the press this morning that Tesoro and Equilon (Shell) recently sent checks for $100,000 and $50,000 to the Association of Washington Business’ political action committee, which have supposedly been earmarked to help buy signatures for I-1185 (or so Eyman claims).

“Once again, greedy multinational oil companies are underwriting Tim Eyman, lubricating the wheels of his initiative factory with barrels of cash,” said NPI founder Andrew Villeneuve. “Of the $247,285.59 raised by Eyman’s I-1185 campaign committee (“Voters Want More Choices – Save the Two Thirds”) so far, more than eighty percent of the total was contributed by BP and ConocoPhillips ($200,000). And of the $186,035 given to the AWB’s PAC that Eyman claims will ultimately be spent on I-1185, $150,000 (again, eighty plus percent) was contributed by Tesoro and Shell.”

“What are these oil companies after? It’s simple: they want to rig the system to put their own profits ahead of people and planet. They don’t want to be held accountable for the pollution that their refineries and storage tanks generate. Their executives and lobbyists are shameless swindlers who think they can buy our signatures, our votes, and our elected leaders.”

Big oil’s presence in Washington: A bit of background

BP (also known as British Petroleum): BP has the worst safety record in the oil industry, and as of 2010, is responsible for the worst environmental disaster in American history: the Deepwater Horizon gusher. The gusher, which began on April 20th, 2010, when a blowout preventer failed, spilled approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (that’s 779,037,750 liters) until it was capped on July 15th. As a result of the spill, BP became by one account the most despised corporation in America, overtaking the likes of AIG, ExxonMobil, and Citigroup. According to the University of Massachusetts, BP is the twenty fifth largest corporate air polluter in the United States. In 2006, its facilities emitted 4.41 million pounds of toxic gas into the air. BP’s major assets in Washington State include:

  • a refinery at Cherry Point, located at 4519 Grandview Road in Blaine
  • a storage terminal in Seattle, located at 1652 SW Lander Street in Seattle

ConocoPhillips: According to the University of Massachusetts, ConocoPhillips is the eleventh largest corporate air polluter in the United States. In 2006, its facilities emitted 6.39 million pounds of toxic gas into the air. ConocoPhillips’ major assets in Washington State include:

  • a refinery in Ferndale, located at 3901 Unick Road in Ferndale
  • a storage terminal in Renton, located at 2423 Lind Avenue SW in Renton
  • a storage terminal in Spokane, located at 6317 E Sharp Avenue in Spokane

Equilon (Shell): According to the University of Massachusetts, Royal Dutch Shell is the twenty-eighth largest corporate air polluter in the United States. In 2006, its facilities emitted 2.98 million pounds of toxic gas into the air. Shell’s major assets in Washington State include:

  • a refinery in Anacortes, located at 8505 S Texas Road in Anacortes
  • a storage terminal in Seattle, located at 2555 13th Avenue SW in Seattle

Tesoro: According to the University of Massachusetts, Tesoro is the twenty-second largest corporate air polluter in the United States. Its facilities emit 3.74 million pounds of toxic gases into the air every year. Tesoro owns a refinery in Anacortes.

Data originally compiled by NPI’s Permanent Defense for StopGreed.org

“These powerful oil companies already benefit from billions in public subsidies, but that’s not enough for them,” Villeneuve added. “They don’t just want a loophole-filled tax code engineered in their favor. They want to prevent the people of Washington – and the people’s representatives – from requiring them to share in the cost of keeping our air and our water clean. That’s why they dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into I-1053 two years ago, and that’s why they’re backing I-1185 now. They’re cheaters who have a mind to keep on cheating as long as we let them get away with it.”

In the coming weeks and months, NPI will be working to hold BP, ConocoPhillips, Tesoro, Shell, the Association of Washington Business, and other corporations and corporate lobbies accountable for their involvement in I-1185.

“Washingtonians need to realize that powerful interests are trying to trick us into undermining our own plan of government, which says that our Legislature shall operate democratically, by majority vote,” Villeneuve said.

“I-1185 is a recipe for more legislative gridlock, more underfunded services, and more unemployment. That’s not what our state needs. We urge all Washingtonians to stand with us in fighting to uphold our Constitution and strengthen our state’s common wealth in this crucial election year.”

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View our I-976 Impact Map

Permanent Defense has created a tool for visualizing projects and services that could be lost if Tim Eyman’s I-976  is implemented. Take a look:

NO on I-976 Impact Map

We’ve also published a guide to the map which you can read here.

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

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