Tag Archives: I-1421

Tim Eyman concedes he won’t make 2016 ballot; NPI’s Permanent Defense ready to fight I-869

Ballot WatchdoggingStatements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Implicitly conceding at last that he doesn’t actually have a paid signature drive in the field and thus won’t have anything on the 2016 ballot, initiative profiteer Tim Eyman announced this morning that he’s devoting his energies to qualifying a new initiative for 2017 that would eviscerate funding for roads and transit at both the state and regional levels.

“Today is the third time in the past seven months that Tim Eyman has ‘launched’ a new initiative,” noted Northwest Progressive Institute and Permanent Defense founder Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to Eyman initiatives for over fourteen years.

“The first time was back in November of 2015 when he said he was doing a follow-up to I-1366 to require revenue increases to expire after a year. Then, in February, he said he was also going to try to qualify to the 2016 ballot I-1421, an initiative to repeal vehicle fees. Now he says he’s doing I-869, a similar initiative to the Legislature for 2017. His announcement today makes no reference to either of those previously planned initiatives.”

“And that’s no accident. Eyman doesn’t like to dwell on failure, and it’s evident at this point he will fail to make the 2016 ballot with anything. It appears the good people of Washington will once again be able to enjoy an Eyman-free election this autumn, while having the opportunity to consider several progressive initiatives that would move our state forward. That’s a victory we will be celebrating all summer long.”

“Time will tell if I-869 is for real or not. Remember, Eyman printed up petitions for I-1421 too — and even made a big show of being the first to sign one in front of television cameras — but I-1421 has now been abandoned. I-869 won’t make it either unless Eyman has commitments from his wealthy benefactors to fund a signature drive. The gears of his initiative factory simply cannot turn without big money.”

In the event I-869 does have serious money behind it, NPI’s Permanent Defense is prepared to fight it and defeat it, together with the Keep Washington Rolling coalition and many other allies.

“Tim Eyman has tried to mess with mobility in our state many times before and been defeated,” Villeneuve observed.

“In 2000, he qualified a scheme to take money away from transit and spend it on highway construction. Voters defeated it. In 2008, he qualified a scheme to eviscerate our HOV system. Voters defeated it. In 2011, he qualified a scheme to prohibit variable tolling and block East Link light rail. Voters defeated it.”

Eyman claims that a survey he paid for shows that I-869 is wildly popular, but the press and public should be aware Eyman says that about all of his initiatives.

Prior to the 2005 general election, Eyman boasted that John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur’s initiative to repeal the fuel tax increases approved by the 2005 Legislature as part of that year’s transportation package was destined for certain victory. Following I-912’s qualification, many pundits shared that view, or were skeptical that I-912 could be beaten.

“With I-912, inevitably approved this fall, voters will say NO to Queen Christine’s underhanded effort to sneak through a multi-billion tax increase when the voters clearly opposed it,” Tim Eyman wrote in a September 26th, 2005 email.

But instead, much to Eyman’s astonishment, I-912 was defeated by voters in a landmark victory, after opponents successfully waged a compelling NO campaign.

NPI is a veteran of that campaign, as are the many organizations that belong to Keep Washington Rolling.

“Voters have repeatedly said no to right wing initiatives that would mess with our transportation system, but Eyman refuses to listen,” said Villeneuve. “The will of the voters clearly doesn’t matter to him. He just keeps recycling the same awful ideas, election cycle after election cycle. We are prepared and committed to ensuring that I-869 ends up in the same graveyard as most of Eyman’s other initiatives, should it end up qualifying to the Legislature at the end of the year. The investments we’ve made to strengthen mobility in Washington must be protected.”

An updated version of Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart, documenting the long list of Eyman initiatives that have either failed to make the ballot, been defeated by voters, or struck down as unconstitutional may be viewed on Permanent Defense’s website.

NPI’s Permanent Defense ready to fight Tim Eyman’s latest assault on Sound Transit, WSDOT

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

This morning in Olympia, Tim Eyman announced his intention to try to qualify a second initiative for the 2016 ballot that would eviscerate state and local transportation funding by repealing vehicle fees. Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve attended Eyman’s press conference at the Secretary of State’s office and spoke against the measure afterwards, making clear that NPI is ready to build and work with a broad coalition to defeat Eyman’s I-1421.

“The campaign to defeat Tim Eyman’s I-1421 has already begun,” said Villeneuve. “We’re not waiting to get started, because we appreciate how high the stakes are. If Washington is to keep rolling, Sound Transit and WSDOT need the resources to build a twenty-first century, multimodal transportation system for our state.”

“Sound Transit needs to be able to deliver the regional light rail spine and express bus network that our population centers need and deserve, while WSDOT has to be able to replace crumbling roads and bridges, deploy new ferries, expand Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service, and enhance freight mobility. All of that costs money.”

“If we want broad prosperity and economic security, then we owe it to ourselves to build upon what previous generations of taxpayers made possible for us,” Villeneuve added. “None of us can afford these badly needed transportation improvements on our own. It is only by pooling our resources that we can make progress together.”

“Last year’s Connecting Washington transportation package is one of the very few things our divided Legislature has been able to get done. Now, Tim Eyman is trying to undo it. Unfortunately, this is what Eyman does. He’s a public menace. He has made it his business to attack our common wealth and undermine our plan of government.”

“Fourteen years ago, when I founded Permanent Defense and became involved in Washington politics, Tim Eyman was trying to dismantle Sound Transit and prevent Central Link, our first light rail line, from breaking ground. Today, in what could have passed as a media scrum from February 2002, Eyman made it clear he still hasn’t given up on his nefarious goal of destroying Sound Transit.”

“It’s evident that Eyman resents that under CEO Emeritus Joni Earl, Sound Transit has become one of our state’s most trusted, effective, and high-performing public agencies. People all over Puget Sound are clamoring for Link to be extended to their communities. They want choices for their commute. They don’t want to be forced to drive to get where they need to go. Since the opening of Central Link more than half a decade ago, Link has been a tremendous success.”

“And this year, it’s going to expand in two directions, to serve even more neighborhoods – from the University of Washington to Angle Lake.”

“We have always believed that Sound Transit could do great things if it was allowed to live up to its potential. Today, Sound Transit is firing on all cylinders, but incredibly, Eyman still wants to wreck it. Eyman and the wealthy benefactors funding him must be stopped. We have defeated Eyman before many times, and we are confident that we can do so again. It will take hard work and a lot of organizing, but we can do it.”

“My team at NPI has never been more enthusiastic and never been more resolved to halt Tim Eyman’s war on light rail and defeat his initiative factory than we are at this moment. We are ready to put fourteen years of Eyman-fighting experience to work against I-1421 and the other atrocious measure that Eyman has planned for this year. We’ll have more news to share about our next steps in the weeks to come.”

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