Tag Archives: I-1648

Statement on the failure of Tim Eyman’s I-1648

Rethinking and ReframingStatements & Advisories

This afternoon, Tim Eyman’s massively hyped, “unprecedented” effort to qualify an initiative to the November ballot to wipe out the Legislature’s 2019 revenue reforms imploded in spectacular fashion when the signatures Eyman was clamoring for from his followers failed to materialize.

As a consequence, I-1648 will not go before voters this autumn.

I-1648 sought to repeal all of the revenue reforms enacted by the Legislature this past session and slap a one-year expiration date on any future revenue reforms not subjected to a public vote. The measure would have jeopardized billions of dollars over the next four years for essential public services throughout Washington State, cutting taxes for big banks and oil companies in the process.

Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to Eyman initiatives for over seventeen years, called the demise of I-1648 welcome news. I-1648’s implosion will keep Washington’s budget whole, preventing unexpected cuts to education, healthcare, environmental protection, and human services.

“More than seven million people depend on the essential public services funded by our state budget,” said Villeneuve. “Tim Eyman’s I-1648 would have put the progress we’ve made on progressive tax reform this year at risk. Thankfully, because Eyman and his cohorts were unable to gather sufficient signatures, I-1648 is no longer a danger to our communities.”

“Had I-1648 qualified for the ballot, it would have represented a grave threat to our schools, access to college, forest health and firefighting, sorely needed investments in behavioral health, the removal of barriers to fish passage, and the cleanup of polluted waterways.”

“Our elected representatives are required to produce a budget that goes out four years, not just two. They worked hard to craft a budget that takes into account the needs of Washington’s growing population. Although that budget only contained modest revenue reforms, Tim Eyman nevertheless professed himself to be enraged, and set about trying to overturn the will of the people that the voters chose to write a budget for our state.”

“Happily, he has failed, and I-1648 is dead. It will be a pleasure to add a new entry to Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart today.”

Ever the con man, Eyman tried to will success into existence through bluster and hyberbole, in an effort reminiscent of his disastrous attempt to subject LGBTQ+ rights to a vote in 2006. It didn’t work, as those who were on hand today to watch Eyman fail in person got to see for themselves.

Eyman and his followers did not even collect the minimum number of signatures required by the Constitution, which means none of their petitions will be counted or processed.

(The Secretary of State only accepts submissions of signatures that are beyond the minimum number required, currently 259,622. Sponsors are advised to obtain a cushion of signatures equivalent to 25% of the minimum required to offset duplicate and invalid signatures.)

Eyman already has an initiative on the ballot for November — I-976, which would wipe out billions in bipartisan transportation investments at the state, regional, and local levels. The Keep Washington Rolling coalition, of which NPI is a member, is working hard to build a strong NO campaign to defeat I-976. Learn more at no976.org.

Tim Eyman’s I-1648 looks like another fake from a con artist with no shame

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Over the past four years, while doing his best to stonewall Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s investigation into his egregious violations of Washington’s public disclosure laws, Tim Eyman has attempted to qualify nearly half a dozen initiatives to the ballot.

Each time, with the sole exception of I-976 (which is on the November 2019 ballot), Eyman’s petition drives have ended in failure, because he didn’t have the money to purchase the signatures necessary to force a public vote on his bad ideas.

There was I-1421, I-869, and I-947, the three failed precursors to Initiative 976.

In between I-869 and I-947, there was I-1550, a failed scheme to gut property taxes.

And before those four, at the end of 2015, there was a initiative concept announced by Eyman and his associates Mike and Jack Fagan with an ice cream social in Governor Jay Inslee’s office. Eyman printed up prop petitions for that measure to use at his press conference, but then failed to actually launch a signature drive following the new year.

That initiative concept from almost four years ago is the basis for I-1648.

As with I-1648, each of the aforementioned fakes was unveiled and trumpeted by Eyman with all the fanfare he could muster through email blasts, social media postings, and right wing talk radio appearances. And each went nowhere, because Eyman simply does not have the network of support necessary to qualify anything to the ballot with just volunteer labor.

I-976 is Eyman’s first real initiative in years. It’s already on the ballot — Eyman claims he cashed out his retirement in order to finance the signature drive, although documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court suggest Eyman didn’t entirely empty his retirement fund to qualify the measure — but rather than focus on trying to sell it to voters, Eyman has decided to make another run at getting a second scheme on the November ballot.

Eyman’s initial plan to double up on the November 2019 ballot was to qualify Referendum 80, an attempt to void the new salary schedule for legislators and statewide elected officials adopted by the Washington Citizens Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.

But he botched that effort and it imploded a few weeks ago.

Now Eyman is trying to resurrect the scheme he came up with a few years ago to follow his hostage-taking Initiative 1366, which would force any revenue reform agreed to by the Legislature to expire after one year unless approved at the ballot.

Initiative 1648 also seeks to repeal all of the modest revenue reforms just enacted by the House and Senate as part of the recently-concluded regular session of the Washington State Legislature. Since it’s trying to do two different things, it probably violates the Washington State Constitution’s single subject rule.

Because Eyman is aiming for the 2019 ballot, he is operating on a tight timeframe. He has less than two months to collect 330,000 signatures.

We can’t find any evidence that Eyman has found a wealthy benefactor to underwrite the signature drive for I-1648. And Eyman would need a wealthy benefactor to make this initiative go. Therefore, at this time, we assess that I-1648 is another one of Eyman’s fakes — a scam designed to part rank and file Republicans from their money.

If I-1648 becomes a credible threat, we’ll immediately begin organizing opposition to it.

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