Tag Archives: I-776

I-776 and I-976 are very different, contrary to what Tim Eyman claims

In the Courts

Tim Eyman’s Election Night euphoria has predictably dissolved into whining and complaining over the reality that local governments aren’t going to allow his incredibly destructive I-976 to take effect next month without a constitutional challenge. With the court case now underway, Eyman is anxiously trying to spin I-976 as constitutional.

Eyman argues that since I-776 was partially upheld by the Supreme Court in Pierce County v. State in 2003, I-976 must be constitutional, too.

(I-776 was Eyman’s 2002 initiative that was aimed at slashing vehicle fees. It narrowly passed.)

But this is yet another bogus Eyman argument. It comes from someone with a long track record of losing in the courts.

Every Tim Eyman initiative since 1999 that has gotten past the voters has been challenged successfully on constitutional grounds except for I-900 (2005).

The list of challenged Eyman initiatives is as follows:

If you compare I-776 to I-976, you can see they are very different. I-976 targets fees that didn’t even exist around the turn of the century.

A total of seventeen years elapsed between voters’ consideration of I-776 and I-976.

In that time, the Legislature modified a significant number of RCWs pertaining to transportation funding.

For example, working together with three different governors, the Legislature passed:

  • the nickel transportation package (in 2003);
  • the 2005 Transportation package (in 2005);
  • legislation giving local governments more revenue authority for transportation (in 2020);
  • the Connecting Washington transportation package (in 2015).

The 2005 package authorized vehicle weight fees as a funding source for multimodal transportation projects at the state level, while the 2015 package gave Sound Transit the authority to seek voter approval for a higher motor vehicle excise tax and empowered transportation benefit districts to raise more money from vehicle fees.

In 2015, the Legislature also authorized counties and cities to assume transportation benefit districts; see Chapter 36.74 RCW.

We have created an online comparison between I-776 and I-976 using the original text of each measure as provided by the Secretary of State’s website.

Take a look and examine the source texts.

The plaintiffs in Garfield County et al v. State allege that I-976 has constitutional defects. We agree. Tim Eyman can claim we’re wrong till he’s red in the face, but history is not on his side. The courts will decide who’s right, not Eyman or his new attorney Richard Sanders, who voters decided to remove from the Supreme Court several years ago.

It is essential to remember that the schemes that Eyman has come up with have consistently been found to be unconstitutional.

If Eyman were interested in writing measures that did not have constitutional defects, he would take much greater care when drafting measures like I-976. But he doesn’t.

And others active in right wing politics in Washington State have noticed.

“We feel that we need to have a product that has the best chance of surviving the inevitable court challenge that will follow,” said “Liberty State” organizers Mike McKee and Cary Condotta in a July 2019 message to their fans explaining why their group was choosing not to continue working with Tim Eyman. (For background, see this post.)

For Eyman, there is a big upside to seeing one of his measures get struck down in court: he can go back to his followers and argue that he needs more money for another initiative that does the same thing, or a similar thing. Eyman profits regardless of whether his measures are successful. He knows how to run a good scam.

But Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office is working tirelessly to hold him accountable for violating our public disclosure laws. That could ruin Eyman’s future plans to continue launching attacks on Washington’s communities. Is it any wonder, then, that Eyman furiously denounces the Attorney General as “Fascist Fergie”?

Wondering why King County doesn’t have more snow routes? Remember, Tim Eyman initiatives have consequences

Rethinking and Reframing

February 2019 is going to be remembered up and down the I-5 corridor as the month that much of Western Washington turned into a winter wonderland resembling C.S. Lewis’ fictional land of Narnia under the rule of the White Witch, Jadis.

Two walloping snowstorms have already upended normal life in and around the state’s largest urban centers of Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett, which normally see mild winters thanks to the influence of the Pacific Ocean. And more snow is on the way.

The wintry conditions are making travel difficult. Many people have wondered on social media why the state and local governments don’t have more resources available to deal with the snow and ice and keep the roads clear. On the snow and ice page of its website, King County’s Department of Transportation has an answer to this question:

Why are there fewer snow routes?

King County crews respond to weather events that affect the bridges and roads of unincorporated areas – the network that keeps communities connected. In past years, the county was able to plow and sand critical snow routes. But the county is no longer funded to plow and sand as much as it used to.

Unfortunately, nearly three decades of annexations, declines in gas tax revenues, and the effects of voter initiatives have led to the chronic underfunding of the local bridge and road system.

Fewer resources means fewer staff to perform work during inclement weather as well as year round, resulting in significantly reduced service levels for maintaining roads and bridges in unincorporated areas including plowing and sanding services. Key transportation routes for public safety will be plowed, however, in the past we were able to open secondary routes. The county used to plow and treat 30 percent of county-managed roads, but this year there are only resources to plow 15 percent of the county’s 1,500 miles of roads.

Read the Strategic Plan for Road Services (SPRS) update and the Line of Business Plan.

For a longer discussion of this topic that offers much more context, see: Must-read article: King County struggles to fund roads and bridges.

Must-read article: King County struggles to fund roads and bridges

Rethinking and ReframingThreat Analysis

Journalist Aaron Kunkler has written an excellent article for Reporter Newspapers that nicely summarizes King County’s rural roads funding crisis, a problem rooted partially in the implementation of several Tim Eyman initiatives just after the turn of the century.

It’s a must-read:

Funding for roads and bridges in King County has been dwindling for years, and despite warnings as far back as 2014, money for capital investments in unincorporated areas is still set to run out within the next six years.

The scope of the problem has been well documented in various studies, including the 2017 annual bridges report released last August. The county owns or maintains 182 bridges that range in age from 10 to 100 years old, with the median age being 65 — or 15 years older than their typical useful lifespan.

Due to declining revenue between 2012 and 2018, no new standalone bridge replacements have occurred since 2014, and work is focused exclusively on daily safety and maintenance work, the report found. King County Local Services department public information officer Brent Champaco said when money for capital improvements runs out, other basic maintenance and operations services will be reduced to stay within budget.

The article goes on to talk about Republican King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert’s long running effort to draw attention to the crisis. Lambert represents the 3rd District, a mix of suburban and rural communities in northeast King County.

The 3rd includes a significant swath of rural King County, including the town of Skykomish, which is accessible only by travel through Snohomish County. The other predominantly rural King County Council district is the 9th, represented by Reagan Dunn.

Lambert has been on the Council for decades and has seen the impact that Tim Eyman’s destructive initiatives have had on her constituents, particularly these three measures, which Eyman got past voters early on his career:

  • Initiative 695 (passed in 1999, struck down in 2000, and reinstated that same year): Gutted the statewide motor vehicle excise tax
  • Initiative 747 (passed in 2001, implemented that same year, struck down in 2007, then almost immediately reinstated): Artificially caps property taxes
  • Initiative 776 (passed in 2002, partially upheld in 2003): Repealed the local motor vehicle excise tax collected by King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Douglas counties

Implementation of all three of these initiatives significantly reduced funding for essential public services in Washington State, including rural roads.

I-695 repealed an estimated $1.1 billion in the 1999-2001 biennium and $1.7 billion in the 2001-03 biennium. Before the motor vehicle excise tax was gutted, 24% of the revenue it was generating was going to local governments like King County, 29% was going to local transit agencies, and 47% was going to state-level transportation needs, according to the Office of Financial Management’s I-695 Fiscal Impact Statement.

When I-747 came along a short while later, it began a long and tortuous cycle of death by a thousand cuts that continues to this day. Cities and counties are still hurting from the combined one-two punch of I-695 and I-747 more than a decade and a half later.

Four counties, including King County, were dealt a third punch in 2002 with Tim Eyman’s I-776, which eliminated the local motor vehicle excise tax.

Seattle Times reporter Keith Ervin described the impact of Eyman’s I-776 on the county’s rural roads in an article published on November 12th, 2003. Here’s an excerpt:

A staff report to the Metropolitan King County Council yesterday said the ruling has made County Executive Ron Sims’ proposed roads budget “inoperable.” The Supreme Court last month upheld the constitutionality of voter-approved I-776, which rolls back car tabs to $30 a year.

The measure shuts off a yearly $4.8 million revenue stream for King County.

Sims has placed on hold his earlier proposal to set $11.3 million in road money aside as an incentive for cities that agree to annex unincorporated urban areas. The county also may postpone or scrap the sale of $80 million in bonds that would have sped up long-awaited road improvements.

Budget director Steve Call said yesterday the impact will be more severe than the initial revenue loss suggests because the county road fund is used to finance bonds and obtain matching funds from the federal and state governments. On bridge projects, the federal government pays up to 80 percent of the cost, Call said.

Among the projects at risk are expansion of Coal Creek Parkway and Novelty Hill Road on the Eastside, and an improved intersection of Benson Road and Carr Road near Renton.

“We all need to sit back and go back to the drawing table and figure out where our construction projects are,” Call said. “This has put a huge hole in the region’s ability to address transportation needs.”

While officials haven’t precisely calculated the impact of several voter-approved tax cuts, County Council budget analyst Rebecha Cusack said the road-construction fund might be reduced by 20 percent over the next six years.

The County Council’s budget chairman, Larry Phillips, D-Seattle, said the county’s ability to improve roads fund will be “devastated” by I-776 and by Initiative 747, which caps the growth in property taxes to 1 percent a year.

While elected leaders across jurisdictions have tried gamely to backfill budget holes caused by destructive Eyman initiatives like I-695, I-747, and I-776, they have not been able to restore funding levels to a sufficient level for all services. That has resulted in facility closures, deferred maintenance, and failure to replace aging structures.

Arguably no public service has been harder hit than rural roads.

While cities like Seattle have secured voter approval for transportation levies like Bridging the Gap and Move Seattle, small unincorporated communities have been left bereft of needed investments. Many of these communities are represented by Republicans who are reluctant or unwilling to speak out publicly against Eyman’s bad ideas (and the harm caused by his past initiatives) for fear of retribution by Eyman’s small but vocal band of right wing activists, which includes many Republican PCOs.

Not content with the damage he has already caused, Eyman has proposed Initiative 976, which would repeal funding for Amtrak Cascades, freight mobility, Sound Transit 3 system expansion, King County Metro service hours, and yes, road maintenance and street repairs in sixty cities. Eyman makes it sound in his talking points like he’s only targeting Sound Transit, but that’s a lie. Rural roads are once again going to take a hit if Eyman’s Initiative 976 isn’t defeated this November.

To learn more and join the coalition fighting Eyman’s latest awful initiative, visit no976.org.

Voters in King County never demanded “$30 car tabs”

Election PostmortemRethinking and Reframing

Still mad over King County Executive Dow Constantine’s successful efforts to patch Metro’s funding shortfall, Tim Eyman is now asking his supporters to print out and hang up an eight and one half by eleven inch poster which accosts King County Councilmembers Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert as liars, Councilmember Julia Patterson as a sell-out, and Councilmember Bob Ferguson as… wait for it… Switzerland (because he didn’t say at the outset of the debate how he would vote).

In his email announcing the poster, Eyman complains:

“Whatever happened to our $30 car tabs?”  We hear it all the time from citizens. Voters have twice approved $30 car tabs and required that anything higher than $30 requires voter approval. It’s what the voters demanded and what the politicians promised (after I-695 was rejected by the courts — Governor Gary Locke said “Regardless of the court’s ruling today, $30 tabs are here to stay.”).

While Initiatives 695 and 776 (which Eyman is referring to) did pass statewide, they both failed in King County. In other words, King County actually voted against $30 car tabs… twice. So, in choosing to raise vehicle fees to save Metro, King County’s leaders were actually not only taking a just and moral action to protect a vital public service, they were respecting the will of the people they represent.

(Initiative 695, on the ballot in 1999, failed in King County by a vote of 53.34% to 46.66%. Initiative 776, on the ballot in 2002, failed in King County by a vote of 59.57% to 40.43%. Neither outcome was close).

Tim Eyman blows a gasket after learning of bipartisan deal to save King County Metro

Statements & Advisories

On a day when people across King County are happy – happy that representative democracy at the regional level is working and overcoming obstacles, happy that our elected leaders have come up with a solution to protect Metro, a vital public service – Tim Eyman is angry, even though he doesn’t even live in King County.

See, Tim delights in creating chaos. Making messes. Wrecking government so it can’t work like it’s supposed to. So, when he sees public officials teaming together to navigate around land mines planted by him or his sympathizers, it makes him upset. Very upset. He tends to lose his cool and lash out.

Today was no exception.

Eyman’s fury was directed in particular towards the two Republican councilmembers who signed on to the agreement announced today by Executive Dow Constantine to save Metro: Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert. Both represent broad swaths of the Eastside, and both had been fiercely lobbied by Metro riders to support raising vehicle fees to offset painful cuts to service.

Eyman, who first gained notoriety for trying to slash vehicle fees statewide, had previously praised both for indicating they would not join Democrats in voting to save Metro. But today, he was harshly vilifying them with a special scorn he usually reserves for progressive Democrats.

The subject line of Eyman’s email alone was a doozy. It read:

RE: Hague & Lambert flip-flop for lollipops — 2 King County Republicans cut a deal with Dow, screwing us out of our $30 car tabs in exchange for earmarked pork — worse, they’ve lied about it for months.

The first-person plural reference is pretty cute. Eyman acts as if he lives in King County. But he doesn’t. He likes in Mukilteo, which is part of Snohomish County. That means he won’t have to pay the higher vehicle fees. So why should he care? Well, here’s one reason: Both of his top two all-time wealthy benefactors (Michael Dunmire and Kemper Freeman Jr.) live in King County.

Perhaps he feels that he must be publicly enraged on their behalf.

The body of the Mukilteo profiteer’s message basically accused Hague and Lambert of behaving like, well… Tim Eyman.

[T]hey’ve been lying for months.  They lied to the media, lied to constituents, lied to all of you.  It’s totally sleazy under any circumstances — ignoring the voters’ ballot box mandate — but it’s beyond the pale to sell their council votes in exchange for pork barrel earmarks.

The agreement to save Metro doesn’t actually include any earmarks… in fact, it dispenses with the 40/40/20 formula that used to benefit the Eastside at Seattle’s expense. But of course, Tim Eyman doesn’t care about the details. What he cares about is that two Republicans are cooperating with some Democrats to save a vital public service. Instead of showing fealty to him and his uncompromising ideology of destruction, they’re listening to their constituents. And that’s a no-no.

Eyman revises history again: I-776 wasn’t “overwhelmingly” approved by voters

Rethinking and ReframingStatements & Advisories

The 2009 election may be over, but that hasn’t stopped initiative pitchman Tim Eyman from distorting the truth as he appeals to his followers to compensate him for failure.

In his latest missive, copied to the media, Eyman writes:

Over the past 11 years, we’ve sponsored 4 initiatives to reduce car tab taxes and voters got to vote on two of them:  both were overwhelmingly approved by the voters.

Eyman doesn’t name those two, but he’s talking about Inititative 695 in 1999 and Initiative 776 in 2002.

I-695 passed with 56% of the vote. If that’s overwhelming, than each defeat that Eyman has suffered at the ballot box is beyond overwhelming: I-745 was rejected in 2000 with 59.34% of the vote, I-894 was rejected in 2004 with 61.54% of the vote, I-985 was rejected in 2008 by 59.99% of the vote, and I-1033 is being rejected by 57%. And there’s a noteworthy factoid right there: No Eyman initiative has ever passed by a greater margin than any of his four defeats at the ballot.

There’s no question that I-695 passed handily. People felt the motor vehicle excise tax had gotten too high and was being collected unfairly. Presented with Tim Eyman’s all-or-nothing choice, a majority opted for nothing, not recognizing the consequences of this course of action.

But let’s look at 2002’s Initiative 776, which was on the ballot three years after I-695. I-776 passed with only 51.47% of the vote, which is hardly “overwhelming”. It is worth remembering that Initiative 776 sought to repeal vehicle fees that were only levied in four counties: King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Douglas. I-776 actually failed within King County and the Sound Transit taxing district as a whole, which spans the most urban part of King, Snohomish, and Pierce.

Even voters in Kitsap County, who were voting on vehicle fees that didn’t affect them, turned I-776 down, perhaps because they had witnessed better than anyone the consequences of I-695.

Considering his many losses and failures, Eyman should know better than anyone that voters are nuanced. If the case for preserving existing revenue or raising revenue is effectively made, people tend to vote prudently with an eye towards the future. If people can’t see the connection between their tax dollars and the services provided, they tend to be skeptical. That explains the failure of two propositions in Burien and Bremerton to raise vehicle fees.

Eyman cites this as evidence that people hate vehicle fees, but he’s being misleading… again. Surveys, such as the one Sound Transit conducted in 2007 after the failure of “Roads and Transit”, suggest people are willing to pay vehicle fees if the fees go towards services and projects that they support.

In some jurisdictions, like Seattle, levies get readily approved because people there are very concious about wanting to live in a place with a great quality of life. Elsewhere, however, people expect the case to be made to them in a campaign, and if it isn’t, they tend to be opposed in lopsided numbers. Just ask the people who run rural library districts or school districts.

This is one of the drawbacks of “budgeting by referendum”: it requires elected officials and concerned citizens to always be in campaign mode, defending the common wealth from erosion and destruction.

Eyman initiatives have real consequences

Election PostmortemRethinking and Reframing

Years after their passage, the aftershocks of Tim Eyman’s dangerous initiatives are still being felt.

In an article published in the Everett Herald yesterday, the story of the struggling town of Gold Bar is told. Ever since the passage of Initiative 695 in 1999, Gold Bar has been in trouble. And now, the city is in danger of having to disincorporate.

The city’s troubles are indeed the result of Eyman initiatives, as the article notes:

The reason Gold Bar and numerous other cities around the state are struggling financially can be traced to the passage of the car tab initiative in 1999, which lowered licensing fees to a flat $30 rate.

Since then, Gold Bar has lost about $707,000 in revenue, according to the Association of Washington Cities. That loss is bigger than the city’s 2005 general fund of about $508,000. The city already has tightened its belt, cutting expenses on staff training, laying off staff and restructuring the police service contract with the county, which has saved the city about $194,000, said Hester Gilleland, the city’s clerk and treasurer.

The sad reality is that cities need money to operate. It costs us money to live in a society – something that Tim Eyman has never been intelligent enough to recognize. There comes a point when there is simply nothing left to cut and no belt-tightening left to do: the government simply stops functioning.

Public services, such as police and fire protection, swimming pools and libraries, roads, parks and public schools – aren’t free. Without money to operate those services, the government has no choice but to stop providing them. This seriously endangers the health of Washington state’s communities.

Gold Bar is unfortunately at the end of its string. But the city’s residents haven’t got anybody to blame except themselves.

Hawkins [mayor of Gold Bar] said she finds it ironic that even she voted for Initiative 695 – the major cause of the city’s financial headaches.

The town’s registered voters supported the initiative by a vote of 354-138. Courts eventually struck down the measure, but state lawmakers heeded the will of the people and adopted $30 license tab fees anyway.

In 2002, voters approved a second car-tab initiative, which eliminated a $15 license registration fee that Snohomish County and several other counties had been charging.

That money was earmarked for street repairs. As a result, the street fund in Gold Bar dropped from $17,200 in 2002 to nothing in 2004, Gilleland said.

“Even though these initiatives are appealing, they are giving a death warrant for local government,” Hawkins said.

Voters have been tricked into voting with their pocketbooks thanks to Tim Eyman and his sadistic rhetoric. Even mayors have been sold on the premise that they can have it all and not pay for it. By refusing to look at both sides of the equation, and refusing to acknowledge that tax cuts are equivalent to cuts in public services, Eyman and his cronies have distorted the truth and caused a lot of damage.

The Republican position that we must “live within our means” may sound appealing, but it is insane. Too many years of tax cuts are wreaking havoc on Washington State and its many local governments. If something isn’t done in the next few years, city halls across the state will be forced to close and some counties may even collapse into insolvency.

At a time when many rural citizens are angry about the lack of local control in their quest for “property rights”, they risk losing out and ceding more power to officials that are further away. Many of these people are the same folks that eagerly embraced Tim Eyman’s initiatives.

You get what you vote for, and they will pay dearly for their lack of vision and their self-centered thinking. If they’re upset about losing local control, then they should join the bandwagon in clamoring for the state Legislature to pass a budget that will plug the deficit with new revenues.

Cities and counties need money to operate. They’re out of funding. Without the state’s help or increased local revenue, there is no hope for them. And the state cannot possibly provide them funding when it faces its own budget shortfall.

It’s time for people who have been avoiding reality to acknowledge it. We cannot afford any more tax cuts. We need new revenues and real tax reform. We must fund public services or be forced to stop providing them.

Contribution of $20,000 that Tim Eyman bragged about last month missing from PDC reports

Eye on Money: Developments

Once again, Tim Eyman has been caught in another lie.

The initiative profiteer gleefully told his supporters in a July 23rd fundraising email that he’d recieved a “$20,000 gift” from one of his supporters:

“Yesterday, one of our supporters donated $20,000 to our compensation fund “Help Us Help Taxpayers.” Jack, Mike, and I are extremely grateful for this tremendous generosity. We know that not everyone can donate that much, but we hope that all of you will participate as much as you can. The compensation fund will be divided between the three of us and will be used to compensate us for our effective political work.”

But on August 10th, in the monthly report to the Public Disclosure Commission on campaign contributions, the $20,000 was nowhere to be found.

Eyman’s personal compensation fund, Help Us Help Taxpayers, only reported collecting $7,325 for the month of August. That leaves an important question- where is the missing money?

Either Eyman has lied to the PDC about the gift by not reporting the money, or he lied to his supporters by telling them he’d received a gift when he really hadn’t.

Whatever the story is, Tim Eyman has always had a history of exploring the gray areas of the public disclosure law throughout the last few years.

The initiative profiteer became famous in February of 2002 when he was forced to admit he had taken $50,000 from his campaigns and was planning to take another $150,000. Of course, Eyman at first lied and said he was working for free.

Tim Eyman has always been a liar. He lies about his finances and his initiatives. His entire operation is fraudulent and deceitful.

Time and time again, he’s let down his followers. 3 of his last four initiatives haven’t made the ballot, even though he insisted they would because they were “wildly popular”. And he’s repeatedly lied about his finances, including the hundreds of thousands he took and then lied about taking back in 2000 and 2001.

This latest revelation proves once again that Tim is neither accountable nor truthful. The money he says he received wasn’t reported. No matter which way you look at this one, Tim Eyman has been dishonest.

The PDC should take this violation very seriously and prosecute Eyman to the fullest extent of the law. After Eyman was delinquent in his reports last spring, the PDC said that future violations would not be tolerated.

Eyman should be penalized for repeatedly ignoring and disregarding campaign finance laws. From his taking of campaign funds to pay himself, his “legal defense fund” to delinquent reporting and inability to report funds he says he has, Tim Eyman is clearly a repeat offender, and the PDC should hold him responsible.

It’s clearer than ever before that Tim Eyman, his moneymaking operation, and his initiative factory are all just a big sham out to take advantage of Washingtonians.

See for yourself: The Eyman email

From: Tim Eyman
Date: Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:23:32 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Track record of success and progress

To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state

From: Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, and Mike Fagan

RE: Tremendous generosity is appreciated

Over the past seven years, all of you have worked with Jack, Mike, and I to change Washington’s politics forever. Vehicle tabs are no longer outrageously expensive and property taxes are capped with a limit more restrictive than any other in the nation. In the last two legislative sessions, the general fund budgets were balanced without tax increases. Our insistence that tax increases be put to a public vote ensured the defeat of Referendum 51, the $8 billion transportation tax increase. Politicians in the Puget Sound abandoned plans to ask voters for a $14 billion tax increase because they knew voters would say no. Sales tax increases were put up for a vote in Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties and all of them were overwhelmingly rejected. The initiative process is under constant assault and thanks to your support and lobbying of the Legislature, we’ve beaten back legislative efforts to eliminate or undermine our right to initiative.

This November, we’re voting on shrinking the size of the King County Council from 13 politicians to nine. This week, after two years of judicial haggling, I-776 is being implemented and we’ll soon begin getting $39.2 million in refund checks for vehicle charges that I-776 repealed. In December, we’re goin’ ROUND 2 in court over I-776 because it explicitly repealed Sound Transit’s tax on vehicles but Sound Transit refuses to abide by the voters’ decision. Voters approved I-776 which, among other things, ripped away 20% of Sound Transit’s funding, yet Sound Transit continues to obstruct this voter-approved and court-backed initiative. It’s critical to hold the Attorney General’s feet to the fire and aggressively defend I-776 on into 2005.

Property taxes in Washington are so obscene and unsustainable that we put forth two property tax cutting initiatives this year. The one that qualified for the ballot will be approved in November and it reduces property taxes $400 million per year. And we’re coming back next year with a new property tax limitation initiative that reduces them even more.

I admit that I’m obsessively optimistic and always see the glass as half full. But how could you look at this track record of success and progress and not come to the same conclusion: that thanks to all of you, we’ve become the most effective taxpayer protection organization in the state.

As long as we’re out here fighting for the taxpayers, the politicians are on a much shorter leash. After all, politicians are at their most dangerous when they don’t think voters are watching. And thanks to the initiative process and your persistence and perseverance, we’re holding politicians accountable each and ever day.

The response to our request for compensation has been overwhelming. Our supporters understand that we simply can’t afford to spend our time, effort, and expertise on these critical taxpayer protection efforts without being compensated for it. We’re getting letters and checks and emails from supporters offering their financial assistance.

Yesterday, one of our supporters donated $20,000 to our compensation fund “Help Us Help Taxpayers.” Jack, Mike, and I are extremely grateful for this tremendous generosity. We know that not everyone can donate that much, but we hope that all of you will participate as much as you can. The compensation fund will be divided between the three of us and will be used to compensate us for our effective political work.

Having a separate, stand-alone compensation fund for the three of us allows each of you to decide for yourselves what our efforts are worth to you. If you appreciate our past, current, and future efforts and you like having politicians on a shorter leash because they know we’re out here, then please donate generously to “Help Us Help Taxpayers.”

We would be extremely grateful for any financial assistance you can offer.

Best Regards, Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan

P.S. There are thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and special interest groups working each and every day to raise your taxes. Shouldn’t there be at least one person, one team, one organization that fights to lower your taxes? Please help us so we can continue our successful efforts on behalf of taxpayers.

Eyman claims premature victory on I-776 court ruling

Election PostmortemIn the Courts

Tim Eyman, notorious for making sensational predictions, lying about finances, being deceptive to voters and declining to face the reality of his own tax cuts, has declared victory in the I-776 court ruling which has not yet been made public. Eyman’s “victory” statement is an unfounded gamble based on wild speculation and wishful thinking. On Monday, October 6th, Eyman sent an email which was titled:

Supreme Court to uphold Initiative 776 this Thursday, derailing Sound Transit’s light rail and its pursuit of $500 million in federal funds

The body of the email includes sentences like:

“But the Supreme Court wasn’t buying Sound Transit’s delusional second-subject fantasy…….”

“That’s why it’s so satisfying to watch them suffer with the Supreme Court’s affirmation of I-776. I-776 blows a huge 20% hole into the side of Sound Transit’s battleship.”

“Two days from now (Wednesday afternoon) on the State Supreme Court’s website (www.courts.wa.gov), they will announce that their decision on I-776 will be released on Thursday. Once they do affirm I-776 on Thursday, just sit back and watch the taxpayer-financed political hacks at Sound Transit go into full-blown damage control.”

Once again, Eyman is trying to act as our political meteorologist. The only problem is that he never studied judicial weather and he predicts an overturning downpour when there may be a upholding sun.

Eyman is making big, wild gambles that are based solely on what he heard the judges say to Sound Transit’s lawyers in one day in the courthouse, and what he desperately hopes. Furthermore, his quotes from the email are only ones aimed at Sound Transit. The article doesn’t mention any questions justices asked the Attorney General, who is defending the initiative as required to by law.

PD conducted an investigation following the reception of the email to see if a leak had enabled Eyman to learn the ruling in advance. This is what the State Supreme Court said in an email response to our inquiry:

The court does not announce its decisions in advance, even to the parties of the case. It does try to announce one day in advance which opinions will be published, but the result is never given in advance.

The Attorney General’s office said:

We certainly have no independent knowledge either when the opinion is coming out or what its contents are. In the past, most of the hot “tips” we’ve heard about cases coming down turn out to be unfounded rumors. We will be anxiously awaiting the official ruling when it comes out.

Premature victory declarations will not help Eyman to continue to destroy the State of Washington. Sensationalized messages, as in this case, are as pointless as the tax cuts Eyman promotes, for they come at the heavy cost of uprooting public services.

2003 July Relaunch brings many site improvements

Announcements

Note: The following is a post from the Permanent Defense archives that describes improvements made to the website in the summer of 2003. These improvements have been since superseded by multiple new versions of Permanent Defense’s website.

Permanent Defense has been working hard to improve the experience of supporters and visitors. We’ve made the following improvements to our site which we think make it easier to read and use.

Access

Getting to Permanent Defense and viewing its content has never been easier! Permanent Defense now has its own domain name! You can access PD by typing in its new URL, www.permanentdefense.org. Our old URL will continue to work as before.

Site speed

Elements were eliminated that made homepage loading slow. The Permanent Defense homepage should now load in less than 20 seconds over a 56k modem, and even faster on DSL, cable, or a fiber optics line.

New, more accessible archives!

We’re reorganized older content to make it easier to find. A new landing page has been created to house the Permanent Defense archives — find it here. You can read all the old essays, press stories, and web pages from 2002 and earlier in 2003.

Goodbye, errors

Dozens of broken links have been fixed, and incomplete pages finished! There should no longer be any broken internal links of any kind. If you do find a broken link, either internal or external, please promptly report it.

New menus

Permanent Defense’s website now utilizes menus to aid in navigation. Menus make important text stand out clearly and they serve as guides to content.

Reduced font size

To reduce the need to scroll, we reduced font sizes on most pages, while trying to keep it at a readable level. This should make it easier to view more content at once.

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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.

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

We’re social

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

Permanent Defense on Facebook Permanent Defense on Twitter

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