Tag Archives: I-864

Déjà vu: Tim Eyman announces initiative that would gut local public services funded by property taxes

Statements & AdvisoriesThreat Analysis

Donald Trump admirer Tim Eyman said today he intends to qualify an initiative to the 2017 Washington State ballot that would paralyze the many essential public services provided by Washington’s local governments by gutting their main source of funding.

Eyman’s Initiative 1550 (see text) would slash property tax levies, forcing any not approved by voters to be set at 25% below the amount otherwise allowed. Additionally, it would eliminate personal property taxes and restate the main provision of Eyman’s revenue-limiting I-747, which has been on the books since December of 2001 and is slowly choking the life out of local public services across the state.

NPI is still analyzing I-1550 to assess the breadth of damage it would cause, but it’s safe to say passage of I-1550 would be absolutely devastating to our communities and our economic security,” said NPI’s founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to destructive Tim Eyman initiatives for fifteen years.

“Property tax levies fund schools, police, firefighting, emergency medical response, parks, pools, libraries, roads, mass transit, and development and maintenance of critical infrastructure. I-1550 would raze the vital services we each rely on every day. This initiative is a dire threat to the safety, health, and well-being of all Washingtonians.”

“Making matters worse, I-1550 is being proposed at a time when our values are already under attack by Donald Trump. It’s only been a week since Trump assumed power, and already his unlawful and immoral executive orders are causing tremendous harm at home and around the world. Now Tim Eyman, who is being prosecuted by the State of Washington for serious public disclosure law violations, wants to add to the carnage by unleashing wrecking balls on our cities and counties. We’re ready to fight him — and win.”

Those with long memories may recall that Eyman proposed something like I-1550 back in 2004 — Initiative 864 — which failed to qualify for the ballot.

Midway through the I-864 signature drive thirteen years ago, Eyman realized I-864 wasn’t going to make it, so he diverted his energies to qualifying a different measure, I-892. I-892 would have allowed electronic slot machines in every neighborhood in the state, proposing to use the proceeds from that expansion of gambling to offset a property tax cut. It qualified for the ballot thanks to gambling industry money, but it was overwhelmingly rejected by voters, with the no vote statewide surpassing 60%.

“We have fifteen years of experience organizing opposition to Eyman’s destructive initiatives, and we will put all that experience to work to ensure that I-1550 gets the fierce, broad-based, unrelenting opposition it deserves in the event Eyman has managed to persuade his wealthy benefactors to finance this measure,” said Villeneuve. “Without their money, we believe I-1550 will suffer the same fate as I-864 and the last three initiatives Eyman said he was doing but couldn’t get on the ballot.”

Will you join us in opposing Tim Eyman’s I-1550?

If you would like to take a position opposing Tim Eyman’s I-1550, please fill out the form below so we can include you in our coalition organizing. Thank you for helping us defend Washington’s Constitution and common wealth!

PDC fines Eyman and associates after completing investigation into complaint filed by Permanent Defense and allies

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsStatements & Advisories

The state Public Disclosure Commission, acting on a complaint filed August 26th, 2004, by Permanent Defense, TaxSanity.org, and Taxpayers for Washington’s Future, fined Tim Eyman and his associates three hundred dollars for again violating Washington’s public disclosure law at an enforcement hearing Tuesday morning.

The complaint accused Tim Eyman, his associates, and his three PACs of a broad array of campaign finance and public disclosure violations.

The PDC fined Eyman one hundred and fifty dollars each for two occasions on which PDC staff found that Eyman, his associates, and his PACs had violated the public disclosure law:

  • By failing to timely disclose an in-kind contribution received from Tim and Karen Eyman in the amount of $1,500 for a poll conducted in October of 2003.
  • By failing to timely disclose an in-kind contribution received from the Voters Want More Choices PAC in the amount of $2,109 for a mailing.

Permanent Defense Chair Andrew Villeneuve called the enforcement action significant. “Tim Eyman has a long history of violating the public disclosure law, and he somehow thinks that it doesn’t apply to him. The PDC is making clear once again that his careless disregard for the rules will not be tolerated.”

“Eyman also claims, and continues to claim, to his supporters that his committees are completely separate from each other, but the boundaries between them seem to be pretty transparent.”

He noted that Tim Eyman made the following comment last September in a letter to the PDC regarding the complaint: “Our campaign committee [Voters Want More Choices] pays for these mailings and the accounting and other costs associated with our compensation fund [Help Us Help Taxpayers].”

“It’s just been a continual pattern of infractions, both small and large, which continue to land Eyman in trouble,” concluded Villeneuve. “He wouldn’t be getting fined if he would just follow the rules like everybody else.”

Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi: Friends and Allies

Threat Analysis

Washington State GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi likes to promote himself as a sunny independent thinker who will bring prosperity to Washington State.

But what most people don’t know about Dino Rossi is his extremist positions – including his ties to initiative profiteer Tim Eyman, as well as his similarity to previous GOP candidates John Carlson (2000) and Ellen Craswell (1996).

Did you know that:

  • Dino Rossi supported Initiative 200, Tim Eyman’s first initiative, which attacked affirmative action, back in 1998.
    • “He [Rossi] supported anti-affirmative action Initiative 200.” (Seattle Weekly, Dino Buys Big Time, 8/4/2004)
    • “He [Rossi] supported I-200, the successful anti-affirmative-action initiative championed by [John] Carlson.” (The Stranger, The Salesman, 8/19/2004)
  • Dino Rossi supported Initiative 807, Tim Eyman’s 2003 attempt to require a supermajority vote of the Legislature for any tax increases.
  • Dino Rossi supported Tim Eyman’s I-695, which slashed road and transit funding, and defended it in the spring of 2000.
    • ‘”There’s a lot of people politically in a little bit of a box,’ said Sen. Dino Rossi, the ranking Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee. ‘They [opponents] said the sky was going to fall if 695 passed, and unless a little bit of the sky does fall they’re going to sound like they were telling stories during the campaign.'” (Seattle Times, Legislators employ I-695 to promote long-held agendas, 1/9/2000)
  • Dino Rossi supported slashing public services, sponsoring bills which proposed more tax cuts in the wake of I-695.
    • “Last year (2000), he [Rossi] was among several lawmakers offering tax-cut bills, catching the momentum generated by Initiative 695, [Tim Eyman’s] $30 car-tab measure.” (Seattle Times, Property-tax-cut talk is big in 5th, 10/18/2000)
  • Dino Rossi supported the “direction” of Tim Eyman’s I-745, which would have required 90% of transportation funding to be spent on roads.
    • “But Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Issaquah, the top Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said the state has barely tried to keep even with needed highway construction. [Of Eyman’s proposal], he said, ‘It’s going in the direction many of us have been trying to push. That’s not to say mass transit doesn’t have a role, but it’s not the Utopia people say it is.'” (AP, Seattle P-I, I-695 sponsor sets sights on gridlock with initiative, 12/16/1999)
  • Dino Rossi supported an unsuccessful Tim Eyman effort to kill Sound Transit’s light rail effort in 2003.
    • “Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Issaquah, said he hasn’t seen Eyman’s proposal but supports the concept of a revote because the light-rail project has changed in recent years. ‘Why not put it back on the ballot?’ said Rossi, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. (Seattle Times, Eyman kicks off effort to kill light-rail project, 2/15/2003)
  • Tim Eyman endorsed Dino Rossi’s bid for governor from Day One, and has repeatedly referenced Rossi in his emails to supporters.
    • “Initiative king Tim Eyman cheered on Rossi from the crowd. ‘Taxes are out of control and tax increases should be a last resort,’ Eyman said later. ‘Rossi embodies that philosophy not by what he has said, but by what he’s done.’ After his speech, Rossi posed with his wife and four children as the crowd chanted ‘Dino! Dino!'” (King County Journal, Rossi says he needs $5 million, 11/11/2003)
    • “Our taxpayer-protection efforts over the past six years have changed Washington’s politics forever. This was an incredibly successful election for taxpayers: * Dino Rossi ran for Governor touting his courageous efforts to balance a $2.6 billion deficit without raising taxes. He’s on the verge of victory due to his efforts to protect taxpayers from the insatiable desire of politicians to raise taxes.” (Tim Eyman, Email to Supporters, 11/3/2004)

The Washington State Democrats also have a page where Dino Rossi’s conservative positions are outlined in comparison to Craswell’s and Carlson’s.

It’s clearly apparent, from their own words, that Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi are friends and allies, sharing the same ideals and philosophies on taxation.

Though Dino has supported many of Eyman’s initiatives, this year he tried to skirt the issue and refused to comment on supporting either I-864 and I-892 in order to soften his image as he ran for Governor.

And that bid for the governor’s seat was firmly and openly supported by a very eager Tim Eyman, who longed to see someone of his own creed occupying the Governor’s Mansion. Ever faithful, Tim has even recently urged his supporters to back Rossi’s call for a revote.

Permanent Defense exists to oppose people like Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi, who, in positions of power, have shown are capable of contributing to a more regressive tax structure and damaging the public services of Washington State.

PDC opens investigation into complaint

Eye on Money: Developments

The Public Disclosure Commission Monday informed Permanent Defense and its co-complainants TaxSanity.org and Taxpayers For Washington’s Future that it was launching a formal investigation of their complaint against Tim Eyman and his three political committees. The complaint, filed August 26th, accused Eyman of shifting money between committees, as well as failing to timely and accurately report campaign expenditures and contributions.

Seeking to address the complaint, Mr. Eyman wrote a letter to the Public Disclosure Commission on September 10th which he made available to the media. He apparently sought to refute the charges, but all he ended up doing was confirming their legitimacy.

He admitted to the most serious charge – namely, that his campaign committee, Voters Want More Choices (VWMC), pays the all of the bills and expenses for Help Us Help Taxpayers, (HUHT), his personal compensation committee. Mr. Eyman states very clearly, “Our campaign committee [VWMC] pays for these mailings and the accounting and other costs associated with our compensation fund [HUHT].”

Though he was willing to tell the PDC the truth in his September 10th letter, Eyman did not tell the truth to his supporters. Throughout the Initiative 864 campaign, a standard disclaimer at the end of each fundraising email read:

“Voluntary donations to the 25% Property Tax Initiative will be used to qualify this important tax reduction initiative for the ballot. A different political action committee, Help Us Help Taxpayers, raises money for a compensation fund for Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan. These two campaign committees are kept separate and donations and expenditures for each fund are publicly reported every month.”

Clearly, even according to Mr. Eyman, the committees are not kept separate because Voters Want More Choices is paying the bills and expenses for Help Us Help Taxpayers.

Eyman is using campaign committee funds to pay for personal mailings and other expenses to maximize the amount of money that he makes from his personal compensation committee. This transfer of funds is clearly an in-kind contribution, and it hasn’t been reported.

Permanent Defense Chair Andrew Villeneuve said, “Tim Eyman has long attempted to deceive the public and distort the truth about his numerous personal compensation efforts and compliance with public disclosure law. He claims that our complaint is all lies, and then in a letter to the PDC, he admits our main allegation is true.”

“He only tells the truth when it is most convenient, and even then, he tells his supporters something different.”

Besides investigating the main allegation, the PDC announced it will also investigate numerous other reporting violations, including failure to timely and accurately report contributions to Help Us Help Taxpayers, failure to report polling expenditures by Voters Want More Choices, and failure of Just Treat Us The Same to meet reporting deadlines.

The PDC has assigned the complaint Case No. 05-066 and Case No. 05-068.

Eyman refuses to answer charges

Eye on Money: Developments

Tim Eyman has responded to a complaint jointly filed by Permanent Defense, TaxSanity.org, and Taxpayers For Washington’s Future, but refuses to address any of the charges it presents.

Calling it “our opponents’ latest slime attack”, Eyman said he had reviewed the complaint “and it’s all lies.” But the initiative profiteer didn’t counter or address any of the charges against him.

If the contentions made in the complaint are so easily disproved, why didn’t Eyman try to refute them? His refusal to answer them lends credence to the truth of the contentions.

Eyman’s past history suggests that he is indeed willing to violate public disclosure law over and over again. He’s notorious for taking a salary while lying about it, but his history is more extensive than that.

More than once, he’s been late filing his records, has twice solicited supporters for personal checks made out to “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate” – even in the midst of one of his initiative campaigns.

It seems that Tim likes raising money even more than he likes running initiative campaigns. Why else would he be willing to apparently spend $26,305 of donations to Initiative 864 on a mailing for his personal compensation fund?

The answer is that Tim’s political activism is his income. He cares more deeply about making money than he does about making policy. Even when his initiatives fail, Tim comes right out and asks supporters to compensate him for his “effective work on behalf of taxpayers”.

To Eyman, supporters are like ATM machines. Punch in the right code and you can collect the money. And never mind that Tim Eyman is like an identity thief.

He promised supporters repeatedly that, “Voluntary donations to the 25% Property Tax Initiative will be used to qualify this important tax reduction initiative for the ballot,” and that Help Us Help Taxpayers was completely seperate.

Apparently, Help Us Help Taxpayers isn’t so seperate after all. It’s one thing to lie about taking money for personal use. It’s another to continue doing it again.

Eyman figured he wouldn’t be caught. But that’s what he thought before he was forced to confess about taking a salary in February of 2002.

Eyman can think it’s “borrowing”, but he’s run out of excuses. He told supporters all the way up to July 2nd that their money was being used to qualify Initiative 864 for the ballot. When apparently, a sizable chunk wasn’t, after all.

Eyman’s silence on the charges raises their credibility. The PDC must now act to ensure that the public disclosure law was not violated. And if it was, Eyman should be penalized for not following the rules like everyone else.

It’s only fair to the citizens of Washington State.

PDC should penalize Eyman for violations

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsStatements & Advisories

Permanent Defense, TaxSanity.org, and Taxpayers For Washington’s Future today filed an official PDC complaint against Tim Eyman alleging that the initiative profiteer appears to have been spending Initiative 864 campaign funds for his personal compensation PAC, Help Us Help Taxpayers, among other charges.

The complaint also accuses Eyman and his associates of a broad range of public disclosure violations- including delinquent reporting, as well as conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.

Andrew Villeneuve, Chair of Permanent Defense, said “When it comes to the public disclosure law, Eyman acts as if the rules somehow don’t apply to him.”

“In his mind, it’s okay to file late, to use funds from one committee to apparently pay for another’s expenses, and to lie about taking a salary.”

“But when opponents do something that Eyman thinks is running afoul of the law, he puts up a big racket and acts like a victim. He clearly has a double standard.”

He said he expects the PDC to take action on the sixteen page complaint, saying “Last March, when Eyman filed his forms late, the PDC made clear that future infringements would not be tolerated. Unless Eyman is penalized, he will continue to ignore the law and get away with it.”

Previously, in March of 2004, Permanent Defense joined TaxSanity.org and Taxpayers For Washington’s Future in filing a complaint to the PDC that accused Eyman of not filing the names and addresses of his contributors on time.

The PDC condemned the delay and dismissed the complaint but warned Eyman that future violations could result in enforcement action.

Once again, Eyman has been caught in violation of the public disclosure law. Money is disappearing from the Initiative 864 campaign war chest, mailings for Eyman’s compensation PAC are suspiciously not costing anything, and donations Eyman has said he’s received aren’t being reported on time, and even when reported late, have discrepancies.

“This entire operation, including all three committees, needs an audit,” said Chair Andrew Villeneuve. “It’s all in shambles. He keeps making mistakes and filing late. Then he has to file amended returns with new versions of his records. And it appears that Eyman is using funds from one committee to pay for another’s mailings, even though he insists they’re separate.”

The complainants believe Eyman is clearly culpable of breaking the law, and has been allowed to get away with too many violations for too long.

It’s time for the Public Disclosure Commission to condemn these violations and penalize Eyman for not following the rules like everyone else.

Permanent Defense, allies file PDC complaint against Tim Eyman

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsStatements & Advisories

PDC complaint alleges conspiracy to defraud contributors, demands audit

A formal complaint filed today with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) alleges that during the final weeks of its failed signature drive, Tim Eyman fraudulently spent over $26,000 of I-864 campaign funds on a fundraising letter for his personal compensation PAC, “Help Us Help Taxpayers” .

The complaint — filed jointly by TaxSanity.org, Taxpayers for Washington’s Future (TWF), and Permanent Defense — accuses Tim Eyman, his associates, and his three PACs of a broad array of campaign finance and public disclosure violations, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. The 16 page complaint includes supporting documentation.

“Once again, Tim Eyman has been caught lying to contributors,” said David Goldstein of TaxSanity.org. “He promised to keep campaign contributions separate from his compensation fund… a promise he never intended to keep.” The complaint suggests that since its inception in June of 2003, Help Us Help Taxpayers’ operations have been entirely subsidized by “Voters Want More Choices” (VWMC), including over $10,000 of reported in-kind contributions.

Steve Zemke of TWF called the misreported June 2004 expenditure “doubly deceptive” because it occurred at a time Mr. Eyman was aggressively soliciting funds for what he claimed to be a close I-864 signature drive. Mr. Zemke, a veteran of many successful initiative campaigns, said Mr. Eyman deliberately misled contributors about where their money was going: “I-864 was dead in the water, and Tim knew it. Yet he continued to solicit contributions, while diverting money to his compensation fund.”

Andrew Villeneuve of Permanent Defense emphasized that the complaint includes a number of charges that together establish a pattern of abuse and deception. “These violations aren’t just isolated incidents. They’re part of a long-running history of infractions. The PDC should demand full compliance with the law and take immediate action to ensure that Eyman is following the rules like everyone else.”


Text of the complaint

August 26, 2004

Ms. Vickie Rippie
Executive Director
Public Disclosure Commission
711 Capitol Way No 206
Olympia, WA 98504

Dear Ms. Rippie,

The complainants named below hereby give notice of a formal complaint against Voters Want More Choices (VWMC), Just Treat Us The Same (JTUTS), Help Us Help Taxpayers (HUHT), and their officers, including Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan and Mike Fagan. The complainants request a full investigation of the allegations within, and expect enforcement actions commensurate with Mr. Eyman’s documented history of public disclosure violations and the Public Disclosure Commission’s (PDC) prior warnings that subsequent violations would not be tolerated.

The complainants also request that Mr. Goldstein’s email dated 8/11/04 be considered the initiation of this formal complaint, and that this email be considered an amendment to it.

This complaint includes five main charges: 1) failure to report VWMC expenditures on behalf of HUHT, 2) fraudulently soliciting contributions to I-864, 3) improper reporting of donations to HUHT, 4) failure to report expenditures on behalf of VWMC, and 5) failure of JTUTS to meet reporting deadlines.

1) Failure to report VWMC expenditures on behalf of HUHT

The complainants contend that VWMC made substantial expenditures in June of 2004 on behalf of HUHT, without proper reporting by either committee. VWMC’s Schedule A filed 7/12/04 reports two expenditures dated 6/18/04, to Data Resources, Inc., totaling $26,305.72 for postage and printing for I-864. It is the complainants’ contention that there was no such mailing on behalf of I-864.

The complainants, through their independent watch-dogging activities, had received all three previous bulk mailings from VWMC in 2004, within one to three weeks following the reported expenditure date. No such mailing was received following the 6/18/04 Data Resources, Inc. expenditure. However in early July, each of the complainants received a fundraising letter from HUHT — in the form and fashion of previous VWMC mailings — apparently sent to VWMC’s bulk mailing list. HUHT however, reported no corresponding expenditure or in-kind contribution; indeed, with cash reserves of only $11,522.34, HUHT clearly did not have the financial resources to fund such a large mailing during the time period in question.

It is the complainants’ contention that the July HUHT mailing was funded by the 6/18/04 VWMC expenditures, and that both of Mr. Eyman’s committees conspired to misreport the transactions, thus hiding a transfer of funds from VWMC to HUHT. Both committees are equally culpable in violating the public disclosure laws, and both committees should be subject to potential penalties. Furthermore, the HUHT mailing was in violation of statute by failing to include notice that it was paid for by VWMC.

The complainants also strongly suspect that a similar incident occurred in 2003, when VWMC reported printing and mailing expenditures for I-807 totaling $14,904.45 on 6/12/03 and 6/20/03 at a time when signature gathering efforts for the initiative had clearly ceased, but HUHT was just being started.

These efforts to conceal VWMC expenditures on behalf of HUHT would be consistent with the committees’ 2003 activities, during which VWMC misreported postage and mailing expenses in July, August, September and October, only to restate them as in-kind donations to HUHT in amended returns filed in December. HUHT has in fact, never reported fundraising expenditures – indeed, apart from disbursements to its officers, the committee reported less than $50 in expenditures its entire first year of existence, yet raised over $160,000 in contributions… an unbelievable return on investment.

Mr. Eyman and his associates have clearly made a concerted effort to hide the fact that most, if not all, of HUHT’s activities and operations are paid for with funds purportedly raised to support VWMC’s initiative campaigns. The full extent to which VWMC monies have been diverted to HUHT can only be determined after a thorough investigation of VWMC, HUHT and Data Resources, Inc.

2) Fraudulently soliciting contributions to initiative campaign I-864

Through June of 2004, Mr. Eyman repeatedly emailed supporters, soliciting contributions to the I-864 signature drive. As late as 6/25/04, Mr. Eyman cajoled supporters to “hit ‘reply’ to this email and pledge generously to this critical effort”. Indeed, his final fundraising email, sent one day before the 7/2/04 signature deadline included a payment form with the following standard disclaimer:

Voluntary donations to the 25% Property Tax Initiative will be used to qualify this important tax reduction initiative for the ballot. A different political action committee, ‘Help Us Help Taxpayers’, raises money for a compensation fund for Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan for their effective political work on behalf of taxpayers. These two campaign committees are kept separate and donations and expenditures for each fund are publicly reported every month.

The complainants contend that VWMC ceased its paid signature gathering efforts on 6/2/04, the day Citizens Solutions withdrew the petitions from its subcontractors. Apart from overhead, the only June expenditure related to signature gathering was a 6/14/04 final payment of $10,574.40 to Citizen Solutions for signatures previously collected. As stated above, the complainants contend that the actual purpose of the 6/18/04 expenditures to Data Resources Inc. totaling $26,305.72 was printing and mailing the HUHT fundraising letter sent in early July.

Whatever the actual date that Mr. Eyman abandoned the I-864 signature drive, it is clear that by the latter half of June he was fraudulently soliciting contributions for an initiative campaign that was no longer active. Furthermore, his solicitations throughout 2004 included a promise that all contributions would “be used to qualify this important tax reduction initiative for the ballot”, when in fact the month’s largest expenditure by far was a $26,305.72 unreported in-kind donation to HUHT.

Indeed, VWMC has already reported over $10,000 of in-kind contributions to HUHT, effectively compensating Mr. Eyman and his associates with contributions raised to support initiatives.

HUHT is a personal compensation fund, and any expense on its behalf by VWMC constitutes personal compensation from I-864 campaign contributions. By hiding the true purpose of this expense, and continuing to solicit contributions under false pretenses, VWMC, HUHT and its officers conspired to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. The complainants thus urge the Commissioners to refer this serious legal breach to the appropriate prosecutorial authority.

3) Improper reporting of donations to HUHT

The complainants contend that HUHT improperly reported a $20,000 donation. On 7/23/04, in an email to over 3600 supporters, Mr. Eyman claimed that “Yesterday, one of our supporters donated $20,000 to our compensation fund Help Us Help Taxpayers.” However, on HUHT’s 8/10/04 disclosure filing, there was no mention of a $20,000 donation.

On 8/11/04, the complainants issued a press release with the allegation that Mr. Eyman had failed to report a corresponding donation, and forwarded a copy to the PDC suggesting further investigation. In response to PDC inquiries, HUHT filed an amended return on 8/12/04, reporting a $20,000 “pledge” on the date of 7/31/04.

The complainants contend that Mr. Eyman filed an amended return only in response to inquiries from the PDC, and that the reported date of the donation — now called a “pledge” — does not match the timeline of events. According to Mr. Eyman’s public statement, the pledge could not have been received later than 7/22/04, and yet the 8/12/04 amended Schedule B reports a pledge date of 7/31/04. There is also a discrepancy in that Mr. Eyman originally claimed this to be a “donation.”

It is not clear that Mr. Eyman’s 7/22/04 “donation” and 7/31/04 “pledge” are one and the same. Was there really a $20,000 “donation/pledge” on 7/22/04 as Mr. Eyman claimed in his email, or was the 7/31/04 “pledge” merely reported to cover up a false claim? Does the donor really intend to contribute the full amount, and on what date was it really pledged?

Failure to promptly report a $20,000 donation is not a trivial matter. Given Mr. Eyman’s history of false and misleading disclosure reports and unreported pledges – including the 12/2003 “gift” from the jail guard’s union (Case #04-438) – his amended 8/12/04 return should not receive any more credence from the PDC than his 7/23/04 email. The complainants urge the Commissioners to investigate this incident fully, and to levy penalties within the context of Mr. Eyman’s record of noncompliance.

4) Failure to report expenditures on behalf of VWMC

In emails, press releases, and fundraising letters, Mr. Eyman has repeatedly referenced an opinion survey conducted on 10/09/03 by Rasmussen Reports LLC. The survey was clearly commissioned on behalf of the 25% property tax cut initiative that later became I-864, and should have been reported as either a campaign expenditure or an in-kind contribution.

The complainants can find no VWMC expenditure to Rasmussen Reports LLC, or any other firm, for an opinion survey during the fall of 2003. If the survey was paid for by a third party, or performed at no charge by Rasmussen Reports LLC, then it should have been reported as an in-kind contribution, with the contributor clearly identified.

While I-864 had not yet been filed at the time of the survey, a nearly identical initiative to the legislature, I-309, was filed by Mr. Eyman on 9/8/03, and any expenditures on its behalf would have required full disclosure, presumably by VWMC. It should be noted that throughout the summer and fall of 2003 VWMC made numerous other expenditures on behalf of a “property tax cut initiative”, and this was clearly the primary focus of the committee since the initiative was first announced on 6/8/03.

5) Repeated failure to meet PDC reporting deadlines

The complainants contend that Mr. Eyman’s JTUTS PAC filed monthly C4, Schedule A, Schedule B and Schedule L forms on 8/24/04, thirteen days past the 8/11/04 deadline for ballot committees. This failure to meet reporting deadlines is part of a flagrant pattern of violating PDC requirements — as acknowledged by the PDC in response to our previous complaint dated March 17 (Case #04-443 and #04-444) – and which has continued to this date.

In dismissing the previous complaint the Commission cautioned Mr. Eyman that further late reporting “will not be tolerated, and may result in enforcement action.” As independent watchdogs, the complainants rely on full and prompt public disclosure to help safeguard the integrity of our electoral system; while Mr. Eyman may consider his delays and obfuscations trivial, they interfere with the public’s right to know, as demanded by voters in overwhelmingly passing the Public Disclosure Act. The complainants therefore urge the Commission to back up its previous warning with action.

Summary

In summary, the complainants contend that Mr. Eyman fraudulently used VWMC campaign funds to pay for printing and mailing on behalf of HUHT, that both committees and their officers conspired to hide the transaction, and that HUHT failed to included proper notice on fundraising materials that said materials were paid for by VWMC. The complainants further contend that Mr. Eyman fraudulently solicited funds for VWMC, that HUHT failed to timely and properly report a $20,000 donation, that VWMC failed to report a campaign expenditure for an opinion survey, and that JTUTS has continued Mr. Eyman’s pattern of flagrantly ignoring filing deadlines.

In light of the seriousness of these allegations, the weight of Mr. Eyman’s history of public disclosure violations, and the potential for charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, the complainants request a full investigation of all these matters, and any others that might turn up in the course of further investigation. Mr. Eyman’s persistent efforts to obscure the source of contributions and the true nature of expenditures renders the public disclosure process useless, and thus warrants a thorough audit of VWMC, HUHT, JTUTS, their officers’ personal financial records, and the records of major vendors, including Data Resources, Inc., Citizen Solutions, and Hawthorne & Co., for the years 2003 and 2004.

The complainants look forward to cooperating with the Commission, and will provide supporting documentation upon request. The complainants further request that they be kept informed of the progress of the investigation, and be given the opportunity to comment on or refute any supposedly exculpatory evidence provided by Mr. Eyman and his associates.

A copy of this formal complaint has been forwarded to the complainants’ attorneys, the Attorney General, and to the media.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

The Complainants:

David Goldstein, TaxSanity.org
Steve Zemke, Taxpayers for Washington’s Future
Andrew Villeneuve, Permanent Defense

CC: Rodney L. Brown, Jr. (Brown Reavis & Mann PLC)
CC: Attorney General Christine Gregoire
CC: the media

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 statistics about “obscene” taxes are misleading, meaningless

Rethinking and Reframing

Since the beginning of his efforts to put I-864 and I-892 on the 2004 ballot, Tim Eyman has consistently complained about the rise in property taxes over the past several decades. His major, overriding complaint is that property taxes have increased from $1 billion in 1980 to $6.25 billion in 2003. But does this figure accurately represent the change in the property tax burden?

The answer is no. Information from the Department of Revenue does show an increase in the amount of revenue collected from property taxes each year. But you can’t look at the amount of money the state collects and use that as an appropriate figure.

Any accurate representation of the property tax burden should take into account the following factors:

  • Inflation
  • Population growth (and, since 1980, Washington’s population has increased 32.2%)
  • Expansion of the tax base (i.e., more properties to tax)
  • Loss or gain of federal funding
  • Shifting of revenue from one tax source to another

Tim’s complaint that the property tax growth is “obscene” is unjustifiable. Revenue collection figures will always continue to grow because of inflation. And because the population continues to grow, and because more properties are developed, Washington will require more public services. More public services requires an increase in revenue.

There is no way to prevent this increase unless the level of public services currently provided by the state and local governments were to drastically regress. This would lead to a loss of jobs as firemen, librarians, police officers, and other government employees would be laid off in large numbers.

The following chart, furnished by the Department of Revenue, provides a better look at tax growth. Compare it side by side to the chart Tim Eyman uses in his argument that the property tax burden is “obscene”.
Several conclusions can be made from the chart to the left. The first is that the tax burden has dramatically decreased. Part of this is because government has had to make do with less, even as population has grown and demands on the state’s infrastructure have increased.

The second is that using 1980 as a starting date is misleading. If you start one year earlier, in 1979, it’s obvious that the tax burden has clearly and dramatically decreased. In fact, property taxes as a percentage of assessed value have clearly declined.

According to the Washington State Tax Structure Committee and every other accountable source, the economic figure that most closely tracks growth in demand for public services is growth in personal income. Personal income is also the only number which permits a true measure of tax burden.

This second chart, also provided by the Department of Revenue, shows that thirty one other states have higher tax burdens than Washington:

So Tim’s claim that tax growth is “obscene” is simply not true. And compared to other states, Washington’s tax burden is fairly low. Because Tim’s method of measurement doesn’t produce meaningful information, his results are completely misleading and out of context.

Those who take Tim’s statistics for granted don’t understand that he’s playing with the numbers and the figures, using irrelevant data and presenting misleading graphs to paint a distorted picture of Washington State’s tax burden. He’s proved one thing- even when it comes down to math, you can’t trust Tim Eyman.

It’s back to begging for Tim Eyman

Eye on Money: Developments

Please, whines Tim Eyman. Just send me and my co-chairmen your spare change and $100 checks so I can be compensated for another failure.

Once again, Tim Eyman has sent out his pleas to his supporters to ask them to donate to his personal compensation fund.

He’s asking them to pay him for a year’s worth of work that ended in failure. A year’s effort that bore no fruition for Eyman’s supporters.

The “Help Me Help Myself” routine is getting pretty pathetic. It leaves you wondering what happened to Eyman’s fraternity watch business.

Is he still doing it? Hard to tell. The former Mukilteo “businessman” seems so caught up in his initiatives that he doesn’t have time to do anything else.

The last three of Eyman initiatives that didn’t have major-league backing from special interests have all failed to get onto the ballot.

Initiatives 267, 807, and 864 have gone down as flaming wrecks. Initiative 892- paid for by greedy gambling conglomerates from Canada and Nevada.

What’s this campaign that Eyman is running coming to?

Though it never was about “relief” from the start, it’s all too obvious now that Tim Eyman, once proud of his grassroots image, is a sham. He doesn’t stand for the common man. He stands for Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, and all the companies that will save millions from his tax-cutting initiatives.

Eyman stands for them while the majority of Washington’s population suffers and communities pay the price for voters’ seduction and subversion.

He just wasn’t able to keep the charade going long enough. In February of 2002, he finally had to admit that he had lied – about big time financial matters. If Tim felt comfortable lying about taking money, he obviously doesn’t feel bad about the lies he keeps spreading regarding his initiatives.

When it comes down to it, Tim Eyman has helped himself more than he’s helped anyone else, and he’s at it yet again. Doing what he does best. Begging for his supporters’ donations.

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