Tag Archives: I-985

Citizens of Mukilteo have already rejected Eyman attempt to take away red-light camera money

Ballot WatchdoggingRethinking and Reframing

At the beginning of this week, Mukilteo’s most infamous right wing politician announced that he and two of his friends were launching a citywide initiative to ban red-light cameras. But Eyman – who has assailed red-light cameras as the “crack cocaine” of city leaders – failed to mention that the people of his hometown have already weighed in on the issue, less than two years ago, when Initiative 985 was on the ballot.

Initiative 985 contained a provision that would have redirected revenue from city red-light cameras to a statewide road-building fund. However, as Eyman himself made clear during the campaign, the real intent of the provision was to discourage cities from installing red-light cameras at all.

Data compiled by Permanent Defense from the Snohomish County general election canvass shows that the people of Mukilteo do not agree that red-light cameras are a civic menace. They overwhelmingly rejected I-985 in November 2008, 57% to 42%. Nineteen of the city’s twenty precincts (including the precinct Eyman lives in!) were firmly opposed to the measure, while only one was in favor. The total vote for I-985 was 4,417; the total vote against I-985 was 5,974.

To qualify his citywide initiative to the August 17th primary election ballot, Eyman needs to obtain valid signatures from at least 1,804 residents of Mukilteo.

Since all he needs to do is find about half of the people in Mukilteo who voted for I-985, we can expect that he’ll be able to qualify his measure for the ballot. But if history is any indication, Eyman may simply be setting himself up for another defeat at the hands of his neighbors.

Eyman is wrong: Voters have repeatedly agreed with Gov. Chris Gregoire’s fiscal positions when it counts

Rethinking and Reframing

In his latest diatribe to supporters, journalists, and elected leaders, initiative profiteer Tim Eyman trumpets a new SurveyUSA poll that he says proves the governor is unpopular. Eyman’s subject line said it all: “RE:  Gregoire pushes for higher taxes — new poll shows voters HATE her now more than ever — coincidence?  No way!”

The problem with Eyman’s line of argument is that when election time has rolled around (which is when voters’ opinions actually count), the people have repeatedly sided with the governor, sensibly sanctioning her fiscal positions in statewide votes. Let’s review:

  • In 2005, KVI radio hosts John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur (who no longer have their own shows on KVI) spearheaded a right wing initiative to repeal the increase in the gas tax that Governor Gregoire had fought so hard for. They succeeded in getting Initiative 912 on the ballot. Many people, including Tim Eyman, confidently predicted I-912’s passage. But instead, voters defeated it.
  • In 2006, Dennis Falk sponsored another right wing initiative to wipe out the estate tax, which Governor Gregoire and the Legislature had courageously restored and dedicated to the Education Legacy Trust. Voters again said no to the right wing and turned Initiative 920 down in a landslide.
  • In 2008, the people of Washington reelected Governor Gregoire over Dino Rossi, and said no to Tim Eyman’s Initiative 985 by large margins. I-985, which Gregoire opposed, would have opened high occupancy vehicle lanes to everyone during rush hour, and would have redirected revenue to road expansion in the future.
  • And this year, voters resoundingly rejected Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033, which Gregoire publicly opposed and spent a significant amount of time and energy fighting behind the scenes.

Polls are snapshots in time: an attempt to gauge public opinion. They give political insiders something to talk about, but are not conclusive.

The only polls that ultimately matter take place for a few weeks in the autumn every year. Considering that Governor Gregoire’s record in elections is better than Tim Eyman’s, he is not qualified to claim that he understands the pulse of the people of Washington better than she does.

Statement on the overwhelming defeat of I-985

Election PostmortemStatements & Advisories

Today the people of the State of Washington sent a loud, clear message to perennial right wing initiative sponsor Tim Eyman: We’re sick of traffic and we don’t agree that the solution to our transportation mess is diverting money from our schools to pay for bigger and wider highways.

“We’re thrilled with the results,” said Andrew Villeneuve, Executive Director of the Northwest Progressive Institute (and Chair of Permanent Defense). “We’ve been working tirelessly over the last few months to educate voters about the consequences of this ill-conceived initiative. Today all that hard work paid off with an incredible victory.”

“We congratulate the people of Washington for making a wise and forward-thinking decision.”

Permanent Defense challenges Tim Eyman to reschedule carpool lane “victory lap” if I-985 passes

From the Campaign TrailRethinking and ReframingStatements & Advisories

Over the last few weeks, more and more voters have been taking a closer look at Initiative 985… and they don’t like what they see.

Sponsored by Washington’s version of Grover Norquist,  Initiative 985 is a recipe for transportation disaster. If enacted, the measure would open high occupancy vehicle lanes during rush hour in Puget Sound, paralyzing the bus system, slowing emergency response vehicles, and potentially forcing the closure of federally funded transit access ramps on highways.

(I-985 would also steal hundreds of millions of dollars away from the general fund, which pays for our schools and first responders, making our state’s projected deficit far worse and canceling some of the savings implemented by Governor Chris Gregoire).

Several weeks ago, the Seattle Times reported: “Eyman is so certain voters will approve the initiative in November’s election he’s planning a ‘Freedom Drive’ on Dec. 4 with a sign on his pickup saying, ‘Drive in this lane. You paid for it.'”

In the event that Initiative 985 is approved and takes effect – which remains a possibility, albeit one that has been diminishing in likelihood with every passing day – the Permanent Defense team challenges sponsor Tim Eyman and his cohorts to reschedule their convoy for the next day – December 5th, 2008, at 6 PM, on SR 520 in Bellevue.

That’s when the westbound carpool lane, restricted today to vehicles carrying three or more people, would be open to everyone – and subequently filled.

During the middle of rush hour.

If Tim Eyman and his friends accept our challenge, we promise to show up to provide publicity. We would be more than happy to station ourselves on the pedestrian overpass near Evergreen Point and take video/pictures of Eyman’s convoy as it waits in the infamous Lake Washington Line, crawling towards the water.

Though it would be cold and dark, we would have our cameras ready as Eyman’s pickup slowly rolled under us, foot by foot, trapped behind a packed Sound Transit bus that’s running behind schedule because it’s been stuck in traffic.

For that is the future of the commute for thousands of people in Puget Sound who are certain to end up spending more time in their cars and less time with their families if Initiative 985 passes and takes effect.

We urge voters to reject that future, and reject Tim Eyman’s selfish, thoughtless, me-first approach to public policy. Our high occupancy vehicle lanes – like the parking spaces we’ve set aside for disabled Americans – are a valuable resource that encourages people to commute together. Taking that resource away would unfairly punish people who are already doing their part to reduce gridlock.

Just as it wouldn’t make sense to open federally-mandated parking spaces for the disabled to everyone most of the time, it doesn’t make sense to allow solo drivers to use our HOV system during Tim Eyman’s incorrect definition of “off peak hours”.

It would be tantamount to paying people to drive.

Traffic is already bad enough. Our projected budget deficit is already bad enough. And our schools are already underfunded.

Washington State just can’t afford Initiative 985.

Governor Gregoire strongly opposed to I-985

EndorsementsFrom the Campaign Trail

Recently, the NPI Advocate published an interview with Chris Gregoire which included a question asking for her position on Initiative 985. Here’s the governor’s interview with NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve:

ANDREW: You’ve been good about coming out and telling people where you stand on issues; that’s something your opponent doesn’t do. Do you have a position on Initiative 985, the traffic measure – the More Traffic Measure?

GOVERNOR: Opposed.

ANDREW: You’re opposed?

GOVERNOR: Opposed.

ANDREW: You don’t like the idea of opening carpool lanes during rush hour?

GOVERNOR: No! It won’t work! Because it’s this… micromanaging… saying, these hours [referring to the set six hours when carpool lanes will remain carpool lanes]…well, it doesn’t work like that on every road! So what we’re going to end up with is an inability to enforce from a law enforcement perspective – it won’t work – and we’re going to have worse congestion, not better. Worse congestion.

So, it’s a bill of goods, it’s not going to work, and oh by the way, it’s going to steal money from the general fund… which means we’re going to steal money from education, or healthcare, or community safety.

ANDREW: And you’re aware that the initiative actually prohibits spending money on ferries and rail and other [alternatives to highways]…?


ANDREW: I mean, it’s ridiculous.

GOVERNOR: Yeah. Absolutely. So, absolutely opposed.

Initiative 985 would steal money away from underfunded services like our schools, worsen your commute, and lengthen the amount of time you’re away from your family. I-985 is a bad idea. Vote no.

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