Tag Archives: Referendum 65

2006: A year of victories for Permanent Defense, a year of defeats for Tim Eyman

Election PostmortemRethinking and ReframingStatements & Advisories

Following yesterday’s Supreme Court decision which affirms that Sound Transit may continue to collect the local motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) it has levied for years, a tally of developments indicates that 2006 is very likely Tim Eyman’s worst year – ever. Among Eyman’s losses, defeats, and setbacks this year:

  • He failed to qualify Referendum 65 in June
  • He saw I-747 ruled unconstitutional in June
  • He failed to qualify Initiative 917 in September
  • He opposed Mayor Nickels’ Seattle roads package, but it passed anyway
  • He lost the court battle against Sound Transit over collection of the MVET

These are merely at the top of an earlier string of defeats from immediate years past, including the failure of I-912 (the gas tax repeal, which Eyman strongly backed publicly but otherwise didn’t have a hand in) the failure of I-892 (legalization of electronic slot machines plus tax cuts), I-864 (property tax cuts), I-807 (spending limits), and I-267 (controlling how transportation funding is spent).

Despite his recent slump, his lousy overall track record, and his unprofessional conduct towards the press (remember “Feel like you’ve been duped? Well you have!”), he is still considered relevant and treated with a reverence he doesn’t deserve.

The Associated Press has mistakenly continued to call Eyman a guru. Guru, as defined by the dictionary, means wise leader, intellectual, or mentor. Eyman is none of those. He’s a false front: looks big, thanks in part to undeserved media attention, but hasn’t had a meaningful impact.

And given his incompetence this year, when he was expected to have no trouble qualifying at least Initiative 917, but still failed to do so, the label of guru is even more inaccurate.

Tim Eyman is not a guru. Nor is he a king, or a champion, or a populist. He does not enjoy wide support. Voters are sick and tired of his stale assortment of tax cuts and spending limits.

He could be accurately described as simply an activist (and a well paid one at that).

A better fit would be zealot.

A majority of the electorate clearly wants effective government, government that works. That’s why they have been voting down the right wing initiatives that have been on the ballot in the last few years (including this year’s Initiatives 933 and 920).

But Tim Eyman offers only anti-govermentism.

Just consider that close to 80% of Initiative 917, the most recent flop, was funded by one man – Eyman’s sugar daddy, Michael Dunmire – and it’s plainly evident Eyman is no populist. For Tim, it’s about making money. Whether he gets a ballot measure qualified or not, he’s been asking his supporters for a personal reward year after year after year. Any supporter who donates to him now is compensating him for failure.

Three days ago, on Tuesday, the Seattle Times rewarded Eyman with yet another guest column on their opinion page, while the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reprinted an Associated Press article about Eyman’s unimportant 2007 plans in its morning edition. KOMO gave Eyman prominent billing on its website. Other media outlets carried the non-story as well.

Regrettably, it seems Eyman is still being taken seriously by too many members of the traditional media. Given that he is a proven and admitted liar, given that he continues to insist his initiatives are “wildly popular” when in fact they’re not, and given that he has squandered and frittered away all of his credibility, it is surprising and disappointing he is still given column space, wire stories, and airtime.

There’s no excuse for this any more. The Tim Eyman media circus needs to be over – his very long hour of fame is up. There are other issues more deserving of coverage and other individuals whose work is more deserving of recognition.

Permanent Defense and its founder realized this over three years ago, acknowledging their broader civic interest when a new parent organization was created with a much more extensive and encompassing focus on political thought and political action – the Northwest Progressive Institute.

Permanent Defense has remained an important division of NPI, but is now only a small part of the larger organization’s endeavors.

Victory! Four for four against right wing initiatives in 2006

Election Postmortem

Yesterday, Permanent Defense won an astoundingly incredible victory that can hardly be described in words. It was historic, it was monumental, it was titanic in size and scope. It was in almost every respect a complete rout of the regressive right wing agenda and a victory for progressives and Democrats.

Anti-tax zealots are reeling after the massive rejection of Initiative 920 (which would have repealed millions of dollars for public schools) and the approval of additional revenue increases to pay for more bus service in King County and infrastructure improvements in Seattle.

And the right wing’s out-of-state funded Initiative 933 is, without a doubt, completely dead as well. Voters across Washington State said “no thanks” to jeopardizing land use protections that preserve the quality of life in our communities.

Meanwhile, Initiative 937, which will help secure our clean, green energy future, has passed. We swept the initiatives this year and gave the other guys a sound beating they won’t soon forget.

On the federal and state levels, Democrats swept to victory on a blue tidal wave that washed across America and splashed into every region in the country.

There are now more Democrats in both houses of our own state Legislature, which is very exciting news. In the upcoming legislative sessions we will be working closely with many of the newly elected legislators to fight for tax reform and a fairer tax structure.

These victories all come on top of Tim Eyman’s earlier failures to qualify Referendum 65 and Initiative 917 for the ballot. Eyman is mired in a losing streak which we have helped make possible. His losses this year top earlier defeats in previous years such as I-864, I-892, I-807, and I-267.

He is a powerless ideologue — and Washington State has had enough of him.

Eyman, who attended the Republicans’ election night party in Bellevue, was forced to concede that his ideology had suffered a major repudiation, calling the series of losses “brutal.”

Eyman today told his supporters they need to “fight back with an aggressive proposal” in 2007 and whined about Christine Gregoire and the Legislature’s revenue increases from recent legislative sessions. Of course, he failed to note that the taxes were sanctioned by voters with the rejection of I-912 (keep the gas tax) and I-920 (keep the estate tax).

Voters are not interested in gutting public services to reward wealthy Washingtonians with tax cuts.

We will continue to vigorously oppose Tim Eyman and defeat him, as we have this year and in the past. Our organization is stronger than it has ever been.

With your help and your support we will stand strong against right wing initiatives in 2007 and in the years beyond.

You never know when Eyman’s telling the truth

Threat Analysis

Not too long ago, the lying initiative profiteer sent out an email to a few select supporters saying the campaign for R-65 was in trouble and in need of more signatures.

Now Eyman is boasting that his supporters are not overconfident, and he’s within striking distance of having enough signatures by June 6th. It’s typical Eyman.

Will he have enough signatures? While the reports we’ve been receiving indicate that signature gathering for R-65 has been stepped up, it doesn’t sound as if there’s been an all out aggressive push.

It could be like in 2004, where Eyman attempted to keep everyone in suspense until the very end, when he and his partners the Fagans brought in a table stacked with petitions to make the press think he was going to turn in, when in reality he was about a hundred thousand signatures short of what was needed.

We’ll know for sure when the deadline arrives.

In the meantime, we are not confused – we continue to work to educate Washingtonians about the danger of these attacks on our sustainable future.

Eyman’s press release:

It’s been nearly a month since our announcement that we needed a big increase in signatures. The effect couldn’t have turned out better. Our supporters now know the facts. They know there’s work to be done. Emails and phone calls have been pouring in ever since with offers to work even harder.

This is what Eyman says every year about every initiative effort, including those that have failed. Remember I-807 in 2003, which was going to be “wildly popular”?

The media stories have been remarkably neutral. Opponents are perplexed and disoriented (“Is it a political ploy? Do we stay quiet? Do you attack? What do we do??????????”). There’s not an ounce of overconfidence among any of our supporters now. We all know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get Referendum 65 on the ballot.

We’ve got 19 days left. 19 days is a lifetime in politics IF AND ONLY IF WE ALL GET GOING — AND GET GOING BIG TIME. Our deadline for signatures is Tuesday, June 6th. The number of valid signatures needed is 112,440.


Remember, if you see right wing signature gathering activity occurring, please report it to Permanent Defense.

Eyman reveals signature drive progress for R-65

Threat Analysis

We have no way of knowing whether Tim Eyman is telling the truth, but we do know that Tim Eyman sent an email today to supporters and the media. In it, he says that only 8,718 signatures have been collected for Referendum 65.
112,440 valid signatures are required for qualification on the ballot, but Eyman will need a cushion of thousands more signatures because a certain percentage are always duplicates or otherwise invalid.

When the AP asked Rep. Ed Murray for comment, he voiced skepticism:

“I’m very suspicious that it’s a political ploy,” said Rep. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, who sponsored the gay civil rights bill and is one of four openly gay lawmakers in the Legislature.

Eyman, for his part, gave a curious response:

“I think we’re going to be scraping by the skin of our teeth,” he said. “They assume we’re smarter than we are. That’s not the case.”

Actually, we don’t assume Eyman is smart. But we do assume, based on what’s happened in the past, that special interests and wealthy backers (especially those who can’t stand the idea of equality) will in fact be willing to put up money to fund a paid signature drive to get Referendum 65 on the ballot.

Of course, so far, Eyman’s fundraising for R-65 has been less than lackluster, and we couldn’t be more pleased about that.

Some of Eyman’s supporters told the AP they are hoping the state Supreme Court will overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage, thereby providing “a spark” to inspire right wing religious zealots to gather signatures. That indicates they’re having some trouble gathering signatures now.

And to that – we say, good.

Referendum 65 petitions filled with lies

Threat Analysis

Washington state voters should be aware that Tim Eyman and the religious right are once again attempting to deceive and mislead the public. Permanent Defense has obtained copies of Eyman’s R-65 petition, which, strangely enough, he has not been distributing to his email list of supporters.

(Eyman’s small band of supporters have been getting fundraising emails and petitions for Initiative 917).

On the front of the Referendum 65 petition are the words:


The entire subheading is a lie.

ESHB 2661 (which is the law Eyman is trying to repeal with R-65) does not give not anyone preferential treatment. In fact, it does just the reverse – it explicitly outlaws preferential treatment by banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

ESHB 2661 also has nothing to do with quotas or same sex marriage. To imply that it does is an outright fabrication, crafted to scare the electorate.

Ironically, below this subheader, there is the Ballot Measure Summary, which reads:

ESHB 2661 amends the state’s law against discrimination to prohibit discrimination based on “sexual orientation” in employment, housing, credit, insurance, health maintenance contracts, public accommodations, and commercial boycotts or blacklists. “Sexual orientation” includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity.

State marriage laws are not modified, employment goals or quotas are not required, nor any specific belief, practice, behavior or orientation endorsed.

Religious organizations and owner-occupied dwelling units are exempt from this law.

That Eyman has the gall to make voters think ESHB 2661 is about preferential treatment, quotas, and same sex marriage is an outrage. But it’s not a surprise.

Permanent Defense strongly encourages voters not to sign Referendum 65, and to report signature gathering activity for this measure when they see it.

Washington State GOP Won’t Touch Eyman


Washingon Sate’s new GOP chairman is Diane Tebelius, a tough Republican lawyer who really wants to be called chairman. The Stranger grilled her on her party’s intent to support Tim Eyman’s initiatives in November. Here was her reply:

Does your party support Tim Eyman’s attempts to repeal the gay civil rights bill?
The party is taking no position publicly on any of the initiatives right now.

Do you see a way in which the Republican Party would come out against Eyman’s repeal measures?
I don’t see a way that they would come out against them. But I don’t know that they would come out for them.

Eyman attacks civil rights

Threat Analysis

On Monday, January 30th, Tim Eyman filed an initiative to overturn the recently passed HB 2661, which outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation. Tim Eyman has truly established himself as an evil person:

He seeks to cripple the very institutions that form the foundation of our representative democracy.

He seeks to appeal to the people of the state under false pretenses, masquerading as a faux populist and distorting the truth, attempting to convince the electorate to stab itself in the back.

He seeks to destroy funding for our most precious and valued public services – services that make our communities livable, like police and fire protection, libraries and schools, parks and pools, and public works.

He seeks to make our society less safe and undermine our economy by wiping out government investments in transportation infrastructure.

And now he seeks to allow discrimination and inequality in Washington State.

Tim Eyman is a filthy, despicable creature. This organization, the Northwest Progressive Institute, and its Permanent Defense division, will not allow Tim Eyman to go unchallenged.

This organization will stand up not only to defend transportation funding, but it will also stand up to defend equality and civil rights.

Tim Eyman has been defeated before. He will be defeated again. Whether or not his measures get on the ballot this year, we will work to stop him. The fight against Eyman is a battle to save the future and the health of Washington State. We can and we will win it.

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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.

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