I’m sure y’all are reading the NPI Advocate. When Andrew goes into live blogging mode or when he’s making fun of Tim Eyman it’s always solid. So as soon as I saw the title of this piece about Eyman speaking at the transit listening committee was of course going to be great.
“The people attending these meetings, including myself, are not a representative sample of the taxpayers of Washington,” Eyman said, instantly drawing another round of boos and jeers. “Normal people are at home recovering from a long day at work, but their voices deserve to be heard too,” he added.
“We’re normal people!” shouted several indignant audience members in a near simultaneous (but uncoordinated) reply. “I came here straight from work,” one young woman sitting near me said loudly.
People in the room were offended, and certainly they had every right to be.
Were I not an activist who has been watchdogging Tim Eyman and fighting his destructive initiatives for over a decade, I would have been offended too. I’d have resented Eyman’s sneering implication that I was not a “normal” person because I had chosen to give up part of my evening to share my opposition to Metro service cuts with the people charged with deciding what our laws and budget should be.
Eyman may not be normal – after all, he’s a well paid professional politician – but plenty of people who showed up at tonight’s hearing are regular Washingtonians who claim to represent nobody but themselves. They spoke as citizens and activists, not lobbyists or political operatives. Unlike Eyman, they don’t get paid big bucks to promote cynical initiatives designed to wreck government.
Just because Tim Eyman isn’t normal, he shouldn’t smear the rest of the people who show up on a Monday night to participate in the process. Usually in Olympia at hearings and committee meetings these sorts of things are overwhelmingly dominated by lobbyists and other people more like Tim Eyman who make their living taking one side or another. When they actually come to Seattle and other parts of the state, they can hear from a broader selection of people.