Attacking the Times on “Attacking initiatives”

The Seattle Times editorializes this morning, once again defending the initiative process status quo, and quite frankly its arguments are a stinking pile of shit so weak and unsupportable that they are forced to resort to the lowest of rhetorical lows… the anecdote.

In attacking efforts to impose some degree of accountability onto the process, the Times attempts to strike an emotional chord by propagandistically rising to the defense of the poor, embattled signature gatherer:

Jaye Anderson, testified about what it’s like. She said, “I’ve been spat on. I’ve had French fries thrown at me. I’ve had people following me to my car.” There are, she said, “a lot of weirdos out there.”

Like many signature gatherers, she is in her 60s, and not physically imposing. She has reason not to put her home address on the petitions, which are public documents.

Oh, boo-hoo.

I’ve had people call me up in the middle of the night threatening to come to my house and “beat the commie crap” out of me. I’ve had scores of anti-semitic comments and emails joyfully telling me that when “the Sweep” comes they want to be the first at my door, or laughing that I can have all my fancy words, “but we own all the guns.” I’ve had a load of horse manure dumped on my sidewalk, and the car tabs repeatedly scraped off my license plate in what I suppose is intended to be an ironic gesture. I’ve been falsely and maliciously reported to authorities for soliciting sex from minors online. I’ve received death threats.

As a blogger and journalist (yes, journalist) I’m at least as integral a part of our democratic process as an itinerate signature gatherer, and yet I don’t see the Times demanding that the state protect my anonymity.

Yes, initiative petitions are public records. Everybody and anybody who signs a petition is potentially putting their name and address out there for all to see. And the signature gatherer should be no different.

What the Times doesn’t tell its readers is that there have been documented cases of signature fraud throughout the nation, and that the only way to track down the perpetrators is to have them identify themselves on the petition. The Times wouldn’t protect the rights of poll workers and elections officials to remain anonymous (at least I hope they wouldn’t,) so why should they protect the anonymity of signature gatherers? Everybody who participates in the electoral process can be identified in the public record… except for the migrant, piecemeal workers who collect the bulk of our signatures. What sense is there in that?

There is nothing inviolate about the statutes currently governing the initiative process — which I should remind the Times were written by, you know, legislators — the same sort of legislators the Times now mocks and excoriates for attempting to update our laws to meet the demands of modern times. But then, I have trouble taking the Times’ holier-than-thou grandstanding seriously. Personally, I can’t help but wonder if it’s just another one of their occasional bouts of faux populism intended to cover up and facilitate (and perhaps, make themselves feel better about) the corporatist agenda their op/ed page routinely promulgates.

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    From: Tim Eyman

    Definition of ‘consensus’ — general agreement among the members of a given group or community, each of which exercises some discretion in decision making and follow-up action.

    Listed below are excerpts from newspaper editorials and columnists who have weighed in on Senate Bill 5182 sponsored by Sen. Jim Kastama (D-Puyallup) and HB 2019 sponsored by Rep. Joe McDermott (D-Seattle) which REQUIRES the Secretary of State to reject petitions filled with valid voter signatures if the person who gathered the signatures doesn’t put his/her name and home address on the back of the petition:

    Today’s Seattle Times editorial: http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ged26.html

    Olympian editorial: “The much-loved but much-maligned initiative process is under assault in the state Legislature. SB 5182 says that unless the signature collector signs the declaration and provides an address, voter signatures on the front are invalid. This bill would affect the grassroots volunteers who collect signatures. Only about half of them flip the initiative over and sign the declaration. The bill, if passed, would nullify thousands of otherwise valid signatures, and that’s why SB 5182 should be rejected by the Legislature.”

    Yakima Herald Republic editorial: “We have a particular problem with SB 5182, because if a signature gatherer fails to complete the declaration, the Secretary of State must refuse to file the petition. That would reject valid voters’ signatures along with the invalid. A way should be found to ensure that all valid signatures count.”

    The Everett Herald editorial – “Hampering initiatives isn’t a productive idea”: “Even more perverse is the proposal to require the secretary of state to throw out all signatures on a petition – including valid ones, signed in good faith by registered voters – if the signature-gatherer fails to properly fill out and sign the back of the form. The intent of these bills is clear: make it harder to get initiatives on the ballot. It’s wrongheaded and unnecessary.”

    The Centralia Chronicle editorial – “Signature Process Isn’t Broken, Doesn’t Need Democrats’ Fix”: “Legislative Democrats trying to make it tougher to get initiatives and referendums on the ballot have introduced other measures, as well, including requiring signature gatherers … to personally sign each petition page so they can be found if there is any allegation of fraud. But, again, there have been no credible fraud allegations. These other measures amount mostly to harassment and to that extent would further impinge on free speech and petition rights.”

    Walla Walla Union Bulletin: “Legislators are also considering … imposing new rules – with added paperwork – for those collecting signatures. This is the wrong approach. It has the potential to muffle free speech.
    Legislators pushing the so-called reforms to the initiative process contend they are doing so to curb fraud. But, to this point, there is no evidence of fraud or serious irregularities with the signatures or the way they have been gathered. The public is in control, and that’s the way it should stay.
    Lawmakers shouldn’t tinker with the initiative process – it’s not broken.”

    Olympian news story: The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington opposed it (SB 5182) because a voter who lawfully signed the petition would have his or her signature rejected if the gatherer didn’t follow the rules.

    Syndicated columnist Richard Davis: “Yet another would require that the signature gatherer personally sign the petitions. Foul up and the petitions are rejected. … All this looks like harassment. Regardless of what supporters say, each of these so-called reforms is designed to make it more difficult for citizens to exercise their rights. … Jonathon Bechtle of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation questions these ‘basically unjustified burdens’
    on a fundamental First Amendment right, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has said petition circulation is ‘core political speech.’ When Washington tried to ban per-signature compensation a decade ago, a U.S. District Court judge tossed the ban on First Amendment grounds. … It’s not as if recent ballot measures have made life difficult for Democrats. In November, voters rejected initiatives requiring compensation for regulatory takings and repealing the estate tax and supported a renewable energy proposal. The prior year the people passed performance audits and a smoking ban and defeated gas tax repeal. Key Democratic constituencies prevailed across the board. As Eyman says, nobody likes a sore winner. It’s early in a legislative session with important issues to consider. They should leave this one alone.”

    Columnist Peter Callaghan of the Tacoma News Tribune: “Are some of the proposed bills shortsighted? Absolutely. … too many lawmakers – angry at Eyman – … aim at him and hit our rights to initiative and referendum.
    Historically, it’s been the only way to break the grip of special interests on the Legislature. That principle is bigger than politics. … nearly all of the proposals have already been found to be unconstitutional … .”

    Syndicated columnist Adele Ferguson: “I am disappointed that the bill is supported by Secretary of State Sam Reed … I had hoped that he would realize that in this attempt by legislators to slap down their nemesis, Tim Eyman, the ones who are really being slapped down are the people.”

    Seattle PI columnist Joel Connelly “Be careful in ‘fixing’ initiative process”: “Even given the recent excesses, Are these cures worse than the disease? … SB 5182 would require that a signature-gatherer sign a declaration and provide an address on the back of every page containing initiative signatures. … What if I volunteer to circulate a petition in a place where the cause is unpopular? Say, it’s a gun control initiative in Okanogan County, or repeal of gay civil rights legislation on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Petitioning one’s government is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Should we subject those exercising that right — even for pay — to potential abuse, to anonymous phone calls or pressure at work? The Legislature ought to be careful in messing with the initiative process. Today’s fixes may create tomorrow’s problems.”

    J. Anderson (she turns 70 in April) testified before the house committee: “There are a lot of wonderful people who live in the state of Washington but there are a lot of real weirdos out there too. I feel it’s utterly callous disregard for our safety and our protection that if you are gonna force us into doing that. And at my age, and many of the other women that work with us are in their 60′s and even the ones in their 30′s and that men that are out there are all in danger. I’ve been spit on. I’ve had French Fries thrown at me, which doesn’t hurt but it’s not very nice. I’ve had people follow me to my car. I’ve had notes left on my vehicles. I just feel like the world is crawling with sex offenders and I’m going to sit here with a label on me saying who my name is and who I’m working for and they can pull this up on the internet somewhere. And there’s identity thieves out there. I think you haven’t thought this thing through, Mr. McDermott. I really don’t think you’ve got me in mind. I just don’t think you’re working for me. And I don’t think you’re working for a lot of other people that are out there doing their First Amendment rights. And I beg you that there’s nothing wrong — this is grassroots, it’s grassroots at its finest — no matter how much money and all we keep talking about is all this money — it’s grassroots. I come from Iowa where (interrupted by Chairman Hunt) …
    Just let us have our initiative process.”

    Rep. McDermott responds: “I’m not taking it away.”

    Ms. Anderson answers softly: “You’re making it hard.”

    Gary Jacobsen (an elderly gentleman) also testified against the bill: “I’ve never been harassed by the public as I’m being harassed by the Legislature that I helped put into office. What possible threat do I pose that I need be licensed, regulated and leaned on by the government. I’m singled out because I might possibly bring a conflicting point of view to the ballot. I find this to be discriminatory and outrageous. Shame on those who put another burden on a hardworking taxpayer doing a legitimate job. Just please leave me alone.”

    – END –

  2. 2

    spews:

    The people’s initiative process is guaranteed by the state Constitution. The Constitution EXPLICITLY limits the Legislature to only passing laws that make the process easier, not harder. The Constitution permits the Legislature to make the initiative process harder, but only with a constitutional amendment which requires voter consent.

    Citizens have a First Amendment right to petition their government for change. Those rights are not contingent on, and there is no justification for, requiring citizens to register with the government or identify themselves by name and address in order to exercise those rights. The privacy of the ballot box is an inviolate principle embodied in our political system. That principle of privacy SHOULD extend to voter signatures on initiative petitions and MUST extend to those heroic, brave souls who are the front lines providing voters with the opportunity to sign initiative petitions.

    For over 90 years, we’ve never required the rejection of valid voter signatures; nonetheless, the initiative process, guaranteed by our state Constitution, has functioned quite well without invalidating valid voter signatures. Yet Rep. McDermott’s language in HB 2019 says this bill’s requirements are “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety or support of state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.”

    Why is it an emergency to reject VALID voter signatures?

    Current procedures by the Secretary of State ensure that only valid signatures count and only initiatives with enough valid signatures qualify for the ballot. It’s not a threat to the public health and safety for the Secretary of State to continue accepting valid voter signatures.

  3. 3

    spews:

    Tim, you’re the one who is threatening the initiative process, not the Legislature. You took a populist safety valve and transformed it into a cynical, for-profit business. Any defense you make of the status quo is nothing but a defense of your own wallet.

    Perhaps you were guided by idealism when you started, but if so, that Tim Eyman would be embarrassed and ashamed of the Tim Eyman you’ve become.

    Whatever your politics, you once had the opportunity to create and lead a populist movement. You blew it.

  4. 4

    spews:

    Senate Bill 5182 is described as a ‘clean up bill’ and so it’s being rushed through the legislative process before its flaws can be highlighted. SB 5182 says that all voter signatures on the front of the petition MUST BE REJECTED by the Secretary of State if the person who circulated the petition doesn’t provide their printed name, signed name, address, city, state, and zip code on the back of the petition.

    Under current law, the Secretary of State rejects a voter’s signature on a petition if it doesn’t match the signature on the voter’s registration – valid voter signatures count, ‘non-matched’ voter signatures don’t.

    Under this proposed change, VALID voter signatures WILL BE REJECTED also. It would require the REJECTION of tens of thousands of VALID voter signatures. SB 5182′s lead sponsor is Sen. Jim Kastama D-Puyallup and the bill’s co-sponsors are Shin, Tom, Marr, Keiser, Oemig, Rockefeller, Kohl-Welles, Brown, Spanel, Murray, Kline, Regala, Jacobsen.

    Co-sponsor Sen. Rockefeller has at least acknowledged the horrendous consequences of this bill in a letter to a constituent: “I would like to see if there is some way to overcome any administrative defect short of invalidating all of the signatures on an unsigned petition sheet.”

    This bill DOESN’T punish the person who gathered the signatures; SB 5182 PUNISHES THE VOTERS WHO SIGNED THOSE PETITIONS. Why would we want our government to invalidate VALID signatures?

  5. 6

    spews:

    In 2000, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Washington state law requiring the disclosure of the names and addresses of signature gatherers violated the First Amendment and was, therefore, unconstitutional. “There can be no doubt that the compelled disclosure of this information chills political speech,” said the court. They cited a previous U.S. Supreme Court ruling: “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation –- and their ideas from suppression –- at the hand of an intolerant society.”

    There is a senate analysis listing SB 5182′s various violations of the Washington state Constitution (the 9th circuit dealt with violations of the U.S. Constitution) as it relates to the disenfranchisement of voters who signed the petition.

    And this whole effort is to track down those folks who are committing forgery or fraud. But that’s not a problem here. The Secretary of State, in response to a public records request, said they “have no instances of verified forgeries or fraud in the signature gathering process for initiatives in those years (1999 through 2006).” Eight million signatures over eight years – zero instances of verified forgery or fraud. And even if there were some, the forged/fraudulent signatures don’t count anyway – the Secretary of State only accepts a voter’s signature if it matches EXACTLY the one on the voter’s registration card.

    The only thing that will change that is SB 5182/HB 2019 which require the REJECTION of not just ‘unmatched’ voter signatures, but VALID voter signatures as well.

    That’s nuts.

    We’re not right all the time, we may not even be right much of the time, but we’re absolutely right when we highlight the flaws of these anti-initiative bills and their violations of the First Amendment, the U.S. Constitution, the Washington state Constitution and the disenfranchisement and violation of the rights of the voters who sign petitions and the rights of the people who ask voters to sign.

  6. 7

    Right Stuff spews:

    Goldy did you just call youself a journalist?
    Oh Please.
    I’m choking on my coffee I’m laughing so hard….

    Tim E. – Please stop using the initiative process as your employment scam. This feeble victim status approach, and plee to the public that you are somehow championing the rights of the citizens of Washington is a joke. You are simply attempting to keep your cash source.
    If you want to make a REAL difference, become a candidate, or get involved with a campaign. If the legislature violates the constitution with this law, the supreme court will have to make that determination.

  7. 8

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    I’ve had people call me up in the middle of the night threatening…

    YEP THIS IS THE WINGNUT MENTALITY THAT I FIGHT AGAINST DAILY. IF WE DON’T KEEP THESE NUTCASES IN CHECK, WE’LL ALL BE IN A WORLD OF HURT.

    THEREFORE WE MUST KEEP POLITICIANS WHO PANDER TO THEM OUT OF OFFICE AND WHEN THESE KOOKS BREAK THE LAW, MAKE SURE THEY PAY THE PRICE.

  8. 9

    ivan spews:

    Fuck you, Eyman. Goldy is right. This is no threat to the initiative process. It’s a necessary step to make all participants in the process more accountable.

    You don’t have a problem with accountability, do you? Just call it a performance audit.

  9. 10

    spews:

    Mr. Eyman.

    First, a certain kudo for coming here, as this is almost certain to be an unfriendly crowd. Still, some of us pride ourselves in trying to understand all sides before deciding on a position.

    That being said, you may have just made my average post seem short by comparison.

    The topic being discussed, which is the identification of signature gatherers for accountability purposes, is one that reasonable people should be able to agree upon. Some signature gatherers have concerns for their security and do not want their home address listed on the petition. While I post here under my real name, I do not generally post my home address, and many here are unwilling to even give a real name, so we should be able to generate a certain sympathy for the signature gatherers.

    People verifying signatures want some sort of method to hold signature gatherers accountable for fraudulent signatures.

    This shouldn’t be too hard to solve, assuming that we can get everyone’s unspoken priorities off the table.

    Yes, some folks would like to do away with the entire initiative process. (I am not among them.) Others may have an interest in “not knowing” that some signature gatherers are less than totally honest.

    How about numbered petition forms, individually signed out to signature gatherers? The signature gatherer’s name and address is on a separate form, not available to the general public unless a problem is found.

    I would also add strong penalties for signature gatherers found guilty of improperly obtaining signatures.

    Of course, I would say that if it turns out that a particular signature gatherer has improperly gathered signatures, then all of the signatures gathered by that person become suspect. Perhaps some mechanism for a more thorough check (at the expense of the petitioner) could be arranged to verify signatures of those forms. This would also offer a strong incentive to people running initiative campaigns to provide strong supervision to signature gatherers.

    If our goal is accountability, we should be able to find a method that addresses the concerns of signature gatherers.

  10. 11

    spews:

    to post #7 (Right Stuff):

    The First Amendment is not an exclusive right of people from Mukilteo. The initiative process is not reserved to citizens of Mukilteo. It protects all of us.

    Just like when the press defends the First Amendment because they exercise their free speech rights, so, too, do we.

    You’d have an argument if these bills stopped only political speech from white men in their early 40′s with Ford pick-up trucks. They don’t. These bills take away everyone’s right to participate and speak — they squelch everyone’s First Amendment right.

    If you won’t stand up for our right to speak, at least stand up for your own.

    These anti-initiative bills will ensure the disqualification of tens of thousands of valid voter signatures on initiative petitions. Valid voter signatures ought to count – no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

  11. 12

    Right Stuff spews:

    Tim you wrote

    “And this whole effort is to track down those folks who are committing forgery or fraud. But that’s not a problem here. The Secretary of State, in response to a public records request, said they “have no instances of verified forgeries or fraud in the signature gathering process for initiatives in those years (1999 through 2006).” Eight million signatures over eight years – zero instances of verified forgery or fraud. And even if there were some, the forged/fraudulent signatures don’t count anyway – the Secretary of State only accepts a voter’s signature if it matches EXACTLY the one on the voter’s registration card.”

    Would you support a measure that would hold the initiative sponsor responsible for fraudulent signatures?
    I mean, if the initiative sponsor is going to hire signature gatherers, acting as agents for the initiative, then would’nt that be fair?

    Additionally, there is fraud on the election/initiative landscape. This is especially true for “paid” signature/voter registration foks.
    ACORN has been found to provide fraudulent voter registrations.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....rn23m.html

  12. 13

    YOS LIB BRO spews:

    Additionally, there is fraud on the election/initiative landscape.

    YOU STEPPED IN IT WRONG STUFF. FROM THAT ARTICLE YOU LINKED:

    “When we opened the box we very quickly noticed there were hundreds of forms where the handwriting was the same,” said election spokeswoman Bobbie Egan. “We were able to see very quickly and clearly there appears to be evidence of possible forgery.”

    BOBBIE EGAN WORKS FOR KCREALS. ACCORDING TO THE DEMAGOGUE ON GREENLAKE SHARANSKY, THAT’S A DEMON FROM HELL ITSELF.

    ACORN IS A SHOESTRING OPERATION. THEY PAID THEIR CANVASSERS NINE BUCKS AN HOUR. OF COURSE THERE’S GOING TO BE A QUALITY CONTROL PROBLEM.

    I’M KEEPING AN EYE ON THIS. THAR BE WINGNUTS ABOUT.

  13. 14

    Right Stuff spews:

    @13
    “YOU STEPPED IN IT WRONG STUFF”

    How so? I simply pointed out that there IS in fact fraud in the paid signature gathering/voter reg. business.

    Also from that article..
    “Four ACORN canvassers in Kansas City were indicted for felony voter-registration fraud. One defendant has pleaded guilty and three have pleaded not guilty.”

  14. 15

    spews:

    Tim Eyman,

    A few years ago you were relevant and hip. You let it go to your head and you began to lie. One lie became two and so on…

    We can all argue all day long on the merits and faults of the initiative process.

    What we can’t argue about is that your conduct has been detrimental to the process. There is no arguing when, quite simply, you are wrong.

    I agree with the poster above who said you may have started out with high ideals. The problem is that your ego and greed, yes greed, led you astray. You became drunk with “power” and celebrity.

    In the end, you have lost the “power” and you have become nothing more than a caricature of a fool, one who has lost his way and can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Perhaps when you are older, sipping iced tea on your porch, reflecting on your life, you will understand the horrible waste of the good that you let slip from your grasp in your quest for money and recognition. It was selfish and self-serving, it was sinful.

    It is difficult to go from popular hero to buffoon, but you managed to do it in record time and with rare style and panache. I have empathy for you Tim, but I also know that you are getting exactly what you deserve in the court of public opinion.

  15. 16

    spews:

    Nice to see we aren’t just lining up along our usual ideological lines.

    It can be easily determined that there is a business of signature gathering, and that there is at least the potential for problems with improperly supervised signature gatherers.

    I’m glad to note that it has not been a problems so far with petition signatures, but it shouldn’t be that difficult to reduce the potential for improper signature gathering.

    Goldy, while I certainly understand your point about people harassing you for your public positions on various issues, we both know that not everyone is willing to take that sort of risk.

    Fortunately, this should be an easy enough problem to address. A couple of possible solutions right off the top of my head:

    1. Serialized petition forms with a separate gatherer signature form.

    2. Detachable gatherer signature sections to the petition form.

    In both cases, the signature gatherer’s name and address could be maintained in a separate, confidential file. Little chance of unauthorized access to that information, and still allowing accountability for improper actions by the gatherer.

  16. 17

    rhp6033 spews:

    1. When I sign an initiative, I am giving my true name and address. This is a public record. Why should the person soliciting my signature be given greater protection that the person who signs it? If my signing an initiative does not have a “chilling” effect, then why would having the name of the signature gatherer have any more of a chilling effect?

    2. I find it ironic that the poor initiative signature gatherers claim that they are being harrassed and intimidated, yet they claim that there is no “problem” in the inititive signing process which needs to be corrected?

    3. From what I’ve seen initiative signature gatherers think they have an exclusive right to free speech at a particular storefont, to the exclusion of all others. If you try to point out that they are making false statements when they try to talk others into signing, they complain to store management or call the police to have you removed. They only want one side to have free speech – Tim’s speech.

    4. I guess Tim doesn’t see a “problem” from the incidents I observed last initiative season in front of the Bellevue QFC, where

    (a) an initiative signature gatherer was telling my boss, who admited to being a Japanese national, that he should sign the initiative now, and he could apply for citizenship later?

    (b) the same initiative signature gatherer was arguing that ALL estates in Washington were subject to the estate tax, a situation which would be corrected unless the initiative passed?

    (c) Or my observing some strange behavior where the initiative gatherer was writing something on the petitions, leaving me to believe that if someone signed one (but not all) of the several petitions avialable, that the signature gatherer was transfering the information to the other petitions as soon as the voter was out of sight?

  17. 18

    rhp6033 spews:

    JB at 10: “How about numbered petition forms, individually signed out to signature gatherers? The signature gatherer’s name and address is on a separate form, not available to the general public unless a problem is found.”

    Clearly John’s suggestion is a reasonable compromise.

    I was going to suggest also that each signature gatherer simply be assigned an identification number, which is listed on each petition as his “signature”, and which he must display in an ID card on his person which includes his ID number and his/her photograph. Only the elections commission need know his actual name and address.

  18. 19

    spews:

    Hi, RHP

    I’ll go a bit in the direction of Mr. Eyman (although only just a bit) and point out that the signature gatherer is a bit more exposed to possible harassment than the signers of the petition.

    Having gone that far, I would also demand accountability from those gatherers.

    Mr. Eyman seems to take issue with the idea that an unsigned petition should not be considered. I think that some very simple quality control and supervision on the part of the petitioner should suffice to solve this problem.

  19. 20

    proud leftist spews:

    The initiative process has been hijacked by special interests. The process is now overused and has been stripped of its populist roots. I believe initiatives should be limited to issues requiring amendment of the state constitution. Using initiatives to make, for instance, fiscal policy is ludicrous. Tim Eyman and his ilk should be put out of business by significant restriction of the issues which initiatives may address.

  20. 21

    On Topic.... spews:

    Goldy,

    Your are not a journalist you fat, patheitc loser.

    All you are is a blogger, and yes, you do hide behind anonymity. I’m sure you have an unlisted number and address.

    As for you getting death threats, threats, being reported as pedophile, anti-semitic remarks, etc….

    You are the one who brings your religion into discussion, so when people respond by mentioning you are a Jew, it’s not being ant-semtic, it’s in keeping with the tone of conversation you’ve initiated.

    Quite frankly, you bring all this shit on yourself.

    You are a malicious little cocksucker and depseratley deserve a beating. I am certain that you’ve suffered through these when you were a kid and apparently that lesson never caught on.

    It’s not gonna come from me but I’d gladly appaluad any drunken redneck that is willing.

    Fortunately, for all of those that do despise you. your contact information is available through and public records search.

  21. 22

    spews:

    To post #10 (John Barelli):

    All the extra steps you’re proposing make the process even more complicated and difficult — and all to accomplish a goal that is already being addressed. ‘Unmatched’ signatures don’t get counted. Why burden thousands upon thousands of voters and signature gatherers to exercise their First Amendment rights?

    To post #12 (Right Stuff):

    You’re highlighting voter registration fraud by ACORN who pay their people PER HOUR. The rationale for HB 1087 (another anti-initiative bill) is that hourly payment ‘purifies’ the signature gathering process – it would do the opposite as evidenced by ACORN.

    To post #15 (My left foot):

    Whatever.

    To post #17 (rhp6033):

    There’s a bill (HB 2255) that would guarantee the privacy of people who sign petitions also. We agree with the 9th circuit ruling that guarantees the right to anonymity of a person who gathers signatures. We agree with the logical extension of that principle that the identity of people who sign petitions deserve anonymity also for the same reason.

  22. 23

    spews:

    To post #10 (John Barelli):

    All the extra steps you’re proposing make the process even more complicated and difficult — and all to accomplish a goal that is already being addressed. ‘Unmatched’ signatures don’t get counted. Why burden thousands upon thousands of voters and signature gatherers to exercise their First Amendment rights?

    To post #12 (Right Stuff):

    You’re highlighting voter registration fraud by ACORN who pay their people PER HOUR. The rationale for HB 1087 (another anti-initiative bill) is that hourly payment ‘purifies’ the signature gathering process – it would do the opposite as evidenced by ACORN.

    To post #15 (My left foot):

    Whatever.

    To post #17 (rhp6033):

    There’s a bill (HB 2255) that would guarantee the privacy of people who sign petitions also. We agree with the 9th circuit ruling that guarantees the right to anonymity of a person who gathers signatures. We agree with the logical extension of that principle that the identity of people who sign petitions deserve anonymity also for the same reason.

  23. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    ” … I can have all my fancy words, ‘but we own all the guns.’”

    That’s what they think. They think wrong. Liberals are arming!

  24. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 Rightwingers routinely call us “commies” and “terrorists,” threaten to throw liberals in “concentration camps” and “execute” us — and you call ME a lunatic?

    The only fucking lunatics around here are Republicans.

  25. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 Let’s see … wingnuts brag about their guns, make anonymous phone calls to strangers in the dead of night, e-mail death threats … and call us lunatics?

    HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

    (raucous bunny laughter in background)

    All my cousins down here under the tree roots think you’re hilarious.

  26. 28

    On Topic.... spews:

    Um, yes Roger.

    You are a lunatic, and Goldy is a pudgy little bitch that can’t support hiw own family.

    No truer words have ever been spoken.

  27. 30

    Blackhead spews:

    Re 21:
    “You are a malicious little cocksucker and depseratley deserve a beating. I am certain that you’ve suffered through these when you were a kid and apparently that lesson never caught on.

    It’s not gonna come from me but I’d gladly appaluad any drunken redneck that is willing.”

    In AZ, you can shoot a person dead for that kind of threat. The, “It’s not gonna come from me….” weasel wouldn’t cut it. If this were AZ, I’d hunt you down and give you a dose of your own medicine. In fact, Goldy should do that.

    Look you up and try to reason with you , heh, heh…. Wouldn’t want to see any harm come to you.

  28. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    This is what Newt Gingrich exhorted to his fellow Republicans:

    ” … [T]his is a civil war, that … has to be fought with the scale and duration and savagery that is only true of civil wars. While we are lucky in this country that our civil wars are fought at the ballot box, not on the battlefields, nonetheless it is a civil war.”

    And then there’s the eliminationist rhetoric by lunatic-fringe wingers like Ann Coulter and Jonathan Gardner; who, unfortunately, not only are not repudiated by their fellow Republicans but represent mainstream GOP thinking.

    And you call ME a “lunatic”? When somebody tells you they want to kill you, getting a gun and laying in a supply of ammo is a perfectly rational thing to do. Ya think?

    When the Nazis came for the Jews, the Jews weren’t armed, and were slaughtered en masse. When modern-day nazis come for us liberals — things will be different, wait and see.

  29. 32

    Paddy Mac spews:

    “What if I volunteer to circulate a petition in a place where the cause is unpopular? Say, it’s a gun control initiative in Okanogan County, or repeal of gay civil rights legislation on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.”

    You want to solicit signatures in a place where citizens might sign the petition. A few years ago, right-wingers tried to pass a law, to mandate an even distibution of signatures across the state for an initiative to qualify. They were tired of liberals gathering sufficient signatures from just Seattle and environs.

    We could simply eliminate paid signature gathering, since almost all known cases of fraud emanate from this mercinary practice. In 1994, the BIAW qualified an initiative to the legislature in a short period of time, using paid gatherers. This initiative set the then-record for invalid and fraudulent signatures in our state, but did qualify. The legislature passed it, and then we the people revoked it in a subsequent referendum. That little story shows everything that’s wrong with our modern initiative process, and points the way toward serious reform: no paid signature gathering, and accountability for whatever fraud might still occur.

  30. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A “lunatic” is someone who doesn’t take seriously the ravings emanating from the lunatic right these days.

  31. 34

    On Topic.... spews:

    @30…..

    “If this was AZ”

    It’s not.

    Goldy should look you up.

    Goldy, feel free to look me up. I’ll gladly say this to your face.

  32. 35

    Richard Pope spews:

    I am much more concerned about voter registration fraud, such as ACORN submitting hundreds or thousands of apparently forged voter registration forms to King County Elections, which appeared to all be in the handwriting of just a small number of people.

    When ACORN or other groups submit forged voter registration applications, this costs the government at least $100 per form to process. Thanks to the federal court decision procured by ACORN in August 2006, county auditors now have to process questionable voter registration forms, even if none of the information matches up with the Social Security Administration or Department of Licensing database. County prosecutors and county auditors then have to undertake an expensive removal process to get these phony registrations off the books — which easily costs $100 per person for the county to initiate and process to completion. And if these phony registrations are not removed, the public can be victimized by having phony votes casts in the names of the phony registrants in future elections.

    There are absolutely no documented cases of organized forgery of initiative petition signatures in Washington.

    But even if there were, the damage caused by this would be far less. While statewide elections have been decided by fewer than 150 votes, there are no cases where an initiative has failed to qualify by 150 signatures or less. And even if it were that close, the initiative sponsors could have easily procured a couple hundred more valid signatures by honest efforts. Realistically, any initiative that could qualify by a margin based on forged signatures could legitimately qualify with solely based on real signatures, with just a little more effort.

    But lets suppose an initiative does end up qualifying, and it is discovered (too late) that many signatures were forged and the Secretary of State erred in putting it on the ballot. The initiative still has to be approved by a majority of the voters. If it passes, then it is something a majority of the voters wanted anyway. Conversely, news of the forged signatures may result in more “NO” votes and the initiative being disapproved by the voters due to the bad publicity and negative reaction.

    Why is the legislature focusing on initiative fraud, and not on voter registration fraud? And why focus on something only indirectly related to potential fraud, such as prohibiting compensation based upon the number of signatures collected?

  33. 36

    Blackhead spews:

    re 34: You’ll tell him you wish someone else (Good Heavens! Not You!)would beat him up????!!!!

    Same way you wingnuts fight wars — you let someone else do the dirty work.

  34. 37

    Gov Gregoire spews:

    Richard sooo silly…….

    Why is the legislature focusing on initiative fraud, and not on voter registration fraud? And why focus on something only indirectly related to potential fraud, such as prohibiting compensation based upon the number of signatures collected?

    Becuase I needed a job! And our caucus needs votes! Since we lose in the arena of ideas, we have to manufacture votes……

  35. 38

    Blackhead spews:

    re 35: “Why is the legislature focusing on initiative fraud, and not on voter registration fraud? And why focus on something only indirectly related to potential fraud, such as prohibiting compensation based upon the number of signatures collected?”
    ]
    You mean like the machine voting fraud that benefitted Republicans in Snohomish County in ’04?
    http://www.blackboxvoting.org/index.html

  36. 39

    rhp6033 spews:

    To: “On Topic”, who said: “You (Goldy) are a malicious little cocksucker and depseratley (sic) deserve a beating. I am certain that you’ve suffered through these when you were a kid and apparently that lesson never caught on. It’s not gonna come from me but I’d gladly appaluad any drunken redneck that is willing.”

    I say: count me in, too, if you dare. I’ll take anything you are willing to dish out to Goldy. But obviously, you are a coward and a bully who won’t risk getting hurt yourself, but likes to encourage others to do your dirty work for you. If you want a fistfight, you are free to try (I played center in high-school football, I’m not a wimp). If you want to bring a knife, I know how to use one, too. If you want to bring a gun, well, I earned my first marksmanship medal when I was eight, and I learned how to shoot M-14′s in JRTC when I was age 15.

    You think you are brave enough to stand by and shout encouragement while somebody else beats up the “wimpy jew-boy”? What kind of brown-shirt are you wearing, anyway? You sound an awful lot like Himmler, who was a similar wimp and a coward who encouraged others to do away with those he didn’t agree with, or who were just – different.

    Bring it on.

    It’s people like you (“On-Topic”) who have turned me, a Southern-raised Evangelical Protestant Eagle-Scout into a Democrat, just to make sure I’m not associated with the likes of you.

    And you are obviously not On-Topic, you are doing your best to get the discussion as far Off-Topic as possible, which reveals that you really don’t have anything intelligent to say that wouldn’t reveal you for the idiot you are.

  37. 40

    Paddy Mac spews:

    “Why is the legislature focusing on initiative fraud, and not on voter registration fraud? And why focus on something only indirectly related to potential fraud, such as prohibiting compensation based upon the number of signatures collected?”

    Because we’re focusing on problems which exist in reality, as opposed to problems which exist in the fevered imaginations of local wingnuts. We see a very high degree of co-relation between paying signature gatherers, and fraudulent or invalid signatures. Making a direct logical connection is easy, since payment creates a financial incentive for fraud.

    I earlier related the real-life tale of how a corporate interest group bought an initiative, not because the issue had popular support, but because their party controlled the legislature, but not the governorship. Our state’s governor cannot veto an initiative passed by our legislature; this was the BIAW’s sole motivation. We the people did have a veto, however, and we used it, crushing the initiative by about twenty percentage points at the polls. This entire waste of time and money happened because a rich special-interest could pay for signature gatherers, but had no responsibility for the fraudulent signatures submitted by its paid employees. Where’s the conservative responsibility and morality crowd on this one?

  38. 41

    rhp6033 spews:

    Richard Pope: I would have not problem at all with extending the provision against paid soliciters to voter registration as well as to initiatives.

    And I am as opposed to illegal voter registrations just as much as the Republicans are. Because I think that the Republicans use these allegations to justify (at least in their own minds) their own voter fraud in places like Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004.

    Despite Republican allegations to the contrary, I believe that when all the votes are fairly counted, the Democrats win. So I’m all in favor of the most accurate, fairest elections possible.

  39. 42

    Richard Pope spews:

    Blackhead @ 38

    Snohomish County is controlled by the DEMOCRATS.

    Democrat County Executive.
    Democrat County Auditor.
    Democrat County Prosecuting Attorney.
    Democrat majority on County Council.
    15 out of 18 state legislators are Democrats.

    So why in the hell would anyone in Snohomish County government want to steal votes on behalf of the Republicans?

    If the voting machine technology employed by Snohomish County in November 2004 stole votes on behalf of ANYONE (and I am certainly not claiming it did), then it would logically have been on behalf of the DEMOCRATS who control Snohomish County.

  40. 43

    spews:

    “On Topic”

    Normally, I would refrain from this sort of thing, but it bothers me when a worthless coward hiding behind an assumed name threatens someone I respect.

    I’m pretty easy to find. Bring friends.

  41. 44

    spews:

    Mr. Pope

    Your reply to RHP focused on Snohomish County, which his did not. I’m concerned with electronic voting, and do not consider this to be a primarily partisan issue. Bottom line, I do not care if the people running things are Democrats, I still want an honest election.

    I am very concerned with the ACORN incident. At best, it shows poor supervision in an area that I consider important. Paid signature gatherers should be held accountable for their actions, so if you feel it appropriate to link these two issues, you will get no argument from me.

    On the contrary, you will get my wholehearted support. I want honest registrations, honest petitions, and honest votes. If you’ve read other posts of mine, you will note that I have no tolerance for those in my party that have the attitude “they did it, so we should too”.

    Mr. Eyman simply repeats the answer that boils down to “it doesn’t matter how we got the signatures, as long as they match”.

    He’s wrong. Accountability is important. If a paid signature gatherer cannot manage to follow simple written instructions, and the initiative promoters cannot manage to provide the most basic supervision, then the signatures are suspect. “Matching” signatures is, at best, a cursory check. It cannot be more than that due to the restrictions of time and resources. We must trust that the signature gatherer acted in good faith.

    An unwillingness to identify him/herself seems like evidence of bad faith. We’re not talking about some Republican plan to require two forms of photo id and a sworn statement from all of their great-grandparents. Just give us your name and address, so if there is a problem, we can find you.

    Funny how Republicans are all in favor of ID to keep folks away from the polls, but aren’t even willing to give their names when working on an election.

  42. 45

    spews:

    On topic at 21:

    Exuse me you ignorant litte fuck. The proper spelling is A P P L A U D, perhaps you should lay off the sauce before typing your jealousy fueled missives.

    I see you are pussy enough to wish Goldy harm from your computer chair, but not man enough to back it up yourself.

    Very mature comment. Adds a bunch to the convervation.

    Your parents must be so proud.

  43. 46

    spews:

    Tim Eyman at 22:

    Swift comeback you posted in response to my commen, “Whatever” . The nine year-old next door can formulate a more intelligent, adult response than that.

    I see you did not refute one word of my post.

    My dad taught me that you can’t defend the indefensible. I see your dad taught you the same. At least you learned that.

  44. 47

    spews:

    33

    If Goldy comes to meet you, may I tag along? You know, in case you suddenly get a case of “being a man”, I can beat it back out of you.

    (The above comment is “Ann Coulter” type humor).

  45. 50

    spews:

    To post #44 (John Barelli):

    The 9th circuit has ruled that a Washington law requiring the disclosure of names and addresses of signature gatherers is unconstitutional. See post #6.

    The Secretary of State checks signatures and only valid voter signatures count. So no initiative in our 92 year history ever qualified unless it had enough valid voter signatures. The system has worked without these burdensome, bureaucratic requirements.

    Signatures that don’t match don’t count. These proposed anti-initiative laws require the rejection of valid voter signatures.

  46. 51

    spews:

    To post #15 & #46 (My Left Foot):

    ” … but I also know that you are getting exactly what you deserve in the court of public opinion.”

    That has nothing to do with the Taxpayer Protection Initiative of 2007 (I-960), just as it had nothing to do with the popularity of our performance audit initiative (I-900) or our property tax increase cap initiative (I-747) or the shrinking of the size of the King County Council, or our various $30 tabs initiatives (I-695, I-776, I-917).

    Voters (and I) concern ourselves with the merits of the issue. Initiative campaigns are not a personal popularity contest, they’re about public policy and what direction the voters want the state to go.

    Attacking the messenger, as you and your compatriots do regularly, is the most intellectually bankrupt approach possible. It shows weakness, it shows laziness, it shows a mind bereft of intellect, of thought.

    Grow a pair and say you oppose our Taxpayer Protection Initiative I-960 because you want it to be easy for the government to take more of the taxpayers’ money.

    Have a spine and say you oppose the initiative process because you think voters are stupid and you want the people’s right to be removed from our state Constitution.

    Have the courage of your convictions.

    But if the only arrow in your quiver is “I don’t like the initiative process or I don’t like your initiative because I don’t like Tim Eyman” then get accustomed to “whatever” — it’s the only response you’ve earned.

  47. 52

    spews:

    Mr. Eyman:

    You have just hit upon an argument that I cannot refute. I had not noticed that part of your earlier post, and was unaware of the 9th Circuit ruling. Do you have a link to it?

    That being the case, the rest of the arguments appear moot. If the law is unconstitutional, it should not pass, and if it does pass, the courts should invalidate it.

    I tend to be very fond of the Constitution, even when it does not let me do what I want.

    Really, if you had simply made that point, by itself and without the lengthy additional commentary, this would have been a much shorter thread. (Of course, considering the length some of my posts, I have no place to talk.)

  48. 53

    Blackhead spews:

    Re 43: I don’t follow your logic. So you are saying that if a district is controlled by Democrats, there is no Republican incentive to hack the machines.

    What WOULD be an incentive — in your view?

  49. 54

    Blackhead spews:

    re 51: How broad a base are you financing these initiatives that you so constantly offer the voters: One person; several persons; hundreds or even thousands of concerned citizen contriburors?

    It takes $50,000 to mount a serious signature campaign like you do. This is the crux of the issue — and you know it. The initiative and referendum has been hijacked by monied interests and no longer serves the people.

    So go fuck yourself, Tim Eyman. You’ve been convicted of using this whole process for your personal financial gain.

    You are an unprincipled leech.

  50. 55

    spews:

    To post #54 (Blackhead):

    Attacking the messenger with name-calling and profanity? That’s all you’ve got? Pathetic.

    To post #52 (Joe Barelli):

    Here’s a news story about the 9th circuit overturning a 1993 Washington law requiring the disclosure of the names and addresses of signature gatherers:

    Local News: Wednesday, May 31, 2000
    Ruling aids signature gatherers

    Andrew DeMillo
    Seattle Times staff reporter

    Staff members hired to gather signatures to get initiatives on the Nov. 7 ballot will no longer be required to disclose their names, addresses or salaries to Washington election officials.

    In a ruling that organizers say will help in recruiting signature gatherers, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week struck down a 1993 law requiring paid staff members to report the information.

    In a ruling released Thursday, Judge David Thomas said the law, which has not been enforced since February, chills political speech and called the provision unconstitutional.

    Thomas ruled in favor of Washington Initiatives Now (WIN), a Tacoma-based signature-gathering firm that had challenged the provision. The firm has worked on several high-profile initiatives in the past 10 years.
    The firm has been contracted by Tim Eyman, a Mukilteo businessman who has sponsored three transportation and tax initiatives.

    State officials said the law was intended to prevent election fraud and to inform the public about fund raising. Sherry Bockwinkel, WIN owner, said the law often led to harassment of workers by initiative opponents.

    “It just created problems all around the line,” said Bockwinkel. “We had workers who were being harassed and stalked by opposition groups.”

    The appeals court based its judgment on a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a similar Colorado law. Vicki Rippie, executive director of the state Public Disclosure Commission, said the ruling will have little effect on the PDC.

    The Legislature passed the law to help protect the integrity of the initiative system, said Assistant Attorney General Jean Wilkinson: “Disclosure of names and addresses is yet another way of tracking how money is being spent in public elections. Our main argument was that the state had this as a tool for fighting potential election fraud.”

    Shawn Newman, an Olympia attorney representing WIN, said, “There are several controversial initiatives that are out there right now that are too hot for even the legislators to handle. We’ve got some people out there who don’t want their name released out of fear of retaliation. These opposition campaigns can be pretty aggressive.”

    There are 37 proposed initiatives that each need to collect 180,000 signatures by July 7 to get on November’s ballot.

    The state has 90 days to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, but Rippie said the PDC is unlikely to appeal.

    – END –

    From the 9th circuit ruling: “There can be no doubt that the compelled disclosure of this information chills political speech.” They cited a previous U.S. Supreme Court ruling: “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation –- and their ideas from suppression –- at the hand of an intolerant society.”

  51. 56

    spews:

    Mr. Eyman:

    The stories weren’t really what I was interested in. The ruling itself was what I was after.

    However, with the information you gave, I was able to track down the actual ruling, and it appears your information is correct.

    Here is a link to the ruling in the case WIN V WARHEIT, Case Number: 98-35412, Filed 05/25/00:

    http://tinyurl.com/2h8ep6

    Washington Revised Code S 42.17.090(1)(g) (1993) requires the disclosure of the names and addresses of persons paid to collect signatures on initiative petitions “to the people,” and the amounts paid to them. We conclude these requirements chill political speech protected by the First Amendment, and do not significantly advance any substantial state interest. Accordingly, we hold the statute, and the regulations promulgated under it, are unconstitutional.

    and

    “We do not reach the question of severability of the statute, because even if the statute were severable, and the requirement to disclose amounts paid to circulators were stricken, the statute would still be unconstitutional because of its requirement that the names and addresses of paid circulators must be disclosed.

    While I may not like the outcome of this decision, it is quite clear and does not appear to have been overturned. As SB 5182 states:

    “The petition must include a place for each petitioner to sign and print his or her name, and the address, city, and county at which he or she is registered to vote.”

    and

    “Petition signature gatherers must complete the declaration under subsection (2) of this section. If a signature gatherer fails to complete the declaration, the secretary of state must refuse to file the petition under RCW 29A.72.170.”

    it appears to directly violate that court ruling.

    Ref: http://tinyurl.com/2kmysv

    So, rather than making a large fuss from both sides, with newspaper stories and battling pundits, perhaps we should just send a quiet e-mail to our State Senators, including these references and just saying “nice thought, but unfortunately this was already tried and it didn’t work.”

    As I mentioned earlier. The Consitutional argument trumps everything else. Even if I don’t like the results.

  52. 57

    spews:

    Tim, why not prove the initiative process isn’t broken and get on board with an initiative that isn’t backed up by some corporate interest? You know, re-engage your credibility. Do something “good” for the people instead. Do it without paid signature gatherers. You said…

    “Voters (and I) concern ourselves with the merits of the issue. Initiative campaigns are not a personal popularity contest, they’re about public policy and what direction the voters want the state to go.”

    But the initiatives you have been promoting are far away from merit. I voted for the 30 buck car tab initiative. It helped me and others who were well… poor. Sure, it helped that guy driving the Mercedes as well but back then, I needed it. But how is gutting education and transportation funding helpful? Or discrimination for that matter? You have lost your soul brotha and it’s sad.

    Washington voters would have a great deal more respect for you if you ditched the sugar daddy and ran a grassroots initiative that served more than just your masters. And just so you know, they laugh all the way to the bank everytime you put on that Gorilla suit.

    You need to chill out and go get a massage…

  53. 58

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 “This bill would affect the grassroots volunteers who collect signatures. Only about half of them flip the initiative over and sign the declaration. The bill, if passed, would nullify thousands of otherwise valid signatures”

    If we count signatures on petitions not signed by signature gatherers, why shouldn’t we count votes of people who don’t have IDs? Seems like a double standard. How hard is it to instruct the signature gatherers to flip over the petition and signed the declaration?

  54. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If we’re going to require birth certificates to vote, then we should require birth certificates to sign initiative petitions, too.

  55. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    People who sign initiatives should also be required to pass a literacy test and pay a poll tax.

  56. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If you think these ideas suck, don’t blame me! The Republicans dreamed them up.

  57. 63

    spews:

    An earlier post vanished into the ether, so I’ll summarize, and answer Roger as well.

    Mr. Eyman, what I was asking for was a link to the ruling, however, with the information you provided, I found it.

    WIN V WARHEIT, Case number 98-35412 filed 05/25/00

    Ref: http://tinyurl.com/2h8ep6

    There is no longer any dispute that requiring disclosure of amounts paid to initiative circulators is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court in Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Found., 525 U.S. 182 (1999), resolved that issue, holding that such a requirement violates the First Amendment.

    In this appeal, the State does not contend otherwise. We confine our discussion, therefore, to the State’s requirement that paid circulators must disclose their names and addresses. We do not reach the question of severability of the statute, because even if the statute were severable, and the requirement to disclose amounts paid to circulators were stricken, the statute would still be unconstitutional because of its requirement that the names and addresses of paid circulators must be disclosed.

    While I may not like the answer, the ruling is pretty clear, and the Constitutional argument trumps any other. Signature gatherers have a Constitutional right to be anonymous.

    The argument that requiring people to provide an ID is also unconstitutional has one proviso. Every one of the (Republican) ID requirements makes a legal voter pass some sort of test or pay some sort of fee in order to vote. This is clearly unconstitutional.

    If we design a system that does not require the voter to do significantly more than they must already do to register to vote (such as track down old documents, provide certified copies, etc…) then a system could be devised that would allow some reasonable voter verification.

    If this was the real goal of the people pushing this, it would be a pretty easy thing to do. Of course, the real goal appears to be to prevent legal voters from voting, so they go to extremes to make it difficult to vote.

    I also note that they push vote-by-mail, and propose things that do not prevent vote-by-mail fraud. (All the ID in the world is useless if nobody sees it.) Methinks they doth protest too much.

  58. 64

    spews:

    prr @21,

    You are a malicious little cocksucker and depseratley deserve a beating. I am certain that you’ve suffered through these when you were a kid and apparently that lesson never caught on.

    It’s not gonna come from me but I’d gladly appaluad any drunken redneck that is willing.

    Fortunately, for all of those that do despise you. your contact information is available through and public records search.

    This isn’t the first time you’ve threatened me. And yet, I’m still here, unscathed, while you continue to hide behind multiple aliases.

    Coward.

  59. 65

    spews:

    Tim at 51:

    I love the initiative process.

    I just don’t like the way you have abused it.

    That is the arrow in my quiver.

    You whored yourself. You lost the high ground when you lied.

    I sign any petition. I believe in the process.

    As for growing a pair, I am quite sure I have everything I need, spine included.

  60. 66

    spews:

    To post #57 (Jimmy):

    “Washington voters would have a great deal more respect for you if you …”

    What is it with you guys? It’s not a popularity contest — it’s public policy, it’s principles, it’s issues — that’s all that matters to the voters (and to us) in an initiative campaign — the method of signature gathering is IRRELEVANT — paid or volunteer or combination of the two. In 2005, we did I-900 on performance audits. Overwhelmingly approved by voters – we used alot of paid petitioners. did that make it a bad proposal? Of course not. Voters lined up to sign petitions and voters backed it at the ballot box. In 1999, we did I-695, the first $30 tabs, and it got 514,000 signatures all-volunteer. It also passed at the ballot box. Was it a better proposal by being all-volunteer? No, it was the issue that voters approved, not the signature gathering method. The initiative proposal rises or falls based on the merits. Stop trying to give us/me advice on how to be popular or to gain respect … that isn’t even on our radar screen. It’s the issue, it’s the proposal, it’s the principles, it’s the policies, it’s the provisions.

    It’s astonishing that this simple point is so hard for you and your compatriots to comprehend/accept.

  61. 67

    Lordsman spews:

    Goldy – get a good shotgun and blow them away if they ever show up.

    Way over the top, and as an expert, these are not cock suckers. In fact they have leaking dicks that don’t get hard much anymore.

  62. 68

    Lordsman spews:

    Mr. Eyman — above — So very glad to hear the claim of ” rising and falling on the merits.”

    So your attempt to take a gay rights repeal to the ballot failed on the merits? Informed public refused to sign?

    And frankly Tim, for real attention, take clothes off. The costume thing is stale and must be sweaty in there, Huh.

  63. 69

    spews:

    To post #65 (My Left Foot):

    Same answer as I gave to Jimmy at post #66.

    But let’s talk about the issue — do you support the Taxpayer Protection Initiative? It would:

    * Allow either 2/3′s legislative approval or voter approval for state government to increase taxes;
    * Allow an advisory vote if the Legislature blocks a public vote on a tax increase (by attaching an emergency clause to it, for example);
    * Require the state budget office to do a cost analysis on tax and fee increase bills and publish the voting records by legislators on these bills

    Based on the merits of its provisions, do you like it or not? If so, why? If not, why? Again, grow a pair and state your opinion on the initiative’s policies because they’re the only thing relevant.

  64. 70

    spews:

    To post #68 (Lordsman):

    “And frankly Tim, for real attention, take clothes off. The costume thing is stale and must be sweaty in there, Huh.”

    The fact that you and your compatriots continue to bring up our/my cheap stunts to gain media attention for our issues only shows that they’re effective. Again, did voters approve Initiative 900, our performance audit initiative, BECAUSE I wore a gorilla suit? Of course not. They voted for it because they approved of giving our state auditor the authority to conduct comprehensive audits of state and local governments. That was what people approved in the privacy of the ballot booth, not what costume looked good.

    Why is this such a tough concept: it’s the policies, the principles, the issues, the provisions. Get it?

  65. 71

    ivan spews:

    Hey, Eyman, we want the signature gathering process audited, too. That means we want the names of the signature gatherers right there with the names of the voters.

    What are you afraid of? If they’re not doing anything wrong, they have nothing to hide, right?

    You want openness? You want accountability? Fine, so do we. That means we want those petition gatherers’ signatures. And we intend to have them.

  66. 72

    spews:

    Ivan:

    Sorry, bud, but this one is a lost cause. The courts have already ruled that it is unconstitutional. I’m not happy with that answer, but it is the answer.

    Mr. Eyman:

    Before heading off for the night, I would have to ask you a few questions regarding your “Taxpayer Protection Initiative”.

    Haven’t you gotten tired of having your initiatives tossed out because they cover too many topics? Is this simply for show, or are you really trying to get something passed?

    Your own synopsis of the intiative shows three separate issues being addressed. I seem to recall you having this kind of problem before.

    Just for myself, I can find myself agreeing with one of them (the advisory vote), considering another one (the cost analysis sounds good, and voting records are already public) and opposed to the third (I think that a simple majority should be sufficient).

    Three issues in one initiative. Since this is hardly your first time at bat with the initiative process, I have to ask.

    Haven’t you learned how it works yet?

  67. 73

    Lordsman spews:

    #70 Tim

    This is the adult blog- right.

    Tim a full fledged erection in public would boost your persona beyond any gorilla suit.

    That is assuming, of course, some – some – delicately put, some good “endowment”…… as granny used to say.

    TV and the Dailies would censor, not the blog sphere ….. perhaps international fame …. assuming again, you know —- “endowment”.

    Ask your several close friends, all three.

    And go for Timothy, a bit more mature for such a statesman, civic leader.

  68. 74

    spews:

    Nice Dodge Tim. But I did say something about it being a good initiative that helped people and not your masters. Frankly, your arguement about it being about principals and all is pretty weak. If it wasn’t a popularity contest as you call it (I would call it an ego fest – thus the costumes) and your intiatives were based on solid solutions to real problems instead of solutions to advance a small groups interests or promote discrimination you might have… you know… gotten a few of them passed lately. You are selling the wrong product for the wrong company and making a mockery out of this states initiative process along the way. The fact that you have to pay signature gatherers in the first place tells everyone about the “merit” of your work.

    Trust me, I get everything you say Tim. Especially about the unecessary performance audit intiative. Sure, you can get 695 on the ballot with volunteers but not weak crap like I-900. You really gotta go out and sell that stuff.

  69. 75

    spews:

    To post #74 (Jimmy):

    You think I-900, our performance audit initiative, was “unnecessary” and “weak crap”? We/I believe that it’ll be the most impactful initiative we’ve ever done. Auditor Sonntag has really grabbed onto it and his target list of government agencies is broad and thorough. In the states that have performance audits (Texas, for example), they’ve resulted in billions of dollars in savings. I-900 is a national model because it goes further than any other, allowing performance audits of both state and local governments. No state allows such intense scrutiny of local governments.

    Attack me all you want, but don’t belittle I-900. History will show that it was and is the 900 pound gorilla.

    Oh, and it was approved in Nov, 2005 which seems pretty recent to me.

    Whaddya think of this year’s Taxpayer Protection Initiative (description is listed in post #69)?

  70. 76

    spews:

    To post #72 (John Barelli):

    Good to hear that at first glance that you’re open to parts of it. We have 10 months to debate its provisions IF we manage to qualify for the ballot.

    As to the 2/3′s requirement for tax increases, that’s current law. In 2005, the Legislature passed a law requiring that threshold for tax increases. All that our initiative does is give the voters the opportunity to endorse and validate and support what the Legislature passed in 2005.

    As to the single subject rule, our recent initiatives have been upheld because we’ve learned what the court allows and what it doesn’t. If we target a particular tax (car tabs, property taxes, etc.), then we can do an initiative that has several provisions relating to that tax — and we’re OK under the single subject rule. If we propose procedural taxpayer protections, then we can do an initiative that has several provisions relating to these protections — and we’re also OK under the single subject rule. The early initiatives we did (in 1999 and 2000) combined targeting a particular tax AND procedural taxpayer protections — and in those cases, the court decided that our initiatives ran afoul of the single subject rule. After 10 years of various court rulings, some relating to our initiatives and some relating to other people’s initiatives, we’ve learned how to survive the judiciary’s gauntlet.

    Bottom line, we’re confident we’ve drafted an initiative that passes legal and constitutional muster. So the question is: do the voters support its provisions? If enough voters choose to sign our petitions to qualify our measure for the ballot, we’ll have a multi-month debate about it.

  71. 77

    spews:

    Mr. Eyman:

    I tend to be leery of many “taxpayer” initiatives, as they rarely come with designated cuts in spending. As we have seen at the federal level, cutting taxes is the easy part.

    Through other initiatives, we have mandated certain state services. The federal government imposes other requirements.

    While I would never say that there is no waste in government, I am not of the opinion that a sizable percentage of our taxes are lost to waste, fraud or abuse, and while the state funds things that I would do away with, others would do away with things that I feel are important.

    The single largest budget item for the state is education, so with any cut (and as anyone on a fixed income can attest, simply refraining from providing increases for inflation and increased costs is, in effect, a cut) that is the likely spot for the majority of the cuts.

    Next comes “Social and Health Services”, which is another area in which cuts would hurt those most in need. Do we cut payments to foster families, or medical care for uninsured children?

    Then the third largest budget area is transportation. We will probably disagree on priorities for transportation dollars, but I doubt that we would disagree that our state’s transportation system needs help.

    I’m no happier about my tax bill than any other person. Perhaps even a bit less, as I pay property taxes, B&O, and any number of other taxes and fees. Yes, it does seem that every time I turn around, another hand is in my pocket.

    But as little as I like paying taxes, I do not want to simply shift the burden to oncoming generations, as they seem to be doing over in that other Washington.

    While I don’t like “tax and spend”, I vastly prefer it to “spend and tax our grandchildren”. Expect that I will look upon any “taxpayer initiative” with considerable scepticism.

    Still, careful scrutiny is important in any representative democracy. I will read any initiative (regardless of who proposes it) very carefully, and discuss it with those that I trust and respect (on both sides of the aisle) before signing anything.

  72. 78

    spews:

    To post #77 (John Barelli):

    “(and as anyone on a fixed income can attest, simply refraining from providing increases for inflation and increased costs is, in effect, a cut)”

    Our initiative requires a higher hurdle to increase taxes. but even in my dream world where the Legislature never raises taxes, overall tax and fee revenues would still increase and increase dramatically. sales tax revenue growth has been and will continue to go through the roof, as is the case with the growth of B&O tax revenues, property tax revenues, etc.

    Again, these increases are on top of a very huge base of existing tax and fee revenue. My political awareness began in 1993 and the general fund biennium budget under Mike Lowry back then was in the $13 billion range. Now it’s close to $30 billion. Revenues to state and local governments is now over $53 billion PER YEAR. And again, increases will naturally occur on top of that amount year after year. Our initiative simply says that for them to go even higher than all these totals, it ought to be tough, with more legislative consensus or voter approval. This ain’t radical. this is just putting more reasonable limits on the growth of revenues so there’s more incentive for government to spend its existing revenue more cost effectively, adopt upcoming performance audit recommendations, etc.

    Lots of time to consider its policies and provisions but with an open mind, as you’ve illustrated you have, you may see it as a reasonable initiative. Let me know what you ultimately decide.