The results are final, and of the 266,034 signatures Tim Eyman submitted for I-917, the Secretary of State’s office rejected 46,859, leaving Tim 5,705 signatures shy of the 224,880 signature threshold. That’s a rejection rate of 17.6 percent… a pretty typical number.
As the Seattle Times’ David Postman reports, Sec. of State Sam Reed will have to ask the Legislature for a supplemental appropriation to cover the $125,000 cost of I-917’s month-long signature verification process. There has been some discussion in Postman’s comment thread about how we might raise the revenues to pay for Tim’s folly. My suggestion is an excise tax on the sale of fraternity watches.
Although I have a reputation as one of the state’s most vocal Eyman-bashers, I’ve actually been rather unenthused about covering Timmy’s latest debacle, leaving the task to other, equally-abled bloggers. There was a time when I thought the steady weight of bad (ie. accurate) press could crush Eyman’s operations by drying up his fundraising, and as Emmett posts over at Olympia Time, the number of contributions to Timmy’s campaigns have indeed plummeted from over 5,000 with 2001’s I-747, to around 700 for I-917. But just last year Tim picked up a sugar daddy in the form of multi-millionaire investment banker Michael Dunmire, and as long as he has one really rich guy willing to personal bankroll Tim’s initiatives (and rather comfortable lifestyle,) there’s really no way to keep him off the ballot. That is, unless Tim fucks up.
Which leads me to a post over at NPI, in which Andrew speculates on exactly how Tim managed to fuck up I-917. The most plausible explanation, Andrew thinks, is that Tim, well… fucked up. He thinks Tim simply miscounted, and by the time he discovered his mistake it was too late.
I think another plausible explanation is that Tim had a track record of $30 Car Tab initiatives to go on, and he simply stopped paying for signatures in early June because he assumed a certain quantity of volunteer signatures would pour in by the end of the month, like they had in the past. But believing his own press releases, Tim didn’t count on the degree to which his grass roots support had collapsed over the intervening years (as evidenced by the collapse of his grassroots fundraising,) and the expected signatures simply never materialized.
Of course, we’ll never know the truth because, at the risk of restating the obvious, Tim Eyman is liar — a simple fact of life reinforced when Andrew once again catches Timmy in yet another lie.
Tim stubbornly sticks by his claim that he really turned in over 300,000 signatures, and in a recent email to supporters he attempts to back this up by producing a week by week log of signatures gathered. For example, his weekly report shows that way back on June 6th of 2006, Tim had already collected 200,694 paid signatures, and 63,032 from volunteers.
Problem is, as Andrew astutely observes, Eyman gave a press conference back on June 6th in which he told a rather pissed off throng of reporters that he had successfully gathered exactly 142,613 signatures at that point in time.
As far as “Save Our $30 Tabs” Initiative 917 is concerned, in the past 4 months, our thousands of supporters have successfully gathered 142,613 signatures. We need an additional 140,000 signatures in the next 4 weeks. Reaching the halfway point in signatures is a huge milestone but it’s clear that we’ve got our work cut out for us. We need one last big blitz of signatures from our supporters before July 7th to qualify for the ballot.
He was either lying then, or lying now, or as I’m guessing, lying both times. But any way you look at it, Tim’s a liar.
Not that this is news or anything. But is does make you wonder why a supposedly respectable businessman like Michael Dunmire would continue his business relationship with Tim when he has so clearly proven to be both incompetent and dishonest?