Eyman plays limbo with the PDC

Yesterday we filed a complaint with the PDC alleging Tim Eyman of compensating himself from I-864 campaign contributions while fraudulently claiming he was not. [Fraud claim filed against Eyman]

In an email to supporters and the media, Timmy responded in typical Eymanesque fashion:

Here we go again with our opponents’ latest slime attack. I’ve reviewed their complaint and it’s filled with lies. We’ve bent-over-backwards to comply with the PDC’s reporting requirements and we’ll work with them to answer any questions they have.

Yeah. Well, if Timmy’s not careful he might find himself “bent-over” in the opposite direction in the shower of a federal prison… because our complaint is filled with facts, and quite compelling ones at that:

A) In early July we received a fundraising letter from Help Us Help Taxpayers (HUHT).
B) HUHT did not report a corresponding expenditure for printing and postage.
C) Voters Want More Choices (VWMC) did report a $26,305.72 expenditure for printing and postage on June 18, to Data Resources, Inc., the vendor that does all their bulk mailings.
D) We did not receive a mailing in June or July from VWMC, even though we had received the previous three mailings in 2004, all within one to three weeks of the reported expenditure date.

That alone is reason enough to investigate whether the July HUHT mailing was paid for by the June VWMC expenditure. And our suspicions are backed up by HUHT’s and VWMC’s prior history.

In July, August, September and October of 2003, VWMC misreported postage and mailing expenditures (again to Data Resources, Inc.), only to restate them as in-kind contributions to HUHT in amended returns filed in December. In fact, not only has HUHT never reported any fundraising costs, it has managed to operate for an entire year — raising over $160,000 — all on less than $50 in total expenditures!

An unbelievable return on investment.

In fact, it appears that HUHT’s operations are entirely subsidized by VWMC. VWMC has already reported over $12,000 of in-kind contributions, and we suspect that the true number is much, much higher. Hell… HUHT doesn’t even report its own bank fees!

And here’s the interesting thing… it’s not illegal for one PAC to contribute to another, as long as the two committees promptly and accurately report it. So why risk running afoul of PDC reporting requirements for what would otherwise be a legal transaction?

To maintain the appearance that he was not being compensated from I-864 money.

Think about it. Any in-kind contribution to HUHT offsets an expense that would otherwise reduce the funds available to pay “Tim, Mike, and Jack.” So in effect, any in-kind contribution from VWMC is money in their personal bank accounts. That’s just plain math.

Yet Tim has clearly tried to establish the perception of a wall between VWMC and HUHT, promising contributors that funds will not be mixed. Indeed, most of his fundraising emails during the I-864 campaign included the following pledge:

Voluntary donations to the 25% Property Tax Initiative will be used to qualify this important tax reduction initiative for the ballot. A different political action committee, ‘Help Us Help Taxpayers,’ raises money for a compensation fund for Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan for their effective political work on behalf of taxpayers. These two campaign committees are kept separate and donations and expenditures for each fund are publicly reported every month.

And that’s where our allegation of conspiracy to commit fraud comes in, because whatever the actual dollar amount that was effectively transferred from VWMC to HUHT, there is no denying that it occurred. And thus Tim’s repeated claim that he was not being compensated from campaign funds is a lie.

And a blatant lie at that. Tim solicited contributions for VWMC right up until the signature deadline, promising that contributions would be used to qualify I-864 for the ballot. But he had clearly given up on the initiative as early as June 2, when he pulled petitions from the signature gathering firms.

Eyman was soliciting funds he had no intention of spending on I-864.

You want confirmation? Well, all the PDC has to do is subpoena Data Resources, Inc. and find out when they received the copy for HUHT’s early July mailing. These things take lead time, and I bet you dollars to doughnuts the copy was written well before the last fundraising email. So if Eyman was still fighting to qualify I-864 for the ballot, explain this:

Everyone knows that if it were on the ballot, it would pass… So if it’s so popular, why didn’t it qualify? We didn’t raise enough money in the short period of time available.

That’s I-864 he’s talking about, in that early July HUHT letter, that was expensed on June 18.

Eyman knew that I-864 wouldn’t qualify for the ballot. Eyman stopped paying signature gatherers for I-864. Eyman spent $26,000 of I-864 money to send a fundraising letter for HUHT. And yet Eyman continued to solicit contributions with the explicit pledge that all funds would be used to qualify I-864 for the ballot.

That is fraud.

Tim is understandably pissed at us for filing our PDC complaint. He should just be thankful we didn’t file a RICO suit.