Of course the title to this post refers to the original horse’s ass, the man for whom this blog is named, my former foil Tim Eyman. I say “former” because as our respective relevance has moved in opposite directions, I’ve moved on to bigger, more challenging targets.
But I can’t help but feel at least a touch nostalgic reading of Timmy’s latest venture, especially since it is largely a retread of a measure he failed to qualify for the ballot back in 2003, around the time I first stumbled onto the scene with I-831, my feel-good initiative to officially proclaim Tim Eyman a horse’s ass. After failing this year to qualify for the ballot with a tried-and-true, sure-fire winner — the third or forth incarnation of his YATDCT Initiative (Yet Another Thirty Dollar Car Tab) — Eyman has been reduced to recycling one of his biggest clunkers, an initiative so dull and uninspiring that he quietly dumped it halfway through the signature gathering season for a paid gig on behalf of the gambling industry.
Sure, he’s gussied it up with some ready-made talking points about requiring disclosure of OFM estimates that are already disclosed, but for the most part he’s just putting lipstick on a equine anus. For the centerpiece of both his latest measure and his 2003 flop is a provision that requires a two-thirds super-majority vote in both houses of the legislature for any tax or fee increase.
Um… but we already have a similar anti-constitutional provision on the books courtesy of 1993’s I-601, a measure that has proven entirely toothless because the state Constitution clearly sets forth that bills are to be passed by a simple majority. When the legislature wants to exceed I-601’s limits it need merely suspend it with a majority vote. So what’s the point?
The point is, it gives Timmy something to run an initiative on, and that after all is how he makes his living. Eyman’s 2003 initiative failed because his grassroots run about as deep as his conscience, and thus he couldn’t drum up enough drones to volunteer time and money to the signature drive. Since then Tim has attracted a sugar daddy, multi-millionaire investment banker Michael Dunmire of Woodinville, who has nearly singlehandedly financed Eyman’s initiatives (and lifestyle) over the past two years. Should Dunmire fail to learn a lesson from this year’s YATDCT fiasco — proving yet again that in our land of opportunity personal wealth is not an accurate measure of raw intelligence — it seems likely that Eyman will be able to buy this dog onto the ballot. Though considering how Timmy and the Fagans inexplicably managed to flush $400,000 of Dunmire’s money down the toilet this Spring, I guess anything’s possible.
So come November voters could be asked to cast an up or down vote on an initiative that promises greater fiscal accountability, authored by a man who couldn’t even be bothered to keep an accurate account of the signatures he bought with other people’s money. But then, what do you expect from a horse’s ass?