Looking for Mr. Dunmire

“The only difference between you and Tim Eyman,” a prominent member of our state’s media/political complex once privately chided me, “is that Tim actually manages to get his measures on the ballot.  That’s why he’s taken seriously and you’re not.”


We weren’t talking about my recent advocacy for a high-earner’s income tax ballot measure, which apparently is now officially dead, but we could’ve been.  While a handful of state senators, a couple of representatives and one or two journalists deserve kudos for attempting to at least start a conversation on the issue, my posts were generally greeted in the halls of power with a dismissive roll of the eyes.  Washington voters will never approve an income tax, and my exhortations to the contrary did nothing but chip away at what little credibility I had.  Or so I’ve been told.

Regardless, I remain convinced that 2009 was the perfect political climate in which to put a high-earners income tax on the ballot—perhaps a unique confluence of reality and perception that won’t be there in 2010 or beyond—but barring the imminent donation of the half million dollars or so necessary to buy the requisite signatures between now and the July 3 deadline, my hypothesis will never be tested.

And that gets to the real difference between me and Tim in regards to our relative influence on Washington politics: the half million dollars or so necessary to get an initiative on the ballot.  There’s nothing particularly populist or credible about hiring signature gatherers; all it requires is the money.  And for the past several years Tim has relied on Woodinville investment banker Michael Dunmire to fund the bulk of his signature drives.

And why should Tim have all the fun?

So if you’re a rich liberal looking to make a splash in the political scene, have I got an initiative for you:  a 3-percent tax on incomes over $250,000/year, 5-percent on incomes over $1 million… combined with a full one-cent cut in the state sales tax.  No, it doesn’t raise much additional revenue for the state, but that’s the Legislature’s problem, not mine.  What it does do is make our state’s tax structure a little less regressive, while putting cash back in the pockets of 96-percent of voters.

Using a sugardaddy’s money to pander to voters… that’s apparently what gets Tim taken seriously.  And if it’s good enough for Tim, it’s good enough for me.


  1. 1

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    Emailed to our supporters and the media at 3:02 pm:

    RE: Democrats’ tax talk mirrors Shakespeare’s MacBeth: “It is a tall Tale, Told by an Idiot, full of Sound and Fury, Signifying nothing”

    Well, that sure was a waste of time. Olympia’s Democrats put on a show for a little while, did a little dance, showed a little leg, but in a very short period of time, they folded their tents and went home.

    It reminds me of Shakespeare’s MacBeth: “It is a tall Tale, Told by an Idiot, full of Sound and Fury, Signifying nothing.”

    The Spokesman Review’s most recent blog posting reports that the Democrats’ income tax plan is kaput. (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/olympia/). However, it also included this: Brown, Kline and other Senate Democrats said they’re committed to continuing a public dialogue over a state income tax and other structural tax reforms.

    Here’s my free advice: if they’re truly committed, Lisa Brown and her Democrat colleagues should sponsor and promote an initiative that imposes a state income tax. Nothing provides greater focus than putting together a real proposal that citizens can look at, examine, and consider over many, many months. It gives income tax supporters the chance to put their money where their mouths are. During signature gathering, an initiative would give them the opportunity to learn first hand what voters really think, one-on-one. A state income tax initiative would also provide them with a forum to discuss it and debate it.

    There is a downside to this approach: an initiative would require real effort. Doing blog postings, on-line forums, and giving speeches are very easy; initiatives are tough. But by at least trying to do a state income tax initiative, these politicians may actually learn something about what the voters think about it. Who knows, they might even learn to appreciate the initiative process.

  2. 2

    Mark1 spews:

    ‘“The only difference between you and Tim Eyman,” a prominent member of our state’s media/political complex once privately chided me, “is that Tim actually manages to get his measures on the ballot. That’s why he’s taken seriously and you’re not.”‘

    Wow Goldy, after all this time and jealously, you finally figured it out and admit it. Nice.

  3. 3


    re 1: It reminds you of Macbeth?? When was the last time you read Macbeth or saw a production of it?

    Never, I’ll bet. This is the wrong blog for literary name dropping. You’ll get called on it every time

  4. 4

    Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor spews:

    High school and college literature classes make Shakespeare’s MacBeth required reading. That’s all you’ve got as a comment?

  5. 5

    proud leftist spews:

    Here’s a little challenge: try to get an initiative on the ballot without any assistance from your pimp–I mean, sorry, really I sincerely apologize–Mr. Dunmire. You are a blight on this state. I hope you sleep well at night. And, by the way, 3 above is right. Nothing from this legislative session reminded you of Macbeth.
    proud leftist

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m currently in eastern Washington, where our state’s densest concentration of federal welfare recipients lives. Strangely, “teabagging” also goes over big here. Apparently those who live off federal reclamation projects and subsidized water and electricity are only against federal taxes, not federal handouts.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    As a rabbit, it’s my duty to conduct an annual inspection of the lettuce and carrot fields, to make sure these vital crops have been planted and are being raised with the care and attention they deserve.

  8. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Washington voters will never approve an income tax, and my exhortations to the contrary did nothing but chip away at what little credibility I had.”

    Of course they will, when enough of them figure out how badly they’re being had by the 3-percenters. Our current tax system, which makes the poor pay 5 1/2 times as much of their income to state and local taxes as the rich pay, isn’t sustainable. Only about 5% of the population benefits from this system, while the other 95% get screwed. As P. T. Barnum said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” When the 17-percenters discover just how badly they’re being raped by the 3-percenters, we will get tax reform. That day probably isn’t as far away as you think.

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Roger Rabbit is posting tonight on a borrowed computer. He will return to Seattle and resume regular posting next week.

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Mr. Dunmire is a 3-percenter. He wants you to pay all the taxes, so he doesn’t have to.

  11. 11

    Crusader spews:

    Well well, Tim Eyman actually gets the job done, what a bastard!

    If Roger Rabbit is the best you guys have, it’s all over for you.

  12. 12

    Crusader spews:

    Oh Goldy, if the Dems can’t get the “high earners” tax done this year with a supermajority*, when will ya EVER get it done? LOL!!!!

    *note the Democrats are just short of a supermajority with 64% of the seats in the legislature. But does anyone honestly think the Dems will make additional gains in 2010?

  13. 14

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    As ususal the rabbit has been into the wrong herbs or something.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It is not your money. Not yours. It is not the money that you earned and you have no right to steal it. Let’s see, how to make this more obvious so that even the retarded liberals get it… NOT YOUR DAMN MONEY!!!
    The ‘high earners’ are notable for the second part of that phrase. They earned it. They didn’t steal it like a liberal does. They went out and got an education or had a good idea or made something people wanted and they damn well earned it. They made smart choices or learned from the stupid ones. They sacrificed instant gratification or personal time and tehy earned the rewards. Being lazy and incompetent in the main liberals don’t understand this, but try to wrap your peanut sized brains around it for once. Instead of whining about how those who contribute most pay less why don’t you try actually earning it yourself you dumb bastards.
    High earner mugging failed because most real Americans have a fundamental sense of fairness. They know theft when they see it and won’t stand for it, unless it comes under the name of ‘hope and change,’ sold by a slick used car salesman of a president.

  14. 16

    Crusader spews:

    Soon enough RR will rename them “high stealers” because of course rich people by default only got that way through theft, graft, exploitation and other criminal activities. No doubt he and the rest of the HA gang agrees with that.

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 How do you feel about the fact that Eyman Irresponsibility won again? It’s easy to promise free government to people, isn’t it? Just as it’s easy for Governor Palin to run a state government that mails checks to its citizens, thanks to geological good luck. Fortunately for people like you and Sarah, only adults have to earn a living at a real job, pay bills with real money, and pay for public services with real taxes. The hard work and difficult decisions of these adults makes it possible for you and Sarah to play in your sandboxes.

  16. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @16 The recent history of the U.S. economy goes a long way to support that thesis, doesn’t it? I mean, what did a Wall Street hedge fund manager or investment banker ever invent, make, or produce? All these guys do is strip assets from companies and put the producers out of work.

  17. 19

    ivan spews:

    @ 14:

    Mostly the rich inherited their money. But by all means go on and believe your fairy tales, and go on supporting rich parasites.

  18. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 Perusing the results of the last two elections, I’d rather be me than you. Contemplating the current state of your energy and financial reserves, I’d rather be a rabbit than a human. Oh, and should I also mention that I prefer being a recipient of a gummint pension than a pink slip, or would that be considered gauche?

  19. 22


    re 4:”Required reading”, huh? Like, The Importance of Being Earnest”??

    The reason the professor is there in a college class is to translate the Elizabethan English into something that a blockheaded youth like you were could have a prayer of understanding.

    And, as for high school, they don’t really ‘teach’ Shakespeare in highschool. You can take it from me and Joseph Heller.

    It is extremely inappropriate for a lightweight like yourself to be quoting Shakespeare as if it were some familiar thing that you just tossed off.

  20. 24

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Ah, a former government employee. That explains the complete lack of anything resembling thought, initiative, intelligence etc! Gauche is a really big word for someone who worked for government. Admit it bunny, you read a lot of Readers Digests while sitting in your office not even pretending to work, didn’t you?
    Prove it for once. For once, just by way of diversion, actually support a statement. The wealthy are just lucky fellas that got a trust fund, huh. Says who?
    And Wall Street hedge fund managers earned the right to that job too idiot. They went to college, worked their way up on incredible hours and did something perfectly legal. Problem being you don’t like it? Too bad.
    And any poor person has the right to do the same. The bogus 17 percent figure you cite ignores the check cut to them by our daft Uncle Sam every year for EITC. It ignores welfare, subsidized housing and utilities and all the other ways of engineering a defunct society by encouraging bad choices. If they pay a little more in this state it’s about bloody time!
    The quote, by the way, is “Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.” And while Heller is good he can’t hold a candle to the bard.

  21. 27


    re 24: It was pathetic to see Milton Friedman living in subsidized housing in his twilight years.

    But, who could ever forget those magical evenings when he explained to all on the Johnny Carson show how everything would all work out fine if we could just do nothing and let business do it all.

    We are living in Milton’s magical paradise at this very moment. It reminds me of Woody Allen’s film, A Midnight Summer’s Sex Comedy, where Woody is flapping around in his flying contraption and explaining to a young lass that he is a ‘Crackpot Inventor’ — which kind of reminds me of Tim Eyeman’s politial proposals.

  22. 28


    re 24: So, you are saying that Tim misquoted ‘the bard’? Actually, I always favored quoting Flagstaff — or was it Falstaff??

    Who gives a fuck, anyway?

  23. 29

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 27 and the other ramblings-
    In Friedmans paradise, if there is such a thing, the bailout would not have happened. We would have allowed poor choices to run their course, both on the part of financial institutions and individual investors or homeowners. It would have been painful but ultimately much, much less expensive and far less painful than the presidents’ path.
    I don’t like and don’t read or watch Woody Allen. If he was funny, maybe I would. If he was smart, possibly I would. As he is neither witty nor brief I avoid his worthless garbage. So your allusion goes over my head, which occasions me slightly less concern than, say, 11th century Chinese court etiquette.
    Yes, Tim, whoever he is, did misquote. As for the Act and Scene in which the quote occurs look at your Bartletts if you are so interested. The only reason anyone cares about Shakespeare, or Ovid or Hemmingway is the continued relevance of the work. Only intellectuals without lives get their backs up over the technicalities. For instance, a person could read Animal Farm to get a feel for the political and philosophical underpinnings of left leaning thought and the consequences it has.

  24. 30


    re 29: The only part of the equation that you fail to take into account is that it would all work “IF” there was a free market – which there isn’t, never was, and never will be.

    We’ve spent the last 30 years tilting at windmills and now it’s time to get on with life — real life.

  25. 33


    re 29: I think Woody Allen says some hilarious things. Like in Annie Hall where he asks her: “How can you love him? He says ‘nukuler’!”

    As for his marriage to what’s her name — the young one- who cares?

    I haven’t heard anything from the right about Limbaugh getting arrested entering Haiti with a suitcase full of rubbers and illegal Viagra.

    “Just letting off steam.” Yeah, right. In a poverty stricken country known for child prostitution.

    He could get all the straight female whores he needs right here in the good old US of A.

    That really disturbs me how you overlook that. You are sick.

  26. 34


    re 29: Do you think 1984 was criticizng the right or the left? Do the actions at Gitmo remind you of Mr. Smith’s ultimate fate?

    You probably don’t give a rat’s ass in a caged head.

  27. 35


    re 24: “Ah, a former government employee. That explains the complete lack of anything resembling thought, initiative, intelligence etc!”

    You mean like Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy?

  28. 36


    Shit Goldy. No offense, but you act like everyone in the state cares about what you write. To quote an old Eastwood flick, “A man’s gotta know his limitations”.

  29. 37

    delbert spews:

    “combined with a full one-cent cut in the state sales tax.”

    ha-ha-ha. You’re so generous Goldy, you schmuck.

  30. 38

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    A few corrections seem in order.

    I think that I was saying what you were, with the exception of the resigned fatalism. No, we were not running in a true free market. That was the problem. The continued rampant interference in the market, unfortunately started by Bush, is making the problem slow to solve, or making it worse in some cases.

    I never referenced 1984. You did. Orwell wrote both books after disillusionment with the Soviet system in any case. He had been a devotee of communism and even lived in post revolution Russia until disgust set in. He was satirizing and castigating bad government with a specific emphasis on socialist/authoritarian forms. But Animal Farm is a specific parable about the evils and ultimate futility of socialism.

    So Woody Allen is a pervert who effectively raped his adopted daughter. Disgusting, but I didn’t bring it up. You did. I was thinking only about his work from my perspective. You can find it hilarious. I don’t. I prefer my humor with fewer thorns and less self contemplating affectation.

    Ron Reagan Junior is not worth my time or energy to discuss, except to say that he is a disgrace to a great father. It is unfortunate that he defames a great name with his puerile maunderings.

    With regard to Limbaugh, he has become a loud mouthed blowhard who gives true conservatives a bad name so don’t expect me to defend him. Every political leaning has it’s share of lunatics, left or right. Again, I didn’t bring him up, you did.

    However, I take exception to linking Ollie North with Liddy. North was a good man doing his duty as he saw it, Liddy was a criminal. It’s like the insane linking of Hitler to Bush by some rabid lefties, or Obama to Hitler from the lunatic fringe on the far right. They aren’t in any way comparable.

  31. 39

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 38

    No, we were not running in a true free market. That was the problem.

    The constant refrain from free-market advocates is that markets simply weren’t free enough. It’s a claim that rarely withstands even a modicum of scrutiny. It’s based entirely on a microeconomic model that has little bearing on macroeconomic issues.

    The claim also manages to ignore history. We started out, before the industrial revolution, with markets that were certainly freer than they are now. Government intrusion into markets have come in response to economic crises when these free markets went haywire.

    The present crisis is no exception. Mark Thoma, in an exchange with Houman Shadab points out:

    As I described in my first post, after decades of instability in the 1800s and early 1900s, followed by the massive bank failures of the early 1930s, new regulations helped stabilize the banking system. The result was 60 years of calm in the financial sector. That’s hardly a failure of regulation. It wasn’t until the shadow banking system began growing outside of the regulatory umbrella that problems began to reemerge.

    The proximate cause of the present crisis was a movement toward more market freedom in the financial sector.* At that point, the broader claim that markets weren’t free enough moves into an abstract, “less is more” realm where increased market freedom in one sector leads to an overall reduction in market freedom in the economy as a whole. There’s no plausible causal chain in this scenario.


    * Allow me to debunk, in advance, a couple of counter claims you are likely to make:

    1) The present crisis was caused by the Community Reinvestment Act. Nope. The vast majority of the sub-prime loans that have fueled the present crisis were underwritten by loan originators who were not banks that were even subject to CRA provisions.

    2) Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac caused the present crisis. Again, nope. The very definition of a sub-prime loan is a loan that didn’t conform to the lending standards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yes, somewhat late in the game, Fannie and Freddie started buying up sub-prime loans, but that was in response to market forces, not a prime mover of market sources.

    Lastly, neither Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac nor the Community Reinvestment Act has any bearing on the credit default swaps that are at the heart of AIG’s woes and, in turn, our present crisis.

  32. 40

    correctnotright spews:

    @38: Poor Lost (no wonder you are lost)

    You say:

    No, we were not running in a true free market. That was the problem.

    Really, can you document that the problem was a lack of free market?

    I doubt it – you are just spouting crap from your philosophical point of view.

    On the other hand most real economists have pinpointed the problems that led to the banking crisis – lack of regulation, lack of oversight of the banks (by the Bush adminstration), the credit-default swaps (made legal by Phil Gramm, the guy you agree with).

    Only someone truly stupid would advocate less regulation as a solution for the problems that less regulation caused.

    Thanks for giving me a good laugh at your incredible ignorance.

  33. 41

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Using a sugardaddy’s money to pander to voters… that’s apparently what gets Tim taken seriously

    What, no mention of sugardaddy soros bankrolling the democrats? 
    Oh yeah, I forgot. Liberal hypocrisy.
    It’s no wonder why sound politics is getting twice the hits of this blog.

  34. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @42 Most of the country is laughing at the teabaggers. Most Americans aren’t stupid. They know these are the same people who voted for the party that squandered taxpayer money as if they were deliberately trying to bankrupt the federal government. They know these people aren’t against government spending, they’re only against paying their fair share of taxes and Democrats’ spending priorities (i.e., spending that actually helps ordinary Americans with things like education, health care, and jobs). The teabaggers, given their track record of supporting the profligate and obscenely irresponsible waste of taxpayer money by the corrupt Bush administration, have no credibility and deserve none. That’s why no one is listening to them.

  35. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The “tea parties” were the last dying gasp of a morally bankrupt and irredeemably hypocritical ideology.

  36. 45

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    42. Ekim spews:
    Marvie, go back to tea bagging your billie goat. He misses you.

    I’m sorry my friend, I’ll pay you a little more time. How are you doing today? Did you have a nice lunch?

  37. 46

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    43. Roger Rabbit spews:
    That’s why no one is listening to them.

    The l;beral media is listening, that’s why they had to stoop to calling them cute names like teabaggers. Not surprising, the same people giggle when they say DICK cheney.

  38. 47

    Steve spews:

    @46 “they had to stoop to calling them cute names like teabaggers”

    Get a grip, you sorry fuck, that’s what you twits were calling yourselves. That’s what Fox News was calling you. And yeah, we all got a good laugh out of how fucking insipid and ignorant you shits are, especially you.

  39. 48

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    47. Steve spews:
    Get a grip, you sorry fuck

    Little wittle stevie is upset. So like the typical left-wingnut he has to lash out with the insults.