What a whiner. Tim Eyman emailed his list with one of his “media double-standards” rants. Apparently Tim is a little pissed that his expensive, paid-signature-gathering campaigns have received more bad press than some of the other expensive, paid-signature-gathering campaigns.
So when billionaires Bill Gates, Bill Gates Sr, Nicholas Hanauer, and the teachers’ union “buy their way on the ballot” with anti-taxpayer Initiative 884, the press looks the other way. But when Washington-based businesses financially support pro-taxpayer I-892, the press throws a hypocritical hissyfit.
Oh. You mean “Washington-based businesses” like, say… The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation?
Local subsidiaries of British Columbia-based Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which owns four Washington casinos and says it has expansion plans, have now poured $160,000 in cash and loans into the apparently successful effort to get I-892 onto the ballot.
That’s from today’s Seattle P-I, where Neil Modie lays out the money being raised for and against I-892 (“Tribes battle Eyman initiative to legalize slot machines in state.”) So let’s just compare Great Canadian with evil billionaire Bill Gates for a moment.
If I-892 passes, Great Canadian stands to suck an additional $20 million a year out of state and across the border, whereas if I-884 passes, Bill Gates, who has helped bring billions of dollars of wealth into our state, will pay a little extra for whatever it is evil billionaires buy.
And whatever you think of Microsoft’s monopolistic practices, at least Gates and his company aren’t currently facing allegations of loansharking, prostitution, profit skimming, financial fraud, and bribery… unlike Great Canadian.
See… I have a suggestion Tim: perhaps the reason your initiatives attract more criticism than some of the others, is that your initiatives clearly suck.
And perhaps the reason the media pays a little more attention to I-892’s contributions is that over a third of the money has come from out-of-state and foreign corporations, and your top three contributors have all been the subject of various criminal and civil investigations. Notice that the media has not leveled a single attack against contributors to I-864, which mostly consist of the average joes you abandoned to focus on the more remunerative I-892 campaign.
But for consistency sake, let me just reiterate again my position. I believe the shift towards high-cost professional initiative campaigns that rely predominately — if not solely — on paid signature gatherers is disastrous to our democracy. And for the record, I did not sign a single initiative this year.
Tim can whine all he wants, but he, his initiatives, and his backers deserve all the media scrutiny they get… and more so. Tim has been instrumental in transforming “direct” democracy into “corporate” democracy, in which only wealthy special interests have the resources to use the initiative process to get their pet legislation onto the ballot.
He has no reason to complain if wealthy special interests he disagrees with simply follow his lead.