What is this, compliment the media week?
It might not make for an entertaining blog entry, but I just have to point you towards Neil Modie’s excellent article in The Seattle P-I: “Gambling industry bankrolls Eyman.
(And by “excellent” I don’t just mean that I like the article, but that it truly is excellent. Even the headline.)
In addition to providing an update on the Canadian and Nevadan gambling conglomerates who are the biggest backers of I-892 (“Slots for Tots,”) the article also raises the question of whether Eyman might be subsidizing the gambling initiative with funds from I-864 (stupid tax cut initiative,) pointing out that I-864 has spent more than $147,000 on printing and postage, while I-892 has spent only $8,400.
For intrepid reporters looking to add their own angle to this story, I suggest you delve into Tim’s business relationship with Roy Ruffino, who claims to have the “exclusive contract” on both Eyman initiatives. Since Roy has been subcontracting signatures to other firms, (surely keeping a healthy cut for himself,) and certainly doesn’t have the track record of the more established firms, I have long wondered what was in this apparently lopsided business deal for Tim?
Is this a convenient means of mixing funds between the two campaigns, outside the purview of the Public Disclosure Commission? Is he merely trying to hide the fact that his Canadian dollars are primarily being spent on Californian signature gatherers? Or, perhaps… is Tim getting some kind of kickback in return for his business?
Tim will surely deny an impropriety, and attribute any such claims to the dirty tricks of partisan critics, but as I pointed out in a column last year [The boy who cried Legal Defense Fund,] Tim Eyman is an admitted liar with a documented history of breaking the public disclosure laws, so if he draws extra scrutiny it is because he has earned it.
One of the reasons Tim is struggling to qualify his initiatives for the ballot is that a growing number of voters no longer take his claims at face value. And neither should the media.