I’ve been awfully quiet about Tim Eyman recently, and for a number of reasons, not the least of which being my reluctance to be pigeonholed an “Eyman critic” at a time when Tim is gradually transitioning to the role of a marginal political figure.
But I have also been loathe to publicly discuss Timmy’s proposed performance audits initiative in any detail, for fear he might cull something constructive from my criticism. I’ve never subscribed to the theory that Tim is some sort of a political genius… but he ain’t dumb. And he certainly doesn’t need my help in perfecting the initiative’s policy or rhetoric prior to its January filing date.
That said (or not said), I agree 100 percent with the sentiment expressed in an editorial today in The Seattle P-I: “Beware of magic bullets.” Surprise… Tim is pitching a very simple fix to a very complex public policy issue, cloaked as usual in his familiar anti-government spiel.
I support the concept of performance audits — in theory — perhaps even to a greater extent than currently conducted by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC). In fact, I would like to see JLARC extend the audits from state agencies to tax exemptions.
But once the public learns of the true costs of Eyman’s overreaching initiative, and how little in savings we can reasonably expect to see in return… well… I don’t suppose it will make much of a difference one way or the other, as I sincerely doubt that Tim can raise the kind of money or grassroots fervor necessary to get this dog onto the ballot.
More on this subject after the New Year.