Seattle Times: Fucktards or Fuckwads? You Decide

Call me naive, but despite my occasionally harsh criticism of the folks on the Seattle Times editorial board, I’m always genuinely surprised every time they sink to a new level of rhetorical shamelessness. Take for example their endorsement of Tim Eyman’s patently ridiculous and unworkable I-960. I never saw it coming.

I-960 would, amongst other things, require a two-thirds supermajority in the legislature for passing tax and fee increases, as well as other budgetary actions; failing that, such measures can be put before voters for simple majority vote at the polls. The goal, as even the Times admits, is to send a message to legislators, and bind their hands (though not “too much.”) “This is not a great solution, but it’s about all the people can do by ballot,” the Times writes. “We think it would have a wake-up effect on legislators.”

Of course, what neither the Times nor Eyman is willing to clearly articulate is exactly why they feel such a dramatic wake-up call is needed. The Times feebly argues:

Initiative 960 deserves the people’s support. In this decade, the Legislature has raised statewide taxes on cigarettes, liquor, inheritances and gasoline. Initiative 960 makes further tax increases a bit more difficult…

Oh… it’s because the people need a stronger voice in approving or rejecting tax increases, right? Except that A) both the gas tax and estate tax were challenged via initiative; and B) given the opportunity, voters overwhelmingly rejected repeal of these taxes at the polls! So what’s the problem? Voters had the chance to reject these taxes, but refused. Looks to me like the system is working.

It is curious to note that the Times never called for such extremist measures when Republicans controlled the legislature, or at least posed a reasonable threat to do so, but now that Democrats have at least temporarily gained dominance by winning the battle of ideas, the Times and the GOP want to change the rules. No longer is a simple majority a sufficient standard for deciding the basic operations of government, as it has been throughout our nation’s two-plus-century history. No, its party unable to win much more than a third of the seats in the state House and Senate, the Times now argues in favor of granting the Republican minority a veto over the democratically elected majority.

Ironically, it was only two weeks ago that the Times editors vociferously argued againstthe tyranny of the minority” in urging approval of EHJR 4204, a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the 60-percent super majority requirement for passing local school levies:

Fifty percent plus one is how our democracy works.

What the fuck? Surely the Times is not suggesting that “fifty percent plus one is how our democracy works” at the polls, but 66 percent plus one is how democracy should work when it comes to representative democracy? Indeed, on the very same page the Times endorses I-960, they make the opposite argument in opposing SJR 8206, a constitutionally mandated rainy day fund that would require a 60 percent supermajority to tap:

Voters should say “no” because this measure binds future legislatures to the thinking of today and does so in an all but permanent way.

Anyone who believes in representative democracy — and in lawmakers in future years making important budget decisions based on what they know at the time — should decline this obviously tempting measure.

So let me get this straight: fifty percent plus one is how democracy works, except when Democrats dominate the legislature, and if we believe in “representative democracy” we don’t want to bind the hands of future legislatures to a 60 percent supermajority, but we do want to bind the hands of the current legislature to a two-thirds one? I mean… what the fuck?!

When the editors of our state’s largest daily willfully contradict themselves on the same page, on the same day, it is an embarrassment to themselves and to the entire region. And it begs the question: are the Times editors really this stupid… or do they merely think their readers are? In other words, are they fucktards or fuckwads?

Oh, the Times argues that the difference between SJR 8206 and I-960 is that of a “concrete” versus an “earthen” dam, but this sort of naked sophistry is laughable within the context of the larger philosophical arguments the Times itself has raised. “Tyranny of the minority,” “50 percent plus one,” “representative democracy,” “lawmakers… making important budget decisions based on what they know at the time” — all these lofty principles are tossed aside in the service of punishing and embarrassing a Democratic legislature that dared to tax Frank Blethen’s heirs.

With so many other editorial boards getting it right, it is hard to fathom how the Times could get it so wrong, and in such a poorly argued and/or disingenuous manner. And while the Times editors admit that I-960 “is not a great solution,” unlike their colleagues, they stubbornly refuse to educate their readers by explaining why:

The Olympian
“The measure, which will appear on the Nov. 6, general election ballot, is murky, expensive, mired in bureaucracy and might be unconstitutional… I-960 is clumsily written and will be challenged in the courts, costing taxpayers millions of dollars… Voters should reject I-960.” ‑ September 23, 2007

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
“I-960 will be expensive and is not necessary. We urge voters to reject the proposal.” ‑ October 27, 2007

Tacoma News Tribune
“Voters really can’t know what exactly I-960 would do…The initiative also goes astray by being overly – and oddly – prescriptive. For advisory votes, it calls for doing away with the usual voters’ pamphlet explanation…and mandates that the ballot question describe the issue at hand in 13 words. That’s not a recipe for informed voting.” ‑ October 19, 2007

The Columbian
“The Columbian strongly recommends a ‘NO’ vote on I-960, joining a large chorus of organizations, public officials and other newspapers… Colorado tried twisting a similar tourniquet around legislators’ work, and the effort there failed miserably, with sharp declines in national rankings for education funding and health care… If enacted, [960] would make our state government bigger, slower, more cumbersome and more expensive… Let’s say a natural disaster or some other catastrophe hits our state. If legislators were constricted by I-960, the response to that disaster would be brought to a dangerously slow pace. That’s why police, firefighters and nurses oppose I-960.” ‑ October 8, 2007

The Times endorsement puts Blethen and the gang in pretty lonely company, but the way they wrote it — blatantly (or stupidly) contradicting their own editorial page — has them standing alone. What kind of paper argues for a measure they admit is bad, to solve a problem they refuse to enunciate? Are they idiots or liars? Fucktards or fuckwads? You decide.

{democracy:2}

Comments

  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Goldy, speaking of the Seattle Times editorial board, you may be interested to know they’re freaked out by Bush’s Iran saber-rattling:

    “Slow down, Mr. President

    “President Bush is making many Americans uncomfortable with his behavior toward Iran. … He obviously is itching to pick a fight with Iran and straining for ways to bring it on. Americans are … recoiling in alarm.

    “With, mercifully, 14 months left in office, the Bush White House is making potentially lethal mischief for others to resolve — not unlike the Iraq war.”

    Quoted under fair use; for complete article and/or copyright info dial Frank Blethen’s home phone number at 3 a.m. or see http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ned29.html

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: Looks like some bleary-eyed night editor struggling to choke down another caffeine-laden cup of joe was listening to your show last night, Goldy. You made even ME nervous with your talk of impending nuclear war against Iran. Yeah, I think Bush and Cheney are both crazy enough and bloodthirsty enough to do it.

  2. 3

    proud leftist spews:

    I do not believe fucktards and fuckwads are mutually exclusive categories. Hence, I vote both. The Times editorial board so lacks credibility that they’d be wise to just shut the fuck up.

  3. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I think the Legislature should be able to pass tax increases by a simple majority vote, subject to a quorum requirement — i.e., a minimum percentage of legislators must be present and voting so a couple legislators can’t pass tax laws while everyone else is absent.

    I think school districts should be able to pass levies by a simple majority vote, subject to a quorum requirement — i.e., a minimum percentage of voters must turn out and vote so a tiny handful of voters can’t raise our taxes on a Tuesday afternoon in February when everyone else is at work.

  4. 5

    Piper Scott spews:

    Wouldn’t have measures like I-960 if the legislature didn’t spend worse than drunk sailors (apologies to drunk sailors demeaned by the comparison to legislators).

    The chattering classes, including most newspapers, are always opposed to populism; like, you expected something different?

    It’s still important to remember that I-912 garnered more signatures in less time than any initiative in State history. That it lost by just over eight points shouldn’t be considered a mandate to keep on raising them taxes.

    The taxes I-912 sought to roll back were supposed to be our transportation salvation…until now when along comes Prop 1.

    Since I believe government is a consumer (and profligate waster) of wealth, not a creator of it, I’m for anything that makes it harder for it to remove wealth from the private sector.

    The Times got this one right!

    The Piper

  5. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s quite a stretch to say “the Legislature has raised statewide taxes on … inheritances ….”

    You can get there by arguing that after the Washington supreme court struck down Washington’s inheritance tax on a technicality of statutory construction, the Legislature reinstated it, thereby raising the inheritance tax from zero to what it currently is.

    The reality is that estates got $150 million of refunds because of the court ruling, and when the Legislature reinstated it, they cut the inheritance tax by 50%.

    In my book, that’s a tax cut, not a tax “increase.”

  6. 7

    spews:

    to: all

    The Seattle Times overwhelming endorsement of I-960 joins the Everett Herald, the Centralia Chronicle, the Yakima Business Times, and columnists Adele Ferguson, Elizabeth Hovde, John Carlson, and Pam Dzama in supporting this initiative.

    So call them all names also.

    And don’t forget to demean the 314,000 voters who voluntarily signed I-960 petitions.

    Oh, and make sure to denigrate the 56% of voters who support I-960.

    Elway’s latest poll shows 56% voter support for the measure. It had 78% voter support for its public disclosure requirements, 70% support for tax increases requiring 2/3′s legislative approval or simple majority voter approval, 65% support for requiring legislators to take simple majority legislative votes for fee increases, and 56% for advisory votes on tax increases blocked from a public vote by use of an “emergency clause.”

    All the Seattle Times did was support an initiative that requires the Legislature follow the law (current law requires 2/3′s legislative approval for tax increases – the 1998 Legislature and 2005 Legislature imposed that requirement on themselves), abide by the Constitution (by respecting the people’s constitutionally guaranteed right to referendum), and keep us informed when they’re trying to take more of the people’s money.

  7. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, slipping the phrase “inheritance tax” into this editorial tells you who wrote it and what his real agenda is … good morning, Frank. It’s Monday morning and I’ll be you feel like shit as you down your third cup of coffee and contemplate the taxes your kids will have to pay on your family’s $450 million stake in the company when you kick the bucket.

    Of course, you could always take a cue from Tom Stewart and move to Arizona, and take your newspaper with you. Yes, that would leave Seattle as a one-newspaper town, but hey, the newspaper would be the P-I.

  8. 9

    Piper Scott spews:

    @3…RR…

    A reason we have supermajority requirements for school levies is to prevent just the scenario you describe. Since property taxes for schools aren’t paid exclusively by property owners with kids in the schools, the theory is, in party, that you have to get the whole community on board, not just vocal and activist parents.

    Supermajority requirements protect minority – rabbits are members of a minority – rights.

    The Piper

  9. 10

    david in wedgwood spews:

    @6
    I know I’m not elevating the discourse, but FUCK YOU EYMAN.

    Ahhh, that felt good…

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s not surprising the fishwrapper can’t explain I-960, when even its sponsor can’t explain it.

  11. 12

    spews:

    Other quotes from the same newspapers:

    From the Olympian: This year’s initiative is built on what’s left of I-601, which set up barriers to tax increases in 1993. … During the past 14 years, however, legislators have put more holes in I-601 than you’d find in a golf course.

    From the Walla Walla Union Bulletin: While we don’t embrace this proposal, we understand the motivation to get it on the ballot. Many are frustrated with the way state lawmakers found tricky ways to get around the fiscal restraints imposed by Initiative 601, which was approved by voters in 1993. … Lawmakers moved money around in a deliberate effort to contort the intent of I-601. It made a lot of citizens angry. Legislators have nobody but themselves to blame for I-960.

    From the Tacoma News Tribune: There is a problem – a couple, actually. Namely, the Legislature’s love affair with emergency clauses to prevent citizens from challenging their actions and its proclivity for skirting Initiative 601′s limits on state spending growth and tax increases. Tim Eyman’s latest offering would strike a blow to legislators’ pre-emption of the referendum process, saying that if lawmakers use an emergency clause they must compensate by putting any tax measure up for an advisory vote. I-960 would also shore up I-601, reaffirming that it takes a two-thirds majority of state lawmakers to pass a tax increase.

    From the Columbian newspaper: Rep. Bill Fromhold, D-Vancouver, serves on the House Appropriations Committee, which writes the House budget. He said he generally finds Eyman’s initiatives “punitive” and won’t support this one. But there is one part of I-960 he agrees with, at least in principle: the need to curb the excess use of emergency clauses. Lawmakers attached emergency clauses to 73 of the 524 bills they sent to Gov. Gregoire this year. The appropriations committee already is addressing that issue, Fromhold said. “Emergency clauses have been amended out of bills as they have come before us. It was getting to a point where policy committees were putting emergency clauses on everything without justification.”

    Also from the Columbian: Its most popular feature, which was suggested by state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, is the requirement for broad public notification when a lawmaker proposes a tax increase.

    “I think it will pass overwhelmingly,” Benton said. “You don’t have to have a degree in economics to know that if you shed the light on what the Legislature does, the Legislature will be more careful with its taxing authority.”

  12. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If the Times thinks legislators are idiots, they should see what happens when you appoint a committee to draft a transportation proposal and taxes to support it.

  13. 14

    Piper Scott spews:

    @7…RR…

    Even in a one-newspaper town, the P-I would continue to sink like a stone.

    P-I readership and private sector union membership: two candidates for inclusion on the endangered species list.

    The Piper

  14. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 Don’t worry Timmy, I-960 is unconstitutional, so even if it passes your perfect batting average of never changing our state’s laws is safe.

  15. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 Meanwhile the fishwrapper’s circulation is growing? Figures, please. The whole print newspaper industry is sinking like a stone. Not because of unions, but due to a thing called the “internet.”

  16. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m sure glad Rupert Murdoch decided to pay a 60% premium for Dow Jones stock a month after my broker talked me into buying it. The Wall Street Journal has been earning a 1% return on equity for the last 40 years, and the stock price hadn’t moved in my lifetime.

  17. 18

    spews:

    I voted fuckwad, because to call them fucktards would be an insult to fucktards.

    But seriously, has the Times been taken over by pod people? They’ve printed some real doozies this fall.

  18. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    60% in 1 month is, ummm, a 720% annual return. Slightly better than the average Roger Rabbit profit on a stock. I’m gonna be a rich fucking bunny! Then I’ll buy Frank Blethen’s $4 million house on Lake Washington after it’s foreclosed for taxes. I won’t live in the house; I only want that big, expansive, lush green lawn to dig holes in.

  19. 20

    spews:

    The gas tax increase in 2003 and 2005 and the new estate tax in 2005 were “emergencies” where the Legislature made sure to take away the citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed right to referendum (gathering signatures and putting it on the ballot for the voters to decide – this right is guaranteed in our state Constitution and keeps Olympia more “representative”).

    In two cases, the citizens managed to do something ‘extra constitutional’ and that was to do an initiative to challenge the tax increases. The Legislature cheated and forced the voters to do an initiative (which requires twice as many signatures as a referendum) rather than a referendum.

    I-960 — through increased public disclosure, tranparency, and information — deters the Legislature from slapping emergency clauses on bills they know the people oppose. Since Gregoire’s been Governor, she’s signed 1437 bills into law; 205 were “emergencies.” That means they took away our constitutional rights 205 times. That’s cheating and voters, and newspapers, disapprove of it.

    Newspapers have editorialized for years against the Legislature’s abuse of the ‘emergency clause.’ I-960 gives voters the chance to do something about it by shining a bright spotlight on this abuse.

    Ever since the “emergency” sports stadium (a threat to the public health and safety for us not to be forced to pay for a sports stadium for millionaires), the voters and newspapers have been itchin’ to get the Legislature to back off on their abuse of the “emergency clause.”

    That’s why newspapers, and the voters, are so supportive of I-960.

  20. 21

    spews:

    to: Roger Rabbit

    Same predictions were made about I-601 but it survived all legal challenges.

    2/3′s legislative approval for tax increases is current law because of the 1998 and 2005 Legislatures. They imposed on themselves the 2/3′s requirement. I-960 doesn’t change the vote threshold. I-960 just closes a loophole in it so they have to follow their own law.

    I-960 doesn’t require voter approval for tax increases, it simply says if they can’t get 2/3′s legislative approval, they can use their constitutional power of referendum to put a tax increase on the ballot with a simple majority in the House and Senate. That’s already in the Constitution.

    I-960′s public disclosure is clearly OK and requiring fee increases to receive recorded, simple majority legislative approval is undeniably OK.

    If I-601 survived for 13 years and the Legislature reimposed its requirements on itself in 1998 and 2005, then you’ve got a tough argument.

  21. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 My mistake — you DID pass an initiative that wasn’t struck down by the courts … your first (and last) successful initiative. It was so long ago I forgot.

  22. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If it’s any consolation to you, Timmy, I voted for 601. Ever since then, your legal work has sucked.

  23. 25

    horsesasshole spews:

    Eyman,

    You are a completely self-aggrandizing asshole who lacked the balls to actively campaign for the largest tax cut in Washington state history I-912 — which because it didn’t make you any money you wanted nothing to do with. But no worries, in three years your initiative 960 will once again be stripped by the legislature and presto…you’ll have another excuse to hit up your Bellevue sugar daddy for more $$ to live on. Why don’t you come of out of the closet as the consultant you really are?

  24. 26

    SFS spews:

    Thanks Tim and the Times for calling the public a bunch of idiots. The Legislators we publically elect do what their constitutents want. They don’t just magically appear in Olympia and all of them are aware of the political and financial damages of any tax increase.

    If you want to call us horses’ asses for electing these Legislators file a different initative.

  25. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 The 2005 inheritance tax law wasn’t a “new” tax, Tim, and you know it. This state has had an inheritance tax for decades.

    Back in the 80s, the voters defeated an attempt to repeal it — despite the misleading billboards depicting granny sitting on the curb with her belongings in front of her padlocked cottage with the white picket fence (remember those?). Voters know bullshit when they see it.

    Since you’re not real hip on arcane legal stuff, Tim, let me explain what happened. (I’m a lawyer, so I’m qualified to explain this stuff.) Washington’s inheritance law simply tacked a state tax on top of the federal inheritance tax, and the mechanism of doing so was a reference in the state law to a provision of the federal statute. Years later, in the course of a rewrite of the federal law, that provision dropped out of the federal statute.

    A clever local lawyer brought a class action lawsuit against Washington’s inheritance tax. The Washington supreme court agreed with his argument that the state tax ceased to exist when the federal statutory provision it referred disappeared. An unintended and unforeseen hazard of using the lazy man’s method of drafting statutes by referring to some other statute instead of writing it out in your own statute.

    For what it’s worth, I happen to know this lawyer personally, therefore I know he’s a Democrat and has nothing against the inheritance tax, he was motivated only by the $15 million legal fee that his firm and the other law firms that collaborated on the case collected.

    The legislature indeed was left with an emergency, in every sense of the word. This wasn’t a policy decision by the court; courts don’t make policy decisions about whether the people should be taxed or by what means, they only interpret and enforce what the legislature enacts.

    It was an emergency because a major revenue source had just been lost because of clumsy bill drafting. It was an emergency because vital state programs would be deprived of votes if the legislature didn’t re-enact that tax or do something else to replace the lost revenues. It was an emergency because the court decision happened suddenly, without warning, took effect instantly, and put the state in a bind. This is precisely the situation that emergency legislation is designed for.

    In re-enacting the tax, the Democrats controlling the legislature decided to cut it in half. That’s right, a 50% tax cut. The state inheritance tax now raises half as much money from estates as it used to. When was the last time Republicans cut a tax by 50%? And the Democrats did it without running a deficit or cutting programs that actually help our citizens.

    Timmy, you should ask the Democrats to tutor you in tax-cutting. They’re the experts. You? All but one of your tax-cutting initiatives have been thrown out by the courts, and your net contribution to the financial welfare of Washington taxpayers is next to squat.

    Maybe what you should do is spend some of the donated money you’re paying yourself as salary on a good lawyer. If you want me to recommend someone, I know a real good one. He knows more about inheritance tax law than anyone else in the state bar. He’s got $15 million in his bank account to prove it.

  26. 28

    exelizabeth spews:

    Just when I thought the Times couldn’t lose MORE credibility. Truly, they are impressive at tying themselves into knots. Why one earth would anyone take their endorsements seriously?

  27. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I doubt you can afford that lawyer, though. Possibly even your pal Mike Dunmire can’t afford him. He doesn’t work for cheap.

  28. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @27 Because they know the public’s average attention span is 1.4734982 nanoseconds, and by the time they read the next editorial they’ll have forgotten what they read in the last one. Most people can’t read anymore, anyway. The fact Bush is sitting in the White House and Eyman is still in business proves it.

  29. 33

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I notice, though, that Bush’s latest saber-rattling has even the Times’ editorialists squirming. See today’s editorial page for details.

  30. 35

    YLB spews:

    Eyman: demagogue, snake oil salesman, abuser of the state constitution!

    He’s only in it for the money!!!

  31. 36

    spews:

    attacking the messenger always means we’ve won the policy debate. it’s true that I-960′s policies have extremely strong voter support because:

    * voters oppose the Legislature cheating (circumventing laws, taking away our constitutionally guaranteed right to referendum, slapping emergency clauses on bills to make them “referendum proof”, shifting funds among accounts so they can spend the same money twice (which Justice Owens called “a shell game”).

    * voters understand that fees reduce family budgets just as readily as tax increases do so requiring a recorded, simple majority vote for fee increases only puts the Legislature in the same category as county councils and city councils who’ve voted on fee increases FOREVER.

    * voters know that Olympia will cheat if they think they can get away with it. And under I-960′s new sunshine provisions, there will be no such thing as ‘under the radar screen’ revenue-raising bills.

  32. 37

    spews:

    to: Roger Rabbit

    you’re an anonymous poster on a website – you can claim to be an attorney but it’s just as likely you’re some 16 year old kid with pimples typing on your Mommy’s computer.

    When the court struck down the estate tax, the Legislature created a brand new one. They couldn’t impose the tax increase following the law (which requires 2/3′s legislative approval for tax increases), so they circumvented the law by imposing it and declaring it an “emergency” which allowed them to avoid the 2/3′s requirement and made it ‘referendum proof.’ The only reason they did it this way was because by following the law and abiding by the Constitution wouldn’t have allowed them to impose the tax. End justifies the means when it comes to government taking more of the people’s money.

    The fact is it wasn’t necessary. If they would have put the tax increase on the ballot and let the voters decide, they would have validated it. If they would have imposed it but then not put an emergency clause on it, then it would’ve been challenged by a citizen referendum, and the voters, it turns out, would have validated it.

    But the Legislature didn’t want to follow the law or abide by the Constitution and cheated to get more of our money. Despite this enormous bad faith, the voters OK’d the tax increases.

    But they didn’t support the Legislature’s cheating – that’s why I-960 has such strong voter support.

    Whether you’re an ambulance chaser or a high school kid doesn’t change the fact that the Legislature should have to follow the laws, abide by the Constitution, and keep us informed on efforts in Olympia to take more of the people’s money. That is eminently reasonable and that’s why so many newspapers are supporting it and that’s why voters support it so strongly.

    http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

  33. 38

    YLB spews:

    I-960’s policies have extremely strong voter support

    How convenient of you to forget all the other losers you’ve shilled.

    If it wasn’t for a rich moron even crazier than you – you’d be finished!

  34. 39

    proud leftist spews:

    Timmy @ 35: ” . . . voters know that Olympia will cheat if they think they can get away with it.”

    That is a rather sweeping overstatement, an unfair indictment of our representatives that reflects just how unhinged you are from reality. Do you honestly believe our citizen legislators search for ways to cheat us? My impression is that most legislators, from both parties, are well-intentioned people who confront difficult choices on a daily basis. People like you make their job harder with no gain to the people of this state. Why do you hate representative democracy so much? What is it about Madison, Adams, and Jefferson that sets you off (you’ll note that those boys did not provide for a federal initiative process)? Isn’t there another state where you can go to peddle your nonsense?

  35. 40

    spews:

    to: YLB

    Of the 9 measures we’ve managed to qualify for the ballot, voters have approved 7 (I-960 will be the 8th).

    But maybe your track record of political accomplishment is more impressive – please cite your successes and then we’ll compare.

    Oh, you’ve been sitting on your couch watching TV eating potato chips for the past 10 years? well, then, you’re right, you’re much more successful than we could ever hope to be. my apologies.

  36. 41

    spews:

    to: proud leftist

    From the Tacoma News Tribune:

    • In 2002, the Legislature asked voters to approve a 9-cents-a-gallon increase in the gas tax by putting Referendum 51 on the ballot. It was defeated. But six months later, the Legislature voted on its own to raise the gas tax by 5 cents a gallon. Two years later, lawmakers approved a 9.5-cent gas tax increase.

    In both instances, the Legislature either included an emergency clause so the taxes would take effect immediately or started borrowing money and pledging the gas tax as the source of repaying those loans. Those measures effectively insulated the tax increases from a subsequent public vote to overturn them.

    • In 1993, voters passed I-601, which imposed a state spending limit and required a public vote or a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to raise taxes. Since then, lawmakers have shifted money among accounts to artificially inflate the spending limit. And in 2005, the Legislature suspended I-601 so it could raise taxes with a simple majority vote.

    • Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a law that lets city and county councils levy up to a $20-a-year tax on cars and trucks without a public vote, despite statewide voters saying twice that they wanted to cap license-tab fees.

    “These guys are really sneaky,” Eyman said. “But I think we’ve found a way to minimize their shenanigans.”

    – END –

    Since Gregoire’s been Governor, there have been 205 “emergencies” – threats to the public health and safety. Ya, right, that’s 205 bills they knew were opposed by the people so they slapped an emergency clause on them to make them all ‘referendum proof.’

    The whole reason we have public disclosure and transparency in government is to ensure the Legislature knows any shenanigans will be reported. Without it, we’d have a much more arrogant, insular, unrepresentative government.

    I-960′s sunshine provisions ensure sneaky moves will be reported – and since the Legislature knows that, they won’t do the wrong thing, they’ll do the right thing.

    and the right thing is:

    * follow the laws
    * abide by the Constitution
    * keep the people informed

  37. 42

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Well, Tim, you can claim to be a people’s advocate, but it’s just as likely you’re a self-aggrandizing Grover Norquist clone, and a closeted homo refugee from Yakima to boot.

    Some of us would never, ever vote for your initiatives, because they are so full of unconstitutional bullshit. Tim, if you want to legislate, it’s time to pony up and run for fucking office, okay? So we, the voters, can hold you accountable.

  38. 43

    spews:

    to: Tlazolteotl

    Why is it only opponents want me to become just another snake in the snakepit? Our supporters don’t want that, and neither do I. Jack, Mike, and I work very hard with a team of very heroic, very courageous, very principled supporters who want to give the voters the chance to give the average taxpayer an equal voice in the process. Based on the amazing number of measures the voters have supported over the years, it doesn’t pass the straight-face-test to say voters aren’t fully accountable — they approve the policies they like, they vote against the policies they don’t. That’s perfect accountability.

    What sticks in your craw is that the majority of voters disagree with you and your compatriots. That the clear majority of voters want some reasonable limits on legislators and, in the case of I-960, its completely reasonable to expect the Legislature to follow the laws they’ve imposed on themselves, respect our constitutional rights, and keep us informed on efforts to take more of the people’s money.

    Rather than throwing a childish temper tantrum and name-calling, why don’t you just maturely accept that voters want some accountability and don’t support your give-politicians-a-blank-check attitude?

  39. 44

    proud leftist spews:

    Timmy,
    Your approach to fiscal policy, if adopted, would bankrupt this state in no time. Your initiatives appeal to the irresponsible among us. This state is well-governed. Your proposals keep you in the spotlight, but invariably represent shortsighted policies.

  40. 45

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    We already have “reasonable limits on legislators.” We can call them, write them, email them, and visit them in person if we don’t like some vote they’ve taken. And we can hold them ultimately accountable by VOTING THEM OUT OF OFFICE. Your initiatives, Tim, just take up a lot of time in the State AG’s office, from what I can tell. This is all about a fat paycheck for you, and satisfying your ego.

    Again I ask: if you want to pass legislation, why don’t you run for office?!

  41. 46

    spews:

    to: Roger Rabbit

    You wrote: Because they know the public’s average attention span is 1.4734982 nanoseconds, and by the time they read the next editorial they’ll have forgotten what they read in the last one. Most people can’t read anymore, anyway.

    Response: With political adversaries like you, who needs friends?

    The voters will be extremely moved by the Seattle Times editorial because it comes from a ‘hostile witness.’ The Times has opposed our previous tax initiatives, but they enthusiastically endorsed this one.

    When a dog barks, it’s not news; when a cat barks, it’s news. The fact that longtime opponents, like the Seattle Times, are fawning over I-960′s policies and endorsing it with such fervor shows how reasonable and prudent this measure is.

    It’s a sign that the Legislature’s shenanigans, cheating, and violation of our rights are wearing thin even with their usual allies in the media.

    http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

  42. 48

    spews:

    to: proud leftist

    It’ll bankrupt the state for the Legislature to follow the laws, abide by the Constitution, and keep the people informed?

    The Legislature and opponents said the same thing during the campaign against I-601 and, not surprisingly, after voters approved it in 1993, Olympia has functioned just fine for over 13 years. They’ll do just fine when they finally stop violating the laws, taking away our constitutional rights, and taking more of the people’s money under the radar screen.

  43. 50

    spews:

    to: Tlazolteotl

    Yes, under our system of government, we can “throw the bums out.” that’s one way. But also in the state of Washington, our Constitution guarantees the people two other ways to hold them accountable: the initiative process and the referendum process. They’re both part of our system of government and part of our state’s checks and balances.

    But they negate our right to referendum by slapping emergency clauses on bills which prevents them from being challenged. I-960 addresses this problem and uses public disclosure and transparency to stop this abuse.

    The initiative process, despite yearly legislative efforts to negate it, still exists in our state Constitution and voters have a First Amendment right to exercise those rights whether you like it or not.

    You can whine about rain in Seattle, but it’s not going to change the fact that it rains in Seattle.

    You can whine about citizens doing initiatives, but it’s not going to change the fact that voters will approve initiatives like I-960.

    Washington state’s voters revere and value the initiative and referendum process and appreciate its ability to put reasonable limits on government’s power.

  44. 51

    spews:

    Roger Rabbit @ 3

    Actually, passing any law in this state requires a constitutional absolute majority of all elected members in each house of the legislature. 50 out of 98 in the House and 25 out of 49 in the Senate. So we don’t need extra protections in that regard. (In the U.S Congress, a bill can pass with just a handful of votes, if no one present at the time objects to a lack of a quorum!)

  45. 52

    spews:

    to: Tlazolteotl

    Free speech is easy when you agree with what’s being said. The challenge is when you disagree. Your comments show a complete lack of respect for the First Amendment and your lack of confidence in your own position.

    The fact is your clock is being rhetorically cleaned and the more you write, the more foolish you appear.

    I-960′s policies have strong voter support. Rather than attacking the messenger, express a reason why voters should not vote for its policies. If you lack the intellectual capacity to do so, don’t be surprised when it passes on November 6th.

  46. 53

    spews:

    Tim Eyman @ various

    Your initiative might actually pass. I still can’t say that I like it. If you don’t like what a majority of the legislature is doing, maybe it would help to elect more members sympathetic to your position, or try to persuade existing members to support your position?

    I-960 might actually pass constitutional muster. It seems to me that the “absolute 50%+1 majority” of the total membership is generally constitutionally sufficient to pass anything. So requiring 2/3 absolute majority seems to do violence to that constitutional principle.

    However, an initiative is also a law, and you can’t change those during the first two years, except with the 2/3 absolute majority. If you passed an initiative absolutely forbidding any increases of fees and taxes whatsoever, then it would be valid, unless 2/3 voted to change it during the first two years (or a simple absolute majority after that).

    A law requiring a unanimous vote to pass any future taxes might even be constitutional. However, the law could always been amended by 2/3 vote during the first two years, or a simple majority thereafter.

    Since the state supreme court usually likes to find that laws are constitutional, they may very well uphold I-960 if it passes.

    I still don’t like it and I am not going to vote for I-960. Although things will certainly be interesting if it passes.

  47. 54

    spews:

    to: Richard Pope and Roger Rabbit

    The Legislature of 2005 and 1998 both disagree with you. They both decided that they wanted a higher legislative vote threshold to pass a tax increase. They imposed a requirement that 2/3′s legislative approval is necessary for a tax increase. The Legislature adopts rules and procedures all the time that require larger vote thresholds so this is certainly not without precedent. I-960 doesn’t change the vote theshold of 2/3′s. doesn’t amend it, doesn’t reenact it. Because it doesn’t have to — it’s already the law. I-960 just says that tax increases include tax increases inside and outside the general fund. Under I-960, if they want to raise taxes, they’ll have to follow the law.

    That’s a completely reasonable expectation for the voters to have – for the Legislature to abide by the laws and our state Constitution.

  48. 55

    spews:

    to: Richard Pope #52

    I addressed much of this in my post #53, but again, it is the Legislature’s 2/3′s requirement for tax increases, not I-960′s.

    In other words, 2/3′s legislative approval for tax increases will be the law whether I-960 passes or doesn’t pass. The only difference is with voters approving I-960, the Legislature will actually follow their own law rather than circumventing it (as they’ve done too often).

    I-960 is simply the voters telling the Legislature “If you’re going to raise our taxes, follow the law, don’t slap an emergency clause on it, and keep us informed on how much it’ll cost us and who’s sponsoring it and who’s voting on it.”

    That is completely reasonable.

  49. 56

    proud leftist spews:

    Timmy,
    The initiative process should not be used to set taxation and spending. With all due respect, there simply is not enough time in the day for most voters to adequately educate themselves concerning such matters. Personally, I would do away with the initiative/referendum process except, possibly, with regard to fundamental values issues such as the legality of abortion or the death penalty. How about your pushing an initiative to change the state constitution to limit initiatives?

  50. 57

    spews:

    to: proud leftist

    the state Constitution grants the power to the people to do initiatives on social, fiscal, and other policy matters. Voters don’t want exceptions or loopholes in the First Amendment.

    There’s only one honest legislator down in Olympia against the initiative and referendum process: Senator Ken Jacobsen. He has the same condescending view of voters that you do and recognizes that the only way to get rid of I&R is to push a constitutional amendment that repeals it from our state Constitution. That requires a bill that receives 2/3′s legislative approval in the House, 2/3′s in the Senate and a vote of the people. No other legislator co-sponsors his annual anti-voter, anti-initiative bill.

    so Ken Jacobsen is your guy – encourage him, promote him, prod him, because he’s the leader of your effort to strip the voters’ rights from our state Constitution.

    http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/jacobsen

    good luck with that.

  51. 58

    proud leftist spews:

    Timmy,
    How about an initiative that prohibits any individual or group from profiting off of pushing an initiative? I know you’re only in the game for the good of the state, but there might be others out there who feel that they could make a living off of the initiative process.

  52. 60

    spews:

    @55…PL…

    You’re saying the people are stupid, and that’s just so much crap. Bottom, bottom, bottom line…the overarching principles involved aren’t that difficult, and most voters know in their gut what to do.

    I&R are, at the state level and thanks to progressive and populist leaders of the 19th-Century, serve as the people’s check on legislative abuse and vested interests. Then, it was railroad interests, today it’s big government, big labor, and other grasping interests who constantly look to pick the people’s pockets.

    Democracy in action…

    The Piper

  53. 61

    OneMan spews:

    Eyman says: “attacking the messenger always means we’ve won the policy debate.”.

    Then, in the very next post, he says (to RR), “you can claim to be an attorney but it’s just as likely you’re some 16 year old kid with pimples typing on your Mommy’s computer.”

    Wow, Tim, you truly are a horse’s ass.

    Why do you suppose the legislature has to call “all those” (14%, by your own numbers) bills “emergency”? Could it be, perhaps, that otherwise they couldn’t run the state thanks to I-601 and the rabble-rousing you’ve done to ruin the political atmosphere?

    Tim Eyman, what you do is bad for the state of Washington. Just. Fucking. Stop.

  54. 62

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @35 “attacking the messenger always means we’ve won the policy debate”

    I now see where the faulty logic behind your initiatives comes from.

  55. 63

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The fact people on the wrong side of policy debates often attack the messenger to divert attention from the stupidity of their arguments doesn’t make idiotic messengers right when people comment on their idiocy.

  56. 64

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 “you’re an anonymous poster on a website – you can claim to be an attorney but it’s just as likely you’re some 16 year old kid with pimples typing on your Mommy’s computer.”

    I could be, but I’m not. However, I’m disinclined to prove to your satisfaction that I’m an attorney. Either take my word for it, or don’t. – yawn -

  57. 65

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @36 “When the court struck down the estate tax, the Legislature created a brand new one.”

    It looks just like the same old estate tax to the estate administrators paying it, except for the 50% tax cut.

    “They couldn’t impose the tax increase following the law (which requires 2/3’s legislative approval for tax increases), so they circumvented the law by imposing it and declaring it an “emergency” which allowed them to avoid the 2/3’s requirement and made it ‘referendum proof.’ The only reason they did it this way was because by following the law and abiding by the Constitution wouldn’t have allowed them to impose the tax.”

    You’ve convinced me they’re smarter than you. Which, by the way, is not a bad thing for the people of our state.

    Tell you what though, Tim, I’m willing to deal on the inheritance tax. I don’t know how often you read this blog, but in case you’ve missed my previous postings on the subject, my stated position on the inheritance tax is that I’ll agree to get rid of it provided heirs pay income taxes on their inheritance income. That way, people who inherit their money would get exactly the same exemptions, deductions, and tax rates as people who work for their money. Deal?

  58. 66

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oh, and one more thing. Before you claim the money in estates has already been taxed, let me point out that isn’t true. A lot of estate principle consists of untaxed capital gains, and because heirs get a stepped-up basis, those capital gains will never be taxed. Here’s an example of how it works:

    Grandpa buys farmland outside Arlington in 1948 for $10,000. Grandpa dies in 2007 at the age of 89. His acreage is now within the city limits, commercially zoned, and worth $2,000,000. Grandpa didn’t pay any capital gains tax on the property because he never sold it. His grandkids won’t pay any taxes on the $1,990,000 of capital gains, either, because the IRS code gives them a current basis in the property when it transfers to them. This means if they turn around and sell it for $2,000,000, their capital gain is zero.

    Now, since “already been taxed” argument doesn’t hold water, here’s what I’ll do. If you don’t like my idea of treating inheritances as ordinary income of the heirs, and would prefer to keep the estate tax, I’m willing to change the law so that only previously-untaxed capital gains are taxed — at capital gains rates — upon transfer to the heirs. And, to make this fair, capital gains rates should be the same as the tax rates on wages, whatever those rates are. Deal?

  59. 67

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @40 “Of the 9 measures we’ve managed to qualify for the ballot, voters have approved 7 (I-960 will be the 8th).”

    Two questions, Tim:

    1) How many of those 7 initiatives survived court tests and are current law?

    2) When are you going to learn how to write an initiative that addresses only 1 subject?

  60. 68

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @46 “Response: With political adversaries like you, who needs friends?”

    Tim, you need all the friends you can get, given that your popularity and following are steadily dwindling.

    However, to avoid any possible misunderstandings, please know that I am not your friend, and you are not my friend.

  61. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Richard @51 Gee, Richard, do you think I don’t know that? #3 contains a sort of inside joke which you may have missed if you’ve been busy campaigning. In a previous thread, I said I voted against 4204 because it eliminates the minimum turnout requirement for levy elections. I also said I would vote to change the 60% majority to a simple majority in the future if this was resubmitted in a way that retains a minimum turnout requirement. My point was the legislature requires a quorum to pass legislation, and if we’re going to have direct democracy in the form of voters voting on school levies and initiatives, there should be a quorum requirement for that, too. I’ve never belonged to any organization whose bylaws didn’t require a quorum of board members to conduct business. It’s standard practice. I was (and am) criticizing 4204 for eliminating the 40% turnout requirement. This referendum, if passed by the voters, theoretically would allow 1 voter to raise everyone’s property taxes if no one else voted. And, of course, this will be manipulated by school boards, who can be counted on to make overt efforts to schedule elections at the most inconvenient times possible to minimize turnout, knowing that their committed supporters will vote anyway but many of their opponents won’t.

  62. 70

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @54 It’s interesting that you’re going after “tax increases outside the general fund.” The tax that immediately leaps into mind, of course, is the gas tax. Is I-960 intended to be an I-912 rematch?

  63. 71

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The problem with the gas tax, of course, is that it doesn’t adjust to inflation or changes in driving habits. Highways don’t cost less because people drive less and/or buy more fuel-efficient cars because of high gas prices. The legislator has to periodically raise the per gallon gas tax to keep enough money coming in to pay for our bridges and highways. Otherwise, those bridges and highways will go away. One partial solution to this is to get rid of the per-gallon gas tax and impose a sales tax on gasoline. As gas prices rise, so will tax revenues. This obviates the need for the legislature to keep tinkering with the tax rate to keep the same amount of dollars (in terms of purchasing power) coming in.

  64. 72

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @58 PL, I think you chased Timmy away! He suddenly disappeared when you asked him that.

  65. 73

    acres of clams spews:

    The word(s) is(are) “but-wads”.

    The word “fuck” denotes pleasure and good things.

    Nothing can be good, said about but-wads.

  66. 74

    spews:

    @68…RR…

    But I gotta tell ya…Ol’ Tim is the TAXPAYERS’FRIEND!!! And they eagerly look forward to each of his intiatives since they know that he speaks for them. Reminds me of a certain furniture salesman from Ballard who royally pissed off former Gov. Dan Evans.

    Love it when the high and mighty are brought down and low.

    The Piper

  67. 75

    proud leftist spews:

    RR @ 72
    Already, I miss Timmy so much. So rarely do we encounter an individual so self-sacfrificing as Timmy. I thought he would want to continue our dialogue.

  68. 76

    proud leftist spews:

    Piper @ 60: “You’re saying the people are stupid, and that’s just so much crap. Bottom, bottom, bottom line…the overarching principles involved aren’t that difficult, and most voters know in their gut what to do.”

    I’m not saying voters are stupid at all, my blowhard friend. I’m saying precisely what I said–the average voter does not have the time to become fully educated on revenue and spending issues before pulling the lever in the voting booth. You, on the other hand, do believe that the average Joe is too stupid to make decisions. That is why you are a tort reformer and against R67. You don’t want juries to make decisions, juries who must sit and listen to all the evidence for days if not weeks at a time, because you believe they will come up with judgments that offend your Republican sensibilities. Jurors have to become educated, unlike voters. Piper, don’t play the populist card. It doesn’t become you.

  69. 77

    spews:

    I think what you guys really want to tax is wealth, not income. Shit, plenty of wealthy, wealthy people make next to nothing in income each year and consequently don’t pay any income taxes.

    Why not start taxing net worth each year? That’ll get rid of those rich folks! That’s the goal, isn’t it?

  70. 78

    horsesasshole spews:

    “attacking the messenger always means we’ve won the policy debate. it’s true that I-960’s policies have extremely strong voter support because:”

    Indeed…because 960 appears to be ahead despite the fact that most voters believe the messenger is a deeply creepy fraud who openly (and unnecessarily) lied about being paid to be a shill for initiatives.

    You are more accomplished than Goldy the policy arena but you both are so full of shit you deserve each other.

  71. 79

    proud leftist spews:

    Piper, Piper, wherefor art thou?
    Why dost thou always disappear when asked a question? M’lad, must be a Scottish trait, acquired when the Norsemen occupied thine territory. Hey, Bagman, acknowledge that your bloodlines are mostly Scandinavian (which means liberal–even socialist–as hell.

  72. 81

    spews:

    to: proud leftist #58

    As long as legislators and their staffs can be compensated for working on public policy, then it’s OK for citizens to be compensated for their political work. The guy running the “no” campaign against I-960 earned $2.4 million last year alone. So clearly the big bucks are in defending the Legislature’s insatiable appetite for more of our tax dollars.

  73. 82

    spews:

    to: Piper Scott #60

    thanks for defending the constitutionally guaranteed right to initiative and referendum. anti-voter, anti-First Amendment guys that post here don’t believe in the voters and blindly follow the decisions of legislators.

    thanks for defending the voters.

  74. 83

    spews:

    to: OneMan #61

    the Legislature slaps emergency clauses on bills because they know the people won’t support honestly repealing the right to referendum from the Constitution (because that takes a constitutional amendment – 2/3′s legislative approval and voter approval) so they instead negate the right to referendum by slapping emergency clauses on bills. Olympia does it because no one, not even the courts, have stopped their abuse. They do it because they can. Under I-960, they won’t because when they slap an emergency clause on a tax increase bill, we’ll be notified and they’ll be exposed – so they’ll do the right thing on not do that.

  75. 84

    spews:

    @76…PL…

    Huh?

    When did I ever say I don’t want juries to make decisions? Juries can make all the decisions they want, I just don’t want huckster trial lawyers using the threat of treble damages to leverage situations to pad fees.

    No one has demonstrated to me a need for this new law. What in current law isn’t sufficient? The claim that nothing prohibits an insurance company from not living up to a contract is so much bunk; traditional legal remedies are still available.

    You’re the one who condemned voters as a class with a sweeping generalization about how they use their time and the state of their level of sophistication. What I suspect, however, is you don’t much care for how they use what sophistication they do have to make the decisions they make.

    In this state, sovereignty is vested in the people, not the legislature or governor. When the people exercise it via the initiative or referendum, then they’re demonstrating exactly that sovereignty. When the legislature plays fast and loose with the rules (“emergency clauses” in clearly non-emergency legislation), then the people are completely justified to rear up and slap the legislature down.

    The people know when they’re being suckered, and one sure fire sucker technique is the old canard, “…the average voter does not have the time to become fully educated on revenue and spending issues before pulling the lever in the voting booth.”

    That’s about the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard! Anyone who either pronounces it or believes it is deeply mistrustful of democracy and shows disdain for the collective wisdom of the people.

    Let the people decide…

    The Piper

  76. 85

    spews:

    to: Roger Rabbit (#62 through #72)

    You keep bringing up the estate tax. the debate over I-960 has to do with THE PROCESS, not any individual tax per se. In other words, the Legislature cheated to impose a new estate tax when the courts ruled their previous tax was unconstitutional. They ignored the courts, they ignored the voters, and they unilaterally imposed the tax by not abiding by the law and then they went further and took away our constitutional right to referendum by slapping an emergency clause on it. That’s cheating. That’s something the voters don’t like and don’t support.

    They’re not smarter than the voters, they’re just completely unconcerned with acting in bad faith because they believed they wouldn’t be reported.

    I-960 makes sure they can’t do that again, both by having voters revalidate their support for I-601′s policies and also by increasing public disclosure so these kind of sneaky, underhanded shenanigans will be reported to the people when the people are deciding who to elect/reelect – as a result of these reasons and others, once I-960 is approved, they won’t do the bad things any more.

    You offer a “deal” on the estate tax – you want to do that, then get off your lazy butt and do an initiative that implements your idea. Then we’ll see if your idea has support or not.

  77. 86

    spews:

    to: Piper Scott #74

    The taxpayers’ friend is the voters – they’re the ones who consistently approve our initiatives. We mostly win, we sometimes don’t but at least we’re tryin’ – at least we’re willing to put our ideas before the voters to let them decide. A tad more substantive than posting comments anonymously on a website.

  78. 87

    spews:

    to: proud leftist (#74 & #75)

    You are completely dismissing/discounting/disenfranchising the voters with your condescending view of them. Under I-960, we’re simply telling the Legislature to follow the laws, abide by the Constitution, and keep the people informed on efforts to take more of the people’s money. That’s a completely reasonable expectation. After I-960 passes, the Legislature will do just that and when they do, there won’t be anything to report to the voters. In other words, if they don’t cheat, they’ll be nothing to tell the voters at the next election or in the voters pamphlet.

    The only time the voters are involved is when Olympia cheats. The voters have all the time in the world to learn how the Legislature screwed them that legislative session.

  79. 88

    proud leftist spews:

    Piper: “The claim that nothing prohibits an insurance company from not living up to a contract is so much bunk; traditional legal remedies are still available.”

    My friend, let me clue you in, I am a lawyer, so your horseshit fails to impress. What might those “traditional legal remedies” be? Details, please. My primary fishing buddy is a Republican doctor. He had a disability insurance claim. I represented him. After an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, trial, and another appeal to the Ninth Circuit, we won. And, you know what he got? His benefits, after 7 years. My friend and I don’t agree on much, other than trout. But, we do also agree that after his little experience with an insurance company, you can bet your sweet ass he’s voting to approve R67.

  80. 89

    spews:

    to: horsesasshole #78

    It just goes to show that the voters doesn’t give a flying rip about who the initiative sponsor is, they vote based on good public policy. And I-960 contains reasonable, prudent public policy solutions to Olympia’s consistent lawbreaking and constitutional right violations:

    * stops them from circumventing their own law requiring 2/3′s legislative approval for tax increases
    * stops them from shifting funds around so they can spend the same money twice
    * deters the overuse/abuse of the emergency clause, which negates the people’s constitutionally guaranteed right to referendum
    * requires a recorded, simple majority legislative vote on fee increases – state government doesn’t know how many different fees they impose on taxpayers – that’s unacceptable and certainly not representative democracy.
    * public discloses to the press and the public the short term and long term costs for revenue-raising bills, time/date/location of hearings, legislators sponsorship, voting records, and contact information in a user-friendly accessible email list server.

    The only argument against I-960 made by opponents on this website is “Tim Eyman bad, grunt, don’t vote for I-960, grunt.” Neanderthal, brutish, intellectually bankrupt arguments that won’t move a single voter into the ‘no’ column.

    Come on, are all of you so intellectually challenged you can’t come up with a substantive reason for voters to reject I-960?

    Not even one …

  81. 90

    proud leftist spews:

    Timmy: “Under I-960, we’re simply telling the Legislature to follow the laws, abide by the Constitution, and keep the people informed on efforts to take more of the people’s money. ”

    No, actually you’re changing the laws, tying legislators hands, and construing the Constitution for your own purposes. Again, like I asked you earlier, why do you hate Madison, Adams, and Jefferson, who did not provide for initiatives in the federal constitution?

    “The guy running the “no” campaign against I-960 earned $2.4 million last year alone.”

    He didn’t earn that money (if he earned that much) in his efforts againt I-960, did he? How about a little honesty here, Timmy. Hey, I’ve got nothing against a guy wanting to make a buck, but don’t do it at our expense, okay?

  82. 91

    spews:

    @87…PL…

    But your friend did receive his benefits eventually.

    The trial bar portrays it such that insurance companies deny ALL claims ALL the time under ALL circumstances. Is that true?

    And how would your friends situation change under R-67? Same facts, same contract of insurance…then what? I’ve said it before, I have no love for insurance companies, but that lack of love also extends to much of what I see the tort bar do.

    I’m not persuaded, and I will vote NO…

    But I am persuaded on I-960 because it addresses and remedies real chicanery in the state legislature, so I will vote YES…

    The Piper

  83. 92

    SeattleMike spews:

    The GOOD news from KING-5 tonight is that I960 shows 22% of voters polled are planning to vote for it, and 44% are planning to vote against it, and the rest undecided.

    Unless the people pushing for 960 are able to convince ALL of the undecided voters it looks like this turkey will be going down in flames, in a resounding slap against the guy from Mukilteo for whom this web site is named.

    22% for it – it really looks like Timmy’s initiative machine has managed to keep about the same approval rating as the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in DC.

    22% – the backwash.

  84. 93

    proud leftist spews:

    Piper: “But your friend did receive his benefits eventually.
    The trial bar portrays it such that insurance companies deny ALL claims ALL the time under ALL circumstances. Is that true?”

    He received his benefits 7 years after going blind in one eye. For a surgeon, being one-eyed is a bit of a disability, wouldn’t you agree? Would you like him cutting on you? After going deeply into debt and barely avoiding bankruptcy, he got what he should have received years earlier, and not a dime more. Helluva deal, wouldn’t you agree? Don’t you think that the insurance company (that never offered anything in settlement) might have thought twice if treble damages might have been in the offing? The trial bar hardly claims that insurance companies deny “ALL claims ALL the time under ALL circumstances.” Spare me the rhetoric. Tell me what the incentive is for an insurance company to act fairly. Oh, and please read Dale Foreman’s essay (that guy who until recently was the head of your party in this state) in the Wenatchee World, a leftist rag if there ever was one.

  85. 94

    spews:

    @89…PL…

    So what if I&R aren’t in the U.S. Constitution? That proves what? That they’re not legitimate or valuable at the state or local level?

    Give me a break!

    Article II, Sections 1(a) and (b) of the Washington State Constitution embody the I&R processes:

    “…the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature.”

    To claim that someone who employs the Initiative process is, by definition, a hater of, “…Madison, Adams, and Jefferson, who did not provide for initiatives in the federal constitution?”

    Tell me you don’t really believe that.

    Over time, there’ve been probably as many liberal initiatives as conservative ones.

    You don’t like this example of the process, so you trash the process altogether. How undemocratic and un-American is that?

    C’mon, man, that’s totally bogus!

    The Piper

  86. 96

    OneMan spews:

    @94: that’s obvious…he wouldn’t be in the headlines all the time and would have to take a paycut too!

    The Olympian shows that the “overwhelming majority” for I-960 is…well…something less than overwhelming. Tim quotes the news that makes him and his crappy initiatives look best (how surprising) but the truth will out:

    Link to the story

    …but here’s the money quote:

    Initiative 960, requiring supermajority votes for legislative tax increases and advisory votes on tax increases approved with emergency clauses: 41 percent yes, 40 percent no (30 percent to 28 percent among “certain” voters).

    Oh, Tim…you’re such a card!

    PS: nice job of ignoring the fact that I pointed out what a dick you are by calling RR names right after giving somebody else a hard time for doing the same.

  87. 97

    horsesasshole spews:

    Timmy,

    Indeed, and their line of attack is so distinct from your nuanced ‘No tax, grunt, really no tax, no tax for anything, grunt grunt.”

  88. 98

    busdrivermike spews:

    I believe this initiative would have a much better chance of passing if Tim Eyman was not involved. This initiative smells not because of its own language, but the people who are sponsoring it. This is just an attempt of the disingenuous right wing trying to impose a higher threshold because they cannot capture a majority of the voters. So they want to empower themselves by changing the only constitution. The voter know who you are Mr. Eyman, and you have credibility with a minority of voters of the fringe of the right wing.

    Mr. Eyman’s political philosophy is that taxes are always bad, so they must find a way to get the electorate to vote yes on i960 so they have a lower bar to hurdle in advancing their own agenda.

    Why is it that Republicans always are for lower taxes until they get elected? Isn’t debt a sell off of the tax base? So isn’t modern conservatism, as exemplified by Mr. Bush, just the policy of delaying larger taxes by creating more debt? Every government program the Republicans are against(S-CHIP), is supposedly opposed on principle, while everything they like(Alaskan bridges to nowhere) are worth going further into debt for, but not worth increasing taxes on Estates, for example. Why no Estate tax for the glorious war? Why is it my top tax rate is 28% because I EARN it through labor, but Paris Hilton and Richard Mellon Scaife pay 15% for sitting on their asses? Who passes these tax laws? Republicans who try to take the high road in their arguments that somehow always seem to screw the little guy.

    So no, Mr. Eyman, you have no moral argument with me because your party has no visible morality.

    Mr. Eyman, if you think you are the answer to the peoples concerns, maybe you should run for governor. You would probably have a better chance than Dino “the political dinosaur” Rossi.

    BTW, which of your political adventures have ever survived the test of law?

  89. 99

    spews:

    to: busdrivermike

    the only way to make a difference is by becoming another snake in the snakepit? your views are cramped on the ways to affect change in politics if you limit it only to elected officials.

    Washington state’s Constitution guarantees the people the right to initiative and referendum which helps get our elected representatives to be more representative. Too many of them say one thing before the election and do something totally different once in office, especially when it comes to taxes.

    Gregoire and the Democrats in charge of Olympia have promised that their huge increase in spending won’t require higher taxes to be sustained. If their promises are genuine, then I-960 will have no impact. If they don’t raise taxes, they’ll be no fiscal reports needed, no sponsorship of bills to highlight, no 2/3′s legislative approval requirement, no emergency clauses, no advisory votes.

    But I-960 will be there if their promises turn out like their earlier no-new-tax promises: broken. I-960 will be there to protect the taxpayers and get the Legislature to follow the law, abide by the Constitution, and keep the people and the press informed when they try to take more of the people’s money. It’ll be there to report cheating if they slap emergency clauses on tax hike bills, it’ll be there if they break their promises.

    I-960 provides voters with an insurance policy and backstop if politicians’ promises don’t turn out to be true.

  90. 100

    spews:

    to: busdrivermike

    Voters vote on the policies contained in a measure, not who’s sponsoring it. That’s why our initiatives are continually approved by the voters, not because they like me, but because they support the taxpayer protection provisions contained in the initiatives. Voters take their right to vote very seriously and they approve initiatives that contain policies they support, they oppose initiatives that contain policies they don’t like.

    It ain’t rocket science, big guy.

    Government’s desire for more of the people’s money outweighs their respect for the law or the Constitution. They’ll do the right thing if they know they’ll be reported for doing the wrong thing.

    I-960 is big, big, big on public disclosure, transparency, and information being provided to the press and the people when Olympia cheats. That’s nothing but a good thing that appeals to all voters D’s, R’s, and Independents.

  91. 101

    spews:

    to: Tlazolteotl #95

    Only opponents want me to become another snake in the snakepit. Our supporters like the fact that Jack, Mike, and I work with thousands of heroic, hardworking, courageous people to put public policy solutions on the ballot for the voters to decide.

    Even the voters who vote against our initiatives at least appreciate the fact that their voice was heard and they maturely accept the fact that the majority voted differently than them. Only a handful of childish opponents whine and complain about the supreme injustice that voters would dare approve a law others opposed.

  92. 102

    busdrivermike spews:

    #100

    So everybody is a snake but you, messiah? It must be hard living with all us fallible humans. I can see now why you must come down from the mountain top with your tablets…err referendums to make everything right.

    And when I say “right”. I mean “far right”.

    I would be willing to bet your “Q” rating in Washington State is in the low 30′s, and that is generous. As far as right wingers being “heroic”, there are two places to prove that…Iraq and Afghanistan. In these times, working on the front lines of Spokane to push a far right wing agenda does not qualify, no matter what Sheppard Smith says.

    The fact is, if you want to help get this intitiative to pass, you should probably put on your Darth Vader costume, and go to one of Hawaii’s mostly uninhabited isles until the election is over. But being that your ego will not allow that, I am more than happy to watch you wax pathetic on this blog.

    I will now quote you and respond:

    “Government’s desire for more of the people’s money outweighs their respect for the law or the Constitution ”

    Are we including Alberto “the torturer” Gonzales in this statement? Because Government must want a whole lot of our money, seeing your party’s “outweighment” of the Constitution over the last 7 years.

    “They’ll do the right thing if they know they’ll be reported for doing the wrong thing.”

    See above.

    And now for the money quote:

    “That’s why our initiatives are continually approved by the voters”

    * I-745 (2000) – Required 90% of transportation funding to be spent on road building.
    o Defeated by voters.
    * I-747 (2001) – Cut state and local property taxes
    o Passed by voters but declared unconstitutional in Superior Court. Currently on appeal to Supreme Court.

    * I-267 (2002) – Divert money from the general fund for road building.
    o Failed to qualify for ballot.
    * I-807 (2003) – Require a supermajority vote for all tax increases.
    o Failed to qualify for ballot.
    * I-864 (2003) – Cut property taxes by 25%.
    o Failed to qualify for ballot.
    * I-892 (2004) – Legalize slot machines.
    o Defeated by voters.
    * I-900 (2004) – Give state auditor ability to conduct performance audits.
    o Passed by voters.
    * Referendum 65 (2006) – Repeal ESHB 2661 legalizing sexual orientation discrimination.
    o Failed to qualify for ballot.
    * I-917 (2006) – Cap motor vehicle registration charge at $30 a year.
    o Failed to qualify for ballot.

    You do know what “continually” means? I know you are a Republican, so things mean whatever you decide they mean, but “continually” kind of means “uninterrupted for a significant period of time.” I know that you have shown a CONTINUAL inability to fathom legal defintions, as evidenced by the CONTINUAL findings of the court to rule your intitiatives UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    Oh, this is fun.

  93. 103

    spews:

    to: busdrivermike

    of the 9 measures we’ve managed to qualify for the ballot, voters have approved 7 of them (I-960 will the 8th).

    But maybe you’re track record of political accomplishment is more impressive. Please cite those.

    Oh, you just type on a computer anonymous postings on a website? that’s your only accomplishment? well then, never mind, you’ve done so much more – I do apologize.

    all these measures were approved because the policies had strong voter support, not because voters have any strong affection for me, Jack, or Mike. Our supporters appreciate our efforts but they would’ve voted for our measures because they support the initiative’s policies.

    It’s the ideas that voters support. get that?

  94. 104

    busdrivermike spews:

    And how many are law? Four? Seven? Three?

    How about zero?

    So, I have accomplished just as much as you. Oh wait, my union, ATU587, beat your ass nine ways from Sunday in court.

    So, without doing much of anything, I have accomplished more than you, Elmer Gantry.

  95. 107

    GS spews:

    I-960 is the People’s “Emergency Clause” to this legislative batch of never ending tax and fee raisers.

    I will gladly vote for this!