It’s hard to be a “populist” when you don’t have any people, and that’s why Tim Eyman’s campaign to qualify I-864 for the ballot is all but dead.
That’s right… I-864, his “25% property tax cut” initiative will not qualify for the November ballot.
Some might call this prediction premature, but all signs are that Eyman has dramatically pulled back — or eliminated entirely — the paid signature gathering efforts for I-864. I fully expect that his public disclosure filing (due Thursday) will confirm that he is far short of the money needed to buy his way onto the ballot.
Rumor has it that I-892, his “Slots for Tots” initiative, is proving harder to qualify than expected, and that his gambling industry backers threatened to pull their funding if he didn’t focus on I-892 exclusively. After all, they are paying him $3,100 a week, and they expect to get an initiative in return. And so I-864 has been abandoned.
I suppose that’s what his loyal supporters get for prepaying his salary.
Eyman likes to say that government never reforms itself when it is “fat and happy.” Well, let’s just say that Eyman’s own initiative business is suffering from a severe case of jovial obesity.
A few years back he had the opportunity to build a real grassroots movement. Instead he got hooked on easy money, and the easy signatures it buys. He’s got no organization to speak of, and dwindling credibility and public support.
Of course, he’ll claim victory if I-892 gets enough signatures… some corny piece of rhetoric like “I’m batting .500!” But as a piece of legislation, I-892 is doomed too. Voters simply do not want to expand gambling in their neighborhoods, and they certainly don’t want to put slot machines into local bars, restaurants and bowling alleys. Besides… (and you heard it here first) the initiative is clearly unconstitutional. (What is it about Article II, Section 19 of our State Constitution that is so difficult for him to understand?)
So put a fork in Tim, he’s done. And once it’s in there, give it a little twist.