You’ve got to give him credit… initiative monger Tim Eyman has finally come up with a bold new idea, guaranteed to shake up the political establishment: $30 car tabs.
Sure, Tim ran a $30 car tabs initiative in 1999 (I-695) and again in 2002 (I-776)… but this one is totally different because, um… well… it’ll have a completely different number. As the French say, “plus ca change, plus c’est le meme chose” (Translation: “Tim Eyman is a horse’s ass.”)
Tim called up David Ammons of the AP today to give him the scoop (a savvy PR move, considering nobody shows up for Tim’s press conferences anymore.) Tim plans to run an initiative to the legislature mandating $30 car tabs. It would block the Legislature from imposing a proposed $5 to $25 weight fee, and would eliminate the local MVET option currently levied for the Seattle Monorail and Sound Transit.
Tim railed against what he calls “tab creep” since the passage of I-695.
“This is the most arrogant and disrespectful attitude toward the voters. It’s like having children who are constantly trying to test you,” Eyman said.
Uh… local voters approved both the Monorail and Sound Transit’s Light Rail, and it is Tim who is being arrogant and disrespectful by calling us children. Personally, I think Tim is the “tab creep;” as one Eyman critic said, he seems to have some sort of $30 car tab fetish:
Eyman critic David Goldstein, a Seattle blogger and software designer, called the new initiative a tantrum by a sponsor who has gotten too caught up in his own myth.
“He’s making a fetish out of $30 tabs,” Goldstein said in an interview. “It’s his personal ego. And it’s bad public policy. It shows his disregard for local control. It’s another statewide initiative to prevent us in Seattle and King County from building the kind of infrastructure we want and need.
“Here’s the guy who’s against centralized government and for voter control who is now essentially railing against local control.”
Oh wait… that was me. How meta.
I could have been pithier, but the point stands… this initiative isn’t about taxes or public policy or respecting the will of the people… it’s about Tim. He built his career on $30 car tabs, and any tinkering with them he takes as a personal affront. But if he thinks he can simply slap tail fins on this old buggy and ride it to victory at the polls, he’s got another thing coming.
Tim traditionally relies on Eastern Washington for much of his support, but nobody has felt the pain of I-695 more than the residents of rural towns, many of which are on the verge of bankruptcy as a result. And voters have made it clear they want the kinds of non-asphalt transportation projects that only “flexible funding” can finance (the state Constitution limits gas tax spending to roads and car ferries.)
If Timmy really wants another winner, he’s going to have to get a little more creative. Could a $20 car tab initiative be far on the horizon?