I’ll get to the real video later, you know the stuff with teachers talking about the real life impact of the budget cuts that would be coming under Initiative 1033, but first I thought I’d just post this clip showing what a real life asshole Tim Eyman can be.
Understand that Tim shows up, uninvited, at somebody else’s press conference, and yet despite his trespassing, is courteously allowed to stay and talk to the press. Because, you know, that’s just the way our side is… we welcome a public debate, because we’re confident we’ll win it.
But when I attempt to ask him a serious question, he won’t even look me in the eyes, let alone give me the courtesy of a response, instead dismissing me as “not the media.”
“This is a press conference,” Tim emphasizes in snubbing me. Yeah… a press conference at which I was personally invited, and he was not. He also twice belittles the Seattle P-I’s Joel Connelly, perhaps the senior member of our state’s political press corps, saying he’s only “kinda sorta still the media.”
I mean, really… who the hell is Tim to decide who is and who is not the media?
The truth is, Tim won’t answer my questions because he knows that he can’t, for in repeatedly claiming that local school districts can simply go to voters to raise their local levies to make up for lost state revenues, he’s both lying to voters, and showing his own totally lack of understanding of how his own initiative works.
As I attempted to explain to Tim, there is a statutory lid on the amount of revenue districts can raise from local levies — 24% of combined state and federal funding for most districts, and grandfathered in as high as 33% for a handful of districts like Seattle, Bellevue and Mercer Island. And since many districts are already at or near their lid, if state funding goes down (and it absolutely will in real dollars should I-1033 pass), so would the amount of money districts would be allowed to raise via local levies.
This is a fact. And it’s simple math… math Eyman is either unwilling or unable to do. So any “real” journalist who allows Eyman to repeat his claim that districts can just go to voters for more money, is allowing Eyman to repeat a deliberate misstatement of act. (You know… a lie.)
Of course, the legislature could always lift the lid, and surely voters in wealthy districts could be persuaded to raise significantly more revenue for their local schools than they currently receive. But this shift in funding from state to local would only exacerbate the existing inequities between school districts, disadvantaging the children in the poorer and more rural areas that ironically will vote for I-1033 in the largest numbers.
But then, isn’t that the norm for Eyman initiatives: always hurting most those Tim claims he’s trying to help.
Will speculates on Tim’s refusal to even make eye contact with me: “Perhaps he’s afraid he’ll fall in love? Either that, or he’s afraid he’ll turn to stone?”