1366 allows vote and forces debate opponents didn’t want — we trust the voters, opponents don’t

by | Sep 30, 2015

By working together, we succeeded at qualifying Initiative 1366.  In 2 weeks, ballots get mailed out and voters will decide whether or not they support a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.  It’s glorious.  

        Back in 2013, after the state supreme court said we’d have to pursue a constitutional amendment, tax-loving opponents were relieved because they assumed the debate was over.  They wanted people to stop talking about requiring two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval for tax increases.  They’d spent 25 years trying to convince voters to oppose making it tougher to raise taxes and their effort to do so was an abysmal failure.  Five ballot measures, five campaigns, five victories for the taxpayers and 5 defeats for the easy-to-raise-taxes crowd.    

        One of my favorite legislators, Republican Ed Orcutt from southwest Washington, joined me yesterday to advocate the passage of Initiative 1366 before the Seattle Times editorial board.  Why were we given this opportunity to discuss and debate a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment?  Because I-1366 is on the ballot and the Seattle Times wants to write an editorial to influence the discussion and debate and vote.

          Opponents didn’t want that.  They went to court to prevent the people from voting on 1366 — they didn’t want anyone discussing or debating or deciding on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.  They showed they don’t trust the voters.  If they thought the voters were on their side, they wouldn’t have tried to block the vote, they would have welcomed it.  But they’ve spent millions of dollars over the years desperately trying to convince voters that making it tougher to raise taxes is a bad idea.  And we know from multiple elections on our previous 2/3 initiatives that only 1/3 of voters agree with them.  So opponents don’t trust the voters.  

         We do.  It’s obvious we do.  Because we know that the only way our initiatives pass is with voter approval.  So we’ve put our tougher-to-raise-taxes initiatives on the ballot over and over and over again and voters have approved every one.  

         How committed are we?  In May of 2013, we filed an initiative pushing for a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.  Here’s an excerpt from a news story about it:   

“Eyman says he’s never giving up on the two-thirds rule.  He made it his baby and he says it is too popular to let slip; enshrining it in the constitution is the ultimate solution.  “We’re not looking at it just in terms of the tax increases that are being imposed today,” he says.  “What about the tax increases that are being contemplated two years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now?  They are never going to give up coming back for more money.  They will never give up.  Olympia will never stop.”  … Eyman could refile the initiative for a later election … particularly given Gov. Jay Inslee’s apparent reversal of a no-new-tax campaign promise.  “As long as it takes, this is the initiative that we are going to push for.  We are never going to give up on doing this initiative and getting it before voters.  I mean, this is our Normandy.”

         That was written 2 1/2 years ago.  It just goes to show that, with persistence, anything is possible.

         Thanks to all of you and the Herculean effort we put forth over the past 2 1/2 years, we’re now having a discussion, a debate, and a vote on permanently protecting ourselves with a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.  In 5 weeks, the voters will decide.  

         We trust the voters, opponents don’t.