AG Bob Ferguson’s press release: responses from attorney Richard Sanders & Tim Eyman

by | Apr 9, 2020

AG Bob Ferguson sent out this press release today

(Eyman must pay $278,000 now, $10,000 per month thereafter):

Attorney Richard Sanders responds to AG’s press release:

Once again AG Ferguson has released a vicious press release to smear private citizen and opposition political activist Tim Eyman. I was appointed by the federal court last October to defend Mr. Eyman in the Thurston County Superior Court. I am honored to do so. However, if Mr. Ferguson wants to try this case in the press, I have no choice but to respond.

Mr. Ferguson’s litigation tactics destroyed Mr. Eyman’s marriage and forced him to seek protection by the court.  Ferguson heads the largest law firm in the state of Washington and is quite willing to spend millions of tax dollars to destroy his political opponent. This is a perfect example.

The Court approved the Plan submitted by Mr. Eyman, which calls for structured payments over time, while reserving all of Mr. Eyman’s defenses against the State’s pending disputed lawsuit against him.  The Court made no findings or conclusions as to the merits of the State’s claims, and those will still be resolved in the state courts.

In the State court proceeding in Thurston County, the trial court made no finding on the merits that Mr. Eyman violated any law. Ferguson obtained orders against Mr. Eyman simply for his inability to answer overwhelming and complex discovery requests without the assistance of counsel. Ferguson obstructed Mr. Eyman’s attempts in December 2018 and January 2019 to obtain counsel. Ferguson has taken full advantage of Mr. Eyman’s inability to defend himself without the assistance of counsel by arguing the state court should punish Mr. Eyman for his inability to answer these discovery requests not only by fining him $500 per day but by denying him his legal right to contest Ferguson’s bogus claims on the merits.

We challenge Mr. Ferguson to respect the right of Mr. Eyman to have his case heard on the merits by an impartial tribunal, and to defend the right of every person to do likewise without regard to political beliefs or activities.”

Tim Eyman’s response to Bob Ferguson’s press release:

This is a campaign reporting dispute. After seven years of investigation by the government, the costs to defend myself and my family have now topped $1.8 million. Bob Ferguson has targeted me, Karen, and the kids. He’s gone after friends and family who helped us. Two people who intervened in the case to defend their rights to associate with me were threatened by the AG with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal liability unless they withdrew (they did). Here it is:

The only reason my family and I have survived to this point is because friends and family saw this injustice and helped us. Their past assistance has allowed us to keep our home (so far anyway – more on that below).

Originally, the trial date was November 2018. Realizing that delays cost the government nothing but cost me everything, the AG asked for and got more time for discovery. So that bumped the court date 12+ months to January 2020. Then it got bumped again to July 2020. In the middle of that, the AG managed to fire my attorney Joel Ard, arguing that he “wasn’t competent” to represent me. Not capable of representing myself, I filed a motion to default. The AG objected to my request: he wouldn’t let me give up and allow the State to win.

So from February through October of last year, I was forced to represent myself under a barrage of motions. I did poorly. My previous attorneys had gotten me out of contempt. But the AG, realizing I didn’t know what I was doing, got me back into contempt.

Then they asked for more discovery. This went on and on and on. In a recent filing, attorney Richard Sanders wrote: “Mr. Eyman was simply incapable to purge contempt as a lay person. He was incapable of doing what it took his lawyer over 220 hours to do with a commercial grade computer. This means he never should have been held in contempt in the first place. … He has expended over $60,000 on these unreasonable discovery demands and has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for not doing what he was incapable of doing.” See here:

Which brings us to today’s AG press release: Without any determination of the merits of the AG’s case, this payment plan was agreed to for one reason: as long as I raise enough money to pay this huge upfront payment and make these massive monthly payments, the State won’t take our house and freeze all our bank accounts and take all our money.

The only reason we’ve been able to survive is thanks to friends and family who’ve been willing to help. 

With my defense reaching $1.8 million and the AG forcing taxpayers to spend $2+ million so far for 3-4 lawyers working full-time on this case, there’s no bottom to this.

Oh, I almost forgot: the July 2020 trial date got cancelled. So it’s looking like sometime in 2022 before attorney Richard Sanders gets to highlight how weak the AG’s case against me really is. That’s 10 years after the original complaint.

I am so incredibly grateful to all my friends and family who’ve helped us over the years. I love you all.


Tim Eyman

If you think Bob Ferguson is abusing his power, there’s two ways to fight back:

1) Help me in my race for Governor:
Credit Card or PayPal:
Check: Governor Eyman for WA, PO Box 6151, Olympia, WA, 98507

2) Help me and my family keep our house by donating to my legal defense fund:
Credit card (GoFundMe):
Check: Tim Eyman Legal Defense Fund, 500 106th Ave NE #709, Bellevue, WA, 98004