Eyman Confronts 3 Pro-Discrimination Governors At Their Press Conference
“If you can’t get a job, can’t get into college, or can’t get a government contract, you can thank Tim Eyman,” says sponsor of I-1000, the new initiative that brings back government-sponsored discrimination
It was quite a day. Yesterday morning, I was contacted by a local reporter asking for my reaction to that afternoon’s press conference by 3 former governors: Gary Locke, Chris Gregoire, and Dan Evans who were announcing that they are honorary co-chairs for Initiative 1000 which brings back government-sponsored discrimination. As their press release says I-1000 “overturns TimEyman’s I-200″ which 58% of voters passed in 1998.
I immediately contacted Ward Connerly who, along with KVI 570’s John Carlson, served as the 2 co-chairmen for that successful initiative. The two of them were the real heroes behind the success of I-200 but I’m clearly a bigger “boogie man” to the liberals so I was the one mentioned in their press release and website. Ward and I then spent the next hour working on a statement by Ward that I then emailed out to the media. Really powerful stuff.
I then made copies of Ward’s statement, and drove down to the offices of the Greater Seattle Urban League. I went there to hand out copies of Ward’s statement and be a voice for the 58% of voters who passed I-200.
Caption on Facebook: Eyman joins Urban League at their Seattle HQ for press conference with 3 former governors who want to reinstate government sponsored racial discrimination. I’m here to defend the 58% of voters who passed I-200 in 1998. Their initiative I-1000 brings back discrimination by violating what the people said they wanted by overturning I-200. More soon.
As you can see by the empty chairs, the media was a virtual no show. 3 former governors weren’t enough to draw much of a media presence even though the event was held in Seattle just a few miles from the Seattle Times, KING 5, KIRO 7, Q13, KOMO 4 TV, the Seattle Weekly, the Stranger, KIRO radio, etc. Sad.
The governors looked confused most of the time, saying things about the initiative that weren’t true (they obviously hadn’t read it), and after they were done, the media was invited to ask questions.
After a painful, agonizing 15 seconds of silence where everyone was looking around for someone to say something, finally a KOMO radio reporter asked “Ward Connerly, the man behind I-200, says your initiative brings back government sponsored discrimination, what’s your response?”
Sputtering, denials, deer in headlights looks.
After that single question, the event felt like it was gonna end. So they decided to open it up to questions from other attendees.
I raised my hand to ask a question, but was told that it’d have to wait until backers of the initiative had asked their questions.
When I was finally called on by former legislator Jesse Wineberry, who was the event’s master of ceremonies, he said that first he’d like to give me his own introduction. “If you can’t get a job, can’t get into college, or can’t get a government contract, you can thank Tim Eyman. Tim, the floor is yours, let the show begin.”
Truth be told, I’m pretty sure he meant it as a joke, because some in the room laughed awkwardly.
I momentarily considered saying “Thank you, Jesse, but let’s be clear, I also hate children, old people, and puppies.”
Instead, I said something close to this:
“Initiatives are really hard. You have just 2 1/2 months to get 350,000 signatures. To get that many signatures in such a short time frame, you’re gonna have to hire paid petitioners and I estimate you’re gonna have to spend around $3.5 – $4 million. The gun initiative spent around $6 million, the carbon tax initiative spent around $4 million. Are you, the former governors, committed to helping the campaign raise money?”
“No” was their answer.
They didn’t actually say no (they’re politicians after all) but they said no by what they said instead:
Dan Evans: “I remember the most successful initiative in our state’s history got their signatures in 3 weeks, I don’t think we need to spend that much.”
Chris Gregoire: “I agree with Dan.”
Tim Eyman: “Gary?”
Gary Locke: Pointed at the other two governors and nodded his head.
Tim Eyman: “And what about Jay Inslee, is he gonna help you raise money?”
Jesse Wineberry: “Just one question, Tim.”
Jesse then went on to explain that my question was intended to sow doubt. So, to prove me wrong, he pointed out that one organization that had 40,000 members had endorsed the initiative. He said they were going to email the petition to all of them and ask them to fill out one sheet. “Now, we don’t expect all 40,000 to do it, so let’s say half of them, 20,000, do it. Get out your calculators, what’s 20,000 times 20 (20 voters can sign one petition)?” Folks replied “400,000”.
“So there you go.”
Jesse then had the 3 governors sign an I-1000 petition — if you can shield your eyes from the glare off my receding hairline, you can see Gary Locke signing it:
Caption on Facebook: 3 former governors say “bring back government sponsored racial discrimination”. I asked them a question: “will you 3 help raise money for this initiative? Is Jay Inslee gonna help?” Deer in headlights look from all 3 of them. Jay Inslee? MIA!
Afterwards, I asked Jesse “So what’s the deal with Jay Inslee?” He said that David Postman, his chief of staff, told him that Jay couldn’t endorse the initiative because that’d be illegal, it’d be an elected official putting their thumb on the scale and that it’d be an illegal use of public resources. I told Jesse that that wasn’t true at all, that it’s perfectly legal for any public official to support or oppose a ballot measure at any time during the process (crap, Democrat AG Bob Ferguson endorsed the anti-gun-rights initiative I-1639 BEFORE HIS OFFICE HAD EVEN WRITTEN THE BALLOT TITLE FOR IT!).
So Inslee isn’t telling the truth to his own liberal allies — no wonder they’re doing an initiative!
Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good day. Ward’s official statement was powerful and persuasive. My attendance at their press conference allowed me to report on what a non-press event it was. And their answer to my question shows how naïve and unprepared they are for the rigors of the initiative process circa 2018 (do you think any of those 3 former governors would sell off their retirement funds to loan money to get their initiative qualified?)
What do you think? I’d love to get your thoughts on this.
We’re all working super hard to get the $30 Tabs Initiative qualified by the December 31 deadline. I know IF EVERYONE DOES THEIR PART with donations and signatures we can make it.
Top 5 Contributors: Suzanne Burke, Puget Sound Chapter NECA PAC, Andrew Skotdal, Tim Eyman, Thomas O’Brien