Eyman/Fagans election night statement just before polls closed
Here’s what we had to say at 7:45 pm tonight (before polls closed and before we knew that I-1366 overwhelmingly passed):
5 times the voters have been asked if they support requiring a 2/3 vote of the Legislature for tax increases. 5 times they overwhelmingly said yes.
Regardless of 1366’s vote totals tonight, the 64% of voters who approved the 2/3 requirement in 2012 haven’t changed their minds — they’re more supportive than ever for this tougher-to-raise-taxes policy. That 2/3 initiative in 2012 passed in all 39 counties and got more votes than any initiative in state history. Non-Seattle voters — voters from the 44 legislative districts outside Seattle — are especially supportive — 67% of them embraced the 2/3 protection.
Olympia’s actions since then have only validated and reinforced these voters’ views.
Whatever happens with 1366 tonight, our initiative has already proven to be a tremendous success. Just getting 1366 on the ballot was a huge victory because it allowed us to shine a bright spotlight on Olympia’s insatiable tax appetite. The citizens were repeatedly reminded of the 2/3’s 5 ballot box victories. 1366 spotlighted Olympia’s tax increases whenever the 2/3 requirement was suspended. The jaw-dropping $17.5 billion in tax increases this year, the $6.7 billion in tax increases in 2010, and the $9 billion in tax increases in 2005 were all imposed because there was no 2/3 requirement. 1366 put establishment politicians on the hot seat, exposing their constant push for higher taxes and their repeated refusal to let the voters vote on a tougher-to-raise-taxes constitutional amendment. And yes, 1366 forced a healthy debate on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.
In the process, 1366’s campaign has succeeded at making tax increases even more radioactive. That’s a huge accomplishment.
1366 is the perfect Paul Revere initiative because it reminds everyone that tax increases are coming.
Government doesn’t work when the citizens are spectators – government only improves when the people challenge it to do better.
Interestingly, the 1366 campaign is a perfect metaphor for how outgunned the average taxpayer is in the process. Opponents to 1366 were led by the government itself, their fawning cheerleaders in the media, and all the special interest groups that control government and feed off the taxpayers. Our side consisted of citizens seeking the chance for the people to vote. That same David versus Goliath disparity exists in the legislative process too, but at least with our initiatives, the average taxpayer has a voice and a vote that counts the same as the governors.
In 16 years, we’ve qualified 21 state and local initiatives for the ballot and voters have approved 14 of them. Our supporters should be extremely proud of our collective accomplishments:
* Vehicle tab charges are dramatically lower
* Property tax increases are six times lower than they otherwise would be
* Voters get to vote on all tax increases passed in Olympia each year (thanks to our tax advisory votes)
* The voters repeated approval of our 2/3 initiatives since 2007 have prevented legions of tax hikes
* Race and gender preference affirmative action programs at the state and local level are prohibited
* The State Auditor is conducting comprehensive performance audits of state and local governments
* The King County Council is smaller (9 members, not 13)
* The cities of Mukilteo, Monroe, Bellingham, Longview and Redmond no longer have red-light ticketing cameras.
* And we’ve successfully beaten back repeated legislative assaults on the initiative process
Thanks to the voters, our initiatives have produced significant savings for Washington taxpayers – over $32 billion so far. But even more importantly, our initiatives’ influence on state and local politics has been remarkable.
Jack, Mike, and I are very pleased with our progress over the years. We’ve tackled some of the toughest issues possible and challenged politicians to do better. We have a growing group of heroic supporters who work super hard to make these efforts a success. By working together, we give voters more choices at the ballot box and give the average taxpayer an equal voice in the process.
But the tug-of-war over taxes continues with or without Initiative 1366.
Taxpayers all over Washington are counting on us to keep fighting for them – we won’t let them down.
As for what we’ve got planned next, stay tuned.
We ask everyone to join us in thanking our thousands of supporters who collected the voter signatures and donated the dollars necessary to qualify 1366 for the ballot. Taxpayers appreciate your efforts and so do we.
Jack, Mike, and I are very proud of Initiative 1366 and pleased with the support it received. To all those who supported 1366 with your vote, you sent a clear message demanding a vote on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment. To all those who did not give 1366 your vote, thank you for participating in this historic debate – we will work even harder to earn your vote in the future. We continue to listen, learn, and persevere.
— END —
Tonight we found out what the voters think: it was a huge victory for taxpayers. They voted for the 6th time to make it tougher to raise taxes. It’s clear the voters have earned the right to vote on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.
Thank you for making I-1366 a reality.