FOLLOW UP REPORT: While On The Stand, I Was Asked Why I Loan My Own Money To My Political Committees

by | Dec 20, 2020

2008: Eyman loans $150K for his reduce traffic congestion initiative
2009: Eyman loans $250K for new property tax cutting initiative
2010: Eyman kickstarts 2/3-vote-for-taxes signature drive with loan
2015: Eyman’s big loan to the 2/3-Vote-For-Taxes Constitutional Amendment Initiative
2016: Eyman loans $250K for Tougher to Raise Taxes Initiative
2018: Eyman risks $500K of his own money to fund car-tab initiative

While on the stand this week, Richard Sanders asked me: 

Did you loan any of your own money to that one (the $30 Tabs Initiative in 2018)? Yes.

You just sighed, how much? Previous loans I borrowed money from mortgaging my house, this one was different. Karen and I sold off our retirement fund and we loaned a half a million dollars to kickstart the signature drive.

Why do you loan your own money to your initiative committees? The earlier you start a signature drive, the less expensive it is. And so by providing that early money it dramatically decreases the overall cost and so it really increases the chances it’ll qualify for the ballot. It’s insane, it’s risky, but it really helps make the chances of succeeding much, much more likely. 

Did you get paid back on that one? I believe we’re still owed $486,000.

Were you compensated for that campaign? Around $10,000.

Doesn’t sound like a winner. I guess you’d have to define “winner.” When it comes to my own personal finances, it was awful. But I have no regrets for doing it because the voters ended up voting for it and it’s something I’ve been working on for 22 years and I didn’t want to look back on my life and not see it through. I have no regrets.

— END — 

2008 is when I did it for the first time:

Eyman mortgages house to pay for initiative


After more than a decade of working on socially conservative and anti-tax initiatives — and turning the campaigns into personally profitable ventures — Eyman has been forced to mortgage his home for $250,000 to keep his latest effort going.

This year Eyman has taken on the state’s transportation policies with Initiative 985, which would lift occupancy restrictions in car pool lanes during off-peak hours and use money from red-light cameras for congestion relief projects.

“I’m jumping off a big cliff — please help catch me,” Eyman said in an e-mail solicitation to his supporters. “As you can imagine, this is scary stuff — but failure is simply not an option. This $250,000 loan will ensure I-985’s success.”

The campaign has raised $322,000 thus far, but Eyman says he’ll need $290,000 more, mainly to pay for signature gathering.

In past campaigns Eastside investor Michael Dunmire has been the primary financial backer for Eyman’s campaigns. And already this year, he has contributed more than $200,000 to I-985.

But in a bulk e-mail sent to supporters this week, Eyman announced that Dunmire would not contribute additional funds.

“As you can see in our reports, Mike Dunmire has been contributing a lot but he recently e-mailed me — because of charitable donations and other business obligations, we can’t count on anything more from him in the foreseeable future,” Eyman wrote.

Asked if the move suggested a falling out of sorts with Eyman or the campaign, Dunmire said, “absolutely not.”

“I have more admiration for Tim each day; how hard he works, how dedicated he is and I just think this shows his level of commitment to put his own butt on the line.”

“I hope it comes across to people the passion that this man has for providing choices that he thinks make sense,” Dunmire said. 

Eyman needs to collect roughly 250,000 valid signatures by July 3 to get the measure on the ballot.

Eyman said mortgaging his house was the simplest way to handle the issue.

“It’s scary, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

— END —

Me and Mike at 2009 dinner

2005 news story: Dunmire said in an interview: “He’s the only one out there who does something. Everybody talks. Eyman gets things done. He produces results.”

Is it any wonder Ferguson is pushing for a lifetime ban on all my future political activity?

really need your help — the massive costs resulting from the AG’s lawsuit are overwhelming. If they take me out, who will dare challenge them? I am so incredibly grateful for your prayers and support during this very difficult time for me and my family.

Please donate to my legal defense fund here: 

Donate by Paypal:
By credit card:
By mailing a check: Tim Eyman Legal Defense Fund, 500 106th Ave NE #709, Bellevue, WA, 98004

In addition, we worked really hard on our $30 Tabs Initiative.

I love you all.


P.S. The only way we’re going to save Washington is by never giving up. Please donate TODAY: