Here’s why I’m suing the Legislature: to protect the initiative process
Two days ago, on Monday morning, I sued the Legislature.
I’ll be doing the case pro se (a fancy way of saying I’ll be the lawyer). Lawsuits like this are normally super expensive but that’s only because attorneys charge for their time — but because I’m a 24-7-365 political activist with ADHD, a man who absolutely adores the snake pit of politics, my lawsuit will be a real joy and will be real cheap because my time is worth nothing. 😊
Before I get into the details, let me explain something: I’m getting older. When I first started doing initiatives, I was 32 years old, about 20 pounds lighter, married for 5 years, had adopted one kid, and was chock full of piss and vinegar. I was young so I wore colorful t-shirts and gorilla and Darth Vader and Buzz Light-Year costumes.
Now I’m 52, married 25 years, have adopted 3 kids who are now 19, 17, and 9, and I normally wear dress shirts and ties when politicking (ya, I know, I wore that bright orange $30 tabs t-shirt last year, but come on, I had to — it was so cool looking!). And yes, I’ve still got piss and vinegar but it’s a bit more aged.
My point is this: I’m not going to do initiatives forever. There’s gonna be a post-Eyman era for initiatives (I can just hear the Seattle crazies cheering). But after 20 years of working with my heroic partners Jack Fagan and Mike Fagan exercising my right to initiative, I feel an extra duty and responsibility to make sure that that constitutionally guaranteed initiative process is gonna be there for the next generation of rabble-rousers.
Every legislative session, we fight incredibly hard to beat back anti-initiative bills that anti-initiative politicians push for the sole purpose of throwing a monkey wrench into the process. And thanks to your activism, your help, your emails, and our active, aggressive, full-throated participation at legislative hearings, we’ve succeeded at stopping those anti-initiative bills every year so far (this year included).
But last Thursday, the last day of the session, the Legislature essentially removed from the state Constitution the right to do initiatives to the legislature. That’s not hyperbole, that’s not exaggeration: they stuck a knife in the gut of the Constitution and cut part of it out.
So it was, in my view, imperative that their unconstitutional action be challenged and overturned and not be allowed to stand because it set such a dangerous precedent.
To know the full story, read my Complaint (the first 16 pages, the rest is just exhibits):
https://tinyurl.com/yberxfpr or https://tinyurl.com/ya56utat
The Legislature did this horrible thing last Thursday and it was a non-stop whirlwind this weekend to put this together for a Monday morning court filing. It is, by far, the most scholarly thing I’ve ever written. But once I dusted off my copy of “The Social Contract” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau from 1762 (which is required reading at WSU), I knew I was on a roll. 😊
In subsequent emails, I’ll let you know the back story on this.
The bottom line is this: on August 20th, I’m going to ask Thurston County Superior Court judge Christine Schaller (http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/superior/judge-schaller.htm) to order the Secretary of State to put both Initiative 940 and the Legislature’s alternative on the November ballot and let the voters decide. Under the Constitution, that’s what the Legislature should have done, but didn’t. They decided for us.
In the Senate, it was an all-Democrat vote. I’d say this perfectly captures their mindset (as published in today’s Everett Herald editorial in support of my lawsuit — https://tinyurl.com/y9a4rv5y):
Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, was more blunt in admitting the unconstitutionality of the move, even as she gave it her approval.
“This is a worthy endeavor,” Chase told the AP. “I think it takes precedence over what the Constitution says about initiatives.”
No, senator; worthy endeavors do not take precedence over what the Constitution says about initiatives.
— END —
Why am I suing the Legislature? To protect the initiative process.
I’d really appreciate your feedback on this.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
After 20 years of fighting for taxpayers, we’ve learned that the most effective way to fight the Democrats’ tax-hiking schemes is by taking our case directly to the people. That’s why we’re moving full steam ahead with We Don’t Want An Income Tax. It prohibits the state and local governments from imposing any kind of income tax, especially a capital gains income tax.
Jack, Mike, and I are committed to protecting taxpayers. But we can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help.