It’s Not Fair, It’s Not Right, But Sec Of State Kim Wyman Is Going Along With The Sabotage
The rigged and corrupt Salary Commission got away with it.
They got away with it: the Salary Commission sabotaged our Give Them Nothing referendum and the Secretary of State, backed up by the Attorney General and I’m sure any judge who’d decide it, are going along with it.
It’s not fair, it’s not right, but none of us should keep working on collecting signatures for R-80 now.
There’s no silver lining to this, there’s no glass-is-half-full. It’s corruption writ large.
Here’s the details: on Feb 6, the Salary Commission sent the Sec of State the bill language for politicians’ massive salary bonuses. We filed our Give Them Nothing referendum the same day and got assigned #80. We got the AG’s ballot title and then printed petitions that were 100% compliant, and launched our signature drive.
The Constitution guarantees 90 days to get the signatures but even with us moving as fast as we did, we only had around 72 days until the May 7th turn-in deadline. Nonetheless, even with this huge handicap, we moved full steam ahead because of the huge grassroots support there was for it.
But about a week after the campaign and tons of people had printed up petitions and were collecting signatures, the rigged and corrupt Salary Commission “discovered” their own error on the text they had submitted 20 days earlier to the Secretary of State. And it just so happened they discovered their own error after our signature drive had already started and we were locked in.
What a coincidence!
I asked what their error was. They said it was just the dates the salaries would take effect. That’s nothing compared to last year’s petitions for I-1639 which were riddled with errors. I then asked the AG: “is your office going to issue a new ballot title for R-80?” No, only if a new referendum was filed.
And there it was. The sabotage. If the AG would’ve issued a new ballot title for R-80, we could’ve “phased in” the new petitions. But by saying a new title was only possible by refiling, the AG left us with two choices:
1) continue with the signature drive and rely on the Secretary of State to treat R-80 petitions like last year’s I-1639 petitions (her office accepted I-1639 error-infested petitions and the unanimous supreme court ruling on it made it very clear that petitions can have substantial errors and still be valid).
2) abandon R-80, throw away all blank and filled petitions, tell everyone to stop collecting, refile, wait for a new ballot title, face a likely weeks-long ballot title court challenge, print up and ask others to print up new petitions, and then ask everyone to start over. That would’ve left us with less than 30 days to get the signatures (with the obvious option of the Salary Commission to “discover” a new error after that).
So we went forward with R-80 and counted on consistency from the Secretary of State — that she’d treat R-80 the same way her office did I-1639.
This past Monday, I learned they wouldn’t. I was told from a supporter that the Sec of State’s website had this posted on it:
Notice for Referenda 80-86: Referenda are invalid due to the invalid filing of the salary schedule. (https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/referendum.aspx?y=2019).
I asked for an explanation and got an email from a staffer saying the office would not accept signed petitions for R-80. You all have been asking Secretary Wyman to reverse course and not go along with the sabotage (https://mailchi.mp/e6b5d8c71094/call-text-email-secretary-of-state-kim-wyman)
In an email to constituents this morning, the Secretary of State reiterated she’s not going to accept R-80 petitions.
She said that R-80 was invalidated when the Salary Commission issued new text after they “discovered” their error.
And she’s saying we should’ve refiled at that point.
As explained above, refiling would’ve doomed the signature drive because of the delays (and near certainty that the Salary Commission could/would discover a new error on that one too).
So here we are. We’ve been going like gangbusters for 50 days, we’ve got around 25 days to go, and this week we’ve been told in no uncertain terms that if we collect enough signatures, the Secretary of State, backed up by the AG and any judge, won’t accept R-80 petitions.
We’ve been working on this referendum since October and I’ve never seen such passion and energy and enthusiasm from people across the political spectrum for the chance to repudiate giving massive salary bonuses to politicians like Inslee, Ferguson, the Seattle Supreme Court, and the Legislature.
I haven’t got a doubt in my mind that R-80 would’ve been a huge success if it had qualified for a vote. And it’s clear the political establishment believes that too. That’s why they did this — they knew they couldn’t win the vote so they had to prevent the vote.
And it’s clear now they got away with it.
And that’s so disgusting, so abhorrent, so obscene, so infuriating, so unfair, so unjust, I just can’t stand it.
Your rights have been taken away from you. I don’t know what else to say.
There’s no reason to keep working on it now.