Pierce County Becomes First Government In State History To Defend Voters – Pam Roach Was Amazing!

by | Dec 11, 2019


Pierce County Council votes to aid state in defending I-976

Pierce County council members agreed to intervene and offer support as the litigation surrounding the passage of I-976 moves forward.
KING 5 Staff, December 10, 2019, https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/pierce-county-council-i-976-intervention/281-fdd27fab-3083-497f-88a7-a90513b7023f

Pierce County Council voted Tuesday to offer support, assistance, and resources to the state as it defends the $30 car tab initiative.

Council members approved the measure 4-3 to offer help to the state Attorney General’s officer.

However, the King County Superior Court will need to approve it before the county can intervene in this way.

“It is so critically important how impactful it would be for a government to actually vote to intervene in a case and actually defend an initiative that the voters voted on,” said initiative sponsor Tim Eyman. “Voters already voted for it once, and unfortunately, we have elected leaders who are not listening.”

Last month Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which caps car tab fees at $30. Pierce County voters, which are helping foot the bill for a $54 billion transit package that passed in 2016 despite a lack of support in Pierce County, approved $30 car tabs by about 66%.

A King County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction late last month agreeing with the plaintiffs, who claimed I-976 was misleading, would cause major damages and was likely to prevail on the merits of a constitutional challenge.

“It is very insulting, extremely insulting, to tell voters that they misunderstood, that they don’t know what was going on,” said Councilmember Pam Roach. “The voters understood what was happening. Make no mistake.”

In Pierce County, Tim Eyman just presented a cake to Councilmember Pam Roach that says “66% of us love $30 tabs. $30 tabs loves Pam Roach.” Watch the video here: @NswabyKing5 (2:43pm, Dec 10, 2019)


Pierce County Councilmember Pam Roach puts on a $30 car tab shirt, in front of a cake in her honor, ahead of the council’s vote to join the legal fight defending $30 car tabs. (KOMO News)

It’s a government-on-government fight as $30 car tabs divides counties, transportation agencies and others in Washington’s courts. Pierce County officially joined the fight Tuesday.

“This is the first time a government has ever actually done something to defend a citizen initiative,” said Initiative 976 sponsor Tim Eyman said ahead of the council’s vote on Tuesday. “We have plenty of precedent over decades where governments have sued the voters when they didn’t like what the voters said …. it is really extraordinarily unusual.”

The Pierce County Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to join the state of Washington in the fight defending $30 car tabs. Neighboring King County and Seattle are among the opposing group that is fighting in the courts to keep $30 car tabs from becoming a reality.

Voters across the state approved Initiative 976 in November by 53%. Pierce County approved I-976 by 66%.

Soon after its approval, a handful of counties, cities, transportation agencies, and one transit rider sued over the initiative, claiming that it is unconstitutional. They also argue that the initiative was difficult to understand on the ballot and voters may not have understood what they were voting on. And further, they say that the lower car tab fees will dramatically cut off transportation funding for the local governments.

It appears that Pierce County does not share their concerns over the car tab fees. They join the Washington State Attorney General’s Office in the legal fight to uphold the initiative and get $30 car tabs established.

“(I-976) is passed and it is law,” said Pierce County Councilmember Pam Roach said in a press conference before the Tuesday vote. “Now we have downtown Seattle deciding they don’t like the outcome; that there is something wrong with the outcome. The people of Washington state have spoken, and the people in Pierce County voted over 60% to make sure we had fairness, which is what we want to make sure we will do with the measure we pass today.”

Eyman held a press conference before the vote. Councilmember Roach put on one of his $30 car tab shirts ahead of the council session. Eyman brought cake in honor of Councilmember Roach, anticipating her vote in his favor.

“The voters of the state have a real hero in Tim Eyman,” Roach said.

The Attorney General’s Office has declined to comment on Pierce County’s vote.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett now has until Friday to file a motion when the King County Superior Court will decide if Pierce County — at this stage — can act as an “intervener” in the case. Robnett said if approved, they will work in conjunction with the state.

“We would probably be working separately, but on the same side,” Robnett said on Tuesday.

The fight over $30 car tabs

While Pierce County approved I-976, the county also rejected Sound Transit 3 by 56% in 2016.

ST3 is a transportation funding package that aims to extend light rail throughout Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties. Pierce was the only county to reject the package. But because two other counties ultimately approved it, ST3 went forward. But the controversy over ST3 didn’t end after the 2016 general election. After its approval, it became apparent that the method of calculating car tabs was different than some expected and it greatly inflated car values, driving up the fees collected for car tabs. Eyman often referred to this as he promoted I-976 to drive the fees down.

The new, lower car tabs were supposed to be implemented on Dec. 5. But a King County judge approved an injunction which stalled the start date. Drivers remain paying the higher fees. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson appealed the injunction at the state Supreme Court, but he was not successful.

Eyman now argues that the AG’s office is intentionally sabotaging the case — that while Ferguson is legally obligated to defend the initiative, he truly doesn’t want it to succeed. He has requested that new legal representation defend the initiative moving forward.

State Solicitor General Noah Purcell has countered that narrative. Last week, he said that no matter that his legal team does, Eyman will criticize them. He points out that Eyman is also currently running for governor.
“And he did send us some suggestions for legal arguments, our team researched all of them, they were terrible,” Purcell said. “We didn’t use them. He’s not a lawyer and he’s also not our client. Our client in this case is the people in the state of Washington.” 

BOMBSHELL:  Today (Wed, Dec 11, 1pm, 777 108th Ave NE, Bellevue), Eyman’s lawyers showed that Bob Ferguson and King County conspired to BLOCK Pierce County from intervening before yesterday’s vote even occurred.

Eyman statement:  Yesterday, Pierce County became the first government in state history to defend a citizen initiative. The Pierce County Council voted to intervene in the I-976 case and defend the 66% of voters who voted for $30 tabs. Today in their law office, attorneys Mark Kimball and Joel Murray explained how Bob Ferguson and King County conspired to BLOCK Pierce County from intervening. It’s true. I’ve been saying it for weeks that Bob Ferguson has been sabotaging this case (3 strikes: Strike #1. Did not file motion to change venue to get it moved out of King County even though King County was plaintiff. Strike #2. Did not file motion for reconsideration before appeal to supreme court. Strike #3. AG wrote the ballot title that the Jay-Inslee-appointed judge said justified the Injunction).

Today at 1pm, it was Strike #4: Bob Ferguson and King County conspired to BLOCK Pierce County from intervening in this case. Our attorneys showed the documents (https://tinyurl.com/BobFergusonConspiredWithKCand explained why our motion to name outside counsel – being heard on Friday @ 9am – is so necessary. 


  • Fri, Dec 13, 9:00 am, join me/us as we pack the courtroom of this Jay-Inslee-appointed-AG-sanctioned King County judge – who is employed by and paid by the plaintiff — with citizens who demand justice. Our motion to name outside counsel — because of Bob Ferguson’s intentional sabotage — will be decided. King County Courthouse, Room E-713 (Judge Marshall Ferguson), 516 3rd Ave, Seattle. 

The “Governor Tim Eyman for Washington State” political action committee paperwork has been filed.
So you can mail checks to:
Governor Tim Eyman for Washington State
PO Box 2107
Olympia, WA, 98507 
Make your checks payable to “Governor Tim Eyman for Washington State” and make sure to write your occupation & employer on the memo line (if retired, write “retired”).
Donate online by credit card here: Tim4Gov.com
Facebook: Governor Tim Eyman for Washington State
TAKE ACTION NOW!! Go here: ActionCenterWA.com

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