Thanks to your emails, Olympia’s anti-initiative bills are imploding

by | Jan 30, 2015

Amid all-out mutiny, Sen. Joe Fain abandons constitutional amendment attacking initiative process 

        When it comes to this year’s anti-initiative bills, constituent feedback has been overwhelming.   And it’s clearly having a very positive effect.

        Senators Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor), Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley), Brian Dansel (R-Republic) and others have abandoned SJR 8201, that horrible anti-initiative bill which prohibits citizens from filing an initiative unless they get the government’s permission first.  Yesterday, House GOP members in droves pulled their names off companion bill HJR 4204 too.

        In the face of this all-out mutiny by their colleagues, they’re floundering around now.   Now they’ve come up with a new hair-brained scheme:  Senate Bill 5715

        But come on, how can anyone take seriously something slapped together in 2 days?  It’s a joke.

        Their constitutional amendment bill imploded because they didn’t know what the consequences were or they knew and didn’t care.  Same thing with his new bill.  They’ve slapped it together in 2 days in reaction to their first bill imploding and now they’re floundering around throwing stupid idea after stupid idea at the wall and hoping something will stick.  It is noteworthy that only four senators are willing to put their names on this latest hair-brained scheme to attack the initiative process:  Senators Joe Fain (R-Covington), Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard), and John Braun (R-Centralia).

        This silly bill requires initiative ballot titles to be plastered with a Surgeon General’s warning label like on cigarette packs (“The state budget office has determined your taxes will go up or your favorite government programs will be cut if you vote for this initiative. Should this measure be approved. Yes ___ No ___”)

       Ballot titles for initiatives are legally required to not create bias for or against the measure and must be impartial and non-argumentative (RCW 29A.72.050: Ballot titles must not “create prejudice either for or against the measure”).  This joke of a bill violates this neutrality law by purposely injecting obvious bias.

         It’d be like a requirement that says before you see Joe Fain’s name on the ballot, there must be a sentence preceding it that reads “Joe Fain developed a bizarre obsession with gutting the initiative process this year.”
Joe Fain yes __ no ___

       This joke of a bill is similarly silly and absurd. 

      What has possessed these legislators to make it their top legislative priority to throw monkey wrenches into the citizens initiative process?

       Below are the email addresses for all 49 senators and all 98 House members (both Republicans and Democrats).

       Send them an email today (preferably RIGHT NOW).

      Write something like this (feel free to add more, tell ’em how you feel):

“SJR 8201 and HJR 4204 are imploding because the people rose up, fought back, and asked you to stop attacking the initiative process. Your colleagues have figured out how bad these anti-initiative bills are and are abandoning their support for them. Why haven’t you? These anti-initiative bills are destructive and unnecessary. Convince your colleagues to oppose them:

SB 5715: the initiative-ballot-titles-must-carry-a-Surgeon-General’s-warning-label
HB 1228: totally redundant.
SJR 8201, HJR 4204: forces citizens to get government’s permission before being allowed to file an initiative.
HB 1463, SB 5375: requires people to get government permission before collecting signatures (only Republican pushing this is Judy Warnick from Moses Lake).

Hands off the people’s initiative.  It’s ours, not yours.  Leave it alone.”

       You’ll likely have to do 2 emails, one for the senators and one for the house members. Cut and paste these email addresses into the “To” line of your email (if you have trouble, send me your email and I’ll forward it to legislators).

       Here are the 49 senators:;;mark.mullet@leg.wa.govsharon.nelson@leg.wa.govsteve.oban@leg.wa.govmike.padden@leg.wa.go;

       Here are the 98 House members:

     Your emails and phone calls are incredibly effective.  Send your email today.

     And as we wrote above: Please forward this email to everyone you can. Share it on social media. We gotta get the word out on this.

     We not only need your help this year fighting against tax hikes — it turns out we need your help to save the initiative process itself from legislative extinction.