There are more than enough votes in the Legislature for constitutional amendment if …
Surrounded by friends and sitting in front of a laptop showing last night’s election results, here’s my reaction to seeing the voters’ overwhelming passage of I-1366:
Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc’d to the media, house & senate members, and Governor)
RE: There are more than enough votes in the Legislature for a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment if …
Now that the voters have overwhelmingly passed Initiative 1366 — the 6th ballot box victory for the 2/3 protection — it’s now time to turn our attention to the Legislature.
The House has 98 members, the Senate 49.
We learned from the voters’ votes in high turnout elections in 2010 and 2012 that 88 members of the House and 44 members of the Senate come from legislative districts overwhelmingly in favor of the 2/3 vote requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes.
So the legislative vote for a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment will receive 88 out of 98 votes in the House and 44 out of 49 votes in the Senate if those legislators represent their district’s voters. That’s a 90% vote in both chambers, far exceeding the legislative vote requirement for referring a constitutional amendment to the ballot for a vote.
All 48 Republicans in the House and all 26 members of the Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate are in favor of referring the 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment to the ballot.
So there are 40 Democrats in the House and 18 Democrats in the Senate who come from districts packed with voters who overwhelmingly support the 2/3 and are eager to vote on a constitutional amendment.
Here are the 18 Senate Democrats and the percentage of voter support for the 2/3 in their districts (from the high-turnout 2012 presidential year when Initiative 1185 received more votes than any initiative in state history):
19th district Democrat Dean Takko 70%
44th district Democrat Steve Hobbs 69%
5th district Democrat Mark Mullet 68%
29th district Democrat Steve Conway 68%
38th district Democrat John McCoy 67%
49th district Democrat Annette Cleveland 67%
24th district Democrat Jim Hargrove 66%
3rd district Democrat Andy Billig 66%
33rd district Democrat Karen Keiser 64%
1st district Democrat Rosemary McAuliffe 64%
21st district Democrat Marko Liias 63%
11th district Democrat Bob Hasegawa 62%
32nd district Democrat Maralyn Chase 61%
23rd district Democrat Christine Rolfes 60%
48th district Democrat Cyrus Habib 60%
27th district Democrat Jeannie Darneille 60%
40th district Democrat Kevin Ranker 59%
22nd district Democrat Karen Fraser 54%
And here are the 40 House Democrats and the percentage of voter support for the 2/3 in their districts (from the high-turnout 2012 presidential year when Initiative 1185 received more votes than any initiative in state history):
31st district Democrat Chris Hurst 73%
19th district Democrat Brian Blake 70%
19th district Democrat JD Rossetti 70%
47th district Democrat Pat Sullivan 70%
44th district Democrat Hans Dunshee 69%
28th district Democrat Christine Kilduff 68%
29th district Democrat David Sawyer 68%
29th district Democrat Steve Kirby 68%
38th district Democrat June Robinson 67%
38th district Democrat Mike Sells 67%
49th district Democrat Sharon Wylie 67%
49th district Democrat Jim Moeller 67%
24th district Democrat Kevin Van De Wege 66%
24th district Democrat Steve Tharinger 66%
3rd district Democrat Marcus Riccelli 66%
3rd district Democrat Timm Ormsby 66%
33rd district Democrat Tina Orwall 64%
33rd district Democrat Mia Gregerson 64%
1st district Democrat Derek Stanford 64%
1st district Democrat Luis Moscano 64%
21st district Democrat Lillian Ortiz-Self 63%
21st district Democrat Strom Peterson 63%
45th district Democrat Roger Goodman 63%
45th district Democrat Larry Springer 63%
11th district Democrat Zack Hudgins 62%
11th district Democrat Steve Bergquist 62%
32nd district Democrat Cindy Ryu 61%
32nd district Democrat Ruth Kagi 61%
41st district Democrat Tara Senn 61%
41st district Democrat Judy Clibborn 61%
23rd district Democrat Sherry Appleton 60%
23rd district Democrat Drew Hansen 60%
48th district Democrat Joan McBride 60%
48th district Democrat Patty Kuderer 60%
27th district Democrat Laurie Jinkins 60%
27th district Democrat Jake Fey 60%
40th district Democrat Kristine Lytton 59%
40th district Democrat Jeff Morris 59%
22nd district Democrat Chris Reykdal 54%
22nd district Democrat Sam Hunt 54%
Again, if these Democrats represented the voters in their districts, the legislative vote will be 90% in the House and 90% in the Senate.
But constitutional amendments don’t need 90%, just 66%. That’s a total of 33 votes in the Senate and 66 votes in the House. So that means at least 7 of 23 Democrats in the Senate and at least 18 of 50 Democrats in the House are needed. Looking at the list, that means only House Democrats with 64% or more voter support for the 2/3 (marked in blue) and only Senators with 66% support for the 2/3 (marked in blue) need to represent their districts.
Representative democracy means having legislators represent the people, not rule over them.
6 times the voters have passed a 2/3 vote requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes. The voters are simply asking for the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment that mirrors the policies in the initiatives the voters have repeatedly passed.
There is no reduction in the sales tax if these Democrats represent the voters in their districts. There is no loss of revenue if they do the right thing and let the voters decide.
It’s been a 22 year tug of war over this policy — it’s time to settle it once and for all with a November 2016 vote on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.
After 6 ballot box victories, the people have earned the right to make this decision.
It’s important that these 18 Democrat Senators and 40 Democrat House members hear from the citizenry. We ask each of you to send them all 58 of them an email. Write something like this (feel free to add more, tell ’em how you feel):
“Don’t betray your constituents. Voters in your district clearly support the 2/3-for-taxes legislative vote requirement. You need to vote to refer a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment to the ballot and let the voters decide its fate. You’re elected to represent the people, not rule over them.”
Cut and paste these into the “To” line:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; hans.dunshee.leg.wa.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
The 5 Seattle Senators and 10 Seattle House members are free to represent their constituents and oppose letting the voters vote. But the 44 senators and 88 House members who hail from districts outside Seattle should represent their constituents’ clear desire to vote on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.
On this issue more than any other, the people have earned the right to decide.