This “news story” made me smile (RE: my efforts to help Election Integrity Initiatives in 7 states). Also, full steam ahead on WA’s Initiative 1408 so we can kill off new capital gains tax.
By David Hyde, KUOW News, Sept 22, 2021
In February, Washington state ballot initiative king and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman was found guilty of “numerous and particularly egregious” violations of state campaign finance law and fined millions of dollars (EYMAN COMMENT: the judge rubber-stamped the AG and imposed a $5.5 million fine — why not $55 million? — I don’t have it — and a lifetime ban on future political activity — it’s nuts!).
Now, Eyman said he is taking his initiative expertise to seven other states to help pass what he and other Republican supporters call voting “integrity” laws.
“Election integrity is a very interesting topic,” he said. “It’s not like any of the types of initiatives I’ve done over the years.”
Eyman has a track record as an anti-tax crusader. The former watch salesperson worked over two decades to become this blue state’s most successful, and at times flamboyant, conservative ballot initiative activist, who became known for stunts like dressing up like a gorilla or Darth Vader to generate buzz.
Then, things fell apart.
In 2019 Eyman was charged with misdemeanor theft after being captured on surveillance video wheeling a chair out the door of an Office Depot (EYMAN COMMENT: there was also video of me 30 seconds later walking back into the store to pay for it … but that never got included in the newscasts).
“I thought I had paid for everything when I walked out of the store,” he later said.
Then earlier this year, Eyman was found guilty by Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon of, among other things, getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported kickbacks (EYMAN COMMENT: thousands of friends helped me and my family survive the government’s 8-year legal onslaught by voluntarily sending checks made payable to Tim Eyman and their support paid my legal bills – none of those were campaign contributions).
“I’m in federal bankruptcy court, so therefore the state will be able to sweep my bank accounts any time they want to,” he said.
Eyman was also barred from handling the finances of political committees. But he can still do political work (EYMAN COMMENT: the AG can stop me from earning money but he can’t stop me from doing it for free).
He said that includes helping out with upcoming voter initiatives in seven other states, including Michigan, one of the places that former President Donald Trump claims — with no evidence — that he lost in the 2020 election due to voter fraud.
“With the turn of a dial, with a change of a chip, you can press a button for Trump and the vote goes to Biden. What kind of a system is this?” Trump said.
Republican backers of the Michigan initiative claim it would help restore lost confidence in elections. One key provision would make people show photo ID and give the last four digits of their social security numbers before they can vote (EYMAN COMMENT: “A poll released this week from the Honest Elections Project found 81 percent of voters surveyed support requiring every voter to show a photo ID to cast a ballot.” The Hill, August 18, 2021).
Jake Grumbach, a political science professor at the University of Washington, said although that may seem reasonable to many voters, it’s also a clear-cut example of what political scientists call voter suppression (EYMAN COMMENT: scientists? Gimmee a break!).
“The definition of voter suppression is taking measures to make it more difficult and costly to vote, when those measures are not necessary for election integrity or security,” he said.
Grumbach said voter suppression measures have been particularly harmful to underrepresented communities and people of color, such as policies that lead to long voting lines on Election Day. And thousands of people would be affected by the initiative Tim Eyman is working on in Michigan to require ID to vote.
This territory might seem like something entirely new for Tim Eyman who is best-know for his $30 car tab campaigns, but his first campaign in Washington state in the late 1990s was about race, too. Initiative 200 asked voters to prohibit affirmative action in higher education and government (EYMAN COMMENT: 58% of WA voters agreed to ban state and local governments from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to anyone based on their race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin – the 5 immutable characteristics in the 1964 Civil Rights Act).
“In my first debate, they said: ‘You’re 32 years old, you’re a white guy, have you ever been affected by affirmative action?’ I said, ‘It doesn’t matter. I don’t have to know anything about this topic. All I need to do is get enough signatures so the voters get a chance to vote on it, and then the voters will decide.’” Eyman recalled.
But the Michigan initiative is not likely for the voters. Instead, it’s a move by the state’s Republican Legislature to overcome a veto by Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer of an earlier voter ID bill.
Republicans didn’t muster enough votes to override her veto. But with enough signatures on this initiative, legislators could get a second chance to override the veto with a simple majority (EYMAN COMMENT: That’s how it works in Washington state too – if the Legislature doesn’t pass the initiative – and there’s no guarantee the Michigan Legislature will — it goes on the ballot and the voters will decide).
For his part, Eyman said he’s not taking a leadership role in the campaigns in Michigan and beyond.
“It’s going to be interesting to see Georgia, and see Florida, and see lots of these other states and be at press conferences, and not be the quarterback, but more of a cheerleader,” he said.
Eyman said he will be advising based on his experience here in Washington state, with “fundraising and media relations and all that kind of stuff.” But he didn’t offer any details about the “voter integrity” measures he and other Republicans have planned for states other than Michigan.
Another thing Eyman said he likes to advise campaigns: Even bad press, is often good press.
“I’m advising them how to get the press to hate them, because I’m really good at that,” he said. (EYMAN COMMENT: how can you not smile at that?)
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Our efforts are all about reestablishing voter confidence in elections by instituting common sense policies to make sure valid votes count, and invalid votes don’t.
We’re working really hard to help make these Election Integrity Initiatives a reality in 7 key swing states. They not only institute these reforms, but they also help voters reject anti-reform politicians in 2022 and they ensure in future elections, especially the presidential election in 2024, that valid votes count, and invalid votes don’t.
I won’t be making any money helping these election integrity initiatives (because of WA’s AG).
My focus is on getting this ridiculously unconstitutional ruling overturned.
So all I’m urging you to do — while I’m fighting to help our state and our nation with my initiative efforts — is to help me fight back against Fascist Fergie by donating to my legal defense fund.
I’m very grateful for all the prayers and support of thousands of you who helped me and my family survive this blatant abuse of power by the AG.
Please donate TODAY so I can pay Richard Sanders to appeal these ridiculously unconstitutional restrictions:
Mail your check to: Tim Eyman Legal Defense Fund, 500 106th Ave NE #709, Bellevue, WA, 98004
Or donate online: TimDefense.com
Don’t let the guy who robbed us of our $30 tabs get away with this:
As you know, we worked really hard on Initiative 976:
And now, a message from Sid Maietto and Larry Jensen:
We’re asking folks to donate to our PAC so Tim can get paid back (and live and survive) and to help stop Inslee’s Income Tax and Carbon Tax Schemes with the initiatives we’re co-sponsoring with Tim.
The taxpayers of Washington need our help now more than ever. Donate to our political committee so we can keep fighting for you:
Mail your check — made payable to “Permanent Offense” — to: Permanent Offense, PO Box 6151, Olympia, WA, 98507
Or donate online: PermanentOffense.com
Sid Maietto & Larry Jensen
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We love you all.
Larry, Tim, & Sid