Yesterday was Tim’s birthday — 51 years young
Working together, we had a very successful year protecting taxpayers. That’s a great birthday gift in and of itself.
Today I’ll spend my 51st birthday doing what I love — sending out this email update to all of you — and spending time all day with my family. My youngest son Jeremy and I will go to the movie Assassin’s Creed (“Dad, it’s a great video game made into a movie” — that’s good enough for me).
My brother Dan came over from Yakima and gave me a framed version of this for my birthday. I had totally forgotten about this article that had appeared 15 years ago in my hometown newspaper. It’s a fun read (and the picture is priceless):
Tim Eyman has always taken the initiative
By Rebecca Carr, The Mukilteo Beacon, October 10, 2001
Few local names evoke such strong reactions, both pro and con. The name has become synonymous with “license tabs” and “I-695” since the summer of 1999.
Now it’s becoming synonymous with property taxes.
But, as Mukilteo resident Eyman himself points out, “Nobody votes for or against an initiative based on their opinion of the author.” That’s why Eyman says he has no plans to become a politician, and instead prefers his role as citizen activist.
“The media could run front page stories saying that I smoke crack and frequent prostitutes – it wouldn’t change the voters’ minds, or lose any votes on my initiatives,” he said.
Interesting analogies aside, Eyman’s characteristics that draw his proponents are the same as those that repel his opponents.
“I love it when the elite and important get angry at me,” he laughed. “It’s the hugest perk of all of this.”
Eyman readily admits he thrives on the negative as well as the positive press. Earlier, while turning in the signatures for I-747, an overzealous opponent slammed a pie into his face so hard it gave him a black eye.
Eyman immediately raced off, still dripping pie, to show the press.
“Hey, if the opposition gives me something that good to use, of course I’m going to make the most of it,” he said.
Despite his notoriety, Eyman said he’s rarely recognized in the local community, and post I-695 life in Mukilteo is no different than previous. “They tell me sometimes the name is familiar, but no one ever recognizes my face,” he said.
Eyman grew up in Yakima, and, according to mom Dolores, has always been tenacious and competitive.
Dolores recalls her son, as a young child, campaigning heavily for a unicycle for Christmas.
“He started in August, and it was all he talked about,” she said. As Dolores remembers, young Tim got on the unicycle every single day, until one day, he made it all the way up the curving roadway to the thoroughfare, and back again without falling off.
The unicycle never left the garage again.
“I made my goal,” was Eyman’s simple answer to his parents.
Eyman describes himself as “annoyingly optimistic” now, and credits his mother with his positive outlook and “never give up” style. “Mom always saw the glass as half full,” he recalled. “And she always pointed out how the bad things have a way of turning out to be good for your life in the long run.”
Both parents ingrained in him from early on that he be whatever he wanted, by working hard and never quitting.
Eyman earned his business degree from Washington State University, where his sport was wrestling.
It proved to be good training for his political career in more ways than one.
“I was constantly beat by smaller, physically weaker opponents who used my size and strength against me,” he explained. “Now we’re the underdog, so we use our opponents’ size and strength to our favor.”
Eyman points to his battles with the courts on his initiatives as life lessons in themselves. “When you get knocked down, or lose, you either sit back and whine, ‘it’s not fair’ – and I hate whiners – or you get up and keep fighting and find a way to make it work.”
Eyman met his wife, a University of Washington graduate, at a friend’s party, and while the two enjoy the obvious university rivalry, they share many common interests, from movies to working out to Star Trek.
Between his political work, his other work, and his family, Eyman finds it hard to pinpoint how many hours he devotes to each.
“It’s a long day and evening, and every call can be something different,” he said. “But when you’re having this much fun with all of it, you can’t call it work.”
Eyman references his favorite Star Trek episode “The Tapestry,” as parallel to his own life.
“The main character, known for his arrogance, got a chance to experience his life if he weren’t arrogant,” he explained.
“At the end, the characters talked, and he realized, the many threads, good and bad, made up the tapestry of his life, and without them all, it isn’t the same, you aren’t the same person, and you can’t have the same life experiences.
“I like what all the threads add up to,” he said.
— END —
What’s absolutely priceless is this photo that appeared with it, especially now that my son Jackson is 18 years old:
You can count on us to fight against state and local government’s insatiable tax appetite. The voters’ passage of our Initiative 1366 last year certainly shows that the people are in no mood for any tax hikes, let alone increases next year totaling $5.2 billion.
Petitions for “We Love Our Cars” I-869 have been sent out (if you need more, just email or call). Our polling shows it’s another big winner. Please help us make it a reality.