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Monday, January 30, 2006

A “New Dawn,” and a New Political Reality

Posted by on January 30 at 9:00 AM

Last week’s passage of the gay civil rights bill ushers in a new era in Washington State politics. Read my take on what it means for the major political players, and for further progress on gay rights in this state, here.

Meanwhile, yesterday Tim Eyman announced he will be filing an initiative and a referendum seeking to repeal the gay civil rights bill. (A referendum would require fewer signatures to get on the ballot.)

I sent Eyman an email two days ago with a simple question: “Why are you doing this?”

Still haven’t heard back.

It seems to me that he’s on dangerous ground here, if he cares at all about his reputation. It’s one thing to be known as the man who took on car tabs. It’s quite another to be known as the man who appealed to people’s fears in order to take away basic protections for a minority group.

That will put him in the company of… Well, read the language in his most recent email, and it’s pretty obvious who he’s now in the company of:

For weeks, we’ve been inundated with phone calls, faxes, and emails from supporters appalled at the arrogance of Olympia concerning House Bill 2661. Politicians are deciding based on special interest group pressure and their own reelection calculations. The voters have watched this disgusting display of arrogance and selfishness for weeks. The issue has become hopelessly politicized.

Politicians aren’t thinking about what the voters want. Let the voters decide.

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I'd be most interested in hearing his answer to your question.

It's going to be very hard for the gays to argue that a vote on our civil rights is out of bounds after the idiocy that was I-677. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

I imagine that if it goes to a vote, washington will vote it down. You'd think he would realise that we're not all going to fall for fear mongering tactics, especially after the failed gas tax repeal.

Hopefully, this will be the final nail in his coffin and he'll hide his head in shame

Why can't we just get rid of citizen sponsored initiatives all together? It would accomplish two great goods:

(a) it would get rid of all those annoying people outside supermarkets asking for your signature on things.

(b) it would get rid of Tim Eyman once and for all. Either that or we could splash water on him and see if he melts...

What's the significance of filing an initiative and a referendum? If it's just to lower the threshold of necessary signatures, you'd think he'd take that route with every new bad idea.

Eyman has always struck me as a bigot, a bigot against government, a bigot against Seattle-centric finances, a bigot against Sound Transit and public transit, a bigot against better roads (well, not the roads, just the money needed to fix them). Now, I no longer need to feel cheeky about his bigotry--- he is a bigot who wants a bigot's initiative and/or referendum on the ballot and this is just easy for him. Eyman can't get a anti-sodomy or anti-persons-of-color law (laws Washington *used* to have on the books, BTW), so the bigot is going to bigot-town with the only ticket he can get.

He is and always will be, even without a voter approved referendum, A Horse's Ass. All Hail, The Horse's Ass.

Exactly how many minutes does this turd of a human being have left? Why can't he just spend his time content with downloading internet porn like the rest of us?

Exactly how many minutes does this turd of a human being have left? Why can't he just spend his time content with downloading internet porn like the rest of us?

I blame Sherry Bockwinkel for Tim Eyman. Without her, we would not have paid signature gatherers, and the initiative process would have remained grass-roots.

Way to go, Sherry.

Ghosts of 677,

I think that technically the difference between a referendum and an initiative is that a referendum is a mechanism used to revoke a piece of legislation and an initiative puts forward a new law.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that this is guaranteed to be the nail in Eyman’s coffin. I think he’s a lot more likely to be able to raise money on this issue–it seems that in recent years, the easiest way to get the right wingers out voting and donating is through these social issues, rather than economic. I really think it’s going to depend on what kind of showing Seattle has in the upcoming election (hopefully enough Dems will be outraged enough by the Republicans to be motivated to go out and vote).

There's just no pleasing these hypocritical bigots...

If a judge rules that a law protecting gay people is unfair, discriminatory or unconstitutional the right wingers start screaming "Judicial Activism! Judges should not legislate from the bench!!"

Ok, so now the elected representatives of the people have passed a law providing legislative protection for gay people against discrimination. Certainly no judicial activism involved there. Legislating from the Legislature, just like our democracy calls for...

But since these vocal bigots in the minority didn't get their way, they want to toss out both the Judical branch AND the Legislative Branch decision making process(I'll refrain from comment on the Executive Branch).
Now the only "fair" way to decide is a "Referendum of the People"?? If we're going to do that every time we disagree, why are we wasting all that money paying representatives, senators and judges?

Tim Eyman is such a fucking fraud! He's figured out that this issue is one that will allow his organization to raise big bucks through fear and hate-mongering appeals. I bet he'll be able to double his annual skim off the top this year (wasn't it close to $200,000 last year?)

I hope to see (and suspect I will) the Stranger get very involved in fighting these ballot measures. I will certainly be out there doing whatever I can to put a stop to Eyman's nonsense.

I suspect that Mr. Eyman was sexually assaulted as a young frat pledge by his brothers, and hasn't yet been able to put those glory days behind him.

This is absurd. A civil rights issue does not belong on the ballot. Equal rights should be guaranteed, not left up to the whims of voters.

It's odd. My first reaction was similar to Eli's: Why? What is Eyman trying to do? Is he indeed the bigot that this effort makes him out to be? What does he hope to gain?

In the past I have been inclined to favor the way Eyman would shake things up politically as I tend to agree that "Big government is NOT your friend." But he has lost me on this one.

Of course he could be fulfilling the old saw that "History repeats itself. The first time is drama; the second time farce."

I think he's just anti-Seattle and anti-liberal in general. The conservatives in Eastern Washington can't accept that they're living in a blue state, so they keep trying to thwart liberal policies, no matter what they are. Functional roads are vital for the entire state, yet, if a Democrat suggests spending more on transportation, Eastern Washingtonians will try to vote it down.

I say raise the signature threshold for both referendums and initiatives or, at least, outlaw buying signatures. That might ensure that a referendum or initiative is truly grassroots, not something that is bought and paid for by some pompous gasbag.

I think that for Eyman the policy considerations for his initiative work are secondary. What is primary to him is this: how much he can make off of his right-wing supporters?

This is an easy one for him. There is no doubt that the bigotted cadre of ayatollah wannabes who make up his mailing lists will shell out the big bucks on this one, no matter what the polls say. He'll probably make at least $50K each on these by doing a couple of mailings getting the kid glove treatment on KVI and KTTH.

If he thought he could make $50K by floating an initiative stripping civil rights from his grandmother, he'd be in the Secretary of States office the following morning.

I think a couple things need to happen:

1) Look for ways to restrict the initiative process. If you take a look at the Secretary of State's website, Tim and his buds have already filed about 10 initiatives since January 1. I'm all for letting the citizens have their say so to speak, but he's an abuser...

2) Eyman needs to be exposed for the fraud he is - and just keep hammering away at him. He digs into the pockets of the scared and bigoted... and its time they be shown that it is he that is lining his own pockets at their expense.

Hey Western Warshington --

If Hymen manages to get one of these to pass, presumably with heavy eastern-WA support, can we finally agree to split the fuckers off once and for all, like they've been practically begging for?

I don't agree with restricting the initiative process, frankly. It's not Tim's fault that W.Wa. liberals can't be friendly enough with each other to organize their own initiative drives more than, what, once every two years at best?

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