Politics Wake Up and Smell the Eyman
As promised, Tim Eyman yesterday filed two ballot measures seeking to repeal the gay civil rights bill. And as predicted, the reaction has been mainly: “Wow, what a jerk.”
This morning’s Seattle Times finds that while the Christian Coalition is (no surprise) supporting Eyman in his anti-gay crusade, others, like the Rev. Joseph Fuiten, who vehemently opposed the gay civil rights bill, aren’t so sure a repeal campaign is a good idea.
In other words, Eyman can’t even get the unanimous backing of religious extremists for this effort. Which is why Rep. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) sounds right on target when he tells The Times: “We can see [Eyman] for what he’s always been… A member of the extreme right who is out of touch with moderate voters in this state.”
And it only gets worse for Eyman in this morning’s P-I, which finds that it’s not just effete urban liberals who see Eyman’s new campaign as distasteful:
Yelm resident Tony Engler, 47, said his view of Eyman has changed because of Monday’s filing.
“I’m not gay or Christian, I’m not a right-wing whacko or a bleeding-heart, tree-hugging Evergreen liberal,” Engler said.
“I’m just a guy who’s partially disabled and who has laws set up out there to protect my rights to live as a human, not as some second-class citizen,” he said. “I’m glad the Disability Act was established before Tim Eyman came along or I’d still be fighting high curbs in crosswalks.
“I used to think Tim Eyman was an OK kind of guy, fighting the good fight; now I see his true colors.”
Yesterday, I noted on the Slog that Eyman had failed to answer a simple question that I emailed to him several days ago: Why are you doing this?
Well, this morning Eyman wrote me back and, just as he did with The Seattle Times (which this morning notes its own frustration in getting Eyman to talk about his motivations), stuck to his prepared talking points.
Eyman’s email is below, and my response to his email is below that. As you’ll see, I have more questions for Eyman. Hopefully he’ll write back and share his answers with me and all the Slog’s readers….
From: Tim Eyman
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 06:13:14 -0800
To: Eli Sanders
(1) The issue has become hopelessly politicized in Olympia
(2) The voters want to have the final say on this issue
(3) The voters overwhelmingly rejected government-imposed preferential treatment based on what group you belong to (race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin) when they overwhelmingly approved Initiative 200 in 1998. This measure(s) simply gives them the opportunity to reaffirm that
same principle in 2006, adding to the list of groups not getting preferential treatment to include sexual orientation or sexual preference.
To which I responded..
From: Eli Sanders
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 07:39:18 -0800
To: Tim Eyman
1. It seems to me you’ve only extended the amount of time in which this issue will be politicized. Do you really think you’ve de-politicized this debate by filing these ballot measures?
2. Do you have polling to back this claim up? Or are you just basing this claim on the “phone calls, faxes, and emails” you’ve said you are being “inundated” with?
3. This is, in my opinion, the greatest logical fallacy in your argument in favor of a ballot measure. The gay civil rights bill has nothing to do with “preferential treatment.” It’s about equal treatment. It doesn’t establish quotas for the hiring of gays and lesbians. It just says you can’t fire someone simply because he or she is gay.
Don’t you think it’s disingenuous for you to paint the gay civil rights bill as akin to “government-imposed preferential treatment” when it’s clearly no such thing?
And: If you believe so strongly in the wisdom of the people, why confuse them with this type of sophistry?