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Monday, July 9, 2007

Eyman in Court This Friday

posted by on July 9 at 12:38 PM

Progressive local attorney Knoll Lowney will argue in KC Superior Court this Friday that Tim Eyman’s latest initiative, I-960, goes beyond the scope of the initiative process on two counts.

I-960 would require a super majority vote of the legislature to pass tax increases. And it would require those tax increases to go before a vote of the people. Eyman turned in his signatures last week and got some rare good press after a run of recent embarrassments (not enough signatures, weird costumes, initiatives getting tossed.) The article did not mention Lowney’s challenge.

Lowney will start by arguing that I-960’s requirement for a legislative super majority to pass any tax increase is a de facto amendment to the state Constitution. “Editing the Constitution by initiative is beyond the scope of the initiative process,” Lowney says. Indeed, you cannot amend the Constitution by the initiative process.

Unfortunately for Eyman, the Constitution already specifies when legislative action requires more than a simple majority. Most tax increases are not on that list.

Second, Lowney will argue that I-960’s requirement that all tax increases passed by the legislature must automatically go to a vote of the people also takes the red pen to the state Constitution. Requiring a vote of the people, circumvents the referendum process as spelled out in the state Constitution. You cannot file a referendum without first collecting signatures. To change that guideline, you’d have to change the Constitution—which, again, you cannot do by initiative.

Lowney has beaten Eyman in KC Superior Court before. Lowney successfully argued to have I-747 (a property tax cap) put on hold. I-747 is currently before the Supreme Court. Lowney also spent years with his group, Permanently Offended (a spoof on Eyman’s Permanent Offense), harassing Eyman with ballot title challenges.

RSS icon Comments


Tim Eyman must die. Seriously, can't he just move to Mississippi or something? I feel personally embarrassed as a white man.

Posted by Fnarf | July 9, 2007 1:04 PM

I hope this is premature. Eyman could end up with a buttload of invalid signatures again. But either way, this one looks like it'll get tossed.

Honestly, though, you'd think people would have learned the lesson of Colorado. After fourteen years of being unable to fund their government and being bombarded with incredibly dense ballot measures, they voted out the GOP, put in Dems, and have gutted TABOR. I think that perhaps Washingtonians have gotten a bit more savvy about these types of bills though.

Posted by Gitai | July 9, 2007 1:05 PM

One of my good friends went to high school with Tim Eyman. He was a gay bashing asshole back then, and he's still an asshole.

Posted by Smegmalicious | July 9, 2007 1:44 PM

Until the press decides not to give Eyman the spotlight anymore, he'll keep on cropping up.

Posted by Dave Coffman | July 9, 2007 2:31 PM

Rather than spending energy on bashing Eyman why not use his pointing out the ridiculous tax system in WA and work towards a state income tax and perhaps a little wealth tax. Change the gas tax to a percentage instead of a fixed number of pennies per gallon and allow the a wider use of the funds.

There is clearly a big number of people in the state that are not happy with the current taxing and spending scheme - whether anti-taxers or those that oppose corporate tax breaks and a system that bases most all revenue on regressive taxes.

Every time Eyman is sued or bashed by the press, he gains support - ignore him and work for tax fairness. But it's more fun to have an enemy to blame - Saddam Eyman, even rhymes.

Posted by whatever | July 9, 2007 2:36 PM

"oh, what a darling baby boy! what's his name?"

"his name is KNOLL."

jesus, people, THINK when naming children.

Posted by maxsolomon | July 9, 2007 3:07 PM

@5 I agree that our tax system needs reform, particularly our ridiculous reliance on property and B&O taxes, but Eyman's solution needs to be mocked and destroyed.

@4 As long as he's getting initiatives on the ballot, he's news. As soon as he spends three or four years with no initiative making the ballot and goes back to selling watched to frat boys, then he can be ignored.

Posted by Gitai | July 9, 2007 3:11 PM

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