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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pandering All the Way: House Passes Eyman Cap. Senate Next.

posted by on November 29 at 13:16 PM

UPDATE: Of the twelve Seattle-area reps—I-747 was defeated decisively in Seattle in 2001—only six voted against enacting Eyman’s initiative today. Those six deserve a standing O. They are: Mary Lou Dickerson; Sharon Tamiko-Santos; Helen Sommers; and South Seattle’s Eric Pettigrew and Capitol Hill’s Jamie Pedersen, whom I’d like to give a special hurrah to. Pettigrew is emerging as one of The Stranger’s favorite legislators, and rookie Pedersen, who was shaky on some of The Stranger’s pet issues last year, looks to have come out with a bang this session. The sixth no vote was Sharon Nelson, the brand-new legislator from Vashon Island—great first vote, Sharon.

And I know people think I’m a Chopp hater, but it has to be noted that Mr. Speaker voted yes although his 43rd District voted 74 percent against Eyman’s 2001 inititive.

We’ll update the Senate count later today to let you know how the six Seattle area state senators vote. We’ve already heard that Senator Ed Murray is a “firm no.”

The House is on the floor and just passed the bill, 86-8, and the Senate is supposed to take the floor at 1:00 p.m.

The thing that emerged for me from the testimony in front of the Senate committee is that both the left and the right don’t like this bill.

The left doesn’t like it for the reasons I laid out earlier today. And just about everyone who testified from the left—senior citizens groups, church groups, the league of cities, low-income organizing groups—called for further deliberationsj. And in specific, they gave a shout out to the circuit breaker idea as a substantive fix.

The right doesn’t like it because the bill allows governments to tap “banked capacity.”
“Banked capacity” is this: Governments can retroactively collect revenues up to the limit that they didn’t collect every year in aggregate. This is estimated at $108 or $188 million depending on who you ask.

Eyman was the first to testify (rambunctiously so). He called banking capacity a “huge loophole” and said this bill “doesn’t deliver a 1 percent cap. It’s a 1 percent cap plus $180 million.” Asking them to ice the banked capacity concept loophole, he told the committee: “If you’re going to pander. Pander all the way.”

I’m not in chambers (forgot my tie today), but I’m sitting on the marble steps outside the chambers where the House just pandered to Eyman and I’m hearing huge applause.

As for Eyman. He bounced by to say the legislature is “listening.”

RSS icon Comments


Timmy boy should thank his corporate property tax avoiding paymasters he got them to force so many Dems to shaft the middle class and poor with this.

What about the Seattle delegation - did they buckle to a man, or show any guts at all?

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 29, 2007 1:16 PM

Who are the eight dissenters?

Posted by Tyler | November 29, 2007 1:34 PM

You can walk down Capitol Way a few blocks and buy yourself a tie.

Posted by Paul In SF | November 29, 2007 1:37 PM

just appoint eyman governor & get it over with.

Posted by max solomon | November 29, 2007 2:15 PM

Good idea, @4, but first we need a lockbox or we'll wake up and be $5 trillion in debt with no-bid contracts to China up your ying yang.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 29, 2007 3:21 PM

I didn't vote for this asshole. What the fuck is he doing in the Capitol building?

Posted by Greg | November 29, 2007 3:47 PM

it strikes me as odd that any REPRESENTATIVE would vote any other way than the people who they are REPRESENTING voted on the issue. what assholes.

Posted by i dunno... | November 29, 2007 5:04 PM

Pander = "vote in accordance with the expressed will of the voters, even when Josh Feit opposes it"

Posted by David Wright | November 29, 2007 5:09 PM

My voters said to Eyman: Jump in the lake, enabler of the ultra-rich!

And then offered him a large stone and rope to make sure he stayed down.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 29, 2007 5:35 PM

Frank Chopp needs to go. When was the last time he actually represented his constituents? Like, the mid 90s?

Posted by exelizabeth | November 29, 2007 10:42 PM

If Tim Eyman didn't exist then Seattle's so called "progressives" would need to invent him. Eyman has so much traction because so many "progressive" politicians in the Seattle area are total shitheads and corporate ass-whores. Remember the stadium debacle. We said "no" to a stadium, except then all of the baseball fans cried and wet themselves and the legislature went ahead and gave a few hundred million dollars to some of the richest people in the state so they could build a house for their baseball team. Then there was the Kingdome. The legislature gave Paul Allen an election to build his own football stadium, another nice handout for one of the richest people not only in the state but in the world. Now, when all of this was happening we had Democratic governors (Mike Lowry and Gary Locke) and Democratic King County Executives (Gary Locke and L. Ron Sims) who not only did nothing to stop this shameful diversion of public money to the richest people in the state but were actively cheerleading it (and please, if anyone posts any of the lies and bullshit about how professional sports and stadiums are really good for the economy I will consider hunting you down and destroying you like a rabid dog).

So we had the most prominent Democrats in the state saying "no, we don't need to fix the roads, we don't need to improve the schools, what we really need is to spend a billion dollars on two stadiums for professional sports teams". Given this why should any voter want to give these fuckheads, and the other fuckheads in Olympia any money at all, they're obviously as untrustworthy, stupid and corrupt as any Enron executive or George W. Bush crony, despite whatever "progressive" shibboleths they may utter to placate cretins like Josh Feit.

The stupidity and irresponsibility of our local politicians continues to this day. We recently had our taxes raised in King County to provide passenger ferry service to Vashon Island. Now, I'm of the opinion that if you want to live on Vashon Island then you should shut the fuck up and stop complaining about the ferry system (which gives Vashon riders a great deal). It's an island you stupid assholes, and it doesn't take much work to see that there are no bridges to it (in part because the assholes on Vashon won't let anyone build a bridge because they want to be able to own 5 acre lots in a rural area) and if you move to it you should suck it up. But apparently L. Ron Sims and the county council have decided that the llama herders and other hipster dipshits who have moved to Vashon deserve a massively subsidized ferry service to bring them to downtown Seattle. Meanwhile the South Park bridge is about to fall down, this bridge is used by 24,000 cars a day, it's a vital link in Seattle's industrial area, and L. Ron Sims and the fucking King County council haven't done a fucking thing to get it fixed, and why would they. South Park is a poor industrial area that probably doesn't write as many checks to Democratic candidates as do the rich white folks who live on Vashon.

If we want enhanced 911 service or parks maintenance we're told we have to vote for the taxes to pay for them in special elections. Meanwhile the county council raises our taxes for a completely unnecessary ferry system and pisses our tax dollars away on whatever currently strikes their fancy (and pays off the special interests who own and operate them). Given this why shouldn't we limit the amount of money the government can raise in taxes?

Posted by wile_e_quixote | November 30, 2007 2:17 PM

From: Tim Eyman, I-747 co-sponsor

All credit for what happened in Olympia yesterday goes to the citizens.

Voter pressure put on legislators over the past three weeks (and frankly over the past 10 years) made the difference. Nothing like having 5 state supreme justices calling the people stupid to motivate and galvinize the support of the 58% of the people who approved I-747 (and a whole lot of the 42% who voted no but who have come to rely on its taxpayer protections). It was a huge 200,000 vote margin. Under the court's theory, then, 100,000 voters voted yes, but 'mistakenly' voted yes (because of some magical hypnotism or voodoo, i suppose) when they would have voted no if only they had known 'the truth'. Unbelievably absurd.

As for Adam Kline, he is fantastic. The media loves conflict and he and I provide lots of it. But the reality is that when he looks at me, he gets angry because he sees himself. Same aggressiveness, bombacity, and media whorishness. Different political philosophy, sure (he wants government to have 100% of taxpayers' paychecks), but the tactics are identical. No, don't think for a second that I don't like and appreciate him and accept him as he is. What's not to admire about his aggressiveness and yes, rudeness -- civility is overrated. He believes in what he's doing and he's working the press to get his message to the people. It's the challenge we all face when dealing with a manytimes lazy press.

The problem is that his philosophy didn't have the support of the people (58%), his colleagues in the state house (91%) nor his colleagues in the senate (81%). Every Republican and probably 80% of elected Democrats, including tax-hiking Democrat Gregoire, voted against his philosophy.

I didn't call the special session, Democrat Governor Gregoire did. I didn't write the bill, his Democrat colleagues did. I didn't vote for their bill, his Democrat colleagues did. He called me names, but the reality is he really wanted to call Gregoire and his Democrat colleagues those names but that'd hurt his own party so he does some gratuitous Eyman-bashing to try to keep the D's base energized. Not a bad strategy if you think your base is stupid and won't recognize the hollowness of his tactic. But again, he's playing with the cards he's been dealt and making the best of it.

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-747 co-sponsor | November 30, 2007 11:49 PM

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