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Monday, October 13, 2008

As If You Needed Another Reason to Loathe Tim Eyman

posted by on October 13 at 14:18 PM

His new initiative (I-985) doesn’t just propose to open carpool lanes to all drivers—he’s also after public funding for the arts.

From page 18 of I-985 (.pdf of it here):

Dedicates revenue previous allocated to art to the “reduce traffic congestion account.”

Basically, he’s after the Washington State Arts Commission, which receives a fraction of a percent of money allocated for public building projects. With it, they give grants to organizations like Intiman Theater and the Spokane Symphony.

(Hey all you theater people who worked yourselves into a foaming, gnashing lather over this week’s theater section—how about you summon a little of that energy and help fight I-985. Because if you think The Stranger is an enemy of theater, you haven’t met Tim Eyman yet.)

UPDATE: I’m wrong, wrong, wrong. Apparently, the arts verbiage quoted above is a red herring and wouldn’t actually change local public-arts funding. See more at and the Municipal League.

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Please, we don't think you're the enemy of theater, it's just that you are allied with really really bad theater.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | October 13, 2008 2:23 PM

I already hate this jackass. Although I'll admit this is a new wrinkle in his irredeemable jackassery.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 13, 2008 2:26 PM

You can actually have more than one enemy.

Posted by icydk | October 13, 2008 2:29 PM

The anti-intellectual instincts of the right will poison the well of conservatism for at least a generation.

Posted by vooodooo84 | October 13, 2008 2:29 PM

to be fair though, they should eliminate the requirement of public buildings to have art on them, no matter their function to the public.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 13, 2008 2:32 PM

How can someone who lobbied to cut the transit budget be against traffic congestion?

Posted by just wondering | October 13, 2008 2:34 PM

@5 The municipal dump needs a Salvidor Dali I mean come on, get your priorities in order.

Posted by vooodooo84 | October 13, 2008 2:34 PM
8 - Fightin words!

I think you should put your endorsements in big block print on the cover this year, "NO ON I-985. NO ON TIM EYMAN", etc., and include a single sheet copy in every issue.

Heck, do it twice for good measure in different colors with a cariacature of Rossi and Eyman smashing Seattle.

Posted by AJ | October 13, 2008 2:37 PM

How about an initiative that will ban Tim Eyman from proposing initiatives? Who's with me on this one?

Posted by keshmeshi | October 13, 2008 2:37 PM

I read somewhere that the 0.5% art budget on Link stations was a requirement for receiving a federal grant, so this initiative would have made (would make?) those grants unavailable.

Posted by w7ngman | October 13, 2008 2:40 PM

After sitting through All the King's Men at Intiman last week, I think I'd rather see my tax revenue go somewhere else. I read the fucking book in college and still could not follow the story as they interpreted it. I was so bored during the play that I started imagining what it would be like if they did an interpretation of Point Break. If they can promise me that, I'll happily vote against 985.

Posted by john cocktosin | October 13, 2008 2:41 PM

Every time Tim Eyman masturbates--er, ah, I mean, files a new initiative, God kills a kitten.

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | October 13, 2008 2:43 PM

If Hitler had been accepted to art school, if Tim Eyeman didn't have a driver's license, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by Dougsf | October 13, 2008 2:51 PM

I like what @8 said about a caricature of Eyman and Rossi smashing Seattle as the cover of the paper. Let's make fliers and pass them out. The Stranger could have a caricature contest!

Tim Eyman is a tool-shed.

Posted by Lobot | October 13, 2008 2:52 PM

@10 I read somewhere that what qualifies as art on the stations could be upstaged by a retard flinging fecal matter at the wall.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 13, 2008 3:04 PM

Bellevue Ave YOU are the fucking tool...

Posted by MadDog | October 13, 2008 3:09 PM

@15: That's exactly what retarded people say about art when they don't get it, perhaps accidentally proving your point that public art doesn't necessarily serve the public's understanding of art. That's sad.

Posted by treacle | October 13, 2008 3:09 PM

Can someone please answer - would this initiative actually take funds away from WASAC or is it just smoke and mirrors marketing of the bill... 'we're cutting funding of something that's already not being funded'...?

Posted by schneckinlittle | October 13, 2008 3:10 PM

I wouldn't go quite that far, BA, but with regard to what's currently hanging in the Tukwilla station, well...let's just say I've seen more inspired work in children's art contests.

Posted by Hernandez | October 13, 2008 3:12 PM

Seeing how much The Stranger hates Tim Eyman just solidifies, in my mind, the fact that he's doing the right thing.

Posted by Seattle Crime Blogger | October 13, 2008 3:15 PM


So much easier than thinking, isn't it? Which explains why anybody follows Eyman at all, I guess.

Posted by elenchos | October 13, 2008 3:22 PM

@17, yeah because art that is selected for public transit is of the highest caliber...

@16, and? it makes me adept in pointing out other tools.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 13, 2008 3:25 PM

keshmeshi for the Win!

Posted by michael strangeways | October 13, 2008 3:45 PM

$17 billion train expansion ....0.1% for art.....$170 million smackeroos???

Via sales tax???

Paid out in chucks of a few hundred thousand to not so starving artists?

Isn't this tax the poor for the benefit of the rich?

The riders will all be looking at their iphones anyway

Posted by PC | October 13, 2008 3:49 PM

@12 for the win.

@24 for the America-hating loss.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 13, 2008 3:52 PM

dude, seriously, 170 million? doesn't that dwarf SAM's budget? or couldn't that support theater in this city? 170 million is going to get us salmon art.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 13, 2008 4:05 PM

@26 Do you want all of our public infrastructure to look like utilitarian crap?

certainly some public works don't need art to be incorporated into the structure (such as a waste treatment plant or a dump) however, hundreds of thousands of people will use public transport. While not all of the art will line up exactly with your (or the community's at large, see comment process on the art for the cap hill station) taste, it is designed to make public institutions more pleasant to experience. If you want to support theater buy a damn ticket. there is no realistic way to make public works more visually enjoyable, than the 1% for art rule.

Posted by vooodooo84 | October 13, 2008 4:26 PM

Well said, Brendan.

My understanding is that this section redirects the budget for art as it relates to transit, not the grant-making part of WSAC's budget. Am I wrong about this?

Also, @11: really? You didn't like one play at one theatre and so now you're okay with the elimination of all state funds for all arts? You are fucking retarded.

Posted by TValley | October 13, 2008 4:26 PM

@27, I want it to look like Brazil circa 1962.

And I don't want anymore goddamn salmon.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 13, 2008 4:58 PM

First, a disclosure- I am, personally, the worst public artist in the world, and I have squandered more of your tax dollars on my Gold Plated Escalade, with spinners, and my mink boxer shorts, than Bellevue Ave will ever make in his or her pathetic lifespan.

But- you guys are all screwed up on this one.
What the EyeBall's initiative will do, if passed, is prohibit the State of Washington from spending State highway money on public art on State Highway projects.
Nothing more.
It will not affect ANY other aspect of the Washington State Arts Commission. Not Theater, or dance, or even spending State money on 1% for art projects on schools, jails, or DMV offices. All of that would go on as it has.
This Initiative also would not affect Sound Transit in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

Sound Transit is not a State Agency- it is an independent agency that is funded partly by the Federal Government. So all Sound Transit public art will be untouched by this. Which, by the way, is about 1/10 of the $170 Million dollar amount quoted above. Sound Transit is not required, under any law, to spend money on art. They decided to, and set their own budget, which is far, far below 1%.

I only wish it was $170 Million- then I could proceed on my quest to build myself a mansion, in the shape of the Taj Mahal, entirely from Captain Crunch Cereal, laquered with fingernail polish. And furnished with the finest big screen TV's in every room....

Posted by Ries | October 13, 2008 5:55 PM

Did I mention they were light up spinners?

Posted by Ries | October 13, 2008 5:57 PM

It is against the Washington State Constitution to have an initiative with more than one subject. This initiative, if you read it, covers several things like traffic congestion, opening HOV lanes, 1% for public art, etc. Tim Eyman's initiatives have been thrown out for violating this rule repeatedly in the past. I am certain that if passed, this initiative will be declared unconstitutional, and waste thousands of tax dollars as it wanders through the court system.

You've got to give him credit for destroying the system from inside - tying up courts and tax dollars for no reason, other than his own edification.

Posted by brappy | October 13, 2008 6:01 PM

I-985 is flawed in so many ways it's hard to make up your mind what's the best reason to vote no. Just pick one. Any one. Bad for traffic. Bad for transit. Bad for safety -- the police and fire associations just came out against it, and so have the neighborhood traffic and school zone safety activists. Bad for taxpayers. Bad for Seattle. Bad for the rest of the state. Bad for truth-telling. Even bad for art, although confusion reigns because Eyman at drafting time thought he would picks up a half percent of the cost of highway projects by taking the money away from art to go instead into his pet projects fund. He even got that wrong. Only public building projects, not roadway projects, now make that contribution to art (that's the way the law is written now), so in the transportation budget if I-985 passed he would sneak out a few thousand dollars away from art into his fund if ever a new ferry terminal was built . . .

This is actually very simple. Vote no on I-985. For one reason or all!

Posted by Doug MacDonald | October 13, 2008 6:50 PM

@33: Doug gets a hug for this!

I say it again: block print front cover endorsements but adding "NO on TIM EYMAN" to your I-985 non-endorsement.

Posted by AJ | October 13, 2008 6:57 PM

RE: I-985's 1/2% for reducing traffic congestion

There are currently requirements for various governmental entities to "allocate, as a nondeductible item, out of any money appropriated" 1/2% for public art. The clear language and intent of I-985 is to remove this requirement on any transportation project (so non-transportation projects -- schools, libraries, fire stations -- would not be affected).

Defenders of this current practice justify themselves by saying 1/2% isn't a lot of money to take away from transportation projects for public art. Well, most citizens view reducing traffic congestion as a higher priority than public art so these defenders of the status quo shouldn't view I-985's 1/2% as a lot of money either.

I-985 creates a new requirement (Section 13 -- that says they must "allocate, as a nondeductible item, out of any moneys appropriated" 1/2% toward the "Reduce Traffic Congestion Account" for any transportation project funded by the state. Any transportation project means just that: ANY transportation or transportation-related project funded by the state. State Auditor Brian Sonntag's performance audit reported that a huge number of citizens want "reducing traffic congestion" to be the top transportation priority. But in response, we hear politicians say "we don't have enough money LEFT OVER to fund that." Well, let's identify some -- let's have every transportation project funded by the state 'chip in' a tiny percentage of their cost toward funding the people's top transportation priority: reducing the time it takes to drive our vehicles from Point A to Point B.

It's more than reasonable to have a 1/2% of the dollars spent for transportation projects funded by the state to be dedicated to an account focused on reducing traffic congestion and increasing traffic flow for everyone.

I-985 also dedicates the profits that government earns from red light cameras and a portion of state sales and use taxes on the purchase of new and used vehicles toward the "Reduce Traffic Congestion Account." But we wanted everyone to understand how I-985 ensures 1/2% for reducing traffic congestion.

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor, | October 13, 2008 9:38 PM


You're off by a factor of ten. 0.1% of $17,000,000,000 would be $17,000,000 NOT $170,000,000, which would be 1.0% of the total.

And I'm confused Brendan, do we get our lather up or not? If you're going to continue to hand down marching orders to your obedient army of brain-atrophied theatre artists, a little consistency would be helpful.

Posted by Thespis | October 13, 2008 11:16 PM

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