“Help me get my B.S. in the voters pamphlet,” read the subject-line of Tim Eyman’s email.
Eyman is a practitioner of the art of the voter initiative, foremost in his state, Washington, and one of the most effective nationwide. In fact, he was once dubbed “America’s No. 1 Freedom Fighter” . . . in this very column.
His 16 statewide initiatives beginning in 1998 — 10 of which voters approved — have cut taxes, blocked tax increases, directed the state auditor to conduct performance audits and ended racial and gender preferences in state education and employment. Washington state citizens have saved $35.65 billion — yes, make that a “B” and an “S” for “Billions Saved” — directly from his ballot measures.
This particular call to action concerned the voters’ pamphlet statements about Proposition 1, a sales tax increase placed on this November’s ballot by the mayor and city council in Tim’s hometown of Mukilteo. Sent to every registered voter, the voters’ pamphlet is a critical element of communication on ballot issues — and is free to the campaigns.
The proponents for Prop 1 argued in their statement: “The fact the city needs more money for street maintenance, sidewalks, and bike lanes is indisputable.”
In his rebuttal, Eyman annihilated that assertion, writing, “Politicians always say the need for higher taxes is ‘indisputable.’ We call B.S. on that.”
That is rather to the point.
But soon he received word from the city: “The Auditor feels the language is inappropriate and would like you to choose different wording. Using the language ‘We call foul’ would be acceptable, but you may prefer something else.”
“We call foul” . . . ?…