Eyman Violates Campaign Finance Law

Complaint Filed Today with Washington State Public Disclosure Commission over Tim Eyman’s Attempts to Avoid Disclosing Campaign Contributions and Violating Court Orders

Dear Public Disclosure Commission:

This letter constitutes the formal filing of a complaint against “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate” in apparent violation of state public disclosure laws and agreements made in previous court actions against one Tim Eyman with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.

According to a May 12, 2003 campaign filing Tim Eyman has donated some $33,897.96 in campaign services to the campaign committee Voters Want More Choices, which is trying to collect signatures for Initiative 807 for 1/3 minority veto control over the state budget. In an article in the Seattle P-I written by Neil Modie on Friday, May 16, 2003, it is disclosed that Mr Eyman is sending fundraising letters to his campaign supporters asking them to send donations directly to him written out to “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate” and not to his campaign committee. This seems to be a pretty transparent effort to allow campaign funds to be sent directly to him without being disclosed to the public. Because they wouldn’t be reported, the public would not know how much or who gave money to support Tim Eyman to allow him to donate his services to campaigns. Are there secret big donors supporting his campaigns like I-807 who do not want the public to know who they are or how much they are willing to give to allow Eyman to do “free” consulting?

How is it possible for him to be donating $33,897.96 in kind to the Initiative 807 campaign and not asking them for repayment while at the same time asking campaign supporters to make contributions or gifts directly to him?

Donations made out to “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate” could obviously be used for anything Eyman wanted.

The reality is that Eyman like most people can not work for free. If Voters Want More Choices paid him for his services he would have to pay state and Federal taxes and I?m sure he would have to use it also to keep his family going and pay house and car bills. So if he asks people to support him directly with gifts does he avoid state and Federal taxes and public disclosure? The I-807 campaign would also only have about $2000 in the bank if it paid him for his services.

Is this no more than some little trick? What contributing directly to him does is to avoid accountability and public disclosure of who supports Eyman efforts on Initiative 807 and what he is being paid.

He can once again appear as if he is generously donating his time to campaign work without asking for payment for services.

Eyman appears to be mocking the state Attorney General Christine Gregoire and the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission which had Eyman agree in a court settlement that he would not be the treasurer of a campaign committee again. Certainly he is the “treasurer” of any “gifts” or contributions made out to “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate.”

Is “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate” any other than “Tim Eyman, Campaign Consultant” or “Tim Eyman of Permanent Offense”?

In such a public position as he is in, working political campaigns subject to disclosure of campaign financing, how stupid does he think the public is? His actions are just the reason why voters passed Initiative 276 for one of the strongest public disclosure laws in the country in 1973 with 72% of the people voting to approve it, a much higher margin of victory than any of Eyman’s measures have seen.

I request that the Public Disclosure Commission investigate this transparent attempt to once again circumvent the state Public Disclosure Act.

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