Eyman’s I-807 signature drive appears to be in trouble

Efforts by Tim Eyman to place Initiative 807 on the campaign ballot are stalled because of multiple problems faced by Eyman and his inability to run a campaign without problems he creates.

Taxpayers for Washington’s Future is an ongoing political action committee registered with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. For the last 6 months we have been aggressively fighting to defeat Tim Eyman’s Initiative 807. Eyman’s Initiative 807 is targeted for the November 2003 ballot. He has until July 3rd to collect over 198,000 valid signatures of Washington voters. His effort appears unlikely to be successful at this time.

We have been successful in fighting his effort on several fronts. We have worked to redefine the issue from one of cutting taxes to one of giving a 1/3 minority of state legislators control over the state budget. We have stressed that this is unconstitutional.

We were successful in challenging Eyman when he first filed the initiative by providing a media counterpoint to his efforts and also to successfully gain two ballot title numbers that he wanted, including Initiative 800 which he had falsely claimed for several months that he had. This forced him to print up new campaign material because he had unwisely printed material up before he had the actual ballot number.

We have worked to garner resolutions opposing Initiative 807. Groups currently opposing I-807 include the Washington State Democratic Party, the Washington State League of Women Voters and the Washington State Labor Council.

We recently filed a complaint against Eyman’s fundraising efforts, calling into question his donating some $35,000 in services to the Initiative 807 campaign, while at the same time urging his supporters to send unreported secret donations to Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate for so called legal expenses which included paying back his business Permanent Offence, Inc., some $55,000 in fines it owed to the state when he previously lied about not being paid for his campaign work.

We have also drafted a tax reform measure, the Taxpayers Fiscal Reform Act, which we filed as Initiative 853. Our strategy is to be proactive on the tax issue and not be in the position of just responding no to Eyman’s proposals and letting him set the political agenda. A copy of I-853 can be seen at our website www.majorityrules.info. We decided not to print up petitions for circulation to try to get on the Nov. ballot but are evaluating re-filing it as an initiative to the legislature with a Dec. deadline for signatures. I-853 would require majority votes on budget matters, prioritizing state expenditures and also set up a process to review and prioritize tax exemptions every 10 years. For more complete information see the actual initiative text at www.majorityrules.info.

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