Eyman’s I-807: The rest of the story

Any effort by Tim Eyman to try to file Initiative 807 with the Secretary of State by July 3, 2003 will be challenged on legal grounds. Steve Zemke with Taxpayers for Washington’s Future today charged that Tim Eyman failed to comply with state law requiring that ‘a full, true and correct copy” of the actual text of the measure as filed with the Secretary of State be printed in full on the back of his petitions.

Besides incorrectly asserting that the measure would prevent an income tax, he printed the text on the back with no notations or underlining as required by law that indicated his proposed new language. Anyone reading it would in error believe it was current law. It is hard to believe but Eyman failed to print up Initiative 807 as he filed it with the Secretary of State. According to Public Disclosure Commission reports his first massive printing of up to 100,000 copies of initiative 807 on Jan 27, 2003 cost $10,626. In addition he spent $6,308 to print up the mailing envelope and letter and close to $18,000 to mail out the misleading and invalid printed initiative.

Eyman later spent some $14,000 printing up a “new version” of Initiative 807 which removed the “No State Income Tax” tag. He said he removed it because of the I-776 ruling. He said he was assured that his original petitions were legal. In a letter to his supporters he said “… -we are told that the old petitions are fine, but we decided to be totally safe (new petitions say: RENEW STATE SPENDING LIMITS). Mail in all partially-filled or filled petitions that have the old design, DON’T THROW THE OLD PETITIONS AWAY – THEY DO COUNT – And there’s no reason to have people who signed the old petition, resign the new petition – just make sure to use the new ones from now on.”

Eyman never mentioned the snafu on the back of the petition. He never told them the petitions were invalid and that the campaign really needed to start over. He quietly reprinted the correct text of Initiative 807 on the back and never mentioned to his supporters that he had wasted some $35,000 of their money because he never checked the back of the petition before he printed it up to insure that it was “a full, true and correct copy”. If he did he missed the costly error. It’s a good thing that he said he would not take any money for his efforts on Initiative 807 unless it qualified for the ballot because his supporters certainly got taken to the cleaners.

So after this colossal blunder it is no wonder that we have not seen Eyman in the past month urging his supporters to send back their copies of I-807. Half of what he printed up are invalid petitions and anyone who signed them would not their name counted toward the minimum 198,000 valid signatures needed to qualify for the Nov. ballot.

So now you have the rest of the story – why Initiative 807 has became another doomed Eyman initiative. No surprise that Eyman is now talking about next year. He just wants this year and Initiative 807 to fade away. Sorry Tim. Those of us that who don’t support your extreme right wing libertarian agenda of cutting and ending most government services without regard to the impact on the people of Washington state only hope that you continue your “winning ways” next year and haves as much success and campaign savvy as you’ve had this year.

A comparison of Section 6 of the original printing of I-807 with the revised version shows the mistake Eyman made. The original version is misrepresented as being current state law while the second version is what he actually filed with the Secretary of State and has the underlined words showing it as new language he is trying to add to the law. In this case he is trying to amend the current law by setting up a one third legislative vote to veto raising any fee or force a vote of the people to pass any fee.

Original petition

Revised petition

Note: This is only one example. Hard copies of both initiatives are available.

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