Its obvious that any petitions Tim Eyman turns in to the Washington Secretary of State on Initiative 917 will be closely scrutinized as to complying with Washington State law. In tiny print on the bottom right corner of Eyman’s first initiative printing of I-917 there is a small declaration area as required by law but it does not provide a space for a signature.
The problem is that there is no indication that one has to both print and sign it for the petition to be accepted by the Secretary of State as there is only one line to write a name on. The declaration is hard to see and blends in with the initiative text. The Secretary of State’s official letter of Feb. 9, 2006 said the declaration had to be both printed and signed.
There is no notation on the front of the petition that the signature gatherer has to print and sign their names on the back. Eyman, in sending out his new “revised’ petition, does not tell his supporters that the old petition clearly has to be both printed and signed even though there is no space to do both.. All in all it makes things very confusing, hardly what one would expect from a so called professional initiative monger.
What I guess what it all means is that each petition is going to be closely scrutinized if he turns them in.
Is this petty or is it worth it? Well we are talking about proposed Washington State legislation that repeals the other half of last year’s legislative transportation package. Even though it wasn’t Eyman’s initiative, he championed Initiative 912 to repeal the gas tax, which the voters soundly defeated in November. This is the other half of the legislature’s transportation package.
So one can expect because of the proposed loss of millions and millions of transportation dollars for state, county and city transportation projects and that impact on businesses in Washington State that there will be a vigorous campaign to defeat I-917 if it were to be on the ballot.
It now appears that one part of that campaign may be to vigorously scrutinize and challenge any petitions Eyman turns in because of the confusion and uncertainty he has created with his poorly designed petition. Because of the controvery, it is hoped Washington’s Secretary of State will be on top of this.
Eyman of course claims there is no problem, that his petitions are legal and that everyone is printing and signing their name. What would you expect him to say?
Some will question raising this issue now rather than waiting but there is not much reason to second guess. The fact is Eyman knows he has a problem or he would not have gone to all the effort and expense of redesigning and re-mailing his petitions. We are not bringing anything new to his attention. It is better to be aggressive and challenge Eyman and challenge the media to acknowledge that Eyman is not some professional initiative wizard. If Eyman was employed by someone else to run an initiative campaign he would have been fired by now. That’s why he goes to such great lengths to hide his mistakes.
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