Category Archives: Elections

Urge Washington Legislators to End Eyman Push Polls on Our Ballots

Washington State Legislators – Pass SB 5182 now!

Washington State needs to end Washington taxpayers subsidizing Tim Eyman’s anti-tax initiative campaigns. They need to stop putting his so called Tax Advisory Votes  on our ballots. They are really anti-tax push polls.

Why are legislators allowing this abuse of our ballots to continue? It is time to end this abuse of our electoral process.

The language used to write the ballot titles for these so-called advisory votes was written by Tim Eyman, not the State’s Attorney General as all other ballot titles are.

Eyman’s ballot titles inflammatory language biases voter’s opinions. Requiring phrases like “legislature imposed”, “without a vote of the people”, “costing …in the first 10 years” and “for government spending” are phrases that are not neutral but are meant to bias against a “maintain” vote and all taxes and revenue increases in general.

Special interest polling does not deserve a place on our ballot. The fact that these push polls benefit a private initiative business and were written by that business to promote its anti-tax political agenda is even more objectionable.

End this abuse of our ballot. End this taxpayer subsidy of these Eyman push polls on our ballot.

Pass SB 5182 introduced by Senator Patty Kuderer!

Send Washington State legislatures an e-mail today supporting SB 5182.

Go to Action Network Now.

2021 Bill to End Tim Eyman’s Push Poll Tax Advisory Votes Filed in Washington State Legislature.

Time to End Eyman’s Push Polls on Washington State Ballots

Senator Patty Kuderer has again introduced a bill, SB 5182,  in the Washington State Senate to remove Tim Eyman’s phony anti-tax push polls on our November General Election ballots. These so called “Tax Advisory Votes” are really taxpayer funded advertising supporting Eyman’s anti-tax initiative business.

The language of the ballot title of each was written and prescribed by Eyman,  All other ballot titles for issues on the ballot are written by the Washington State Attorney General.

Senate Bill 5182 is scheduled for a public hearing before the Senate Committee on State Government and Elections at 8 AM on Wednesday Jan. 20, 2021

Public testimony can either be orally given via zoom or comments can be submitted to the Committee in written form. Go to Participating in Committee hearings  to register to speak or submit written comments.  The Committee is the Senate Government and Elections Committee  and the bill number is SB 5182  

The bill sponsors are Senators Kuderer, Hunt,Conway, Darneille, Das, Dhinga, Hasegawa, Lovelett, Nguyen,Pedersen, VanDe Wege and C. Wilson.

Majority Rules 2020 Primary Endorsements – Washington State

Majority Rules Endorsements –

August 4, 2020 Washington State Primary

Governor –  Jay Inslee

Lieutenant Governor –  Denny Heck

Secretary of State – Gael Tarleton

State Treasurer – Mike Pelliccotti

State Auditor – Pat (Patrice) McCarthy

Attorney General – Bob Ferguson

Commissioner of Public Lands – Hilary Franz

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Chris Reykdal

Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kriedler

1st Congressional District – Suzane DelBene

2nd Congressional District – Rick Larsen 

3rd Congressional District – Carolyn Long 

4th Congressional District – Douglas Mckinley

5th Congressional Distrct – Dave Wilson

6th Congressional District – Derek Kilmer

7th Congressional District – Pramila Jayapal

8th Congressional District – Kim Schrier 

9th Congressional District – Adam Smith

10th Congressional District – Beth Doglio

A Dishonorable Senate – New York Times Opinion

The New York Times has written a very insightful opinion on the continued partisan politics of the GOP in the US Senate and its relationship to Trump. Entitled A Dishonorable Senate,  it raises many points that the public needs to consider and respond to in moving forward. The necessity for voting Trump  out of office as well as his GOP enablers is made clear by their actions. McConnell also needs to be removed as a priority. The need for continued investigations by the US House and the media is also urgent.

Below are some quotes from the New York Times. I urge you read the whole opinion.

Alas, no one ever lost money betting on the cynicism of today’s congressional Republicans. On Friday evening, Republican senators voted in near lock step to block testimony from any new witnesses or the production of any new documents, a vote that was tantamount to an acquittal of the impeachment charges against President Trump. The move can only embolden the president to cheat in the 2020 election.

The vote also brings the nation face to face with the reality that the Senate has become nothing more than an arena for the most base and brutal — and stupid — power politics. Faced with credible evidence that a president was abusing his powers, it would not muster the institutional self-respect to even investigate. …

The precedent this sets is alarming enough: the Senate abandoning its role as the ultimate guard against a dangerous president. Just as bad is the rationale on which most Republicans have settled for refusing to hear from witnesses — that whatever you think of Mr. Trump’s behavior, it wasn’t impeachable, and there is no evidence that could change their minds.

Given the seriousness of the charges against Mr. Trump, it’s hard to envision anything that this president could do that would require Republican senators to vote for his removal. …

Senate Republicans’ indifference to the overwhelming public support for calling witnesses was of a piece with the party’s minority politics. Its president lost the popular vote by three million votes. Its Senate majority represents 15 million fewer Americans than the Democrats’ minority. In states like North Carolina, it rigs the maps to turn popular-vote losses into legislative majorities, then strips power from duly elected Democratic leaders.

And just in case Americans want to register their unhappiness with Republican leadership, the G.O.P. passes laws across the country to make voting harder and discourage turnout. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” Paul Weyrich, a leader of the modern conservative movement, said in 1980. “Our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

That is becoming the rightful slogan of today’s G.O.P. leaders, who are in thrall to a would-be autocrat, fearful of their own constituents, desperate to lock in control of the courts and the nation’s legal system before a diversifying nation can pry their political authority away.

That was the game Mitch McConnell was playing in 2016, when he blocked any consideration of Judge Merrick Garland, the Supreme Court nominee picked by Barack Obama, a popularly elected president, and held the seat hostage until it could be filled by Mr. Trump. That’s the game Mr. McConnell played again this week.

Make no mistake: The Senate may acquit Mr. Trump, but it will not, it cannot, exonerate him. Mr. Trump is the most corrupt president in modern times, a reality Americans will continue to be reminded of — by continuing investigations by the House, which should immediately issue a subpoena to Mr. Bolton; by a trio of cases in the Supreme Court that seek to reveal Mr. Trump’s shady finances; and, of course, by the behavior of the man himself.

America is better than this. Our democratic government and society is at risk because of the GOP and Trump’s disregard for following the nation’s laws. An aberration has been created by Trump and McConnell that puts the President above the law and the Constitution.   The GOP is allowing an autocratic President to operate with no checks and balances. It is an open  conspiracy that is allowing plutocrats and money interests and corporations to put their financial and self interests above that of the nation and its people. This November’s election is critical to the future of America.

Urge WA Legislators to Pass SB 6610 to End Push Poll Advisory Votes on our Ballot

Help end Tim Eyman’s use of our ballots

to promote his business!

Why is Washington State  allowing Tim Eyman to have access to our ballots to do anti tax push polls done under the guise of so called “tax advisory votes”?

These advisory votes are really free advertising, paid for by Washington State taxpayers, to express opposition against the Washington State Legislature raising revenue or repealing outdated tax exemptions. The ballot language was written by Tim Eyman, not Attorney General Bob Ferguson who writes all other ballot title language.

Its time to end this abuse of using our ballot and taxpayer money to subsidize the profit interests of an anti-tax initiative business run by Tim Eyman.  

Senator Patty Kuderer has introduced legislation to end the use of Tax Advisory votes on our ballots. SB 6610 is in the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations, and Elections Committee. It is scheduled for a hearing this Wed, Feb 5 2020 at 8 AM in Olympia. It must be voted out of committee by Friday Feb 7, 2020to stay alive.

Can you please send an e-mail to the members of the committee expressing your support for this legislation?  Urge they vote to pass it out of committee to get a floor vote by the State Senate. You can also make a quick call to their Legislative offices. The members of the Committee and their contact information is below. Thanks.

Hunt, Sam (D)
Chair
sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7642
Kuderer, Patty (D)
Vice Chair
patty.kuderer@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7694
Zeiger, Hans (R)
Ranking Member
hans.zeiger@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7648
Muzzall, Ron (R)
Assistant Ranking Member
ron.muzzall@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7618
Hasegawa, Bob (D) bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7616
Hawkins, Brad (R) brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7622
Takko, Dean (D) dean.takko@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7636

Steve Zemke
Director – Tax Sanity
www.taxsanity.org

 

Donald Trump and Hitler’s Speeches – My New Order

The following quote is taken from an article in Vanity Fair written in Sept. 1990 by Marie Brenner. The article is entitled After the Gold Rush. Trump is not known to be a reader. Yet it appears that Trump had one book he liked.  Trump was fascinated with Hitler and his propaganda speeches. The book was the sequel to Meim Kampf entitled My New Order.

“Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.

Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

“I don’t remember,” I said.

“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)

Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

Is Ivana trying to convince her friends and lawyer that Trump is a crypto-Nazi? Trump is no reader or history buff. Perhaps his possession of Hitler’s speeches merely indicates an interest in Hitler’s genius at propaganda. The Führer often described his defeats at Stalingrad and in North Africa as great victories. Trump continues to endow his diminishing world with significance as well. “There’s nobody that has the cash flow that I have,” he told The Wall Street Journal long after he knew better. “I want to be king of cash.”

See also – Donald Trump’s ex-wife once said Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, Business Insider, Sept 1, 2015

Testimony in support of SB 5224 to end Eyman’s Anti-Tax Push Polls

Testimony in support of SB 5224 – concerning advisory votes 

 Eliminating Eyman’s push poll tax advisory votes from the ballot

Washington State House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations

Steve Zemke – Tax Sanity           March 11, 2019

The Washington State Ballot for the last ten years has been cluttered with nonbinding push poll questions on tax measures passed by the Legislature.

These so called “tax advisory” questions” were put there as part of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960 as an attempt to increase public resentment to any “tax” measures despite their benefit to  the larger public. The ballot title for each is basically written as an anti-tax push poll based on Eyman’s ballot title language in Initiative 960 that stipulated the polling question wording.

They carry no Legislative weight as they only record voters’ opinions. They are like a public opinion poll paid for by taxpayers. But Eyman tries to use them to build public opposition to funding public services by wording them such that voters will be inclined to respond negatively to any tax increase. Under Eyman’s definition of tax increases he also includes any efforts by the Legislature to repeal any tax exemptions or tax expenditures even if they are no longer needed or are no longer meeting the state priorities of government.

Deciphering Eyman’s ballot title language is very tricky and confusing to voters. They seem purposely written to try to get voters to vote to repeal any tax increase passed by the Legislature.   And unlike initiatives, the write-up on these so-called tax advisory votes in the voter’s pamphlet contain no explanatory statement, no pro and con statements, and no fiscal impact statement.

In fact, the State Attorney General has no real ability to even try to fairly explain the issue in the ballot title since Eyman’s initiative 960 required that the ballot title be worded as he wrote it:

The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people, (identification of tax and description of increase), costing (most up-to-date ten-year cost projection, expressed in dollars and rounded to the nearest million) in its first ten years, for government spending. This tax increase should be:
Repealed . . .[ ]
Maintained . . .[ ]

Please end this waste of taxpayer dollars to promote Tim Eyman’s anti-tax propaganda and misuse of the public ballot to further his self-serving anti-tax initiative promotion business. Vote to move SB 5224 out of committee to Rules and to the House floor for passage by the full House. Push polls to promote a private business deserve no place on Washington State’s ballot.

Update Information SB 5224 was prime sponsored by Senator Patty Kudder and Senators Hunt, Takko, Keiser, Nguyen, Darneille, Das, Wellman, Saldana, McCoy, Hasegawa, and Pedersen. The bill has been heard in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations. Please contact your Representatives and urge they vote for this bill by clicking on this link  SB 5224 and then clicking on “comment on this bill.”  Thanks.

Require Presidential Candidates to Release Their Tax Returns

Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns during the 2016 Presidential Election has spurned a lot of attention and effort to require future candidates running for President to release their tax returns. Below is some relevant background material on the status of efforts to change this in 2020 and beyond.

“In polls, the populace wants disclosure of the president’s tax returns 67%-24% with some polls showing that 64% of Republican’s desire disclosure.”

Forbes, President Trump and Tax Return Privacy, April 5, 2018

Candidates who won’t disclose taxes shouldn’t be on ballot, Lawrence H Tribe, Richard W Painter, and Norman L Eisen, CNN, April 14, 2017

Sign Here – Change.org petition – We want to see Trump’s tax returns.

Can States Ban Trump From the Ballot If He Doesn’t Release His Tax Returns?  New Republic,  March 7, 2018

Maryland Senate Bill 256, March 1, 2018 passed State Senate

Md Senate Passes Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns, NPR, March 6, 2018

Rhode Island -2018 – S 2612 Substitute A June 19, 2018 passed State Senate

Rhode island latest state to try and fail to force Trump to release his tax returns, CNN Politics, June 22, 2018

New Jersey – 2017 – S 3048, passed 2017 by Legislature, vetoed by Governor Christie

Christie vetoes Trump-inspired bill to require tax returns, Matt Friedman, Politico, May 1, 2017

Oregon – Proposed Law would make Trump reveal his tax returns to be on Oregon’s 2020 ballot, Oregonlive.com, Jan 24, 2018

California – California’s Brown Vetoes Requirement that Presidential Candidates Release tax Returns , Common Cause, Oct. 16, 2017

Indivisible – Moving Beyond the 2018 Election

The following is an excerpt from a November 9, 2018 article in the New Yorker entitled Indivisible, an Early Anti-Trump Group, Plans for a Democratic Future by Obysita Nwanevu.   You can read the full article by clicking on the link.

Indivisible’s ideas for what Democrats should do with their new House majority begin with what Levin and Greenberg call a democracy agenda: a new voting-rights act in response to Republican voter suppression, along with larger reforms to the federal government, including statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“A healthy democratic body would’ve rejected Trump the same way a healthy body rejects a virus,” Levin said. “That didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen because of a conscious effort by conservatives that is decades old to undermine democracy—disenfranchising young people and communities of color in order to entrench their power. And the way that we get all the nice things we want, whether it’s environment or taxes or immigration or reproductive rights, is by fixing the system so it actually responds to the will of the people.”

Of course, none of this will happen under Trump. But Levin and Greenberg say that Democrats should start building support for these ideas and crafting a long-term policy agenda now. “This is the time when you have those conversations within the Party,” Greenberg said. “So that, when you’re actually in power, you’re ready to go and you have a consensus solidified around the approach.”

She added, “You’re going to have to move beyond ‘We’re the party that cares about preëxisting conditions.’ ‘We’re the party that doesn’t want things to get worse’ is not an acceptable message for 2020.”

Re-elect Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez is on the November 2018 ballot. He is running for re-election. The media has paid very little attention to this race. As a result many voters do not know who he is. He is running against an opponent who has been rated as unqualified. A statewide poll earlier this year commissioned  by the Northwest Progressive Institute noted that the public was not familiar with either of the candidates.

The following e-mail was sent out by the Friends of Steve Gonzalez Committee. We are reprinting it here for your benefit. Please vote for Justice Gonzalez.

I have sent this message out to my contact list in support of Justice Steve Gonzalez and ask that you consider doing the same. I am concerned about the recently released poll showing that most voters are uninformed about the race. Every vote counts, and we know that the most effective means of getting people to vote is a message from someone they trust.

I strongly urge you to vote to retain Justice Steve Gonzalez on Washington’s Supreme Court. His reputation as a trial judge and a Supreme Court justice is outstanding. Justice Gonzalez is smart, thoughtful and hardworking, He devotes himself to serving the public, first doing the work of a justice, and also speaking to community groups, mentoring students and younger attorneys, and teaching civics to young people.

Justice Gonzalez is a man of unquestioned integrity, and a devoted husband and father. He has presented himself to all of the bar associations in the state and has been rated exceptionally well qualified by each of them. Before becoming a judge, he prosecuted terrorism, hate crimes and domestic violence. He also was a business attorney and worked for free for people who could not pay.

In sharp contrast, his opponent has no judicial experience, and has avoided ratings by bar association and legal rating organizations. He is being sued by the Attorney General for campaign finance violations and was found by the King County Bar Association to have violated its Fair Campaign Guidelines.

Please vote to retain Justice Steve Gonzalez on our Supreme Court. Washington needs his experience, dedication to fairness and his good judgment.

Please forward this information to your contact list and share the post on Facebook to ensure we have a strong, trustworthy Justice re-elected to Washington’s Supreme Court.

My best,

Judge Deborah Fleck (Ret.)

King County Superior Court

Paid for by Friends of Justice Gonzalez
Friends of Justice Gonzalez
603 Stewart St, #819
Seattle WA 98101 United States
additional information links:
Supreme Court Challenger Leads in Poll, Runs From Camera – KIRO7, Essex Porter, October 26, 2018
Campaign limitations, racial biases, and a Washington State Supreme Court race, Washington State Wire, Sara Gentzler, October 29, 2018