Washington State Voters on Election Day exercised their collective wisdom in defeating two conservative initiatives and supporting one progressive one.
Initiative 933 – regarding private property
This rejection of I-933 represents a significant victory. This is the second time this issue has been voted on and each time they have been clear victories for growth management and environmental protection. Washington voters strongly support maintaining growth management, zoning and environmental protections. This law was too extreme in covering both personal and real property and was a threat to community values and taxpayer dollars. The main funders of this measure, out of state New York real estate developer Howard Rich and his Americans for Limited Government, along with the Washington State Farm Bureau, were decisively defeated in their campaign.
Unfortunately voters in Arizona approved their version of the pay or waive legislation by passing Proposition 207 by a 65% to 35% vote. Meanwhile voters in 2 other states, Idaho and California rejected similar measures.
See also Property Rights Measures Rejected In Washington and Other States But Arizonans pass a regulatory takings measure.
Initiative 920 – regarding the estate tax
This is another decisive victory for progressives. The campaign won with a clear message and a great ad that articulated that 99.5% of Washington estates as well as farms were not affected by this tax and that the tax went to fund education for Washington’s children.
Initiative 937 – regarding renewable energy
A clear win for proponents of clean energy and secure energy working to give us more energy independence. The initiative requires that by 2020 the major electric utilities in Washington receive 15% of their new energy capacity from renewable energy. Unfortunately a measure in California to create an alternative energy fund lost after huge spending by the oil industry. Now I wonder where they got all that money to oppose alternative energy.
Posted in Economy, Elections, Energy, Environment, Initiatives
Tagged estate tax, growth management, Initiative 920, Initiative 933, Initiative 937, private property, renewable energy
The lawyer, and father of Bill Gates of Microsoft, William H. Gates has written the following important message for Washington voters. I received it in an email from the Noon920 Campaign.
“I hope that you will join me in voting No on Initiative 920 this November 7th. This misguided initiative will gut $100 million a year from funding our schools and have real consequences, like higher class size for the young people of Washington.
Initiative 920 would repeal the state estate tax, a tax that only the wealthiest in our state pay. In fact, 99.5% of Washingtonians don’t pay the tax. With a threshold of $4 million per couple, less than 250 estates a year pay this tax and family farms are fully exempt.
Join me in preserving critical funding for public education, and the only fair and progressive tax we have in Washington State.”
William H. Gates,co-author of Wealth and our Commonwealth
The Noon920 campaign has the following additional recommendation:
Next week the ballots drop in the mail around the state.
As people start to vote, please reach out to your friends, family and neighbors and encourage them to vote NO on 920.
If you’re a part of an organization, please reach out to your members and alert them to the importance of voting NO on 920.
Also encourage them to endorse the campaign through our website at www.NoOn920.org and contribute as they can.
Send your friends and family in Washington state a copy of this page by clicking on the e-mail link below – it looks like a little envelope.
And encourage them also to vote:
No on Initiative 933 – the developer’s initiative to end zoning, growth management and environmental protections and
Yes on Initiative 937 to promote use of renewable clean energy
Not surprising, big donors are once again dominating initiative campaigns in Washington state this year. See Initiative reports from PDC.
With his August 8, 2006 donation of another $150,000, real estate developer Martin Selig has now given a whopping $807,500 to the Initiative 920 campaign to abolish Washington State’s estate tax.
Coming in second is the married couple of Michael and Phyllis Dunmire of Woodinville who have been almost single handedly paying for Tim Eyman’s Halloween Madness at the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia. They contributed $357,500 supporting his latest attempt to reduce transportation funding – Initiative 917. The outcome of that effort still remains in doubt as every signature is being checked on the petitions he filed.
Coming in third is the Libertarian moneybags of numerous term limits, tax cutting measures and developer’s rights initiatives across the country. Americans for Limited Government, which is not based in Washington State but in Illinois, gave $200,000 to help collect signatures for Initiative 933 – the Farm Bureau’s effort to eliminate zoning and growth management controls that protect individual homeowners. The measure is best called a Developers Rights Initiative since they are the main beneficiaries.
The person behind Americans for Limited Government is Howard Rich. He is a billionaire real estate developer who lives in New York. Expect to see more money from him in the I-933 campaign. Americans for Limited Government gave some $827,000 to AZHope to collect signatures in an effort to put a developer’s rights initiative on the Arizona ballot this November.
Posted in campaign finance, Economy, Initiatives
Tagged Americans for Limited government, campaign finance, Howard Rich, Initiative 917, Initiative 920, Initiative 933, Martin Selig, Michael Dunmire, Washington State estate tax