Pass ESSB 5082 to end Push Polls on Washington State ballots

Testimony To Washington State Legislature  supporting ESSB 5082  – encouraging electoral participation and making ballots more meaningful by abolishing advisory votes 

My name is Steve Zemke, speaking for Majority Rules. Please pass ESSB 5082 to end these phony advisory votes on our ballots.  

As written Advisory votes are really an anti tax, anti revenue  push poll on Washington state ballots. The ballot format was written by Tim Eyman as a means to influence public opinion and promote his anti-tax initiative business. 

All other ballot measures are written by the Washington State Attorney General’s office. The ballot title is meant summarize what the public is voting on. It is not supposed to present a bias one way or another. 

Yet Eyman’s ballot language  starts with  “the legislature imposed, without a vote of the people” is hardly an  unbiased or neutral statement. 

“costing _____ over 10 years”  likewise is meant to inflate what is happening. State budgets are two year budgets, not ten year budgets.  

“for government spending” likewise insinuating that anything the government does is bad.  

No other state has advisory votes on their ballots. End these push polls on our ballots. They mislead and misinform the  public in what they are voting on. They do not repeal any legislation. That is what referendums are for

Michigan begins campaign to join National Popular Vote to elect US President and Vice President

An initiative late last year was filed in Michigan on signature gathering on a ballot measure to join the National Popular Vote. So far 15 states and the District of Columbia with a total of 195 electoral votes have joined the National Popular Vote.
On November 3, 2020, Colorado became the first state in the country to approve the National Popular Vote at the ballot box.  Other states that have the initiative process that haven’t yet signed on can follow Colorado’s example and do what Michigan is doing.
Michigan has 15 electoral college votes. When states with a total of 270 Electoral Votes join the National Popular Vote,  the President and Vice President winners will be those with the largest popular vote across the country.
The National Popular Vote would mean every vote of citizens across the country will be equal and  not dependent on which state you live in. One-person, one-vote is what other democratic nations around the world rely on. The US Electoral College is an outlier.
Washington state is one of the 15 states already signed on – a bill was passed in the Washington State Legislature in 2009 and was signed by  Governor Gregoire.

Support the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State

The following e-mail was received from the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State.
Quick question: do you support the Electoral College? 
YES        NO
It’s as big of an impediment to free elections in this country as the new wave of voter-suppression laws.Despite losing by over 7 MILLION votes in 2020, Donald Trump still came within 44,000 votes of winning the presidency through the Electoral College.It should be simple: one person = one vote. But the Electoral College means some states still hold disproportionate power over choosing our president.Out of the last four presidents, 50% took office despite losing the popular vote – and both were Republicans.But we want to hear from you. Do you support the Electoral College? Take our one-click poll below and let us know! 
YES        NO

DASS is a national organization supporting the election of Democratic Secretaries of State who are committed to protecting and preserving voting rights and ballot access for all Americans through fair, honest, open, and accurate elections.

Help us fight back against the GOP’s voter suppression agenda by pitching in today!


Donate Now

Paid for by Democratic Association of Secretaries of State, Treasurer Nellie Gorbea
Democratic Association of Secretaries of State777 S FIGUEROA STREET SUITE 4050Los Angeles, CA 90017United States

Nov 3, 2021 update of Seattle City Election of Nov 2, 2021


Data from King County Elections site – Updated: 11/3/2021 3:44:41 PM

City of Seattle
Ballots Counted: 153,662
* Registered Voters: 489,996 31.36 %

Bruce Harrell    97,763    64.22 %
M. Lorena González    53,965    35.45 %
Write-in    512    0.34 %

City Attorney
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy    61,430    41.47 %
Ann Davison    85,543    57.75 %
Write-in    1,142    0.77 %

Council Position No. 8
Teresa Mosqueda    77,149    53.22 %
Kenneth Wilson    67,123    46.31 %
Write-in    683    0.47 %

Council Position No. 9
Nikkita Oliver    59,497    39.97 %
Sara Nelson    89,059    59.83 %
Write-in 287 0.19 %

* Reflects the voter registration as of Election Day, November 02, 2021
November 2021 General Election 31 Last Updated: 11/3/2021 3:44:41 PM

NPI Media Advisory – “Advisory votes” are propaganda and can’t be used to “gauge public opinion”

“Advisory votes” are propaganda and can’t be used to “gauge public opinion”


DATE: Wedsnesday, November 3rd, 2021TO: Washington State Reporters, Editors, and ProducersFROM: Andrew Villeneuve, Executive Director, Northwest Progressive Institute

In the last fifteen hours, our team at the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) has seen several stories published or aired that incorrectly describe statewide “advisory votes” as a means of allowing voters to express a viewpoint on recently-enacted tax increases.

For example, a KING5 story contained this line: “Advisory Vote 37 is meant to gauge public opinion” while The Seattle Times characterized “advisory votes” as allowing “voters to sound off on tax bills passed by the Legislature.”

These characterizations are incorrect. “Advisory votes” are in reality propaganda conceived by Tim Eyman to undermine public confidence in the work of the people’s elected representatives. They aren’t meant to gauge anything, and they can’t be used to measure public opinion.

Because they are prejudicially worded, the responses are worthless. The “results” simply don’t tell us how voters truly feel about the state’s new capital gains tax on the wealthy or the other two bills the Legislature passed last session that happened to increase state revenue.

As any reputable pollster knows, asking a loaded question in public opinion research produces garbage data.

Here are three essential facts about “advisory votes” that should be included in any reporting about them:

#1: The format and wording of “advisory votes” is prejudicial and was devised by Tim Eyman

Real ballot measures (like initiatives) are represented on the ballot with titles written by the Attorney General’s office. The title is intended to be a synopsis of what the measure is and does; it is the official representation of the measure on the ballot.

However, unlike real ballot measures, “advisory votes” are not written by the Attorney General’s office. They follow a formula created by Tim Eyman which is spelled out in RCW 29A.72.283. Eyman’s formula, as mentioned, is loaded with prejudicial language:

  • “The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people…” (It’s actually the Legislature’s job to make fiscal decisions on the people’s behalf.)
  • “… costing $_____ (amount over ten years) … ” (Ten year cost estimates are deceptive and misleading; budgeting isn’t done in ten year increments. Any number sounds more impressive when you take it out over ten years.)
  • “… for government spending.” (When the Legislature raises revenue, there’s always a reason or a purpose for its action; for example, the new state capital gains tax funds the Education Legacy Trust.)

Then there are two responses: “Repealed” and “Maintained”.

“Repealed” is shown first, because that’s the oval Eyman wants voters to fill in. “Maintained” (which is also weak, nonstandard verbiage) is shown second.

Ordinarily, “Yes” or “Approved” is shown first, and “No” or “Rejected” is shown second for a ballot measure. If you’ve covered politics for any length of time, then you’re familiar with this dichotomy. Since Eyman’s goal with “advisory votes” is to influence how people think instead of measuring public opinion, he flipped the standard dichotomy on its head, all to serve his agenda of using propaganda to generate even more propaganda for attacks on our elected representatives.

#2: Voters aren’t informed that regardless of which oval they fill in, nothing will change

Real ballot measures have binding outcomes. When an initiative passes, it results in a new law being created. When a referendum is rejected, it results in a law the Legislature previously passed being repealed. When a constitutional amendment or charter change passes, it means our plan of government is being altered.

“Advisory votes,” on the other hand, aren’t binding. 90% of voters could fill in the “Repealed” oval and no tax would be repealed.

The coverage of “advisory votes” that we’ve seen has responsibly stated that “advisory votes” are not binding.

But it’s important to go a step further when writing about “advisory votes” and explain that voters are not told that their collective responses will not change fiscal policy. There is no disclaimer anywhere. The only clue is in the heading: “Advisory Vote.”

Voters should not have to find out from news coverage that something they’re being asked to vote on isn’t going to have any impact, unlike with a real ballot measure.

#3: There is an active effort underway to repeal “advisory votes” and replace them with information that’s actually useful in the voter’s pamphlet

Legislation is currently pending in the Washington State Legislature that would not only permanently abolish “advisory votes,” but replace them with useful information about the Legislature’s recent fiscal decisions in the voter’s pamphlet. Passage of this legislation (Senate Bill 5182, prime sponsored by Senator Patty Kuderer) would remove a barrier to voting and get Tim Eyman’s anti-tax propaganda off our ballots while making the Legislature’s work more transparent.

Polling commissioned by NPI shows Washingtonians favor this legislation.

We have asked three times whether voters want to get rid of “advisory votes.” Since, as explained above, we can’t know what people really think if we ask a loaded question, we wrote a question that presents some of Tim Eyman’s arguments in favor of “advisory votes” followed by some of our arguments against them. The wording for Eyman’s arguments was sourced right out of his email missives… it’s wording he actually uses himself.

Each time we’ve asked, in three different statewide polls, we have found that a plurality of voters support repeal, while a smaller number are opposed and a significant percentage aren’t sure.

Here’s the text of our question:

QUESTION: The Washington State Legislature is considering legislation that would abolish the non-binding statewide advisory votes that are triggered whenever a bill is passed that increases state revenue. Proponents of advisory votes say they allow voters to vote on tax increases and transform the voter’s pamphlet into a tax increase report card, enabling voters to find out what Olympia is doing to them. Opponents say that advisory votes are actually costly push polls designed to confuse the public, which ought to be eliminated to save valuable tax dollars and prevent legitimate measures and candidate elections from being pushed to the back of the ballot. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose abolishing non-binding advisory votes?

The last time we asked, in October of 2020, we found 42% in support of abolishing advisory votes, 22% in favor of keeping them, and 35% not sure. Net support for repeal increased to 20% from 17% in 2019. Our October 2020 survey had a sample of 610 likely 2020 voters, was conducted between October 14th and 15th for NPI by Public Policy Polling using calls to landlines and text messaging, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0%.

We know this particular survey had a truly representative sample because every single electoral result from this survey foreshadowed the subsequent statewide results several weeks later. See our retrospective on that here.

Additional information about “advisory votes”

About Permanent DefensePermanent Defense is a project of the Northwest Progressive Institute that protects Washington by building a first line of defense against threats to the common wealth and Constitution of the Evergreen State.

About NPIThe Northwest Progressive Institute is a regionally focused nonprofit working from Washington, Oregon, & Idaho to constructively transform our world through insightful research and imaginative advocacy. NPI was founded in 2003 and is based in Redmond, Washington.

Northwest Progressive Institute8201 164th Avenue NE, Suite 200, Redmond, WA 98052-7615 | | Twitter: @nwprogressive

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 (360) 786-7642
Kuderer, Patty (D)
Vice Chair (360) 786-7694
Zeiger, Hans (R)
Ranking Member (360) 786-7648
Muzzall, Ron (R)
Assistant Ranking Member (360) 786-7618
Hasegawa, Bob (D) (360) 786-7616
Hawkins, Brad (R) (360) 786-7622
Takko, Dean (D) (360) 786-7636

Steve Zemke
Director – Tax Sanity