Eyman fundraising is a giant shell game

Eyman raises over $120,000 to pay “legal bills”, including his PDC fine from last year totaling $55,000.

Now you see it, now you don’t. Tim Eyman is at it again. Another movement of megabucks, this time $120,000 in money flowing between bank accounts faster than the eye can see. Tim Eyman had hoped that this flow would have been invisible to the public eye. Send checks made out to “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate” he said, and your name and donation will not be made public. Who are his political donors that want to keep their name secret?

The money Eyman says has gone to pay “legal fees” includes paying back his business corporation, Permanent Offense, Inc for the $55,000 it paid in penalties and fines last year for illegally funneling over $200,000 to his campaign consulting firm without disclosing he took over $50,000 in salary for his work. Paying Permanent Offense, Inc back $55,000 means that Eyman has transferred to the Permanent Offense bank account new money and he can now pay himself a salary but never disclose who is supporting him. Meanwhile he claims that he has given almost $34,000 in kind to the Initiative I-807 campaign to give a 1/3 legislative voting minority control over the state budget.

Eyman loves to harangue elected officials about “lusting for money” and saying the only way to treat government is to limit all funding. The types of accountability he thinks elected officials should have are the same ones which he refuses to abide by.

“It’s time to come clean, Tim! The voters would ask an elected official caught in this type of shell game of money transfers to resign,” said Steve Zemke of Taxpayers for Washington’s Future. Taxpayers for Washington Future is a political action committee opposed to Initiative 807.

With all the confusion, Eyman might want to voluntarily disclose, not just to the press but also to the public, his bank accounting and his income tax returns. Is this “Tim Eyman, Tax Advocate” registered with the state or the Federal government as a legal defense Fund or is it a personal account in Tim Eyman’s name or is it a business account? Are their any other officers besides Tim Eyman, and who decides which checks are written to whom, and for how much?

Many questions arise regarding “Tim Eyman, Taxpayer Advocate.” Calling this bank account a legal defense fund and using it to pay back $55,000 in fines owed by Tim Eyman and previously paid by his business means that new undisclosed political contributions totaling some $55,000 will now appear in his Permanent Offense business account–money that now can be used to pay Tim Eyman a salary off the public disclosure books. (He currently has “donated” some $34,000 in consulting work to the I-807 campaign.) The $55,000 was paid by Permanent Offense last year and probably was listed as a business expense for his corporation. Now it is to come back as a gift from anonymous donors to support his business. Why would people want to do this? Probably because they support Tim Eyman’s political work which would make their gift a political donation.

It is certainly creative bookkeeping and probably deserving of a real close look by not just the PDC but also the IRS. And the state will probably also want to take a look at this creative financing arrangement to make sure that it is not losing business tax revenue. Based on Eyman’s past actions his protesting innocence and swearing it is all legal does not make it so. That is why a careful investigation by the PDC and others is warranted and necessary.

Note – Taxpayers for Washington’s Future is a political action committee filed with the Public Disclosure Commission as opposing I-807.

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