Initiative 933 – Who is Howie Rich?

Who is Howard Rich? Voters in Washington might want to know since the organization he chairs, Americans for Limited Government, has contributed $260,000 to the Farm Bureau’s effort to eliminate zoning and growth management protections for property owners in Washington State.

Initiative 933 is a snake hiding in the grass. Supporters say it will prevent the government taking away your property without compensation. In reality, it allows developers to extort taxpayers to either pay them for not doing a development that zoning and growth management laws prohibit or force government to waive the laws and regulations that protect homeowners and businesses from inappropriate and environmentally damaging development.

How desperate are the supporters of I-933? The yeson933 website contains a Saturday morning cartoonist video comparing developers to the Mafia in collusion with a corrupt government. What? And it says the issue is the misuse of eminent domain.

Problem is I-933 is not about eminent domain. And one of the biggest supporters of I-933, is New York State real estate developer Howie Rich. I agree he is the villain but not as this cartoon tries to misrepresent the issue. Talk about an attempt to confuse the voters. Or maybe its really an attempt to create controversy and get media attention. The truth doesn’t really matter it seems.

There has been some good work going on elsewhere tracking who Howie Rich is, because he and his cronies at Americans for Limited Government, have been throwing lots of money around to promote not just “Pay or Waive” initiatives , but also Tabor style initiatives to limit government spending and also judicial races.

One great source of information is a website On this site you will find a treasure trove of information. Areas covered include: “Howies Issues, Hidden Money, Shadowy Players and Dirty Tactics” Also there are sections on how you can fight back.

As NOW on PBS reported last week, “Organizations associated with Rich have funneled nearly $7 million into 2006 state initiatives aiming to limit government in 12 states, according to an investigation by The Oregonian published last month. Rich has generally declined to reveal how much of the money comes from his personal wealth, and is not required by campaign finance laws to report how much he privately funds his various groups.”

You can view NOW’s video clip here.

A check with the Oregonian figures shows that the contribution amount is dated as of Aug 4, 2006 and does not include Washington’s $260,000.

A blog out of Oregon, Boregasm , has been writing prolifically about Rich and Americans for Limited Government. It is very verbose and now numbers 18 separate lengthy posts but is great reading. Clicking on the link above will take you to “Reportage on Perfidy Made Simple, or, Read the Series in Series” which provides separate links to each of the 18 posts.

NOW credits Hart Williams who writes Boregasm as the inspiration for their story. You can connect to Hart Williams interview on NOW here.

To help prevent out of state developers like Howie Rich in New York from trying to dictate what kind of laws we have and how we choose to live in Washington State connect to the Noon933 campaign. Volunteer to help. Give them a contribution. Speak up now for local control of our future. Tell your friends and neighbors to vote NO on I-933 on Nov. 7.

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