Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033 Grassroots Joke

We all love a good joke. Tim Eyman told one the other day on KING 5 News Up Front Blog. He was bragging about how much grassroots fundraising support Initiative 1033 had gotten.

Initiative 1033 is Eyman’s latest wealth transfer scheme. This one is to transfer state tax revenue, of which 57% comes from the state sales tax, to commercial and residential property owners in the form of reduced property taxes. The more property you own, the larger your tax break or loophole.

Anyway, twice on the Up Front blog comment thread Eyman couldn’t resist claiming I-1033 has “a very broad base of grassroots support.” He claims that he has “received 2063 individual donations totaling $664,769 so far. 2063 – that’s really extraordinary…”

What’s extraordinary is that how big a misrepresentation of the facts this is. The fact is that only 3 donors contributed some 86.5% of the money raised for I-1033.

Michael Dunmire of Woodinville gave $300,000. Tim Eyman borrowed $250,000 and loaned it to the campaign. And Kemper Holdings LLC of Bellevue owned by Kemper Freeman who owns Bellevue Square Mall gave $25,000.

These top 3 donors in the campaign contributed 86.5% of the total cash raised. This hardly sounds like a grassroots campaign to me. Especially since they spent $598,081 to get the signatures. That’s an average of $1.89/signature.

I was also curious how Eyman’s number of individual donations doesn’t match up with what the Public Disclosure Commission has.

The PDC reports Eyman raised $664,769 through June. This is the figure he used in his comment. Yet the PDC website lists only some 897 contributions. A closer look revealed that some contributors gave 2 or 3 or 4 times, so the numbers of contributions is actually more than the number of contributors.

The PDC in addition lists without names or amounts some $20,345.56 Eyman reported as small contributions so I’m sure that this is where his 2063 “contributions” come from.

The funny part is that under named contributors he lists one person as giving 5 cents four different times. (That’s 4 contributions!) Another gave 7 cents 2 different times (That’s 2 more contributions!) and a third contributor gave 2 cents.

Manipulating numbers is so much fun. The number of contributions is obviously not the same as contributors and can easily be manipulated. And recording someone giving a nickel to I-1033 four times makes it easy to inflate the number of contributions made.

Have one person give me $25.00 in pennies one at a time and I’ll have more grassroots support than Eyman. What a joke!

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