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Letter From Tim Eyman to Governor Gargoyle re: I 960 & ESSB 6130

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

February 24, 2010

To:  Governor Chris Gregoire (she can be emailed here:  govcommoffice@gov.wa.gov)

From:  Tim Eyman, ph: 425-493-9127, email: tim_eyman@comcast.net, http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

cc:  Our thousands of supporters throughout the state, all media outlets — reporters, columnists, editorial writers, and others in newspapers, radio, and TV — and House & Senate members

RE:  Eyman to Gregoire:  throw some crumbs to the peasants, veto the repeal of I-960’s advisory vote on tax increases, 2 pages in voters pamphlet with legislators tax votes and costs

        90% of Initiative 960 is/was the 2/3’s vote requirement for tax increases – that was the big enchilada.  You’re going to sign ESSB 6130 at 4 pm today and suspend that requirement for this session and next session and will sign into law BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in higher taxes. 

        That really infuriates a lot of people. 

        But I-960 also addresses a very real problem in Olympia — everything’s an emergency.  The emergency clause makes bills ‘referendum proof’ and that’s what’s going to be slapped on every tax increase bill you sign this session.  The people’s constitutionally guaranteed right to referendum will be taken away on every one of them.

        I-960 anticipated this unfair situation and proposed a modest remedy:  rather than stopping the indiscriminate overuse of the emergency clause, it simply says for any tax increase bill where the people’s right to referendum is taken away, at least give the voters a chance to express their opinion (with a non-binding advisory vote) and give the voters 2 pages in the voters pamphlet listing legislators’ tax votes, their contact information, and the cost of the tax hikes.

        In other words, I-960 provided transparency and a voice for the people.

        Chris, you will take away the 2/3’s vote requirement at 4 pm today (I’ll see you there) but throw some crumbs to the peasants:  veto the repeal of I-960’s advisory vote on tax increases and the 2 pages in voters pamphlet. 

        This morning’s Seattle Times asks for the same thing — Gov. Gregoire:  Use veto to keep transparency provisions of Initiative 960http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2011165339_edit24veto.html

        I’m asking you for this small mercy even as you take away what voters worked so hard to pass (3 times).

        This reminds me of a scene from Troy, one of my favorite movies.  Right after Achilles (played by Brad Pitt) kills Hector in a duel and drags his body back to his camp, Hector’s father Priias, the King of Troy, sneaks into Achilles’ tent and confronts him:

Priias:  “You have taken everything from me, my eldest son, heir to my throne, defender of my kingdom.  I cannot change what happened, it is the will of the gods, but give me this small mercy, I loved my boy from the moment he opened his eyes to the moment you closed them.  Let me wash his body, let me say the prayers, let me place two coins on his eyes for the Boat Man.”

Achilles responds:  “If I let you walk out of here, if I let you take him, it doesn’t change anything:  you’re still my enemy in the morning.”

Priias answers:  “You’re still my enemy tonight … but even enemies can show respect.”

         For the past six years, it is clear that you and the voters have battled over taxes.  And with regard to this particular battle, you will succeed at getting rid of 90% of I-960 — you will take away the 2/3’s vote requirement for tax increases, the jewel of I-960’s crown.

         But if you have any honor, any honor at all, you will grant the voters this small victory, proving that “even enemies can show respect.”

SB 6130 PASSED.

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Yes………..  They Did.

Is Washington State legislature  working overtime to live up to the democrats label of being the “tax and spend” party”? Perhaps they should take a lesson from the new Governor of NJ who just  placed a spending freeze on the state. Governor Christie said New Jersey is on the verge of bankruptcy and declared a fiscal emergency, announcing drastic cuts. 

 “Revisit its rich union contracts,” Christie said. “And they may also have to consider service reductions or fare increases.”  Yet Governor Gregoire  refuses  to revisit union contracts and will be giving union member their raises, while making drastic cuts to health care, poor, sick and elderly. 

6130 passed the house 51-47.

Here’s the breakdown:

Voting Yea: Representatives Appleton, Blake, Carlyle, Chase, Clibborn, Cody, Conway, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Ericks, Flannigan, Goodman, Green, Haigh, Hasegawa, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Jacks, Kagi, Kenney, Kessler, Kirby, Liias, Linville, Maxwell, McCoy, Moeller, Morris, Nelson, O’Brien, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Quall, Roberts, Rolfes, Santos, Sells, Simpson, Springer, Sullivan, Takko, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, White, Williams, Wood, and Mr. Speaker

Voting Nay: Representatives Alexander, Anderson, Angel, Armstrong, Bailey, Campbell, Chandler, Condotta, Crouse, Dammeier, DeBolt, Driscoll, Eddy, Ericksen, Fagan, Finn, Haler, Herrera, Hinkle, Hope, Hurst, Johnson, Kelley, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, McCune, Miloscia, Morrell, Nealey, Orcutt, Parker, Pearson, Priest, Probst, Roach, Rodne, Ross, Schmick, Seaquist, Shea, Short, Smith, Taylor, Wallace, Walsh, and Warnick

Here’s the Latest on SB 6130 – I 960

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s what I find this morning.  I watched this debate until about 10:00 last night.   They’re going to convene at 10:00 today to continue the debate and vote later today.  Please make a trip down there if at all possible.  If you can’t make it to Olympia, you can watch the live debate and vote here: http://www.tvw.org/index.cfm?bhcp=1   You can also find it broadcast on TVW Station from your local cable provider. 

Wash. House has debate on suspension of I-960

By RACHEL LA CORTE | Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The state House had a contentious debate Tuesday night over the temporary suspension of tax-limiting Initiative 960, with opposition Republicans maneuvering to delay a vote.

Related Stories & Links

Washington state Legislature (weblink)

Making full use of their limited power, the GOP minority asked to indefinitely postpone action on the bill, a move that allowed each legislator up to 10 minutes of speech time and led to about six hours of debate. The House currently has 61 Democrats and 37 Republicans, and the motion ultimately failed.

“This bill completely guts taxpayer protection in this state,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas. “I think there is no greater thing we can do than to respect the will of the people.”

The House is expected to return to the floor at 10 a.m. Wednesday for more debate before voting on the measure that would suspend I-960, which was approved by voters in 2007.

The initiative requires that two-thirds of the Legislature approve any tax increase – a significant hurdle compared to the simple majority approval needed for other bills.

The Senate already has endorsed a suspension of that rule until July 2011, when the next two-year budget cycle begins. Majority Democrats said they needed to make that move to patch a budget deficit now pegged at $2.8 billion.

Democratic lawmakers plan to increase taxes and cut spending to balance the deficit, but they don’t have enough members to get a two-thirds vote in either the Senate or House.

“I believe that my voters want me to have a balanced view of how I look at our budget and our responsibilities here,” said Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina.

Lawmakers can amend initiatives with a simple majority vote after they’ve been on the books for two years, making this the first legislative session that Democrats can suspend I-960.

But critics of the plan said it would be a mistake to raise taxes while Washingtonians try to recover from the worst recession in decades.

“The bill before us would raise taxes during one of the worst economic downturns of our state,” said Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

As it stands, the I-960 suspension bill would still allow e-mail notifications to be sent to the public about proposed tax increases, including 10-year cost projections of the measures. But the rest of the measure would be suspended, including a requirement for a nonbinding advisory vote by the public on taxes passed by the Legislature.

Four Republican amendments were rejected Tuesday night, including one that would restore the advisory vote requirement.

The changes to I-960 must clear both chambers and be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire before lawmakers can move ahead with tax-raising votes. Gregoire is expected to approve the Legislature’s plan.

The state Senate would have to vote on the bill one more time before it could be sent to Gregoire for final approval.

The I-960 suspension is Senate Bill 6130.

Washington State Fascists will try again to suspend I-960Legislative do-over

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

This is INFURIATING.  These FASCISTS need to hear from us, and soon.  To ignore the State Constitution and the will of the people is absoloutely jaw-dropping.   Their imperialistic attitude will not be tolerated and they’re going to see just how mad We, The People are in November, but I hope they hear us LOUD AND CLEAR before then.  To say that they’ll face a WALL OF RAGE, no matter what they do, so they should just do it anyway is absoloutely UNACCEPTABLE and APPALLING.  This is Nazi crap we’re dealing with now, folks.

 GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE.  YOU ARE FIRED.

Vote would suspend entire initiative, not just part of it.

State Senate Democrats say they flubbed their vote on suspending the two-thirds vote requirement in Initiative 960 for tax increases, and they need to vote again as soon as today on a broader measure.

The Senate voted 26-23 on a largely party-line basis to suspend the supermajority vote requirement for I-960. But they really intended to suspend the entire initiative and will have to vote again, Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, said Tuesday evening in a news release.

The new vote would completely suspend Initiative 960, including its requirement for nonbinding or advisory votes for any tax increases as well as publication of all tax increases approved and who voted for them.

“Today’s vote was a recognition of the revenue crisis facing our state and 47 others, and the need for immediate responsiveness on the part of the Legislature to the state’s current budget emergency,” Prentice said in her statement. “Suspending the entire initiative allows for prompt action now, avoiding the added delay and additional cost to the state that a November public advisory vote would require.

The state treasurer says the state will run out of cash by September, so you can see how that sort of delay is something the state just can’t afford.”

Republicans roasted the Democrats in floor speeches during a more than two-hour floor debate for purportedly “gutting” I-960 with Senate Bill 6843. The GOP is likely to step up those attacks.

The vote on SB 6843 initially appeared to move the Democrat-controlled Legislature another step closer to being able to raise taxes as they work to plug a budget gap now measuring $2.2 billion.

Sen. Tim Sheldon of Potlatch and four other Democrats – Steve Hobbs of Lake Forest Park, Claudia Kaufmann of Kent, Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor and Chris Marr of Spokane – had crossed over to vote with Republicans in opposition.

Until the do-over was announced, the bill was supposed to go to the House, where Democratic leaders said a vote might not occur until next week. Democrats need Gov. Chris Gregoire to sign the bill into law before tax bills can move easily through the two chambers, because they do not have two-thirds majorities needed to approve taxes, as I-960 requires. Gregoire also backs the bill; her legislative director said she wants to be sure lawmakers can provide revenues to avoid an all-cuts budget.

In a lead-up to their vote, Democrats dropped a plan to amend several details of I-960 besides the tax-vote requirements. Instead, they chose to focus on the vote requirements – a move that was less severe than their decisions to fully suspend two education-funding initiatives in 2003 and again last year.

Rural Democratic Sens. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam and Brian Hatfield of Raymond led the changed strategy, and it was the way a majority of the caucus preferred to go, according to Sen. Tracey Eide, Democrats’ floor leader. But it still drew thundering objections from Republicans, who said its emergency clause prevents a public referendum to overturn SB 6843 in November.

Republican Sen. Mike Carrell of Lakewood and others complained Democrats were “thwarting the will of the people.’’ But Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina said the circumstances of the state have changed dramatically since 51 percent of voters approved I-960 in November 2007, and the economic downturn has cost 225,000 jobs in the state. “This is not an easy vote, but it is the right vote,” Tom said. “We are in unprecedented times. How many of you have lived through a time like this? How many of you have family members that are unemployed, that are losing their jobs? I do,” said Sen. Eide, D-Federal Way. “Think about this. We are in a crisis. We need to think logically. And who do the people of this state turn to when they need help? To you, me, all of us. They turn to us.”

The vote on I-960 is needed to free up action on other measures to raise revenue. For instance, the House is waiting to act on a bill that closes several tax “loopholes.” Among those is House Bill 3176, which will be heard in the House Finance Committee. HB 3176 would raise $205 million in the budget year ending in June 2011, according to Rep. Ross Hunter, the Medina Democrat who sponsored the bill and is the chairman of the Finance Committee. The bill closes a tax break that was widened by a 2009 Supreme Court ruling in the Dot Foods case; it also adds an excise tax to privately owned airplanes, eliminates a sales tax break for out-of-state residents who shop in Washington, and imposes other taxes on out-of-state firms that do a certain minimum amount of business in Washington.

Numerous other tax proposals are on the table, including a tripling of a hazardous-materials tax that would mainly hit oil refiners and makes of pesticides; a cigarette tax increase; and taxes on candy, bottled water and other products.

Hospitals also have a proposal for increasing the tax, or “assessment,” they pay as a way to generate a larger matching payment by the federal government.

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown has not ruled out broader taxes on businesses instead.

Whatever happens with I-960, Republican Sen. Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley warned in a floor speech that lawmakers face “a wall of rage” from voters if they repeal or suspend I-960.

Democrats say that misses a larger point. Hatfield, a conservative Democrat, said in an interview before the vote that Democrats face voter anger no matter what they do. He said lawmakers already cut several billion in spending last year, which affected law enforcement and drug-prevention efforts in his district. “I think we get a wall of rage either way. If we vote for another all-cuts budget, we’ll have a wall of rage,” Hatfield said. “The easy thing to do is say, ‘Let someone else solve the problem’ and vote no. That’s irresponsible.”

 

http://www.theolympian.com/southsound/story/1132118.html

Dems: YOU PEASANTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Many of you have inquired about the status of the I 1053 and I 960 issue. I’m posting the email I just received from Tim Eyman on this matter and I hope this answers some of your questions.
RE: Democrats aren’t bound by votes, not even their own — “you peasants don’t understand, the rules don’t apply to us”

A vote on the floor of the Senate yesterday by the Democrats eliminated the 2/3’s legislative vote requirement for tax increases. Voters have approved that law 3 times and that 2/3’s law has survived 4 court challenges — the voters are clearly on record demanding that that be the law.

Nonetheless, Democrats in Olympia took it away yesterday without hesitation — they are clearly planning on violating that voter-approved law in the coming weeks and during all of next year’s legislative session after the election.

But in their zeal to steal more of the taxpayers money, they realized after their vote, that the citizenry would learn of their treachery because of I-960’s transparency provisions.

So now they’re saying yesterday’s vote doesn’t count. Now they’ve ordained they’re entitled to a ‘do-over’ vote, eliminating not just the 2/3’s vote requirement, but all of I-960’s sunshine policies, especially the bills’ costs and legislators’ voting records.

Democrats in Olympia aren’t bound by 3 votes of the people, nor are they bound by their own vote yesterday. They are above the law, above the rules, above reproach, above criticism.

With their dictatorial, banana republic approach to governing, why are they even having another vote? Why not just ‘decree’ that Democrats don’t have to follow the law, aren’t required to follow senate rules and cut-off dates, and don’t have to disclose the costs, hearing dates, sponsorship, and voting records of legislators? Why are they even pretending to follow the rules or abide by the Constitution? Such strictures only apply to us mere mortals, not to the demi-gods in the Democrat party.

During the debate on the Senate floor yesterday, Democrats didn’t even allow for a full discussion, voting to cut-off and truncate debate. Rodney Tom’s exasperated “let’s get on with it” captured perfectly the Democrats’ arrogance.

Citizens worked for 300 days to qualify and pass I-960, waited nearly a year for a unanimous state supreme court rejecting Lisa Brown’s lawsuit, and yet Democrats whined about spending a couple of hours discussing the ramifications and implications of eviscerating this 3 time voter-approved policy.

The Democrats’ scheme is to screw over the taxpayers, while making sure we never find out who screwed us and by how much.

The most effective, constructive, meaningful response to their arrogance? Committing ourselves to getting Initiative 1053 on the ballot and resurrecting the 2/3’s vote requirement for tax increases.

Let their arrogance fuel your efforts.

Petitions are printed and were mailed last Friday to our thousands of supporters throughout the state.  You can request petitions at: www.voterswantmorechoices.com

SB 6843

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment

This, another example of how our rights are under attack.  I guess I will have to drop everything to attend this very important meeting.  

Folks, our “representatives” are on a rampage.  They know they’re in trouble in November and they are doing everything they can now to destroy our legislative process.  If we lose this, we will no longer have the right to speak in OUR house.

Please attend this meeting if you are able.

Just today, Senate Leader Lisa Brown told the press that there will be a public hearing tomorrow on SB 6843, a bill that will cripple I-960.

Legislators are looking to go beyond simply ‘suspending’ I-960, attempting instead to amend it, therefore changing it completely. Details on what the amendment will do can be found at www.libertylive.org.

It has only been two years since the people of Washington voted this initiative into law and our legislators are already trying to gut some of its most critical components, permanently! You can make a difference! Please attend the public hearing tomorrow in Olympia at 1:30pm and show your support for I-960.

EFF’s economic policy expert, Amber Gunn, will be testifying. When you arrive, be sure to do two things: 1. Sign In – As you sign in, you will have the opportunity to mark whether you support or oppose the bill. This goes into record and is a way to influence the outcome without testifying. 2. Indicate if you want to testify or not – You don’t have to say a lot; just share your perspective as a taxpayer. It will make a big difference.

What: Public Hearing on SB 6843 (amending I-960) Where: Senate Hearing Rm 4, J.A. Cherberg Building, Olympia, WA When: Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 1:30pm (arrive early at 1:00pm) 

If you cannot make it to the hearing tomorrow, please contact your legislators and tell them to oppose SB 6843!

Our Legislative and Constitutional Rights are Under Attack!

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Friends, this could be the week that legislators move to “suspend” I-960, effectively making it easier for them to raise taxes, and do so behind closed doors. 
 
While this Blog is dedicated to Second Amendment issues, I feel this attack on our rights here in Washington State is only the beginning. If they’re successful in this unconstitutional effort to destroy our legislative process with regard to tax increases, they certainly will pull the same tricks with regard to our Second Amendment Rights. 
 
Since the beginning of the 2010 Legislative Session, this possibility has been a topic of discussion on Capitol Hill, but now it is dangerously close to becoming a reality.
 
Here’s how it will likely happen. Legislators will attach a provision to “suspend” I-960 in another piece of legislation that they intend to vote on. The key is to determine which one. We think it might be HB 2971, which is scheduled to have a hearing at 8:00 a.m. this Thursday morning. 

You can help us support I-960 in Two Ways:
  1. Attend the Hearing – If you have the time and ability to travel, please consider showing up to support I-960 and Amber’s testimony.01/28/10 @ 8:00 am
    House Hearing Rm C
    John L. O’Brien Building, Olympia, WA


  2. Contact Your Legislator – The Freedom Foundation has been compiling a list of legislators and their stance on I-960.  Check it to see if your legislator responded to us and what they said. If they support I-960, please call and thank them. 

    If they responded negatively or not at all, please contact them and encourage them to consider how suspending I-960 will impact their constituents.

Does Your Legislator Support I-960?  Find Out Here
 

Call Now!!!

 
 

Signature drive STARTS NOW — Make copies of attached I-1053 petition — Save The 2/3’s Vote For Tax Increases in Washington State!

       “We have to get 960 overturned as soon as possible,” said Lisa Brown, the Democrats’ leader in the state senate.  In the state house, Speaker Frank Chopp wins the Alice in Wonderland down-is-up, up-is-down award for his Orwellian statement:  “We must suspend 960 to carry out the will of the people.”
 
         To counter their arrogant effort to take away Initiative 960’s policies — which have been approved by the voters 3 times and which have survived 2 court challenges — the 14 of us are sponsoring I-1053, the “Save The 2/3’s Vote For Tax Increases Initiative.”   Asked about our initiative recently, Gregoire responded by telling our supporters to “stop meddling” and “leave it to us.” 
 
        I-1053 reinstates I-960’s common sense policy: 
 
*      For state government to raise taxes, the Legislature must receive 2/3’s legislative approval or voter approval (either 2/3’s of the politicians or simple majority of the voters); and
  
*      For state government to increase fees, the Legislature must receive majority legislative approval. 
 
        Initiative 1053’s signature drive STARTS NOW.  After receiving an unprecedented early endorsement by the State GOP on Saturday, we collected signatures at their meeting but more importantly, over 4000 petitions were taken back to all 39 counties by all 39 county chairman.  
 
         We’re scheduled to have more petitions printed next week and after that, we’ll mail a petition to our thousands of supporters throughout the state.  But we ask you not to wait for that petition to arrive in your mailbox — instead, please print up petitions using the PDF file of the petition (it must be printed front & back on 11″ x 17″ paper) and start getting signatures immediately.  You can download the petition here:   http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com or http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com/1053petition.pdf.  Some of you work in offices with copiers and printers that can do 11×17 — if not, you can forward the PDF file to a local FedEx Kinkos, Office Depot or local printer and have them make as many copies as you want (costs about 30 cents a copy). 

       We know what it takes to succeed but there are no shortcuts — collecting over 300,000 voter signatures means 2000 signatures PER DAY — that requires enormous effort and persistence.  To succeed, we need everyone to start collecting voter signatures IMMEDIATELY.  Today.  Right now.  Not a single day can be wasted.  There are events and rallies and conventions and caucuses happening RIGHT NOW and we need all of you to take advantage of every opportunity to collect signatures over the next 150 days — the deadline is July 2nd.   

       Carry a petition wherever you go.  Put it on the door of your office.  Put it on the counter of your business.  Ask local businesses to put it on their counters.  Don’t just let it sit there — ask people to sign it.  Tell them why.  Because politicians don’t get it.  Because politicians aren’t listening.  Because it shouldn’t be easy to raise taxes.  Because working families and senior citizens can’t afford higher taxes, especially now.  Because without these policies, politicians will radically raise taxes and impose huge new fees.  Because I-960’s 2/3’s vote requirement stopped BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of job-killing tax increases over the past 2 years. 

       Please … HELP!!!!!

      
         This is, by far, the most effective counter-offensive to Gregoire’s arrogant tax-raising agenda.  Help make it happen by contributing today.  FULL STEAM AHEAD!

Regards, Our Expanded Team of co-sponsors for I-1053, the “Save The 2/3’s Vote For Tax Increases Initiative”:  Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, Mike Fagan, Mike Dunmire, Senator Don Benton, Senator Janea Holmquist, Erma Turner, Nancy Nelson, Dagny Lord, Keli Carender, Senator Pam Roach, Rep. Matt Shea, John Ahern & Ken Morse, ph: 425-493-9127, email: tim_eyman@comcast.net, http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

SAVE THE 2/3’s VOTE FOR TAX INCREASES • PO Box 18250 • Spokane • WA • 99228 • PH: 425-493-8707 • FAX: 425-493-1027 • www.VotersWantMoreChoices.comjakatak@comcast.net

Amber Gunn, the Freedom Foundation’s Economics Policy Director, will be present to testify on behalf of I-960.

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