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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.”

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