News Jun 6, 2012 at 4:00 am

Democrats Win the First Battle in a Wonky Lawsuit That Could Break the Conservative Stranglehold on State Politics

State representative Jamie Pedersen is one of the plaintiffs trying to dismantle Tim Eyman’s unconstitional initiative. Kelly O


Yeah, don't loosen those shackles just yet. The supremes are already in punt formation.

Overriding the thrice-approved will of the people is tough business when you are forced to face election.

I do recall Gregoire saying you do not raise taxes during a recession. So what's the big deal? She would have vetoed any tax package anyway. Right?
because the lib-tards have been soooooo successful running our state!! Really?? Your happy with the way it is, has been and is destined to be with these undisciplined morons run the budget into the ground??

These are the people that have you BUY new license plates every 5 years so they can be better seen by the cameras that ticket you when you drive across a bridge that you have already paid for.

Anyone that agrees with that deserves to have their bank account raped.
Go, Jamie, GO!
All Tim Eyman's initiatives do is freeze a broken tax system in place. Under-taxed folks may never see their taxes go up, but the majority of overtaxed Washingtonians will never see their taxes go down either.

The sad thing for Democrats is that having this budget restriction in place probably let more fiscally moderate people vote for them.

Those people might have thought, well, I don't want any cuts, but I don't want more taxes, and if I vote for a Democrat who can't raise taxes that would be ideal.

Now, however, that "tax increase safety net" has been taken away. This should bode well for moderate Republicans who pledge not to raise taxes!
Reps. Pedersen, Jinkins and the other legislators involved in this case deserve thanks for their leadership. WEA members -- teachers, support staff and college faculty members -- deal with the very real impact of 1053 every day. We've slashed over $2.6 billion from our K-12 school system in recent years, largely because of the Legislature's Eyman-imposed inability to raise revenue. And if the Legislature is going to actually fully fund K-12 as required by the state Constitution (and the McCleary court decision), we can't let unconstitutional restrictions stand in the way. Ultimately, our kids' future and our state's economy are at stake.
@4 The problem is that with our current system of taxation, the main way for senators to raise revenue is to tax the hell out of the already overtaxed population in the most regressive way possible.

Look at the taxes that attempted to get passed when the Initiative lapsed: soda and sugar taxes, and cigarette taxes (all permanent) and a temporary increase in business taxes and sales taxes.

If you notice, only ONE of these taxes is not completely regressive...and it was temporary. Everything else takes a higher gouge out of the people who have it.

The problem isn't in the initiative. It is in our constitution. We depend on a large portion of our taxes to be recessive because we don't have the option to tax salaries.

Note that the taxation in this state is completely lopsided. According to an several-year old study, we are the most regressive in the nation. And, whenever the majority party has a chance to unilaterally enact new taxes, they make it worse. We should not be giving them that power. The 2/3 majority ensures that the taxes enacted are bipartisan even if they don't necessarily benefit the populace.
The problem is that not once while the 2/3 vote requirement was in place has the Legislature raised anyone's taxes. In 16 years it's only been when the 2/3 vote was temporarilt suspended that any revenue was raised. A 2/3 vote means that only 17 Senators or 34 Representatives out of 147 Legislators total can stop any revenue increase.
The 2/3 vote also has prevented the Legislature from repealing any special interest tax exemptions that are no longer benefiting the state.
Why do you think the Association of Washington Biusiness and BP and Tesoro and Conoco-Philips are putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into Eyman's rerun of his unconstitutional measure - so they can keep their tax exemptions while we cut education and senior care and healthcare for children.
Corporations are looking after their profit - they are not concerned about our regressive tax system. They love it that they don't have to take any cuts to the dollars flowing to their bottom line. They love it that Eyman is carrying their water and selling it like its to benefit the working folks in this state. What a joke.
Munro in "Gerberding vs. Munro" is not spelled with an 'e'. Ralph was Secretary of State for 20 years. At least spell his name right.
I think we can all agree on the following points:
A. Hard-working Washingtonians are seeing their wallets drained by state government bloodsuckers.
B. Tim Eyman deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, or at bare minimum whatever the Washington State equivalent is.
C. Jamie Pedersen is a snotty, elitist punk who deserves to have that "Dennis the Menace" smirk slapped off his face.
D. You can find a record of Chris Gregoire kinda sorta "promising" never to raise taxes so long as she is governor of Washington.

Even granting all these simple truths, to say that you can rewrite the state constitution through simple legislation--which is clearly what the I-1053 two-thirds majority does--well, that's like saying Congress can outlaw mosques without having to worry about that silly, little First Amendment thing.

The thing I don't quite understand is why everyone has been playing along with this legal charade through so many years and so many initiatives. Perhaps someone out there can explain to me what I'm missing.
@8 "The 2/3 vote also has prevented the Legislature from repealing any special interest tax exemptions that are no longer benefiting the state."

Yes, that's exactly what we saw happen during the brief hiatus 2 years ago. We saw all the special interest tax exemptions bear the brunt of our recession. Right? Maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

If I were optimistic instead of realistic, I'd agree with you. But, in reality, non-regressive taxation has the unlikeliest outcome. IOW, the poor will get FUCKED.
@10- I heartily agree with your penultimate paragraph. For instance, under the initiative process, once it is on the ballot, a simple majority (oddly not 2/3 or 66%) of the voters can ratify it. Certainly one could argue that those who do not vote are tacitly endorsing the status quo. So a low turn-out close election can result in minority (albeit motivated) rule. Is this really a justifiable method for amending the constitution?
20 years of smirking initiative for hire work, and Eyman gets a pass?
@10 & @12: With the exception of A, that it is the Republican and Tea Party state employees who are the bloodsuckers, I disagree with you otherwise on all of your listed points.
Besides a functioning brain, here is what you're obviously missing:
R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N-S are the ones who are raising taxes on the rest of us while THEY keep getting RICHER with THEIR insane tax breaks!! They're LAUGHING at those of us hard-working and over taxed Washingtonians!
Tim Eyman, creator of all these shamefully harmful initiatives, deserves to have his Darth Vader smirk slapped off his face, while Jamie Pedersen, Governor Chris Gregoire, Senator Patty Murray and others deserve a Nobel Peace Prize---as well as a Purple Heart Medal---for so many DUMBASS BACKWARDS REPUBLICANS STANDING IN THEIR WAY!!!!
Please reread @8, Steve Zemke's post.

Blasted legislation! Washington should make itelf just as unliveable as California! Then Washington can be filled up with only two classes of people: too rich to care and too poor to leave.

And no matter how much we try to couch this in the false left-right paradigm of reblicans/democrats are bad/good, EVERYBODY who is not in the "in crowd" is paying.
Anything Tim Eyeman is selling must be snake oil.
Eymanazi can't amend the cunstitution because he's not the majority of the state legislature (check out the red circle for Washington's front page at for proof!).Besides;the CONsTITution mandates that certain goods and services be procured by the set of people who make up the state government,NOT the Private/For-Profit Sector!(state schools,state parks, and state-road maintenance are well-known examples).If Eymanazi lived in Oregon,California,or Montana,then he'd be able to perpetrate alot of his pro-Fuedalist activities without violating THOSE states' cunstitutions . . . .
When will Eyman give this shit a rest? Is he going to keep doing this 'til he's lowered Washington to the freaking Calvin Coolidge era?
The days when the system was based solely on what was good for the rich?

Enough already, Tim. You hate taxes and gays. You hate modern life. You hate reality. We get it. Please go away. All you've done is to drag your state further and further towards the worst eras of the past. Just stop. A Washington where state government was at 1920's levels, where there was no mass transit(or buses only running once an hour or less, which is essentially the same thing)where nobody who wasn't a straight white guy had any rights or any hope, is not a state a decent person would want to live in.

If you want all that, just move up to Alaska. The medieval era is back in full force up here.
There ya go. Let's throw a bag around Tim Eyman, tie his sorry ass up, and ship him one-way to Alaska, where he can get eaten by a bear.
I already feel sorry for the bear.
Well, we should at least slather Tim in Ketchup and wrap bacon around him. Even bears have some standards.

Please wait...

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