Tim Eyman, I’m sure to his own chagrin, hasn’t been in the news much lately. He was shut out in 2014 on ballot initiatives, so there wasn’t much reason to pay attention to him.
Regardless of how relevant he is, Eyman keeps on churning out notices to supporters/press releases. Today, Thursday, Jan. 8, he had good things to say about a proposal, announced yesterday, to amend state Senate rules so a two-thirds majority would be required for tax increases. (We blogged about that yesterday and got some flack for a headline that suggested that one of the authors of this proposal, our Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, was being dodgy. Readers, please note that I feel at liberty to write more provocative headlines for the blog. My track record shows that I’m an equal opportunity offender.)
Here is the full text of what Eyman sent to his email list this morning. I only cut out the end, where he made an appeal to contact your senator and ask him or her to support the two-thirds-for-taxes idea put forward by Ericksen and Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane.
* * * * *
Never miss a local story.
Thursday, January 8th, 2014
To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc'd to the media, house & senate members, and Governor)
RE: 2/3 rule for higher taxes? Temporary protection best option until the Legislature lets the people vote on a constitutional amendment
Sen. Doug Ericksen and Sen. Michael Baumgartner are to be applauded: they are pushing their colleagues in the state senate to institute a senate rule requiring a 2/3 vote in the senate for higher taxes (fee increases will continue to require a simple majority vote). Here are details on it: michaelbaumgartner.src.wastateleg.org/baumgartner-ericksen-propose-new-two-thirds-taxes-rule-cite-taxpayer-protection/
They are giving the 26 members of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus the opportunity to:
* respect the decision by the 2/3 of voters who support the 2/3
* protect the taxpayers for 2 years
* hold Inslee to his no-new-taxes promise, making it tougher for him to push his aggressive tax-hiking agenda
* affirm Republican legislators' longstanding support for the 2/3 (like in 2010 when the Democrats pushed for a legislative vote to take away the 2/3, every Republican voted to maintain it)
* affirm the Washington State Republican Party's unanimous and repeated support for the 2/3
* abide by the unanimous supreme court ruling in 2009 (Brown v Owen) where all 9 justices refused to interfere with the senate's rules and procedures regarding the 2/3
They are asking their fellow members of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus to institute a policy protection the people have repeatedly proven they overwhelmingly support.
Almost 2/3 of voters support the 2/3.
5 times the voters have approved the 2/3 by initiative. The last time, in 2012, the 2/3 received more votes than any initiative in state history (http:// results.vote.wa.gov/results/20121106/Initiative-Measure-No-1185-Concerns-tax-and-fee-increases-imposed-by-state-government_ByCounty.html). It got more votes than Inslee got. It got more votes than Obama got. It passed in every county. It was overwhelmingly approved in all 44 legislative districts outside Seattle. It was endorsed by most of the daily newspapers (Seattle Times, Spokesman Review, Vancouver Columbian, Kitsap Sun, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Longview Daily News, Yakima Herald-Republic, Tri-City Herald, Centralia Chronicle, Wenatchee World, Columbia Basin Herald, Bellevue/Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, Yakima Valley Business Times, and more).
Consensus (con·sen·sus) -- general agreement; judgment arrived at by most of those concerned; solidarity.
Clearly, there is an overwhelming consensus for the 2/3.
The voters have heard all the arguments and they've made their choice: they want it to be tougher to raise taxes.
If the 26 members of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus institute a 2/3 rule for higher taxes next week, those 26 senators will have effectively represented their constituents -- 1.9 million voters will thank them.
Those 26 senators represent legislative districts packed with voters who overwhelmingly support the 2/3. The average level of voter support for the 2/3 in their 26 districts is 70.12%.
Here's the 26 (Majority Coalition Caucus) senators and the support for the 2/3 in their districts:
7th district Brian Dansel 75%
20th district John Braun 75%
2nd district Randi Becker 74%
4th district Mike Padden 74%
31st district Pam Roach 73%
13th district Judy Warnick 73%
8th district Sharon Brown 73%
12th district Linda Evans Parlette 73%
39th district Kirk Pearson 72%
17th district Don Benton 72%
18th district Ann Rivers 72%
16th district Mike Hewitt 72%
25th district Bruce Dammeier 71%
9th district Mark Schoesler 70%
14th district Curtis King 70%
47th district Joe Fain 70%
26th district Jan Angel 70%
35th district Tim Sheldon 69%
30th district Mark Miloscia 69%
15th district Jim Honeyford 68%
10th district Barbara Bailey 68%
6th district Michael Baumgartner 68%
28th district Steve O'Ban 67%
45th district Andy Hill 63%
42nd district Doug Ericksen 61%
41st district Steve Litzow 61%
A 2/3 rule will only protect taxpayers for the next two years. It is temporary. But it is the best option until the Legislature lets the people vote on a constitutional amendment (which provides permanent protection).
* * * * *