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Tim Eyman (born 22 December 1965) is a conservative political activist in the U.S. state of Washington. He advocates for a smaller state government through lowering state taxes and fees. He has written 20 initiatives and one referendum, 11 of which failed or were voted out, while 6 were deemed unconstitutional, leaving only 4 that were passed by voters and still in effect.
|I-200||1998||Prohibit affirmative action in public employment, education and contracting.||Passed by voters with 58%.|
|I-695||1999||Cut the state motor vehicle excise tax (the yearly car tabs) and required voter approval for all tax increases.||Passed by voters with 56% but declared unconstitutional.|
|I-722||2000||Cut state and local property taxes, which fund public services.||Passed by voters but declared unconstitutional.|
|I-745||2000||Required 90% of transportation funding to be spent on road building.||Defeated by voters with 59% opposing it.|
|I-747||2001||Cut state and local property taxes.||Passed by voters but declared unconstitutional in Superior Court and Supreme Court;|
|I-776||2002||Cut local motor vehicle excise taxes.||Passed by voters.|
|I-267||2002||Divert money from the general fund for road building.||Failed to qualify for ballot.|
|I-807||2003||Require a supermajority vote for all tax increases.||Failed to qualify for ballot.|
|I-864||2003||Cut property taxes by 25%.||Failed to qualify for ballot.|
|I-18||2003||Reduce size of King County Council from 13 to 9 members||Passed by voters.|
|I-892||2004||Legalize slot machines.||Defeated by voters with 62% opposed.|
|I-900||2004||Give state auditor ability to conduct performance audits.||Passed by voters.|
|Referendum 65||2006||Repeal ESHB 2661, legalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation.||Failed to qualify for ballot.|
|I-917||2006||Cap motor vehicle registration charge at $30 a year.||Failed to qualify for ballot.|
|I-960||2007||Require a 2/3 majority in state Legislature to raise taxes and fees.||Passed by voters. Overridden/Repealed by legislature in 2010.|
|I-985||2008||Attempts to reduce vehicular traffic congestion through the elimination of car-pool lanes and mandatory signal timing across the entire state, among other means.||Defeated by voters with 60% opposed.|
|I-1033||2009||Applies an inflation and population tied cap to tax revenue.||Defeated by voters with 55% opposed.|
|I-1053||2010||Reinstates 2/3 Legislature majority requirement set by I-960 (which was Overridden/Repealed in early 2010).||Passed by voters but declared unconstitutional.|
|I-1125||2011||Restricts toll rate increases and the means by which toll revenue is spent.||Defeated by voters with 53% opposed.|
|I-1185||2012||Reinstates 2/3 statutory requirement for new or increased fees.||Passed by voters with 64%. Declared unconstitutional|
|I-517||2012||Increase time for signature gathering from ten to sixteen months prior to an election. Provide unlimited access to - and legal protection for - signature gathering on public sidewalks and walkways and all sidewalks and walkways that carry pedestrian traffic, including those in front of the entrances and exits of any store, and inside or outside public buildings such as public sports stadiums, convention/exhibition centers, and public fairs. Set penalties for interfering with signature-gatherers or signers.||Defeated by voters with over 62% opposed.|
In February 2002 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Eyman paid himself $165,000 from campaign donations, while claiming to be working for free. Eyman initially denied receiving payments, but later admitted wrongdoing. The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, the state equivalent of the Federal Elections Commission charged Eyman with diverting $233,000 from his initiative campaigns.  and Eyman eventually settled with the Washington State Attorney General's office, paying $50,000 and accepting a lifetime ban on involvement in any political committee's financial accounts.  Since the settlement, Eyman's co-sponsors and chairmen in his Permanent Offense political committee became more actively involved; Monte Benham of Kennewick became the head of Permanent Offense, though Eyman remained involved politically.
On January 30, Eyman filed an initiative and a referendum, both intended to repeal a measure which added sexual orientation to the list of categories against which discrimination in housing, lending, and employment is banned in the state of Washington. Supporters of the initiative argued the law it was attempting to repeal did nothing more than give preferential treatment to certain groups. In addition to seeking to remove "sexual orientation" from the law, Eyman pushed an initiative that would prohibit state government from requiring quotas or other preferential treatment for any person or group "based on sexual orientation or sexual preference. Eyman had announced he would be turning in the signatures for the gay-rights referendum on June 5. Instead, he showed up at the State Capitol dressed as Darth Vader and then announced he would turn in petitions the next day, at the deadline. He reportedly wasn't carrying any of the signatures, but instead was carrying signed petitions for another car-tab measure unrelated to the referendum. The next day, June 6, Eyman announced he had fallen more than 7,000 signatures short of the 112,440 required to get the measure placed on the November ballot. The state law that he had attempted to put to a public vote took effect on the same day.
On January 9, Eyman filed an initiative to cap motor vehicle registration charges at $30 per year and repeal taxes and fees exceeding the $30 limit. On June 29, Eyman submitted 14,270 pages of signatures for this initiative to the Secretary of State's office. On July 7, Eyman submitted an additional 2,716 pages. While at the front desk, and prior to the counting of any signatures, Eyman requested that the receptionist date stamp a piece of note pad with the number 300,353 on it.
On July 23 Eyman charged the Secretary of State's office with "... gross incompetence, purposeful sabotage, or blatant dishonesty" for the discrepancy of 34,347 signatures. Along with the "receipt" with the number 300,353, Eyman claimed to have kept weekly logs of the number of signatures collected, and wrote the weight (although not the number of pages or signatures) of each box of petitions on the boxes themselves. The Secretary of State's office could not provide the boxes, as they were recycled upon the cataloging of the signatures. It also denied the credibility of Eyman's receipt, noting that official counting had not even begun at that point, and calling attention to their own official receipts. Eyman has been completely unable to substantiate his claim of submitting 300,353 signatures, as he claims to have not made copies of the petitions. On July 28, the Secretary of State's office announced that it had conducted a random sample test of 4% of the signatures, finding an invalidation rate of 17.96%. Based upon this number, the initiative failed to make the ballot. A full check of all signatures collected confirmed this conclusion.
In August 2006 a Thurston County judge blocked a tongue-in-cheek initiative (I-831) proposed by Seattle-area computer programmer and blogger David Goldstein that would have allowed voters to criticize - or support - Tim Eyman by declaring, "The citizens of the state of Washington do hereby proclaim that Tim Eyman is a horse's ass.".
In 2008, Eyman sponsored I-985, which attempted to reduce traffic congestion through various means including:
Eyman submitted approximately 290,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot for the 2008 general election. The initiative claims to follow the recommendations of a congestion study by state auditor Brian Sonntag, but former state transportation secretary Doug MacDonald stated that there is "no connection" between the study's findings and the initiative's goals. Auditor Sonntag himself directly refuted the claim that I-985 implements the recommendations of the state congestion audit.
Critics argued that opening HOV lanes to more cars would not reduce congestion, and in fact would likely cause worse congestion since rush-hour traffic typically lasts longer than 3 hours each morning and night during weekdays. I-985 would also have stalled funding for the replacement of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, since the bridge's construction is currently dependent on tolls that will come from both the current bridge and the I-90 floating bridge. Since both bridges cross Lake Washington, requiring tolls on only one bridge would serve only to push traffic to the other. The initiative also directed no funding toward mass transit, counteracting the desired goals of the revised Proposition 1, which sought funding for expansion of light rail, commuter trains, and bus service in the Puget Sound region. Proponents of I-985 pointed out that highways I-405 and SR 167 have opened their HOV lanes during non peak hours without any noticeable problems.
The initiative was defeated 60% to 40% with only one of the state's 39 counties approving the initiative.
In 2009, Eyman sponsored I-1033, which would apply a cap on revenue tied to the consumer price index and population. The bill is similar to TABOR which was enacted in 1992, and then placed on a five-year timeout in 2005 by referendum, in Colorado. The initiative was rejected by voters.
Eyman sponsored 25 initiatives for 2012, of which only Initiative 1185 made it onto the November general ballot. Approximately 95% of the money to support the initiative is reportedly from "corporate behemoths such as oil companies ... the national beer and soda-pop industries and big pharmaceutical firms."
Eyman filed Initiative 517 on April 15, 2012, to "set penalties for interfering with signature-gatherers or signers." It was referred to 2013 session of legislature, which declined to pass it, sending it to the general election for November 5, 2013. Among those opposing I-517 is former Republican Attorney General of Washington, Rob McKenna, recently publishing on smartergovernmentwa.org:
- I-517, the "initiative on initiatives," would lengthen the amount of time initiative organizers have to gather signatures and require access to public buildings and certain pieces of private property for signature gatherers to solicit signatures.
- The initiative and referendum system is one of our most important democratic tools and the right of the people to petition their government should be robustly protected. While I-517 has some positive aspects, it goes too far and its impositions on private property owners will likely be struck down by the courts.
I-517 is also opposed by Seattle Times   , The Columbian newspaper , The Wenatchee World , The Everett Herald , The Olympian , Washington Research Council , The News Tribune  , Northwest Progressive Institute , Seattle Seahawks , Seattle Sounders FC  , Washington State Democratic Party  and many local Democratic organizations.