Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Washington State’s I-517 failed yesterday. Did demonization help assure its defeat?

In the state’s Voters’ Pamphlet, the second item against the measure was “I-517 benefits Tim Eyman” because, it was alleged, the measure would allow Eyman to “double his output and increase his profits.”

Eyman is a great guy, but to insiders in the Evergreen State he’s the Devil Incarnate. He keeps on promoting initiatives that would limit the state’s seemingly unlimited taxing and spending propensities.

So, of course, he’s demonized, though the idea that I-517 would’ve benefited his professional operation more than everyday citizens just entering the process is absurd.

But speaking of absurd, and of demonization, you can’t get more of either than Harry Belafonte. The august old singer spoke in a New York church in favor of Democrat mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. Identifying David and Charles Koch as “the Koch brothers,” he went off on a tear, objecting to their spending money on causes Belafonte doesn’t approve of:

Already we have lost 14 states in this union to the most corrupt group of citizens I’ve ever known. They make up the heart and the thinking in the minds of those who would belong to the Ku Klux Klan. They are white supremacists. They are men of evil.

What possible warrant there could be for the “white supremacist” charge? None was offered. Chalk it up to partisan hysteria, hyperbole. But, truth is, the Kochs aren’t devils, nor are other wealthy individuals who fund causes, whether we like their politics or not.

The ad hominem ad diabolos? — fixation in politics continues to plague debate, making otherwise intelligent people seem like fools.

Unfortunately, it too often works.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Jerry Martens says:

    As a Washington voter, I support everything that I 517 stood for with the exception of allowing the gathering of signatures at “any public place”. If I understand this correctly, if private property was open to the public, they would be required to allow signature gathering. I voted against the measure purely on a personal property rights position.

  2. Drik says:

    Freeze it.
    Personalize it.
    Polarize it._ Alinski_Rules for Radicals

  3. Free Man (NOT) says:

    As Ann Coulter’s book title said,
    Harry should “Shut Up and Sing”.

  4. Sure tired of lies and emotionalism rather than any facts and information.

  5. Paul Jacob says:

    So sad to hear that, Jerry. The attacks of the No side completely twisted the part of 517 allowing petitioning at public places.

    Here is a blog post on a property rights leader in Wash St endorsing 517 and refuting the false statements about it:

    Property Rights Leader Endorses I-517

    The president of a Washington state property rights group endorsed a YES vote on the pro-initiative Initiative 517 and called charges from opponents that the measure violates the property rights of businesses: “bogus.”

    Citizens Alliance for Property Rights President Preston Drew, in a letter to the Snoqualmie Valley Record, wrote:

    “I sit on the board of Washington’s largest and most active property rights organization. Opponents have attacked the initiative because they claim it allegedly violates property rights. This is bogus. No one cares more about property rights than I do. But I’m also a huge supporter of the initiative process. There’s no conflict between the two. Courts have ruled that petitioning in places open to the public is guaranteed by the First Amendment. I-517 doesn’t change that.”

    I-517 certainly provides protection from harassment for those who circulate or sign petitions, but it doesn’t change current law and court precedent regarding petitioning on private property, including public property leading to businesses. But that fact hasn’t stopped the opponents of I-517 from arguing in the state’s voter pamphlet that if 517 passed, “Business owners could not stop petitioners from blocking a business.”

    “I am an early and strong supporter of Initiative 517, which seeks to protect the initiative process,” Mr. Drew wrote. “It guarantees a vote on qualified initiatives, extends time to collect signatures, and stops bullying of people participating in the process.”

    Snoqualmie Valley Record: Letters / Support for ‘ordinary folks’ in initiative process

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