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Extraordinarily Unusual

Tim Eyman

“It’s a government-on-government fight,” reports Seattle-based KOMO News, as the Pierce County Council voted 4-3 to provide assistance in defending Initiative 976 in court.

The ballot measure, which limits car license fees among other provisions, passed 53 to 47 percent statewide last month, including a whopping 66 percent affirmative vote in Pierce County. And — you guessed it — I-976 was immediately swarmed by life-devouring locusts — er, I mean, sued by “a handful of counties, cities, transportation agencies, and one transit rider.”

In short, many governments seek to undo a vote of the people . . . along with a lone citizen to serve as fig leaf.

Against only one government, Pierce County, now joining the voters.

Late last month, a judge in King County, one of only four counties (out of the state’s 39) to vote against I-976, issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the initiative, while the case is being adjudicated.   

The voter-approved measure does have Attorney General Bob Ferguson lawyering on its behalf. But Mr. Ferguson has been engaged in a multi-year civil lawsuit against Tim Eyman, the sponsor of 976. The two aren’t friends. And the AG is no friend of lower taxes, either. No surprise, then, for Eyman to talk of “sabotage” and Ferguson’s mere pro forma defense: “he truly doesn’t want it to succeed.”

This isn’t a government-on-government fight, but governments-versus-voters. With the wonderful exception of Pierce County, where political representation still lives.

“This is the first time a government has ever actually done something to defend a citizen initiative,” remarked Eyman at a Tuesday news conference. 

“It is really extraordinarily unusual,” he added.

That’s how out-of-control government in our “democracy” is. 

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


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Tim Eyman

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