You can’t keep a good Eyman down.
“Who says politicians don’t listen?” asked Tim Eyman in a recent email to his Washington State supporters.
“OK, you got me: we normally do. But not today.”
Pleased as punch, Eyman announced the resurrection of the two-thirds requirement for legislators to raise taxes. Three times voters have passed initiatives promoted by Mr. Eyman mandating a 2/3 legislative vote or a vote of the people before taxes can rise — in 2007, 2010 and again in 2012, the last two times by a whopping 64 percent vote.
But in 2013, the state supreme court ruled voters could not so limit their state legislature, short of a constitutional amendment. And — you guessed it — the Evergreen State lacks a statewide initiative process for voters to amend the constitution . . . without the permission of their legislators.
Eyman was blocked; the voters thwarted. Legislators could go back to raising taxes as usual.
Not so fast!
Enter State Sen. Mike Baumgartner (R-Spokane), who helped motivate a narrow GOP majority to pass a new Senate rule, 26-23, that no new tax may pass the chamber without garnering a 2/3 vote.
Democrats are livid. “Going around the voters is not only disingenuous,” bemoaned Washington State Democrats Chairman Jaxon Ravens, “it is wrong.”
Going around the voters? Really? It must have slipped his mind that “the voters” had previously voted (and been thwarted) three times.
“[H]as the Senate already nullified any attempt by Gov. Jay Inslee to create a carbon emissions charge or a capital gains tax — solely by rearranging its own internal rules?” asked John Strang at Crosscut.com.
Yes is the answer from those pesky voters.
And from their representatives who listen.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.