Mike Dunmire passed away last weekend. Mike helped me form the Liberty Initiative Fund, serving as an original board member. But he was best known as a key funder of Tim Eyman’s Washington State ballot initiatives.
Indeed, Eyman’s incredible success at the ballot box — I once called him “America’s Number One Freedom Fighter” — would not have been possible without Dunmire, who was happy to help: “I honestly think he is the only one who gets anything done, and the money could not be better spent.”
Dunmire loved the initiative process. When legislators considered adding a $100 fee for citizens to file a ballot measure, Dunmire eloquently objected:
This hundred dollars may not seem like very much. It will eliminate some people who have fringe ideas. But let me tell you once it was a fringe idea that the world was round. I don’t think we want to suppress these ideas, and I think that all this bill does is buy a tremendous amount of ill will. . . . You maybe will make $10,000 off of this, but you stick a finger in every citizen’s eye. . . .
A native of Woodinville, Washington, he balanced humility with wit, hard work with compassion. He once jokingly introduced himself as “the Woodinville Think Tank President” at a legislative hearing.
“Although starting out with very little, I’ve been fortunate,” Mike once wrote. “I live in the most beautiful state in the union, I have my health, a wife I love, and had a career that brought me financial success. I’ve supported many philanthropic efforts during my life. In recent years, I’ve supplemented my ‘normal’ charitable giving by supporting political efforts to hold government more accountable.”
Mike Dunmire remains alive in the hearts of all those he helped.
This is Common Sense. I’m glad I knew you, Mike.