Editor’s Note: A judge last month ruled that Tim Eyman will no longer be allowed to have financial control over political committees and issued $2.6 million in fines after state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against him in 2017 alleging he laundered donations, disobeyed campaign finance law and solicited kickbacks, accusations Eyman continues to deny.
In the past 22 years, by working together with our thousands of heroic supporters, we’ve qualified 17 statewide initiatives for a public vote. They all limited the governments’ power over us and have saved taxpayers $46.9 billion. And our four two-thirds-vote-to-raise-taxes initiatives have saved taxpayers billions more by stopping and deterring tax increases.
While other initiatives spend $1.2 million to qualify, we averaged $672,000 because we run a tight ship and I often risked my own money.
After two decades of effort, vehicle tabs and property tax increases are dramatically lower than they used to be (liberal judges vetoed those initiatives, but the public’s overwhelming vote pushed politicians to adopt them anyway), government affirmative action is prohibited, the state auditor conducts performance audits of state and local governments, the King County Council was reduced from 13 politicians to nine, red-light ticketing cameras were banned in numerous cities and tax advisory votes allow voters to vote each November on tax increases imposed by the Legislature and inform voters which taxes were increased, their costs and how legislators voted on them.
These amazing accomplishments happened despite fierce opposition from liberals controlling the Legislature, governor’s office, the judicial system and the media.
Because I led those efforts and constantly kicked the hornet’s nest of big government, politicians and the press have been gunning for me.
So in 2012, when a reporting complaint was filed against me by a disgruntled former vendor, I knew what was coming: a witch hunt. And because the government had unlimited resources and I didn’t, I knew I’d never survive it without assistance.
So I asked for help.
As my attorney (former supreme court justice) Richard Sanders said: “Thousands of people voluntarily chose to help Mr. Eyman and his family — there is nothing unlawful about that. People and businesses entered into voluntary business relationships with Mr. Eyman — all of them were legal. Mr. Eyman never took money from anyone — he wasn’t a signer on anyone’s bank account except his own. In every instance, the money he received came from people who chose to voluntarily give it to him. And he consulted with professionals — why wouldn’t he? — to ensure he was following state and federal laws.”
Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson spent nearly $2 million of taxpayer money going after me, my family, friends and supporters. That’s more than all other reporting cases in the last eight years combined!
Generous people responded to my pleas for help, recognized this injustice and abuse of power and helped me fight back. Their checks were made payable to “Tim Eyman Legal Defense Fund,” “Tim Eyman & Family” and “Tim Eyman Watchdog for Taxpayers LLC” — none were campaign donations. Their voluntary assistance, plus our own savings, went toward paying the lawyers and financially surviving this brutal eight-year onslaught.
A year ago, Sanders wrote: “During the recent mediation conference, the AG made clear their priority: the lifetime ban. They don’t care about the money, they want to shut you down. When you told the mediator it was blackmail, you were exactly right. This whole thing is about breaking you so you give up and agree to the ban. But you refused. Good for you! After hundreds of hours of examining the facts and researching the AG’s case against you, it’s clear to me you didn’t violate any laws. You were never the committee’s treasurer — professional CPA Stan Long was your committee’s treasurer — and he did not believe these transactions needed to be reported. He was right, the AG is wrong. Tim, in all my years on the court, I’ve never seen such a miscarriage of justice. Seven years of investigation? Harassment of your wife? Frankly, I’m astounded you’re still functioning. Anyone else would’ve given up a long time ago. I admire your commitment.”
As predicted, a former Gov. Chris Gregoire-appointed judge in Thurston County’s kangaroo court rubber stamped the AG, ignoring the law and the constitution. Go to tinyurl.com/FergusonHypocrisy to learn how the AG’s bizarre claims are fundamentally flawed and reek of hypocrisy (“How much has Democrat Bob Ferguson personally profited from politics? Over $2.8 million!”).
I’m committed to appealing these ridiculously unconstitutional restrictions on the First Amendment because if they get away with it with me, you could be next.
While it gets appealed, despite the risks, I will continue fighting for taxpayers because our efforts are needed now more than ever. Politicians have an insatiable tax appetite and are hell-bent to impose income taxes, carbon taxes and other taxes this session. We’re committed to stopping them.
Ferguson’s fascist eight-year jihad has cost me everything I have. But I’m not going to let him slow me down. Because like President Trump said: “They’re not after me, they’re after you, I’m just in the way.”
Tim Eyman is a longtime political activist from Yakima who graduated from Washington State University and now lives in Bellevue. He can be reached at 425-590-9363 or email@example.com.