For those with the tenacity to plough through it (and reach the delightful anecdote at the end – but no cheating!), this is former Gov. Dan Evans sweeping analysis of what he calls “initiatives for hire.”
Short take: “These initiatives of the past decade have left us with a chaotic tax system and obligations for spending we cannot meet. Tax and budget-oriented initiatives are often poorly written, fail to anticipate unintended consequences, and mislead voters.”
It’s the (slightly edited) text of a speech he gave today at the South Everett Rotary and sent to us afterward. Bottom line: Pleeeease don’t vote for Initiative 985.
Today is Halloween, and four days from now is our general election. I’m not sure which is the scariest. We can all vote for our favorite candidates with relative confidence, but it is the initiatives which trouble me.
Initiatives are an important safety valve for citizens. But all initiatives have consequences, many of them not considered when we vote.
When a bill is presented to the Legislature, it is considered within the context of history, the state’s budget, and future impact on the state. Hearings are held, amendments made, arguments given, lobbyists heard, first in one House and then the other. After this tedious trial, a successful bill faces a governor’s scrutiny and possible veto.
In contrast, an initiative requires no scrutiny other than that of the author. They are usually single-purpose efforts which ignore history, distort public budgets and wreak havoc on the future.