This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
Tim Eyman’s latest charge against state officialdom sounds like a bombshell.
The state’s most prolific initiative peddler e-mailed his supporters and the press last week to allege that the “Secretary of State has been perpetuating a fraud.”
Pretty strong words, even for the hyperbolic Eyman.
He claims that Sam Reed is lying when he says that referendum and initiative petitions and the names on them have long been considered public documents in this state. (Reed’s comments came in the wake of a legal challenge to the release of petitions related to Referendum 71, the effort to overturn the state’s “everything but marriage” law for same-sex couples.)
The problem is, this is a sideshow. The dispute over Washington public records law is effectively settled, as it pertains to petitions. The main show lies in federal court, and it revolves around the Constitution.
The secretary of state’s office has indeed been wrong to the extent that it has suggested the release of petitions has been standard practice in Washington. As Eyman asserts, none were released until three years ago, starting with Initiative 917 – the “Save Our $30 Tabs” measure. But the idea wasn’t to spank Eyman personally.
Read more »