Professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman called on Friday to say his legions will be back in action this weekend, but he didn’t want me to put anything in The News Tribune until Monday.
He did, however, agree to let me post this, as long as it was delayed until Sunday morning. (That’s the great thing about blogs: I can write this Friday afternoon and have it show up at 5:28 a.m. Sunday. Niki Sullivan, the computer savvy half of our team, showed me how to do it.)
So, here’s the deal: Eyman had 60,000 petitions for Initiative 985 printed on Friday and will be mailing them to 25,000 supporters in his database this weekend. Folks will start getting them in the mail tomorrow.
He’s also hired a paid-signature gathering firm, Citizens Solution, run by “Big Roy.” Roy has been with Eyman for several years.
Eyman has until the Fourth of July to collect 224,880 valid signatures to win a spot on the November ballot. Eyman says the first official signature on I-985 was that of KIRO radio host Dori Monson. Partly because Eyman was on Monson’s show Friday and partly because Eyman got the idea from a Monson interview with Sen. Adam Klein to dedicate the half-percent for the arts (on transportation projects) to the congestion relief fund that would be created by I-985.
I-985 would open carpool lanes to everybody during non-rush hours, make cities synchronized traffic signals on main streets and give more money to the crews that clear freeway accidents. It also would create a special account fed by 15 percent of the sales tax on vehicle sales, the former half-percent-for-art money and revenue from red-light ticket cameras in cities. That adds up to about $175 million a year that would be spent on congestion relief.