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Eyman statement sounds uncharacteristically downcast

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Nov. 3, 2009 at 8:02 pm with No Comments »
November 3, 2009 8:13 pm

The time for reading tea leaves will be over soon but here’s one for old time’s sake:

A statement just released by Tim Eyman sounds like someone who think he might lose tonight. Filled with “regardless of the outcome we still won” kind of statements, Eyman praises supporters for a battle well fought and talks about past accomplishments.

Here’s the statement:

Whatever happens with Initiative 1033 tonight, Jack, Mike and I want everyone to know how proud we are of all our heroic supporters for getting 1033 before the voters for a vote. We respect and admire all of you for your enthusiasm and determination to make a difference.

Government doesn’t get better when the citizenry acquiesces – government only gets better when the people provoke it, confront it, and challenge it. Politicians don’t need adoring cheerleaders, they need the people to be hard-nosed coaches challenging politicians to do better.

To all those who supported 1033 with your vote, you sent a clear message demanding greater fiscal discipline. To all those who did not give 1033 your vote, thank you for participating in this historic debate – we listened closely to your concerns and we will work even harder to earn your vote in the future. We continue to learn, adapt, and persevere.

Regardless of the vote totals on 1033 tonight, this campaign has already proven to be a tremendous success. For the past year, 1033 has put a bright spotlight on government and the people have been given an invaluable opportunity to learn more about taxes and spending and government budgeting.

And most importantly, we heard state and local government officials say over and over again that 1033’s limits weren’t necessary because they promised not to raise taxes. There’s no doubt that some voters voted no on 1033 because they believed these promises. With or without 1033, politicians will be hard-pressed to renege on their no-new-taxes promises.

Interestingly, the 1033 campaign is a perfect metaphor for how outgunned the average taxpayer is in the process. Opponents to 1033 were led by the government itself and all the special interest groups, billionaires, and millionaires who control and feed off the government. They spent $3.5 million. Our side raised and spent less than $700,000, most of which went just to get on the ballot.

So we weren’t outspent 6:1, we were outspent 3 1/2 million to none. That same David versus Goliath disparity exists in the legislative process too, but at least with our initiatives, the average taxpayer has a fighting chance to be heard.

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