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Category: Initiatives and Referenda


Pot will soon be legal, but don’t expect stores to open anytime soon

Washingtonians wondering where they can buy marijuana following last night’s passage of Initiative 502 face up to a year’s wait.

The initiative provides that state regulators have until December 2013 to establish the rules for marijuana sales. From the state liquor board this morning:

I-502 establishes precedent for growing, processing, retailing and possessing marijuana. Essentially, a system will be built from the ground up. The initiative provides the WSLCB until December 1, 2013 to craft rules for implementation. We expect that it will take the full year to craft the necessary rules which will provide the framework for the

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Travel guru Rick Steves coming to Tacoma Wednesday to talk pot legalization

Travel guru Rick Steves will speak in Tacoma Wednesday night in support of Initiative 502, the ballot measure that asks Washington voters to legalize marijuana.

The event — set for 7 p.m. at the Pantages Theater — is part of a 10-city tour Steves is on to promote the initiative.

Expected to join him in Tacoma are fellow I-502 sponsor and former Washington State Bar Association president Salvador Mungia and the Rev. Dr. Gregory Christopher,  pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and President of the Tacoma Branch of the NAACP.

A similar event staged in Olympia last week drew about 20

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What does the late Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson have to do with the two-thirds majority and I-1185? Plenty, says sponsor Tim Eyman

It was something of a stretch even for a politician considered a master of political theater. But according to Tim Eyman, the recent reversal of opinion by The Herald of Everett on the two-thirds tax-vote initiative can be blamed on a guy who died almost 30 years ago.

Here’s how he gets there…The Herald has endorsed his past two-thirds vote initiatives…the Everett-based newspaper recently hired a new editorial page editor and has a new publisher…that editorial page editor is the son of the late Sen. Henry Jackson…it has now reversed its position on the latest version of the tax limit, Eyman’s Initiative 1185.

Therefore, “Scoop Jackson’s son (not surprisingly) comes out against making it tougher to raise taxes.”

I’m not sure why it isn’t a surprise since I’m not sure I ever heard the longtime U.S. senator express an opinion on the two-thirds tax issue before he died in 1983. Given that he held a complex set of opinions – liberal on issues of the environment and labor, conservative on defense and foreign affairs – it might even be hard to guess what his fiscal views might be today.

And Peter is hardly an ingenue, having been involved in various fields from screenplay writing to speech writing for decades, all without his dad’s advice.

For Eyman, however, that’s not enough to separate the two.

“Of course it’s now their editorial board and they can have any opinion they want without listening to both sides — it’s still a free country,” Eyman wrote. “But it’s quite doubtful that Scoop Jackson’s son previously supported I-1053 but now opposes I-1185. It’s more likely that one of the no voters on I-1053 simply has a louder megaphone this time.”

The odd reference to the legendary senator was too much for a Seattle House member who knew him well. Rep. Reuven Carlyle issued his own statement Thursday.

“There comes a time when public officials have a moral responsibility to stand up for civic dialogue. Today is one of those days and this is one of those times.

A young Rueven Carlyle with his mother and Sen. Henry Jackson and his mother

Tim Eyman’s unbelievable, nasty personal insult to Everett Herald Editorial page editor Peter Jackson, a treasured friend and son of one of our state’s legendary public officials in the late Scoop Jackson, went a step too far outside the dignity of Washington’s history of integrity in politics.
Merely because the Everett Herald objectively reconsidered its previous support for Mr. Eyman’s supermajority initiative, a patronizing personal attack on the paper, Mr. Jackson and the memory of Senator Jackson (whom I had the honor of serving as a page for in the United States Senate) was uncalled for. We are better than this as a state and Mr. Eyman demeans us all in demeaning Sen. Jackson’s memory.”

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Pierce County supporters of Referendum 74 outraising opponents, but by smaller margin than statewide totals

Editor’s note: This is the latest in a series of blog articles by University of Washington Tacoma students interning with The News Tribune. They are taking a closer look at campaign finance in the current election cycle.

According to PDC data, Pierce County supporters of Referendum-74, the ballot initiative requiring voters to approve last February’s legalization of same-sex marriage, are outraising opponents by a 3-to-1 margin.

As of Sept. 27, 663 Pierce County residents had contributed a total of $89,382 to Washington United for Marriage (WUM), the Seattle-based PAC leading the fundraising effort statewide

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Judge tosses Eyman lawsuit over I-1185 costs in voter pamphlet

Tim Eyman tried his hand as a lawyer in court today and pretty much lost his shorts. A Thurston County judge threw out Eyman’s claim that the Office of Financial Management needs to change its estimate of taxpayer costs for Initiative 1185 in the voters pamphlet.

I-1185 – which seeks to reassert a two-thirds legislative vote requirement for tax hikes and a simple majority vote requirement for all fee increases – is one of a half-dozen measures on the ballot Nov. 6. Superior Court Judge James Dixon ruled that OFM has discretion under the law and

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Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos give $2.5 million to yes on Ref. 74, the gay marriage ballot measure

The founder of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie made a huge donation to the campaign to approve Ref. 74, a $2.5 million contribution that nearly doubles the amount raised by Washington United for Marriage.

In contrast, opponents of gay marriage who are urging a no vote on the measure have raised just $254,000.

“It’s a game changer for us,” campaign manager Zach Silk told the Associated Press. “It puts us in unique position to win.”

Before today the largest single donations to the yes campaign had been $100,000 checks written by Steve Balmer and Bill Gates.

Washington state

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Charter schools, Eyman tax measures file petitions; both appear to have enough signatures and would swell Nov. 6 ballot to six statewide measures

Backers of a charter school initiative and Tim Eyman’s latest version of a two-thirds vote requirement for tax hikes both met deadlines for submitting signatures to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot. Checking of a sample of signatures is needed, but signs point to both I-1240’s charter schools plan and Eyman’s I-1185 both qualifying.

Assuming that happens, the fall ballot will have six measures ranging from same-sex marriage to debt control and marijuana decriminalization.

Tim Eyman, second from left, preparing to turn in signatures Friday. (AP Photo, Rachel LaCorte)

The Office of the Secretary of State is reporting both I-1240 and I-1185 are in good shape to qualify because they both exceeded the 241,153 minimum – with I-1240 saying it has brought in about 350,000 and Eyman reporting he has 318,000.

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Might be a record: Sponsors of charter schools initiative say they have enough signatures

With the help of big donations from a handful of backers, sponsors of Initiative 1240 which would create charter schools in Washington have made an appointment to turn in signatures at Friday’s deadline.

Brian Zylstra, a spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, said backers have said they will turn in signatures at 9 a.m. Stand for Children director Shannon Campion told the Seattle Times the group has more than enough voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. Initiatives to the people must collect signatures of 241,153 voters and turn them in by 5 p.m. Friday.

That would be one

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