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Jim Davis, Editor
jdavis@heraldnet.com
Published: Monday, February 1, 2010

Some legislators again targeting people’s initiative petition rights

Once again, politicians who are opposed to the initiative process are going whole hog this session with another legislative jihad, introducing a slew of anti-initiative bills.

None have been scheduled for a hearing yet, but the chair of the house committee with jurisdiction is lead sponsor on several of them.

Their attack on the initiative process has been a yearly effort since 2003 — every year, a bunch of house and senate lawmakers push Speaker of the House Frank Chopp to allow these bills to go through.

He needs to be reminded that the people, the ACLU, and every newspaper in the state have vigorously and consistently defended the initiative process from bills just like these and are ready to do so again this year.

Speaker Chopp’s office phone is 360-786-7920. His email address is chopp.frank@leg.wa.gov (and send a copy to me, tim_eyman@comcast.net). Let him know that you oppose these legislative efforts to gut the initiative process. Why these politicians are making it their top legislative priority to attack the people’s right to participate, especially during such a critical election year, is truly stupifying.

Senate Joint Resolution 8202, for instance, sponsored by Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-Seattle), amends the Constitution and removes the people’s initiative and referendum powers. Ken Jacobsen is the most honest elected official on this issue. He’s openly pushing to take our rights away from us. The sponsors of the other anti-initiative bills hide their opposition and seek to impose unneeded, costly requirements on citizens so as to effectively repeal the initiative process with a stealth “regulate to death” strategy.

(Editor’s note: Tim Eyman also notes that Democratic leaders in the Legislature are talking about raising taxes to balance the state’s budget, which would have to include dumping the taxing limits of Eyman’s earlier Initiative I-960, which voters passed in 2007 to require a two-thirds vote of the people to raise taxes. That’s why he’s filed a new initiative this year to reinstate those taxing limits.)