Jayne Tim Eyman hopes that this year his initiatives pay off

first_imgOn a certain level, Tim Eyman is quite likable.Sure, critics might alternatingly refer to him as a gold digger or a charlatan or a gadfly, but Washington’s most prominent anti-tax activist also is personable and engaging and quotable. You know, the things that newspaper people like to find in a subject.So, when the Associated Press noted last week that Eyman already has filed 17 proposed ballot initiatives this year, it seemed like a good time to give him a call and provide the preacher with a pulpit.“All we do is put ideas out there, and it’s the people who make the decision,” Eyman said. “You’ve got to start with the idea; you file ideas that you believe in and see how it comes out on the other end.”Eyman, in his mind, plays the role of crusader. That’s another monicker frequently attached to him, and it can be either a compliment or a pejorative — depending upon who is delivering it. He has played this role for some 15 years, making it his mission to come up with an idea and gather signatures and alter Washington politics in his own small way.Of course, there is little variety to Eyman’s proposals. This year’s batch includes working titles such as the “Taxpayer Protection Act,” “Tougher on Tolls,” and “Bring Back $30 Car Tabs.” Previous ideas have been a two-thirds majority requirement for tax increases, which voters have embraced several times, and a 1 percent limit on property-tax increases. And if more than a handful of his measures that have been approved by voters have been overturned by the courts or by the Legislature, well, that’s politics.last_img

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