November 7, 2009

To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc'd to the media, house & senate members, and Governor)

From: Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan, Fighting for Taxpayers for Twelve Years, co-sponsors of Initiative 1033, ph: 425-493-9127, email: tim_eyman@comcast.net, http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com (go to our website to do a secure donation by VISA/Mastercard/PayPal or print out the form below, fill it out, and return it with a check or money order or credit card information)

RE:  "I am behind you, voted for this, and it's not over yet" says supporter Trisha

         Over the past few days, we have been buried in phone calls and emails and one-on-one conversations with supporters just like Trisha.  Her email captures our spirit and the spirit of everyone we've heard from. 

         As in business, in school, and in life, you only lose if you quit.  And this coalition will keep on fighting.  We will learn from this experience, as we have from all our previous efforts, and we will persevere.  The tug-of-war over taxes continues.  Taxpayers are lucky to have so many people like you willing to continue fighting for them.  

         The article below appeared in newspapers throughout the state this week.  Every time this reporter says "Tim Eyman" he should have said "Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, Mike Fagan, their thousands of supporters throughout the state, and the hundreds of thousands of people who voted for I-1033" because it's all of us who will continue to fight for taxpayers:

Washington tax activist loses but keeps rolling along

By CURT WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer — Analysis

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Initiative promoter Tim Eyman's solid loss on an anti-tax measure — a topic that's delivered his biggest successes over the years — is sure to ignite another round of political obituaries for the state's top ballot-box activist.

The reality is, Eyman may never go away.

While Washington voters have increasingly handed the controls of state government to Democrats in recent years, they've also kept Eyman hanging around as a counterweight, granting him periodic victories that frustrate the establishment's agenda.

In fact, it seems almost odd to say this, considering his roots as a populist outsider and noisy contrarian.  But Eyman's Mukilteo direct-democracy factory is now simply part of Washington state's political routine.

He'll inevitably chalk up some losses, sometimes failing to qualify for the ballot at all.  But eventually, Eyman and Co. hit upon an idea that resonates with independent voters and gives government fits.

"We're kind of like rain in Seattle," Eyman said Wednesday. "You might not like it, but you might as well get used to it, because we're not going anywhere."

Make no mistake, this year's loss was something unusual. It's not often that Eyman misreads the electorate's appetite for his bread and butter, an anti-tax initiative.

But he clearly overreached with Initiative 1033, which would have slapped growth caps on state, county and city checking accounts while doling out property tax cuts and putting any tax hikes on the ballot.

As anti-Eyman activist Andrew Villeneuve happily pointed out on Election Night, I-1033 was Eyman's first loss on an anti-tax initiative, his first defeat in an off-year election, and the first time he's lost at the ballot two years in a row.

But nevertheless, Villeneuve concluded, "This victory does not mean an end to Tim Eyman."

"I don't think he's going anywhere," agreed Scott Whiteaker, spokesman for the successful No on I-1033 campaign.

I-1033 seemed like a promising plan for Eyman, who organized the measure with his regular Spokane partners, Jack and Mike Fagan.

As a smaller-government project wrapped in the promise of reduced property taxes, it could have been well-positioned to win among voters who have seen home values plummet while hearing politicians float tax hikes as a possible salve for service cuts.

Several weeks from Election Day, both camps had polls showing I-1033 with a significant lead. But as of Wednesday evening, I-1033 was losing by a margin of about 56 percent to 44 percent.

The swift turnaround was fueled by an extremely well-financed opposition campaign, which put about $3.5 million into TV ads, direct mail, and more. Public-sector unions made major contributions, joined by big names in business, including Microsoft Corp. and its co-founder, Bill Gates.

But political analysts also were pointing to the negative reaction I-1033 garnered from local governments, which are much closer to voters' everyday lives and perhaps harder to malign than the bureaucrats and politicians in Olympia or Washington, D.C.

"There's a lot of folks around the state who, while they very much disapprove of the overspending on the federal and state levels, have a better opinion of their county government and their city government," said state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser, whose group endorsed I-1033.

Indeed, that seemed like a likely explanation for I-1033's losses in some strongly conservative areas of Eastern Washington, including Yakima County and virtually the entire southeastern corner of the state.

"When you have locally elected officials that people know and trust saying, 'Look, this is actually going to be pretty devastating,' and they can't be branded as tax-and-spend liberals, I think that really says something," said Whiteaker, the No on I-1033 spokesman.

For his part, Eyman was chagrined by the loss, but not necessarily downcast. He was focused on the fact that I-1033 was still pulling in hundreds of thousands of yes votes, despite a typically shoestring general election campaign that focused on free media exposure. That tally should serve as a warning to the Legislature, he said, that voters aren't necessarily ready for higher taxes.

Oh, and about next year?  Eyman was already promising to take the lessons of I-1033's defeat to heart as he starts laying the groundwork for his next measure.

"The next initiative that we'll do is going to address the state government only, and it's going to try and say, 'Hey guys, don't even think about raising taxes,"' he said.

-- END --

       Gregoire and the Democrats who control Olympia are going to go hog-wild raising taxes -- taxpayers are counting on us to keep fighting -- we won't let them down.  We still want to hear back from as many of you as possible -- shoot us a quick email -- eager to hear your thoughts on everything.

       Jack, Mike, and I are extremely grateful to the folks who contribute to our compensation fund.  We ask that you continue that support.  If you like and appreciate our past, current, and future efforts on behalf of taxpayers, please send us a donation for $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more (there are no limits on how much can be given).    Please consider a monthly pledge from now through December for our fund.  We ask you to please help us help taxpayers.  You can go to our website --
http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com -- and make a secure PayPal or VISA or MasterCard contribution -- OR, you can print out the form below, fill it out, and return it with a check or credit card information.  Your voluntary contribution to our compensation fund will be divided between the three of us and compensate us for our political work.

        Congratulations on I-1033 -- it is and was a heroic, noble effort.

        As for our compensation fund, we would be extremely grateful for any financial assistance you can offer.  We're counting on you.  Thanks.

Best Regards, Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan, Fighting for Taxpayers for Twelve Years, co-sponsors of Initiative 1033, ph: 425-493-9127, email: tim_eyman@comcast.net,
http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com (go to our website to do a secure donation by VISA/Mastercard/PayPal or print out the form below, fill it out, and return it with a check or money order or credit card information)

P.S.  There are thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and special interest groups working each and every day to raise your taxes.  Shouldn't there be at least one person, one team, one organization that fights to lower your taxes?  Please help us so we can continue our successful efforts on behalf of taxpayers.

       EACH YEAR, FROM JANUARY THROUGH JUNE, WE ASK THAT YOU FOCUS YOUR DONATIONS TOWARD THE SIGNATURE GATHERING CAMPAIGN - THIS YEAR, THANKS TO YOUR HELP, WE SUCCEEDED AT QUALIFYING I-1033 FOR THE BALLOT

       EACH YEAR, FROM JULY THROUGH DECEMBER, WE ASK THAT YOU FOCUS YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD HELP US HELP TAXPAYERS, THE COMPENSATION FUND FOR JACK, MIKE, AND TIM

       NOW THAT I-1033 HAS OFFICIALLY QUALIFIED FOR THE BALLOT, WE ASK THAT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU SEND IN YOUR MOST GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION SO WE CAN CONTINUE OUR FIGHT ON BEHALF OF TAXPAYERS

       WE'RE REALLY COUNTING ON YOU

HELP US HELP TAXPAYERS . "Compensation fund for Tim, Jack & Mike" . PO Box 18250 . Spokane . WA . 99228 . PH: 425-493-8707 . FAX: 425-493-1027 .
http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com . jakatak@comcast.net
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