Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Eyman has launched a number of successful anti-tax ballot initiatives in Washington State in recent years. Does that make Eyman a "horse's ass"?
That question may be put to Washington voters next year. David Goldstein, a self-described "political crackpot" from Seattle, is collecting signatures for Initiative 831, a resolution declaring that because Eyman's "ill-conceived anti-tax initiatives are...irresponsible," therefore "the citizens of the state of Washington do hereby proclaim that Tim Eyman is a Horse's Ass." To further rub salt in the wound, the initiative calls for copies of the resolution to be sent to Eyman's wife and mother.
Goldstein, who clearly is no fan of Eyman, says he is also trying to point out problems with the initiative process itself. "Some horse's ass--me this time--pays a $5 filing fee for an incredibly stupid initiative," says Goldstein, "and he suddenly has the credibility to spout his political views all over radio and television."
Eyman, clearly ascribing to the "no publicity is bad publicity" theory, welcomes Goldstein's effort because, he says, it will help his current initiative campaign to impose state spending limits. "Any reason whatsoever to get extra attention in the media is always welcome," Eyman says. "This initiative is hilarious and does a great job of gaining extra publicity for our initiative effort."
In the meantime, Goldstein has filed a legal challenge against a sanitized ballot description the state attorney general has insisted on, which states that the initiative uses "a disparaging term that denotes a self-important, silly or stupid person."
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