February 03, 2007
Tim Eyman - 1, Sam Reed - 0

Tim Eyman has scored a bull's eye calling bullshit on Secretary of State Sam Reed's dishonest attack on citizen initiatives.

As noted earlier, Reed's government-salaried lobbyists testified in favor of criminalizing per-signature compensation to initiative petition circulators on the grounds that such compensation promotes fraud -- even though Reed's office already acknowledged that they have no evidence to support this claim.

Eyman has further exposed Reed's lack of credibility on this issue. See the recent e-mail exchanges between Eyman and Reed's office, which Eyman cc:ed to his distribution list.

Eyman on January 31 calls out errors on the Secretary of State's spreadsheet purporting to show that signature invalidity rates on submitted petitions are higher on paid campaigns than on volunteer campaigns. Column O of the spreadsheet indicates whether the signature gathering was Paid "p", Volunteer "v", or a combination. In the forwarded correspondence of January 31, Eyman explains that some of the information in the spreadsheet about paid vs. volunteers is incorrect. The Secretary of State's office refuses to correct the spreadsheet, claiming that the characterization of signature gathering was "self-reported" by the campaigns. Eyman provided a corrected version of the spreadsheet here.

In his February 2 email, Eyman provides more information showing that the Secretary of State's claim of "self-reported" information is bogus. For example, the Secretary of State's spreadsheet claims that the WEA's "Protect our Public Schools" referendum campaign used only volunteer signature gatherers. But as Eyman notes, the campaign self-reported to the PDC that the WEA made a $211,000 in-kind contribution to the campaign for signature gathering. See this PDC report as one example. [A $40,000 in-kind contribution from the WEA for "Signature Gathering" reported by Protect Our Public Schools in its 07/07/2004 Schedule B Amendment].

In summary, Reed apparently has an agenda to stifle citizen initiatives. His tactic is to criminalize fair and effective compensation to initiative signature gatherers. But there's no real case against this practice, so he is making his argument by providing false information to the citizens and the legislature.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at February 03, 2007 12:01 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Arn't you under oath when you "testify" before those committees?

Posted by: sgmmac on February 3, 2007 11:58 AM
2. Arn't you under oath when you "testify" before those committees?

No. And that's the way it should be ... despite Reed's apparent dishonesty.

Posted by: jimg on February 3, 2007 12:11 PM
3. Sam Reed has to go next election. So what if a D gets elected, Reed's a RINO. Goodbye Sam.

Posted by: Obi-Wan on February 3, 2007 12:12 PM
4. If Washington were a red state versus a blue state, the Seattle crowd would view the initiative process as a sacrament and the only way for their "progressive" voices to be heard. But since Tim Eyman uses initiatives against govermnment, the Seattle liberals think the process is evil. Guess it depends on your perspective.

Posted by: Libertarian on February 3, 2007 12:18 PM
5. As was previously and perceptively stated in a prior thread on this subject:

If the signature verification process is per the SOS good enough to prevent fraudulent BALLOT signatures, then how come the same process is NOT good enough to also prevent fraudulent PETITION signatures ??

Even completely aside from the infuriating support by the SOS for the ongoing full-court press by the (D)-controlled Legislature to take away one of our fundamental Constitutional rights, the above position is completely illogical.

Posted by: Methow Ken on February 3, 2007 12:20 PM
6. i repeat, Reed is acting like a D in R's clothing. and R's wonder why their coffers are bare.

infiltrator. time to clean house. like an intelligence agency security breach. who are they REALLY working for & representing?! the SOS is resembling the compromised Iraqi "security forces."

time to test loyalties. watch them under the microscope.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 3, 2007 01:14 PM
7. What if there was an underground push to falsely sign petitions - in an attempt to make sure it would fail to qualify? The petition organizer thinks they have enough to cover it, but end up coming up short.
I've never had to prove my identity when I sign a petition and I'm not aware that it is a requirement.

Whose fault is it? The people who gather signatures (without any ID requirement), or the people that purposely try to torpedo the petition?

How would the proposed law change this?

Posted by: SouthernRoots on February 3, 2007 01:17 PM
8. Stefan, maybe I'm missing something - but does the fact that WEA reported their signature-gathering effort as an "in-kind contribution" necessarily equate to paid signature gatherers? It sounds to me like they used volunteers, but were required to report the value of their services based on what it would have cost had they been paid. If they had been paid, I would think it would have been shown as an actual cash contribution.

At least, that's what "in kind" suggests to me...is there any way to clarify this?

Posted by: Patrick on February 3, 2007 02:26 PM
9. Patrick -- if it was volunteers collecting the signatures, then it would not have been a reportable campaign contribution. It had to have been paid gatherers, either WEA staff or a 3rd party vendor.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on February 3, 2007 02:50 PM
10. Stefan - your ignorance is stunning.
RCW 42.17.020 15 c

(c) Contributions other than money or its equivalent are deemed to have a monetary value equivalent to the fair market value of the contribution. Services or property or rights furnished at less than their fair market value for the purpose of assisting any candidate or political committee are deemed a contribution. Such a contribution must be reported as an in-kind contribution at its fair market value and counts towards any applicable contribution limit of the provider.

Posted by: PDC expert on February 3, 2007 04:00 PM
11. Um, exactly, "PDC expert". But reading a little more from RCW 42.17.020 15

(b) "Contribution" does not include: ... (vi) The rendering of personal services of the sort commonly performed by volunteer campaign workers, or incidental expenses personally incurred by volunteer campaign workers not in excess of fifty dollars personally paid for by the worker. "Volunteer services," for the purposes of this section, means services or labor for which the individual is not compensated by any person;
So like I said, the signature gathering reported by the WEA would not have been performed by unpaid volunteers. Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on February 3, 2007 04:09 PM
12. Stefan -

Reporting in-kind contributions is a way that campaigns have of making it look like they've raised mare money than they actually have because they report the fair market value of the service as if it were a contribution. Keep talking though because I love it when you demonstrate your stupidity.

Posted by: PDC expert on February 3, 2007 04:51 PM
13. So, "PDC Expert". If the signature gathering was done by unpaid volunteers, then how could the WEA legitimately claim that this was a service provided by the WEA? What are some other examples of campaigns reporting the time of uncompensated volunteers as contributions?

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on February 3, 2007 05:19 PM
14. Hmmm...:

Given the tone and content, I find this at least mildy interesting:

The email address that shows ''underneath'' the above self-styled ''PDC expert'' is:
pdc@pdc.wa.gov

That is the same ''mail to:'' address that comes up under the ''Forms and copy requests'' link on the PDC web site at:
http://www.pdc.wa.gov/Home/About/agency_person.aspx

Now of course this email address could have been spoofed. But if it is legitimately coming from that official pdc@pdc.wa.gov email address and was sent on a State government computer and on State government i.e.: TAXPAYER time, then IMO at least one State bureaucrat needs some remedial training on how to deal with the public in his or her official capacity..... It sez here.

SIDEBAR: There is NO SUCH THING as sending a ''personal'' email to any public destination from a government computer on government time.

Posted by: Methow Ken on February 3, 2007 05:41 PM
15. Ken;
I guess we are under the impression that A. Any of these Government employees actually care about abusing the public trust. B. That they work until 5:00 PM like the rest of us. C. That the PDC or any of the "Experts" that work there would be consistent or even handed in enforcing anything.

Posted by: Smokie on February 3, 2007 06:04 PM
16. Concerning the Ref 55 campaign, the teachers union (WEA) contracted with and paid a paid signature gathering firm to gather signatures for R-55. Their payment of $211,000 was made by the WEA and benefited the R-55 campaign. As a result, the WEA reported the $211,000 as an in-kind donation to the R-55 campaign.

They used paid signature gatherers, but they also used volunteers (just like every other campaign in the past eight years, other than our I-695 in 1999 and I-912 in 2005).

The information the Secretary of State is providing to legislators is demonstrably false and yet even after being provided the campaign reports, they continue to mislead legislators.

As to the other campaigns, we sent the following email to the Secretary of State on Friday: [linked here]


Posted by: Tim Eyman on February 3, 2007 06:11 PM
17. R or D, Reed is a professional politician. And the vast majority of politicians have no use for the masses except on election day. They don't like being second guess by us unwashed peasants.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian on February 3, 2007 07:30 PM
18. I'm afraid we are giving Sam I Am too much credit. More than likely, he is unaware of 99% of what is going on in the SOS office. Probably has others open and print his e-mail. The old guy is simply going through the motions, counting the days until he can retire and pass this headache onto someone else.

Posted by: Organization Man on February 3, 2007 08:08 PM
19. In 16 above Tim Eyman provides plenty of detail to debunk the claim by the SOS that the identified campaigns were ''paid only''.

The SOS owes Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, and Mike Fagan (and all the rest of us) a substantive answer; and an effort as Tim requested to correct their prior mis-information.

Tim, I hope you will update SP.com on whatever reply you receive (or lack of same, as the case may be).

Posted by: Methow Ken on February 3, 2007 08:17 PM
20. Eyman is a liar and the sheep on this blog will believe any lie he tells them. Show us the form that shows the payment of $211,000 by the WEA Tim. Show us the money. Oh, that's right. You can't because there never was any money. An in-kind contribution of volunteer time was all they contributed. Idiots.

Posted by: PDC expert on February 3, 2007 08:59 PM
21. Hey "PDC expert", check out this August 2004 article from the Seattle Times on the charter school campaign:
In this campaign, charter-school opponents have raised $332,056 in cash and in-kind donations, of which $265,985 has come from the WEA, Evans said. The group spent most of that money to pay signature gatherers to help get the referendum on the ballot. Its balance is roughly $36,000, she said.
Remind us again, "PDC expert" -- who's the idiot?

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on February 3, 2007 09:14 PM
22. I went to the PDC site and looked up some of the the data.

Protect our Public Schools received over $291,000 of in kind money with more than $242,000 coming from WEA.

WEA also directly donated over $347,000 in cash.

On one of the B forms for a WEA in kind entry was the entry of $46,025 for sginature gathering.

I didn't bother to look through all of it, but I think it is clear that there was paid signature gathering occuring.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on February 3, 2007 09:54 PM
23. How cute, we have found the last people to believe anything Tim Eyeman has to say.

Posted by: JDB on February 4, 2007 02:11 AM
24. Reed the reed. blowing in wind. bending to anything. except the people's interests. another "leader" for WA, eh? humph.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 4, 2007 03:49 AM
25. If non-matching signatures, addresses not found, names not found, et. al. are considered by SoS and the Dem legislators to be fraud (for the purposes of these bills), then why aren't they considered fraud during elections?

Why aren't they proposing similar laws to avoid these problems from affecting elections other than initiatives?

The problem is ill defined. Other than rejected lines on a petition, nothing else has been done to determine malice, mistake, or negligence. Since the due diligence has not been done, why are we proposing laws?

What is on a petition form?

Basically, Name, Address, and Signature of a Registered voter.

What can go wrong?

Name - Duplicate, not found, not the same as voter reg DB for the address, voter reg was cancelled.

Address - Not found.

Signature - Doesn't exist, Doesn't match.

Anything else?

Which of the above are deemed "fraud" and prosecuted during a general election?

Which of the above are deemed "fraud" and prosecuted voter registration?

Why are the Dems so bent on "cracking down" on these forms of "fraud" during the petition process, but could care less about them during an actual election?

Ken Jacobsen is the only "honest" Dem - his bill would outright repeal Article II Section 1 - the peoples right to referendum and initiative. All these other bills are doing the same, but by nibbling away at it over time.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on February 4, 2007 07:19 AM
26. 23

More like

How cute, we have found a legislature who fear anything Tim Eyeman and the people of this state have to say.

Posted by: GS on February 4, 2007 09:01 AM
27. From: Tim Eyman

In 2004, Governor Gary Locke signed the charter schools legislation into law. So the WEA (teachers union) filed a referendum, seeking a public vote. They vowed NOT to use paid circulators -- they quickly abandoned that promise, and spent BIG BUCKS (R-55's Schedule B reports) to get their referendum signatures. The WEA was clearly embarrassed by their flip-flop so they didn't have the R-55 campaign pay for the paid signature gathering; instead, the WEA itself paid for them. That way, if challenged, they'd say "The R-55 campaign didn't pay a penny for paid signature gathering." Stefan showed that even the Seattle Times didn't accept that dodge (post #21). It's clear that R-55 would not have qualified for the ballot if not for the WEA's decision to use paid circulators. R-55's low invalid rate was directly attributable to the fact that they used paid circulators.

The Sec of State knows this. But these facts undermine his rationale for backing the various anti-initiative bills. He's 'hanging his hat', and misleading legislators, both one-on-one and in testimony before house and senate committees, on the erroneous fact that volunteer signature drives are 'cleaner' than paid signature drives. Again, that is demonstrably untrue, yet, he, his leadship team, and his two lobbyists continue to mislead legislators, the press, and the public.

Now that they has been exposed for presenting false information -- that is verifiably untrue -- we're hopeful that legislators will demand the truth from the Secretary of State.

Posted by: Tim Eyman on February 4, 2007 09:28 AM
28. Time to down size the REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATE to a minimum.
SECTION 2 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATE. The house of representatives shall be composed of not less than sixty-three nor more than ninety-nine members. The number of senators shall not be more than one-half nor less than one-third of the number of members of the house of representatives. The first legislature shall be composed of seventy members of the house of representatives, and thirty-five senators.

Posted by: George on February 4, 2007 09:54 AM
29. I heard my neighbor shout and scream as he wet his spandex bike pants:

"Buffy, grab the dogs - oh, and don't forget the kid, what's - her - name! Everybody hide under the bed. Tim Eyman's here! It's our worst nightmare! Rossi, Rove and Gingrich can't be far behind!!

.

Posted by: Tyler Durden on February 4, 2007 09:56 AM
30. While we're on the subject of Eyman vs. Reed, did anybody ever get to the bottom of what caused the discrepency in the signature count of the last $30 tabs initiative? It seems to me like there was a major fraud going on in the SOS office that went virtually, un-noticed.

Posted by: Michelle on February 4, 2007 11:47 AM
31. Rees needs to go. A RINO is worse than having a Democrat in there. With RINOS, Republicans also share blame in the Democrat disasters. They ar ethe scapegoats for them. Better all D's sinking the ship than having RINOS helping them. That way, in the enext election, there is NO cover for the lying libs.

Posted by: pbj on February 4, 2007 07:27 PM
32. Speaking of stupid amendments....

The secretary of state has approved a proposed ballot measure that would require married couples to have children within 3 years of marriage.

Boy, the GOP just gets dumber and dumber.

Posted by: Cato on February 5, 2007 11:05 AM
33. "Cato", you troll, I'm sure you know very well that the ballot measure was not filed by the GOP, but by a gay marriage proponent and the Secretary of State has no choice but to accept the filed initiative for further processing.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on February 5, 2007 11:11 AM
34.
Boy, the GOP just gets dumber and dumber.

From Cato's link:

"For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation," said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. "The Washington Supreme Court echoed that claim in their lead ruling on Andersen v. King County. The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine. If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who can not or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage. And this is what the Defense of Marriage Initiative will do."

Doesn't sound like a GOP group to me.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on February 5, 2007 01:36 PM
35. http://blogas.lt/creditcarddebt

Posted by: credit card debt on February 9, 2007 01:04 PM
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