During the campaign for 695, a number of business groups (many of whom had benefitted from cuts in the B&O tax) opposed 695 and contributed heavily to the campaign against it. This was cited by a few anti-695 people as demonstrating that the business community knew that 695 was harmful. I kind of replied that I thought they were just voting their pocketbook, that they LIKED big government projects, and had no trouble with people paying the MVET to keep their dollars coming. I was accused, by some, of being too cynical.
This posting is not so much to say "I told you so," as it is to once again demonstrate that these individuals have all the virtues of a dog, excepting loyalty. ;-)
Pavers help fund Eyman's I-745 bid
Measure would require money be spent on roads ahead of mass transit
Tim Eyman's latest effort to change the way government spends money on transportation has gotten a big boost from a pair of $50,000 contributions from construction companies.
Eyman said he will use the $100,000, along with other donations, for a late drive to get his Initiative 745 on the November ballot.
He called it a "down payment" on a signature drive that might cost as much as $500,000.
I-745 would require state and local governments to spend 90 percent of their transportation budgets, collectively, on roads or ferries. It also would remove the sales tax for materials and labor used on highway projects.
"If you'd called me last year and asked me whether I'd ever support anything that Tim Eyman did ... I'd have said no," said Al Deatley, owner of Superior Asphalt in Yakima and one of the $50,000 contributors to
I-745. "But here I am.
"I felt it was something that could and should be done," he said. "It just appeared to me that the environmentalists and people who advocate mass transit were being listened to more than us. We say we need more (highway) lanes miles."
Last year, Deatley kicked in $25,000 to oppose I-695, the Eyman-sponsored measure that abolished the state car tax and removed a major source of funding for highways, public bus service and ferries.
The other $50,000 contribution is from Lakeside Industries in Issaquah. Deatley said the Asphalt Paving Association of Washington also has given about $30,000 to the campaign, and more money is coming from the Spokane and Inland Empire chapters of Associated General Contractors.
The total amount of money raised for the campaign will be made public Monday when campaigns must file fund-raising reports with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
The Washington State Labor Council is opposing both of Eyman's current initiatives - I-722, the so-called "son of 695," as well as I-745. The council is encouraging its members to "decline to sign" either measure.
"It's bad transportation policy," Labor Council President Rick Bender said of I-745. "It would do a lot of hurt to other modes of transportation, whether it be transit systems, light rail or heavy rail. We just feel it would be wrong to designate 90 percent for one mode of transportation, when the reality is that we're not going to build anymore freeways like I-5 or I-405."
I-745 had been foundering, largely because Eyman decided to re-write the measure and delete a provision that would have opened up car-pool lanes to all traffic. That revision meant he and his campaign organization, Permanent Offense, had to start over collecting signatures.
They have a month from today to collect 178,248 signatures to qualify for the Nov. 7 election ballot.
The recent contributions give I-745 a chance, Eyman said.
"We have a much better shot at getting on the ballot," he said. "We're hopeful we'll be able to get both issues on the ballot, but it's nail-biting time now."
Eyman said he has hired two signature-gathering firms to work on getting the signatures - Sherry Bockwinkel's Washington Initiatives Now of Tacoma and American Petitioning Consultants of California.
"And we still have our volunteers," he said.
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-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 06, 2000
Are you cynical? Yes. Are you being too cynical? No.
-- Marsha (email@example.com), June 06, 2000.
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