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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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November 29, 2007 8:48 PM

Gregoire says session had nothing to do with Eyman

Posted by David Postman

Gov. Christine Gregoire tonight signed the 1 percent property tax cap passed in the special session. She also signed the second bill passed by the Legislature, the property tax deferral program for middle-income families. She said that second bill was part of what she needed to do to secure enough votes to reinstate I-747.

Gregoire said that she didn't think the session had anything to do with Tim Eyman, sponsor of the original initiative. She was not happy with Eyman's claims that she and the Legislature had not done enough.

Gregoire: And my message to him is if he'd like to participate in the legislative process, run for office.

PoP: But why? It seems like he's doing pretty well without having to be governor or run for the Legislature. He passes an initiative, the court throws it out as unconstitutional and the Legislature rushes to put it into law. They did it with 695, too.

Gregoire: I actually don't think he's doing pretty well. He needs to get some help in writing initiatives. We're spending how much money and how much time in court proceedings because the initiatives are not written as they should be? That's what the legislative process is all about — to allow full and complete vetting and amendments and opportunities to do the sorts of things that can clean up a bill and give it a much greater chance of success through the court process.

So I don't know if you can call that success, to be honest with you. And the fact of the matter is, this has nothing to do with Tim Eyman as far as I'm concerned. I think the voters said very clearly what they wanted. And he may have written something. But the fact of the matter is my motivation is what the voters had to say. And the voters said they're fearful about whether they're going to be able to keep their homes.

It's been implemented now for five years or more. It is, in fact, the way we've been doing business. So I don't think this is a rush to judgment by the Legislature. I think it is exactly what the voters want to have done.

PoP: But they only got to have that say and say they want it done because Tim Eyman put it on the ballot. The Legislature has not passed a property tax cap.

Gregoire: You know, I can't say that they wouldn't have, though. They did something today that he hasn't suggested.

PoP: The deferral you're talking about.

Gregoire: Yeah.

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Posted by Turbine

9:33 PM, Nov 29, 2007

As a bonus on the deferral bill she threw in an Emergency Clause for good measure. We wouldn't want those pesky voters trying to reverse her campaign stunt now would we.

Posted by BobM

9:38 PM, Nov 29, 2007

It's pretty lame to say that Eyman needs to get assistance in drafting initiatives. The state supreme court's decision on I-747 was silly, and almost everyone knows it.

I've only read through the tax deferral law once, so maybe I missed it -- who pays when taxes and assessments are deferred? Do the other property owners pay more? I had read that the state would pay the deferred amount, but is that in the law?

If the state pays, for example, a local taxing district's lost tax revenue due to a deferment, where does that money come from?

It may be a way to help a few people in financial straits, but it doesn't appear to change the amount of revenue being collected overall.

Posted by Dave Gibney

9:50 PM, Nov 29, 2007

Anyone who takes that deferal is either really desperate or really stupid. Usury is supposed to be illegal in this country.

Posted by Daniel K

9:55 PM, Nov 29, 2007

Turbine - Stop spinning for just a second why don't you. You're all over the legislature that it is an emergency that a bill must be passed because the world as we know it will come to an end and the sky will fall, so a special session has to be called, and then you can't accept that the bill is qualified as an emergency?
Get real.

Posted by Publicbulldog

9:57 PM, Nov 29, 2007

Gregoire has a big skeleton in her closet.
She let the counties ignore the medical marijuana initiative just so they could keep taking federal grants.
She will have to explain her decision to let the counties change a general law,as the AG.
What will the union mobsters do without a Democrat to fill the trough

Posted by Daniel K

9:59 PM, Nov 29, 2007

BobM - The courts rule on the letter of the law. Blame the law, not the courts.
And while you're at it, perhaps you also have a thought about the silly decision regarding the dismissal of Jane Hague's Breathalyzer results due to the possibility that the lawmaker wasn't clear on the law from what the cops would have told her at the time.
If one is silly, then the other is too.

Posted by Publicbulldog

10:02 PM, Nov 29, 2007

Daniel K,
Have any ideas why Gregoire did not stop 16 or more washington state counties from ignoring or altering the Washington State medical marijuana law.
Perhaps the smoking initiative can be open to county interpretation too.
What do you say 10 or 20 feet from the front door.
Gregoire has set a new precendence.
Now State general laws can be changed by Counties,despite Washington State supreme court case law that held that County laws are subordinate to state general laws.
Or do we just reverse that ruling for only the intitiatives the union mobsters don't like

Posted by Turbine

10:04 PM, Nov 29, 2007

The special session ( which you opposed ) was called for the purpose of reinstating the I-747 measure so that Counties and Cities could move forward with thier budgeting process. The Governor added Tax Deferral to the session, the Governor made it an "Emergency". Be careful what you ask for Daniel, you might not like how it plays out. Personally, I could have cared less about the special session. Let the chips fall where they may, this is essentially a local issue.

Posted by Hinton

10:20 PM, Nov 29, 2007

"The courts rule on the letter of the law. Blame the law, not the courts."
When the court blows the call, as they clearly did with 747, then yeah, we CAN "blame the courts."
Or are you just going to accept the ruling on the pharmacy/morning after pill? After all, THAT judge "ruled on the letter of the law," and there CAN'T be any double standard here... can there?

Posted by Publicbulldog

10:32 PM, Nov 29, 2007

The courts have ruled.
When it is an initiative that is good for the union mobsters and creates union jobs,then we understand.
When an initiative costs union jobs,then we don't understand.
This is one Washington alright.
One Phucked up Washington

Posted by Daniel K

11:36 PM, Nov 29, 2007

Hinton - (or are you BobM?) So should Hague's DUI test results be inadmissible in court? Yes or No?

Posted by Rabid Conservative

11:48 PM, Nov 29, 2007

The Democrats shot themselves in the foot and the groin here! The liberals on the Supreme Court rule that citizens of this state cannot read a voter's pamphlet (well, if the voter's attended Seattle public schools they may have a point...) so they toss out a very popular initiative, more than likely because it was an Eyeman sponsored one, hoping to help their liberal buddies at the local level and stick it Tim. To make matters worse they announce this right after an election going into an election year! What idiots (well, they are libs after all...)! The fact that a special session was called and passed this in one day tells me that every, yes every, Democratic lawmaker was, for once, more worried about his or her private parts nailed to the capital dome by the voter's than their implementing their liberal, tax-and-spend, commie ideology puts a big smile on my face. Why do Democrats hate Eyeman? 1. Because he writes initiatives that the vast majority of folks think should be laws, making people wonder why a watch salesman is doing the job of elected officials. 2. He and the vast majority of voter's work hard for their money and want to keep as much of it as possible. 3. Democrats think your money belongs to the state and not to you and they know better how to spend it than you. 4. They really are trying to institute a socialistic system and that's tough to do in a democracy if the voter's are paying attention. I have one word for our right hon. fraudulator.....Rossi!!!

Posted by Piper Scott

7:56 AM, Nov 30, 2007

Looks like the Gov is, "Shocked, SHOCKED! to find out that politics goes on among the Olygarchs at the State Capitol."

She's like a kid who got into mom's lipstick, smeared it all over the walls, furniture, and herself only to deny any involvement when confronted by mom...even as the kid stands there with the now empty tube in her hand.

I think the shade of lipstick is Eyman Redfaced.

And I'm inclined to send Sen. Adam Kline some of my blood pressure meds; poor boy about blew a gasket yesterday because the will of the people thwarted the will of the vested and special tax-consuming interests he pimps.

Times are tough all over, Adam, especially for beleagured taxpayers who do believe there is fat in the budget - government does too much for too many with little regard given to the geese out here laying those golden eggs - and the only way to cut it is to limit/cap/restrain/choke-off (take your pick) funding.

Even so, it's like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. While there was success in Olympia, King County taxpayers have to keep an eagle eye on the KC Council, who lust in their hearts for all manner of levees, largesse, and love offerings to appease special interests like the SEIU.

The tax man isn't a man, he's an octopus; every tentacle slithers its way into our pocketbooks and purses in order to purloin every possible penny, to which I say, "Piss on him!" (Postman, please pardon both my posted French and P-alliteration profligacy).

The Piper

Posted by jeeves

8:02 AM, Nov 30, 2007

Dear Rabid, you have earned your name. Now what is it they do with rabid dogs? But even a rabid dog, like a broken clock can be right once in a while.

You are right that Tim has more sense about what the voters wish to have than democratic politicians. Sure, voters want their cake and to be able to eat it too. But Democrats would be wise to listen to the issues that Tim raises and pass responsible legislation instead of living in their land of denial and getting clubbed by Tim like baby harp seals on election day.

Dem's knew that our car taxes were too high and did nothing. They knew property valuations were killing peoples budgets and they did nothing. So Tim leads the way. But Tim doesn't have to balance choices or be responsible for running real services that affect real people's lives and the success of our economy. So he proposes any kind of poorly written, sloganeering cr*p and gets it passed.

Then the Dem's, having failed to act in the first place, reinstate the lousy unbalanced solution that Tim couldn't write correctly. Leaders are saying already we're not done with the property tax issue. Why didn't they take the opportunity of fixing a real problem: once before Tim had his initiative and again after it was thrown out?

Shame on the whole lot of them. Tim and the Dems deserve each other--perfect partners in a sick abusive relationship. But why suffer the rest of us who want responsible government, adequate fire protection, libraries that are staffed, have books and open etc.

Posted by Bill

8:07 AM, Nov 30, 2007

Gregoire said that she didn't think the session had anything to do with Tim Eyman---just so---she's trying to save her own A** in an election year.

Posted by Bemused

8:56 AM, Nov 30, 2007

Did the Governor really say Tim Eyman had nothing to do with this session with a straight face? Some physical description of context is definitely in order here, David.

Posted by GEE

9:33 AM, Nov 30, 2007

Posted by Will in Seattle

11:57 AM, Nov 30, 2007

Timmy boy's too cowardly to run for office himself, I guess.

Speaking of that, why isn't he over in Iraq?

Yup, if it squawks like Tim, you can tell it's the other white meat ...

Posted by postman

12:08 PM, Nov 30, 2007

yes bemused it was said with a straight face. laughs were reserved for rossi comment.

Posted by Yikes

2:40 PM, Nov 30, 2007

How are the County Assessor's& Treasurers going to deal with this deferral?
What is the "real cost" to taxpayers of this lame-ass idea?
The real cost includes Administrative Costs.
I really think the goofballs on the State Supreme Kourt who rejected I-747 have inadvertently screwed Gregoire & the Dems.
Had they left it issue.
Thanks you dumbasses!

Posted by Russ

2:56 PM, Nov 30, 2007

Since it is clear to everyone watching that this action (the special session) was based entirely on political (fear) motives, has anyone put forth any examples of where a democrat has lost an election based on their vote or position on local property taxes? For a legislature which likes to hold out that it takes actions based on "data" and "research" I would think that some leading democrat has at least (in caucus?) made some allegation with some evidence to back it up that an electoral price would actually be paid for refusing to codify this handcuff on local elected officials.

Posted by Piper Scott

4:04 PM, Nov 30, 2007

Hey Will!

Don't see your name ever on a ballot. But then getting only votes from Goldy's HA Happy Hooligang couldn't get you enough votes to come in 15th in a three-candidate race.

Use all the smarmy nicknames you like, but Tim Eyman's initiatives routinely clean your so-called "progressive" clock. Your's isn't a POV shared by a majority of taxpaying voters in this state. Deal with it!

The Piper

Posted by Will in Seattle

4:44 PM, Nov 30, 2007

I'm on the ballot every two years - and I win every time. And in other elections as well.

Wake me up when you have the guts to put your body where your words are.

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-747 co-sponsor

5:09 PM, Nov 30, 2007

from: tim eyman, I-747 co-sponsor

special session, post mortem

What an exciting, invigorating, adrenaline-rush day. You should all be extremely proud of yourselves. The only reason Gregoire and the Legislature did what they did was because of all of you. The greatest reason for this special session to impose property tax limits was because of the voters' approval of Initiative 960 on November 6th. If that hadn't happened, politicians would have said 'the voters have spoken, they love higher taxes' and would have used that as an excuse to let the supreme court rejection of I-747 stand.

Your phone calls and letters and emails to legislators brought about this special session. And your phone calls and letters and emails reminded legislators the people were watching. They knew any shenanigans and chicanery would be exposed.

And it worked out beautifully. Even if for only a day, the people pushed and Olympia responded.

Is it what the voters want? No, the voters want a real 1% cap on property tax increases. Gregoire's bill promises a 1% cap but it doesn't fulfill that promise. But hey, we're dealing with Gregoire and the Democrats -- they're amateurs when it comes to tax relief -- it is not in their nature -- so we'll take what we can get, even a bill with a huge loophole in it. We're glass-is-half-full kind of guys. We can't help but be ecstatic by the results of this special session and you should be too.

There's something especially delicious about this: I-747 received 58% voter support. But in the special session, it received 91% support from politicians in the state house. It received 81% support from politicians in the state senate. So on this day, politicians supported it by a much higher rate than the voters did. And it was signed into law by a tax-hiking Democrat Governor. What's not to love about that?

Thank you all for your persistence, endurance, passion, enthusiasm, courage, and determination. You're the ones that made this possible.

Posted by SouthernRoots

5:23 PM, Nov 30, 2007

"That's what the legislative process is all about -- to allow full and complete vetting and amendments and opportunities to do the sorts of things that can clean up a bill and give it a much greater chance of success through the court process."

Really? How much time, vetting and amendments were allocated to the tax deferral law? It wasn't public before the session. It wasn't public until after it was rammed through.

Gregoire: "And the fact of the matter is, this has nothing to do with Tim Eyman as far as I'm concerned. I think the voters said very clearly what they wanted. And he may have written something. But the fact of the matter is my motivation is what the voters had to say."

No, it has everything to do with the voters approving I-747. They DID know what they were voting for and the action by the legislature and Gregoire to reinstate it proves that they weren't confused and that they really did want a 1% limit.

"Gregoire: And my message to him is if he'd like to participate in the legislative process, run for office."

Per the State Constitution, you do NOT have to run for politcal office to participate in the legislative process. Mrs. Gregoire would do well to re-read the Constitution, it looks as if there are sections she has forgotten.

"All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." - Article 1, Section 1 Washington State Constitution.

"The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state of Washington, but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, Section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature." - Article 2, Section 1 Washington State Constitution.

Posted by Steve Zemke MajorityRulesBlog

6:43 PM, Nov 30, 2007

Funny thing Tim, If there is a loophole in the legislation the Legislature just passed it's your loophole because they passed the exact language you wrote.

But let's get real - there is no real loophole. We're talking about perfectly legal banked capacity that the law allows. It meant taxing didstricts didn't tax to the 1% limit but reserved the right to later if thewre was a pressing need.

Problem is I-747 really isn't property tax reform - its just another one of your measures to cut revenue available to government so it can't pay for the same services it provides now as inflation goes up.

Local fire districts get almost 100% of their revenue from property taxes. If inflation is greater than 1% then how do you increase salaries to keep pace? Or do you just expect them to work at the same wages that now have less buying power?

If 1% lids are such a great idea then I guess you'll do the same with your initiative business right Tim. So this year you'll only pay yourself 1% more than last year. You wouldn't want to overtax your supporters would you?

Posted by Kiana

8:26 PM, Nov 30, 2007

So Gregoire claims to be upset because Tim's initiatives are getting thrown out? I don't buy it.

The truth is, Eyman is whipping and smacking these people around so bad they're seeing stars.

Posted by anti-american WATCHdog

8:32 PM, Nov 30, 2007

Don't the democrats/A.C.L.U./anti-americans and other communists realize that they have decieptive pathological similarties with our koran loving
friends. How about Christine passing out Generic
diplomas to the "Evergreen(enemy loving)college"
for her only task and leave the real good meaning
tasks (clean up) for the honorable Tim Eyeman,Dino etal finally, a big round of applause to "rabid" "tim" and the other "pro" supporters in this blog.
justice real prevail-

Posted by Interested Observer

8:48 PM, Nov 30, 2007

So will Governor Gregoire appoint Teresa Kulik to fill Bobbe Bridge's soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Washington Supreme Court? Kulik was a long-time (25 years) top assistant AG, who served for many years under Gregoire when she was AG, and was recently appointed to the Court of Appeals (Division III in eastern Washington). Kulik was also a pro-tem Supreme Court justice who joined the three-member "majority" in striking down I-747.

Logically, Gregoire would be inclined to appoint a woman, since there are five men and four women on the high court right now, and replacing Bridge with a woman will keep four women on the court. And no one from eastern Washington has served for MANY years -- in spite of being 22% of the state's population. An eastern Washington appointee would help Gregoire with this area, where she has been politically very weak.

Out of eastern Washington attorneys and jurists, Kulik would be at the top of Gregoire's list. The first woman to ever serve on the Court of Appeals from eastern Washington, not to mention 25 years in the AG's office -- and working as one of Gregoire's top aides. Plus Kulik would seem ideologically compatible, given her I-747 decision and other indications of her judicial philosophy.

But a Kulik appointment could backfire. Kulik was arrested for drunk driving on November 15, 2003, Chelan County District Court No. C-14440-CHS-CT. The well-connected Kulik was able to get her friends in the Chelan County Prosecuting Attorney's office to immediately dismiss the charges. The prosecutor falsely told the judge that they were going to re-file the charges, but never did. This dismissal was highly unusual, since it was done immediately after the deputy sheriff filed the ticket with the court. Kulik was arrested on a Saturday. Two days later, on Monday morning at 9:30 a.m., Kulik didn't even have to appear for arraignment -- apparently being informed in advance that the charges would be dismissed.

Now, it is possible that the charges against Kulik were completely bogus, and that dismissal was appropriate. However, I imagine that the news media (and Republicans) might look into this matter, if Gregoire (as expected) appoints Kulik to the high court. Certainly, police reports exists, breath test results exist, and other records about the facts of Kulik's arrest exist.

If it turns out that Kulik was probably guilty of drunk driving from these public records, and that she was unfairly not prosecuted at all for this alleged crime, then this will sink Kulik if she runs (as expected) against strong opponents like John Groen for a full term in November 2008. It will also severely weaken Gregoire, whether or not Gregoire ever had any personal knowledge of Kulik's drunk driving arrest prior to making this appointment.

Of course, even if Gregoire doesn't appoint Kulik to the high court, she still appointed Kulik to the Court of Appeals in early 2006. While Republicans are probably hoping that Gregoire will appoint Kulik to the Supreme Court for maximum political damage, you can surely expect them to make strong political attacks against Gregoire simply because of the arguably flawed Court of Appeals appointment which has already taken place. Especially given Kulik's vote to strike down I-747.

Posted by Publicbulldog

10:30 PM, Nov 30, 2007

So is 74 percent of a County budget for criminal justice too much,and if not why.
When is too much too much for you D's

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-747 co-sponsor

11:47 PM, Nov 30, 2007

From: Tim Eyman, I-747 co-sponsor

All credit for what happened in Olympia yesterday goes to the citizens.

Voter pressure put on legislators over the past three weeks (and frankly over the past 10 years) made the difference. Nothing like having 5 state supreme justices calling the people stupid to motivate and galvinize the support of the 58% of the people who approved I-747 (and a whole lot of the 42% who voted no but who have come to rely on its taxpayer protections). It was a huge 200,000 vote margin. Under the court's theory, then, 100,000 voters voted yes, but 'mistakenly' voted yes (because of some magical hypnotism or voodoo, i suppose) when they would have voted no if only they had known 'the truth'. Unbelievably absurd.

As for Adam Kline, he is fantastic. The media loves conflict and he and I provide lots of it. But the reality is that when he looks at me, he gets angry because he sees himself. Same aggressiveness, bombacity, and media whorishness. Different political philosophy, sure (he wants government to have 100% of taxpayers' paychecks), but the tactics are identical. No, don't think for a second that I don't like and appreciate him and accept him as he is. What's not to admire about his aggressiveness and yes, rudeness -- civility is overrated. He believes in what he's doing and he's working the press to get his message to the people. It's the challenge we all face when dealing with a manytimes lazy press.

The problem is that his philosophy didn't have the support of the people (58%), his colleagues in the state house (91%) nor his colleagues in the senate (81%). Every Republican and probably 80% of elected Democrats, including tax-hiking Democrat Gregoire, voted against his philosophy.

I didn't call the special session, Democrat Governor Gregoire did. I didn't write the bill, his Democrat colleagues did. I didn't vote for their bill, his Democrat colleagues did. He called me names, but the reality is he really wanted to call Gregoire and his Democrat colleagues those names but that'd hurt his own party so he does some gratuitous Eyman-bashing to try to keep the D's base energized. Not a bad strategy if you think your base is stupid and won't recognize the hollowness of his tactic. But again, he's playing with the cards he's been dealt and making the best of it.

Posted by Dave Gibney

2:12 AM, Dec 01, 2007

Goldy had it correct, Tim is, was, and is still a horse's ass.

Posted by Turbine

6:58 AM, Dec 01, 2007

Dave, if the Governor put in the Tax Deferal as an "Emergency Clause" which you described above as "Usury" what does that make Christine Gregoire?

Posted by Scott Swanson

2:41 PM, Dec 01, 2007

Clownstein is what comes out of a horse's ass. Without the bowels of a horse's ass Clownstein would not exist.

Posted by KS

5:28 PM, Dec 01, 2007

Adam Kline is a media whore also. However, his argument about cutting services was ridiculous and alot of show for the press.

His question merits an answer - there lots of areas that the state can cut back in the budget, without significantly impacting services.

"Goldy had it correct, Tim is, was, and is still a horse's ass."

Goldy is a progressive hack and Tim Eyman is the result of an unresponsive government. Tim does not always get it right (such as I-695) and has messed up on some of his initiatives. There have also been some much needed ones like I-900 (requiring Audits for all state agencies) and I-960.

Posted by Bax

7:35 PM, Dec 01, 2007

Fire districts are entirely funded by property taxes. Fire districts do not provide any unessential services. Where do fire districts cut back under 747?

Posted by JimD

10:27 PM, Dec 01, 2007

Bax wrote:
"Fire districts are entirely funded by property taxes. Fire districts do not provide any unessential services. Where do fire districts cut back under 747?
You're asking the wrong group here, Bax.
Tim and his "supporters" don't give a damn about services, our infrastructure, our budget, our fire readiness...
Tim's specialty is an opportunistic manipulation of personal greed in the guise of good governance.
There is no concern about fire protection - or anything other than strangling government - on his side of this issue.
And it's a shame he's so good at legitimizing this low-brow, self-centered and careless citizenship.

Posted by Publicbulldog

10:55 PM, Dec 01, 2007


"Where do fire districts cut back under 747?
The real question is why can't King County take 3 percent out of its 74 percent and fund Fire districts.
71 percent for criminal justice will expose us all to a crime wave.

Cut the damn criminal justice budget already you cowards.

King County Gathers on the stage and lets a bunch of ballons go to celebrate a drop in crime,then goes out and raises the criminal justice budget.

Ya'll call Tim Eyman a coward because he won't tell them where they spend too much,I tell folks every week where we spend too much,and the dems on blogs never want to engage in any debate about it.

If we cant cut where we spend the most from,We will never cut a budget.
That is why Eyman can make a living with initiatives.

Eyman makes a living because the Dems dont have the guts to stand up to the criminal justice union and make the obvious cuts,from an obviously over funded criminal justice budget.

All they can do is let ballons go,and fill the criminal justice union trough,and build another prison to sit empty.

Posted by Turbine

1:14 AM, Dec 02, 2007

The last time I checked, nobody is laying off Firefighters. Now Medic One Just recieved a hefty increase in funding and will run a 40 + Million Dollar Surplus for the first couple of years in the levy. The Firefighters seem to be fairly well represented among elected officials who all seem to consider them to be among the Priorities of Government that should be funded first.

Core functions of Government at a local level should be Police, Fire, Public works and Schools. I believe most people start having issues when they are told by State Reps like the Adam Klines of the world that there is no fat in the State Budget. In direct contrast to the State Auditor who can point Hundreds of Millions of Dollars of waste and states publically he cannot get the cooperation of many State Department heads in fixing the problems. I-900 marches on.

Will the Governor spend as much time and effort cutting out the waste identified by her own Auditor as she has increasing spending, adding FTE's and creating new programs? Only time will tell.

Posted by Bax

8:34 AM, Dec 02, 2007

King County is not responsible for providing fire protection. Fire districts are separate entities and are not part of King County government. I get that you have a problem with King County spending a large portion of its money on cops, prosecutors, and the jail, but the vast majority of people would disagree with you.

It looks like Adam Kline has a point. Eymanites say that government should prioritize and spend money on things like fire services first. When I ask Eymanites how fire districts are supposed to prioritize under 747, there's no real answer.

I'll ask again: how is a fire district supposed to be able to properly staff its stations, plan for the future, buy equipment, and provide service under 747?

Posted by Turbine

11:39 AM, Dec 02, 2007

Show us where they are laying off Firefighters because of budget reasons? Since you appear to be stuck on just fire service as a single issue, how many volunteers are being recruited and trained in your local firehouse? In your District? Are you on the job and in the Union? Would you rather see us move to a Fire Utility model?

The only point Adam Kline has is on the top of his head. I will ask you again, Why isn't the current administration moving to implement the changes suggested by the State Auditor that could save Hundreds of Million of dollars a year? Why didn't the current Legislature and Governor use surplus dollars to fully fund pension obligations and Gain Sharing Mitigation?

Fire Service is in no danger of being underfunded, Nor is Police Service the questions seem to run toward non-essential services, Unfunded manadates from almost all levels ( State and County) down to local government.

Posted by Publicbulldog

11:57 AM, Dec 02, 2007

The overall tax load is the problem.

When you spend all of your money on a Bust em and Bus em budget,You have no money for anything else,like say mental health,which is payed out of the Property taxes.
Also You have to raise other taxes to pay for the other services.
D's are in denial.
Criminal Justice is over funded,It creates a domino effect,that helps crearte tax fatigue.
Figure don't lie liers cant figure.
74 leaves 26 percent for everything else.
Are other taxes going to have to be raised,will the state have to pick up the slack.

The majority of people have not voted for criminal justice reductions but they have voted for Eyman initiatives which are supposed to create a reprioritization.

Why let the ballons go and hug each other over crime rate drops if you have not reduced criminal justice budgets to reflect the celebration.

Then the state builds an empty prison in Tacoma.
It is obvious that criminal justice is over funded on a state ,County,and City level.
It is laden with overlapping funding and service,then you have the feds throwing in millions.
Since you have such a huge amount of funding for criminal justice,it is the most logical place to cut if you look at the numbers.
Time to reduce Criminal justice budgets.
Time to stand up to the union and do what is right.
The D's like to over spend on the budget then put up some high impact service that we will lose if we don't give more.
King County uses the parks,or the disabled kids washing the buses,
or something to pull the heartstrings or cause a concern...enough
End tax fatigue,end Eyman..

Posted by Publicbulldog

12:11 PM, Dec 02, 2007

Then you have Boeing and Microsoft contributing to every form of tax increase because there is no state income tax,and that is part of the benefit package,and a selling point on contract negotiations.
They are not stupid.they want the poor people to pay for the improvements,they have their share.

The State has grown enough now to have an income tax,time to stop dancing around it.

Cut Criminal justice budget,Tolls for bridges (Tolls have paid for bridges since maple syrup was invented), modest Income tax for the rich.
solve our damn problems.
That is the solution to most,if not all of our problems.
Get to work Cowards.

Posted by JimD

11:40 PM, Dec 02, 2007

"Show us where they are laying off Firefighters because of budget reasons?"
This shows a remarkable level of ignorance about how government - or any managed entity - operates with one foot in the future to efficiently manage growth and demand. Laying-off fire fighters would be the last action taken to reduce cost, not the first sign that a fire district was underfunded.

"Why isn't the current administration moving to implement the changes suggested by the State Auditor that could save Hundreds of Million of dollars a year?"
Please name these HUNDREDS of millions, and the projects/services they represent. The devil's in the SPECIFIC details of these savings, of course - not some blind faith that the people really want these specific cuts just because the State auditor thinks they do.

"Why didn't the current Legislature and Governor use surplus dollars to fully fund pension obligations and Gain Sharing Mitigation?"
Because it would wipe out the surplus and replace it with hand-to-mouth cash flow - a less efficient and effective way to manage emergencies. But it is an effective strategy for forcing eventual financial strangulation when one has to be funded. (can we say, "The Iraq War"?)

Posted by Turbine

7:27 AM, Dec 03, 2007

I guess you will never agree that that is a "number" that we adequately fund Fire or Police or Government in General.

If you want specific information and are looking for a guide to start looking at the Specific Line-Line Findings of all fo the Audits you can start with going to WWW.SAO/WA.GOV/REPORTS/ANNUAL/2006 ANNUAL REPORT. PDF. If you are looking for specific agencies audits to look at go to DSHS,DOT there is a good start.

Tell us who created the "emergency" in the Pension funds and Gain Sharing? Why that would be the same folks who thought it would be just dandy to increase spending 31% rather than fund prior obligations to employees.

Posted by JimD

8:01 AM, Dec 03, 2007

The point is, Turbine, that anyone can look at the specific line funding and say, "we don't need this" or "we don't need that".
But I could look over your personal budget and say the same.
You can drive an older car, you don't need to spend so much on groceries or household perishable goods, you could buy or rend down into cheaper housing....etc.
We cut your expenses, pay you less for the work you do, and whatever product or service I purchase as the result of your labor - directly or indirectly - would be cheaper. More money in my pocket.
The vast majority of most proposed government spending reforms are typically tied to jobs. It's not as if this money is disappearing into thin air. Most of it circulates throughout our communities in the form of personal spending, which contributes to healthy towns, cities, and states.
But sure - if you wish - let's apply your same approach to YOUR job and YOUR quality of life.
surely you can get by on less.
After all, it's MY money that supports your lavish, wasteful spending.

Posted by Turbine

9:53 AM, Dec 03, 2007

So if my property tax bill or the sales tax rate increases, I am forced to make the cuts you describe. For essential services I will do what I have to do. When I hear that the State Auditors office is making recommendations that are not being implemented to save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars I lose confidence in the current administrations ability to effectively budget the tax dollars we already send them.

It is interesting that you asked for Specific Cuts that could be made to the State budget, I provide you with the resource to see the specifics and you reject them as being one persons "opinion" saying "We don't need this or we don't need that". This is the State Auditor, it is his job to make these judgements and he does it everyday. If you don't like the State Auditors reports, vote him out and put someone in who will manipulate the data to fit your preconceived notions. Apparently you would prefer to pay more in taxes first than to address where the current tax revenue is being wasted or misspent.

Posted by Bothsides

12:09 PM, Dec 03, 2007


"The vast majority of most proposed government spending reforms are typically tied to jobs. It's not as if this money is disappearing into thin air. Most of it circulates throughout our communities in the form of personal spending, which contributes to healthy towns, cities, and states.
But sure - if you wish - let's apply your same approach to YOUR job and YOUR quality of life.
surely you can get by on less.
After all, it's MY money that supports your lavish, wasteful spending."

This is exactly the socialist agenda the left want us to adopt. I have to keep pouring in more and more tax dollars because government jobs depend on them. We are not paying taxes to provide jobs for the economy, we pay taxes so the government can perform the "necessary services" required, nothing more, nothing less. Your reference to the free market place is flawed, as that is where we have a choice to spend as we wish rather than taxation that is required by law. BTW, JD, you don't have to spend YOUR money to support anyone's lavish lifestyle, if you don't want to buy something on the FREE market created by FREE enterprise, don't BUY IT.

Posted by JimD

1:10 PM, Dec 03, 2007

You refer to "where the current tax revenue is being wasted or misspent" as if it is indisputable fact.
In fact, that determination is inherently subjective.
The ONLY specific, constructive (and coherent) suggestions posted here to date on how to cut government spending, involve cutting jobs, wages or employee benefits.
I'm not saying government's purpose is to create jobs paid for by tax revenue.
I'm saying that thousands of government employees who make decent wages and benefits should not be replaced by low-wage, private outsourcing.
I work in a field where this hatchet approach by global corporate interests have destroyed whole job markets.
Employers, including governments, have a responsibility to their communities (and their country, by the way) in addition to their bottom line.
When higher-wage jobs are removed from the collective mix of labor value, it creates downward pressure across the board.
One of the reasons wages for relatively low-skill jobs have declined is the elimination of the union jobs they had to compete with in the employment market.
Every time the bar gets lowered, the value of comparable work also declines -- the "race to the bottom".
Our government workers are not living high on the hog - unless you consider the national wage average plus health and pension extravagant.
Still waiting for specific line spending cut suggestions. Yes, I do expect you to offer specifics since that is your proposed solution. Let's see exactly what you think should be cut.
Actually, you and I don't have a lot of choice in the market place anymore.
Try buying clothing, shoes, appliances, home furnishings...or just about anything these days that isn't now imported. The few bucks you save on a dress made in Bangladesh instead of South Carolina leaves a little more money in your pocket, but has devastated a domestic employment field that once supported thousands of middle-class jobs.
I'm sure you wouldn't mind if the gal who mows the grass at local parks only made $8.50 hr with no health insurance because the government contracted it out.
But I do care, and I don't mind paying my fair share to support that middle class job.
And that is the difference between you and me.

Posted by Turbine

3:11 PM, Dec 03, 2007

Nice dodge JimD you obviously didn't read the State Auditors reports. I will not do your homework for you. If you read the reports you will find that much of the savings would be realized be better cash controls, ferry toll receipts and stopping payments to those not eligible to received them. Also cited is ineffecient management practices as DSHS and DOT. If you are too lazy to look into things like Millions of Dollars being distributed in Medicare/ Medicaid payments to people who are either here illegally or ineleigible shown in the detail of the reports, I can not help you. You simply enjoy being taken advantage of and wasting limited resources on those willing to game the system.

Posted by JimD

5:30 PM, Dec 03, 2007

So you believe that "HUNDREDS of Millions of Dollars" (your original words) could be realized by fixing:
Cash controls.
Ferry toll receipts.
Payments to those not eligible to receive them.
Inefficient management practices at DSHS and DOT.
Medicare/Medicaid payments to illegals and ineligibles.
Well, I'm all for cutting waste - if that's what it truly is.
But "better cash controls" do not necessarily result in lower cost, but perhaps better accountability.
"Payments to those not eligible to receive them" and "payments to illegals and ineligibles" is theoretical vague.
And inefficient "management practices" (within DOT at least) typically means contracting-out to lower wage subs - creating more work "Americans don't want to do", if you get my drift. (I work in transportation)
Overall - your premise is the typical, republican bait and switch: Cutting taxes will force governments to plug the holes.
Problem is, the well is running dry, today's holes rarely turn out to be as big as promised, and governments do indeed start cutting critical spending and investment - like repairing and updating infrastructure, equipment, facilities...and eventually wages.
You've got folks like Bothsides actually believing that inadequate fire or police protection does not exist in this state...that there is waste so significant and fixable that huge tax cuts can easily be absorbed without any measurable downside.
And you've conveniently failed to specify the actual cuts you believe can be made - conservative talk-radio political slogans not with standing.
Here's a question for Turbine and Bothsides:

Posted by Turbine

5:50 PM, Dec 03, 2007

I am not asking you to believe me, I am asking you to believe the elected State Auditor, who is a Democrat. I could explain it to you in detail, but your intellectual laziness demonstrated by your unwillingness to visit the State Auditors site and read even the executive summary indicates the depth of your ignorance. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Posted by JimD

6:07 PM, Dec 03, 2007

I believe you truly believe everything you post - that's not the issue, to me at least.
And I'm not anymore trustworthy of democrats than republicans - that's not the issue either.
And our respective laziness is not the issue.
Neither is one's intellectual eyesight.
But you do a good job trying to side-track the question you do not want to answer regarding the extent to which you'd strangle government wages/benefits and future investments in necessary infrastructure, equipment...etc., to save a few bucks today.
For if you admitted you'd screw every hard-working government worker you could, while failing to participate in the investments future generations deserve from us, you would reveal the true nature of your civic character.
This argument is about civic character.
And it's a good thing I don't expect much from Eymanites, since they simply don't have any to offer.

Posted by Turbine

7:15 PM, Dec 03, 2007

Try reading the State Auditors Report #6585 from 2006 that identified up to 1 Billion dollars in potential overpayments from DSHS to ineligible people. That is Billion with a B.

What was it that leads you to believe you or anyone else in government is owed anything? Are government employees more important than anyone else? Your unwillingness to consider ANY forms of efficiency certainly does indicate a kind of dangerous government-centric myopia or is that union-centric. I have been working in local government for over 5 years now, I work with budgets, I attend the hearings and I listen to the people who pay the bills. There is a balance and you lack the insight to appreciate it.

Posted by JimD

4:33 AM, Dec 04, 2007

I will, and I'm sure I'll learn something.
Thank you for the reference.
But you fail to either understand my point, or are unwilling to acknowledge it.
I'm not suggesting there isn't some waste that could possibly be extracted. I'm not stupid or naive.
And I certainly don't think the government owes me anything beyond the services I expect. (this gets a little tricky because I probably believe in a more benevolent budget than you do, and strongly believe in public-financed art and other amenities above and beyond the bare basics)
But for the record, I've never collected a dime of assistance or unemployment in my life, have run my own business - and very successfully by the way, despite the amazing array of taxes and fees I was responsible for - and currently work over 70 hours a week while creating a sizeable retirement nest egg without the benefit of a union or government pension, thank you very much.
My dog in this fight - my ONLY dog in this fight is:
1) The declining recognition that our collective well-being raises all boats - particularly among middle class working folk.
I'm old enough to remember when close to 50% of all workers in this country were union, and non-union employers had to provide a reasonable equivalent to attract workers. Deregulations and "Corporations Gone Wild!" has put middle class employment on an efficiency-fueled race to the lowest possible cost regardless of consequence. And that consequence is a declining middle-class as the separation between the haves and have-nots widens. \
I fear - with good reason given some of the comments here - that a growing portion of the populace wants to convert middle-class government jobs into low-wage private contract jobs. Call me an old-fashioned conservative (not unlike Huckabee and Lou Dobbs on this subject), but corporations and governments are answerable to more than just their bottom line. The northwest is a relatively affluent region blessed with amazing talent, a strong local economy and incredible natural beauty. It is a highly desirable residence destination. We CAN afford a professional, skilled government work force with good wages and benefits. And frankly, I resent those wishing to turn my beloved Washington into a cash-strapped, government-poor cesspool like so many other regions have become.
The Eymanites seem to me like folks who'd check into a five star hotel, then complaining about how expensive it is. Go to a frickin' Motel-6 if you just want the bare basics. Mississippi and Texas have low tax rates and are very cheap places to live. They also suk, compared to Washington, in my opinion. Guess that's why so many folks want to live here. Never thought I'd quote a classic '60's establishment cliche, but "LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!"
In the meantime, keep your greedy little hands off our well-paid government workers and the other tax-financed investments that have helped make this region what it is today. (not you specifically - and more power to you if you can remove true waste and are not just about hatcheting the budget just to hatch the budget)
Jim Detwiler

Posted by Bothsides

8:25 PM, Dec 04, 2007

"You've got folks like Bothsides actually believing that inadequate fire or police protection does not exist in this state...that there is waste so significant and fixable that huge tax cuts can easily be absorbed without any measurable downside"

JimD, Turbine doesn't have me believing anything, I have a mind of my own, I can actually read and analyze the facts myself, we are not talking about tax cuts, we are talking about limiting tax INCREASES....before my lawmaker asks me to take more money out of my wallet, I want them to spend what they have been given wisely, and they are not doing that. Go to the auditors web link and READ it. BTW, show me where police and fire are being neglected, that is a total scare tactic the left uses time and time again, along with teachers salaries and school funding, those are priorities, however, our lawmakers ignore that. The gov is a lot bigger than those three, we have a lot of wasted tax dollars and the people of this state realize that, therefore you get Eyman initiatives that are VERY popular, you know, the kind that are the WILL of the PEOPLE!

Posted by JimD

1:19 AM, Dec 05, 2007

Bothsides wrote:
" me where police and fire are being neglected, that is a total scare tactic the left uses time and time again, along with teachers salaries and school funding, those are priorities, however, our lawmakers ignore that. The gov is a lot bigger than those three, we have a lot of wasted tax dollars and the people of this state realize that, therefore you get Eyman initiatives that are VERY popular, you know, the kind that are the WILL of the PEOPLE!"
Other posters HAVE shown you specific towns in Washington where there hasn't been enough revenue to properly support adequate police and fire services. But more relevant to my point is your belief that funding for anything other than police, fire and schools, the "big three", is "wasted tax dollars". We have roads/ferries, parks and a host of safety net services (just to scratch the surface) that many of us believe are worth funding - and funding well to preserve our civic quality of life and humanitarian responsibility.
I've read the report:
It contains many constructive recommendations and some impressive - although only theoretical - projected savings. By all means, let's keep the ball rolling on streamlining government and apply those savings in the future as they're actually realized upon their implementation.
But what does that have to do with our basic philosophical differences regarding the role of government?
You use this report as justification for a hatchet approach to tax revenue, when in fact your stated objective is not just to implement the report's recommendations, but cut government back to fire, police and schools, "the big three". Isn't that a bit disingenuous?

Posted by Bothsides

7:44 PM, Dec 05, 2007


You need to take a course in readin' comprension...

Hatchet approach??, your mind is twisted, curbing tax growth is not a hatchet approach. Cutting waste out of our government is not a hatchet approach, it's common sense, just like it would be for your family budget. Would you rent movies before you bought food for your family? Our government's priority should be to fund those basic needs FIRST, then we'll look at the other needs and address those (and they certainly exist, never said they didn't), they have their priorities mixed, they fund all the not so essential programs and then come back to the taxpayers for schools etc. because they haven't fully funded them. I do not see any post's that have facts showing police and fire have been inadequate in any town in this state, please provide links or relative data.

Posted by Joe F.

11:34 PM, Dec 05, 2007

Have you heard about Eyman's latest hijinks? He apparently was escorted out of the city council in Yakima by police! Something about talking about a blog during the meeting. What's up with that?

Posted by JimD

4:01 AM, Dec 06, 2007

>"You need to take a course in readin' comprehension..."
You don't remember reading the posts from those who's communities couldn't fund proper police and fire, and then say I don't comprehend?
>"Cutting waste out of our government is not a hatchet approach..."
Where did I say it was? Arbitrarily capping tax growth is the hatchet approach I've referred to.
>"Would you rent movies before you bought food for your family?"
Do you drive your car till it's out of gas for better fuel mileage?
>"Our government's priority should be to fund those basic needs FIRST, then we'll look at the other needs and address those..."
Our government will fund everything the representatives we elect decide to on our behalf. Don't like your representative's choices? Elect a different one. That's how representative democracy works. Your suggestion that you'd consider lesser priorities after the priorities are funded (God only knows what essential services you'd put on that list) is downright frightening. Your clear intention, which you've posted TIME AND TIME AGAIN is to severely gut local government. Your "priorities" are virtually nothing, and your political philosophy is not too far from that of the anarchist who wants to do away with government altogether. Have you considered moving to Eugene, OR?
>"...they fund all the not so essential programs and then come back to the taxpayers for schools etc."
Not only apples and oranges in lumping together state, county and municipal levels, but completely inaccurate - a comic book version of how decisions are made, and a poor imitation of the screaming midgets on AM radio you apparently get your dogma from.
>"I do not see any post's that have facts showing police and fire have been inadequate in any town in this state, please provide links or relative data."
The reading comprehension problem is yours. Three Washington cities were mentioned in a previous thread by a poster who lives there - to name one example. I'd give you the benefit of the doubt as having inadvertently missed the post, but that might be overly generous. I'm beginning to believe you simply don't see what you don't want to see.
This is getting tedious...

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