Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I hope we'll be able to look back and say that this was the moment Tim Eyman jumped the shark.
Before Gov. Christine Gregoire picks up her pen to sign a gay civil rights bill into law today, Tim Eyman will have set in motion a signature drive to give voters a chance to veto the legislation at the polls in the fall.

Front-page headlines in Seattle and across the state this weekend heralded legislation passed Friday prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and lending.

Eyman, a for-profit initiative sponsor who has carved out a cottage industry promoting anti-tax measures, said the legislation was another example of arrogant politicians making policy based on election-year image concerns.

"On an issue this important, the voters should get the final say," Eyman said Monday. "This issue has become hopelessly politicized in Olympia. Politicians aren't thinking about what voters want."


Yelm resident Tony Engler, 47, said his view of Eyman has changed because of Monday's filing.

"I'm not gay or Christian, I'm not a right-wing whacko or a bleeding-heart, tree-hugging Evergreen liberal," Engler said.

"I'm just a guy who's partially disabled and who has laws set up out there to protect my rights to live as a human, not as some second-class citizen," he said. "I'm glad the Disability Act was established before Tim Eyman came along or I'd still be fighting high curbs in crosswalks.

"I used to think Tim Eyman was an OK kind of guy, fighting the good fight; now I see his true colors."

Cutting taxes, however ill-advised the specific cuts may be, is like free ice cream: it pretty much sells itself. The same isn't true for removing legal protections from a certain class of citizens, as Eyman is proposing. Here's hoping he runs aground and goes back to selling watches.

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