Tim Eyman. File photo

Tim Eyman. File photo

Eyman: I may never qualify another ballot measure again

The anti-tax activist, accused of campaign violations, testified one last time in his bench trial.

OLYMPIA — Tim Eyman, accused of campaign violations, anticipates his legal battle with the state could make it impossible for him to ever pass another ballot measure.

But he doesn’t want to lose the ability to try, he told a Thurston County Superior Court judge, because political activism is in his blood.

“I believe I was born to do it,” Eyman testified in his civil trial on Thursday. “As a result of this thing, I may never be able to ever qualify another ballot measure … but at least I will be able to try.”

His time on the stand marked the end of testimony in a bench trial that has spanned parts of six days. Closing arguments will be scheduled later this month or early next year, after which Superior Court Judge James Dixon will rule.

The trial stems from a 2017 lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleging that Eyman failed to report shifting money that was donated for Initiative 1185, a tax-limiting measure, to the campaign for Initiative 517, which sought to modify the initiative and referendum process. Eyman served as an officer on committees for both.

Eyman is also alleged to have engineered a $308,000 kickback from a signature-gathering firm involved in those initiatives. He is also accused of failing to report as political contributions hundreds of thousands of dollars he received from friends and supporters.

Ferguson is seeking a penalty amounting to millions of dollars, and he wants Eyman permanently barred from directing financial transactions for any future political committees.

Eyman, who spent parts of three days on the witness stand, denied doing anything wrong. He said he followed the advice of financial and legal professionals before making the transactions and accepting the monetary gifts.

He said penalties sought by the state would neuter his participation in politics, a claim disputed by the Attorney General’s Office.

In the months and years before the trial, Eyman and his for-profit company, Watchdog for Taxpayers, was found in contempt for failing to produce documents sought by the state. That’s resulted in more than $300,000 in fines, which he is paying off in monthly installments.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dospueblos


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

North Bend City Hall. Courtesy of northbendwa.gov
North Bend approves sewer rate increases

A 2.5% annual sewer rate increase was approved March 2 by the… Continue reading

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. File photo
Encouraging numbers for kokanee salmon spawn count

Lake Sammamish kokanee aren’t out of the woods by any stretch, but… Continue reading

In this file photo, Tayshon Cottrell dons his graduation cap and gown, along with a face mask reading: “Wear it! Save America” at Todd Beamer High School’s virtual graduation walk recording on May 20, 2020, in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

File photo
Study shows Washingtonians exceeded ‘heavy drinking’ threshold in 2020

The survey suggests Washingtonians drank more than 17 alcoholic beverages a week on average.

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19, 2021. Here, Northwood Elementary School students head into the building. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island School District
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Malden, after a wildfire burned down 80% of the town’s buildings in Eastern Washington. Courtesy photo
DNR commissioner seeks $125 million to fight wildfires

In Washington state last September, some 600,000 acres burned within 72 hours.

Teaser
New Fall City Fire Chief is on the job

Chief Brian Culp started in the position at the beginning of February.

Washington State Supreme Court Justices (back row, L-R) Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, G. Helen Whitener, (front row, L-R) Susan Owens, Charles W. Johnson, Steven C. Gonzalez, Barbara A. Madsen and Debra L. Stephens.
Justices strike down Washington state drug possession law

Police must stop arresting people for simple possession.

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Most Read