Angel, Eyman not seeing eye-to-eye on this one

hpim4414It took a while, but we heard back from state Sen. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, regarding an email blast Friday critical of her from initiative guru Tim Eyman.

This issue comes from a bill Angel cosponsored with two other Republicans and a Democrat. It passed 41-8 in the Senate earlier this month, with all three Kitsap senators voting in favor. All but one of the eight who voted “no” were Republicans. That’s seven Republicans voting, “no,” which means 18 favor the bill. The legislation is in the House now.

The bill would require that any initiative that the state budget office determines will either add more than $25 million in costs or cut more than $25 million in revenues to the state have the following statement added to the initiative title on the ballot, “The state budget office has determined that this proposal would have an unfunded net impact of [amount] on the state general fund. This means other state spending may need to be reduced or taxes increased to implement the proposal.”

Eyman said the emails reveal Angel’s true intent was to stop some initiatives from happening, naming possible voter actions authored by the Washington Education Association and the Service Employees International Union.

“This is extremely disturbing.  Having legislators plotting and scheming to ‘stop’ certain initiatives ‘from getting on the ballot’ is a gross abuse of power.  It doesn’t matter whether it is politicians conniving to block liberal initiatives or politicians scheming to undermine conservative initiatives,” Eyman wrote.

Angel responded by email saying, “I am a co-sponsor of this bipartisan bill  SB5715 which is a ‘transparency’ issue for the voter to help make a decision  when voting. It passed in a strong bipartisan fashion off the Senate floor with a vote of 41-8.  The ballot title would include a fiscal note only under certain circumstances and doesn’t affect the citizen initiative process at all.”

What follows is Eyman’s email blast to supporters and reporters, Angel’s response and video from Wednesday’s House hearing.

RE:  Jan Angel denies — but her emails reveal anti-initiative scheme

         In my testimony Wednesday against anti-initiative bill SB 5715, I highlighted that one of the main co-sponsors of the bill, Senator Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard), had revealed in emails the true purpose behind their legislative assault on the initiative process I have since learned that she’s not particulary pleased — “livid” is the word I heard — with my testimony.

        But it’s her anti-initiative bill and they’re her emails.

        In response to a constituent who was furious with her for co-sponsoring SB 5715, she wrote: “Tom there is a lot more to this than you know. There are things coming down that we must get in front of and that is why you see so many Republicans signed on to this resolution. Please stay tuned. Senator Jan Angel”Sunday, February 01, 2015 9:00 AM

        In response to another constituent who had criticized her for co-sponsoring SB 5715, she wrote: “John there are things on this bill that you don’t know that our caucus has to get ahead of. That’s why you see so many Republicans on this bill. It is being watered down a little bit however the importance of this bill is crucial to get ahead of some situations we know are coming but we can’t take public at this point I’m going to have to ask you to trust me” Date: January 30, 2015 at 9:10:56 AM PST

        In response to another constituent, she wrote: “this was necessary to get ahead of crucial issues that you will see why soon…got to ask your trust in what we’re doing — that’s why so many R’s on this. I am in leadership and know more I can share in person. Jan” Friday, January 30, 2015 9:50 AM

        What’s the big mystery?  What’s the secret?

       The people who received these emails wanted to know:

* “Stay tuned? This isn’t a game show. What is it you want to get out in front of? If there is a lot more than I know then tell me so I do know. Tell the public. What is the secret and why not tell the public? if you want to change something, don’t keep secrets from the governed, lest you want to lose the consent of the governed.”

* Another “Trust us, we know best” No Thanks!

       The true purpose of SB 5715 was revealed when I got this email (the reference to Roanoke is explained here: http://www.roanokeconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015-Roanoke-Agenda.pdf):

From: J

Sent: Monday, February 02, 2015 8:49 AM

To: Tim Eyman

Subject: Re: Amid all-out mutiny, Sen. Fain abandons constitutional amendment attacking initiative process 

Hi Tim,

I heard from a Roanoke attendee that Jan Angel explained this proposed bill as being a way to stop the WEA and SEIU from getting initiatives on the ballot. Apparently they have heard that there are some potential initiatives being cooked up that they are concerned about.

Nothing must get in the way of the initiative process…let the legislature sort out what to do aboutinitiatives that pass. But the process must remain intact. Any changes to the process WILL be exploited.

Hope all is well with you!! 

J

         This is extremely disturbing.  Having legislators plotting and scheming to “stop” certain initiatives “from getting on the ballot” is a gross abuse of power.  It doesn’t matter whether it is politicians conniving to block liberal initiatives or politicians scheming to undermine conservative initiatives.  It’s totally wrong for politicians to use the power of government to sabotage the initiative process.   

         It’s now been laid bare that the sole purpose of SB 5715 is to stop initiatives.

        Right now, House members are considering whether or not to support SB 5715 — every House member needs to be told how sleazy this bill is.

        Please — RIGHT NOW — send an email to all 98 House members that says something like this (feel free to add more, there’s a lot to say):

“It’s been revealed that SB 5715’s sole purpose is to block initiatives from getting on the ballot.  Emails from one of the bill’s co-sponsors clearly show it’s got nothing to do with giving voters information, it’s all about stopping initiatives.  This is beyond sleazy.  As the ACLU wrote: ‘The State should not use its power to tilt the electoral playing field.’ I ask you to activelyoppose SB 5715.  Leave our initiative process alone.”    

From Angel:

“I am a co-sponsor of this bipartisan bill  SB5715 which is a ‘transparency’ issue for the voter to help make a decision  when voting. It passed in a strong bipartisan fashion off the Senate floor with a vote of 41-8.  The ballot title would include a fiscal note only under certain circumstances and doesn’t affect the citizen initiative process at all.   You will even note the first email he is using here refers to ‘a resolution’ – -it is not this bill!!   Yes, I was at Roanoke Conference and presented on Transportation – -which you will see on the agenda he has here – -I presented on Sunday morning.   There is no ‘sleaze’ here.

One thought on “Angel, Eyman not seeing eye-to-eye on this one

  1. Interesting. Frankly I think any initiative should tell the taxpayers upfront what the cost is. Setting an arbitrary limit of $25 million is just letting smaller cost initiatives get away with not informing the public as to consequences. Every initiative has costs. Someone pays, whether it is Olympia, counties, cities, or the taxpayers, someone pays the cost for every initiatives consequences, intended or not.

    It is only fair to make the initiative process fully open to everyone with potential consequences, good and bad, financial and social fully disclosed to the voters. But then again both Olympia, lobbyists and those like Eyman prefer voters who are not fully informed and knowledgeable.

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