Election Night '09: Get a Snack at No on 1033

Seattle Chamber's George Allen is relieved Tim Eyman's latest went down in flames, and you should be too.

Party: No on 1033

Location: Edgewater Hotel, one floor below Constantine-fest.

Mood: The sparse crowd heaved one collective sigh of relief.

Drink of Choice: This wasn't so much a haven for boozing as it was the place to find sustenance. The appetizer table at Constantine's party one floor up was so crowded, it wasn't worth the effort. Here you could casually snack on sliced cold-cuts, veggies and humus without elbowing people out of the way. Indeed, a few revelers from upstairs popped down to refortify before heading back to the much bigger event.

One floor above, everybody who's anybody rubbed elbows to celebrate Dow Constantine's victory. But really, the next King County Executive will be so hamstrung by budget troubles, the victor wouldn't have that significant an impact for a couple of years at least.

Not so with Tim Eyman's latest government-crippling initiative. Eyman proposed tying government spending to the current recession levels, then limiting it to growth based on inflation and population. Of course, government needs to spend more when it has resources to build the programs that get us through the awful times, like now.

It was such a bad idea that traditionally fiscal conservative editorial boards (Seattle Times) and interest groups (Washington Realtors) opposed the measure. But if Eyman has a superpower, it's writing terrible-idea initiatives in language that seems reasonable and has impressive sway with voters. Apparently we finally figured it out with more than 55 percent of the state voting against it in the preliminary results.

"What a relief," Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce Vice President George Allen told the relatively small crowd. "This would have been a disaster for the state of Washington."

Luckily for Allen, voters are finally getting wise to the reality that no matter how good an Eyman initiative sounds, the chances it will gut your kids' after-school program, your parents' health care, and your favorite environmental project are distressingly high. Seriously, if the guy sponsored an initiative declaring puppies adorable, you can just bet there'd be fine print taking away all money for animal shelters.

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