On Friday, donning celebratory t-shirts that said "Let the Voters Decide," Tim Eyman and his partner in crime Jack Fagan reportedly turned in more than 318,000 signatures to get Initiative 1185 on the ballot come November. Eyman has nicknamed I-1185 the 'Son of 1053" - a reference to his Initiative 1053, approved by voters in 2010 by a roughly 63-percent to 36-percent margin and requiring a two-thirds legislative majority or voter approval to raise taxes or create new taxes.
According to reports, officials have already started reviewing the signatures turned in by Eyman and Fagan and should be able to say for certain whether I-1185 has gathered enough in about three weeks. While there's a slight variance, initiatives generally take about 242,000 valid signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot. Initiative campaigns typically aim for and turn in more than that to ensure enough of their collected signatures are valid. A story from KOMO indicates the Secretary of State's office recommends initiative campaigns collect roughly 320,000 John Hancocks, "as a buffer for duplicates and invalid signatures."
Yes, it seems all but certain at this point that Washington voters will have yet another Eyman initiative to weigh in on this November. But what may (or may not) surprise folks is where the initiative's financial backing has come from.
A glance at the Public Disclosure Commission website shows I-1185 has brought in $964,712.68 so far and spent $501,506.51. The initiative's largest contribution has come from the Beer Institute, which put $400,000 toward the cause, while BP Oil and Conoco Phillips have each thrown $100,000 at I-1185. The Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Retail Association have also contributed.
Overall, businesses have contributed $604,866 to I-1185, while Political Action Committees (PACs) have contributed $25,000.
When it comes to in-kind contributions, the Association of Washington Business PAC has paid $185,000 for I-1185 signature gathering, while the Washington Beer and Wine Distributors Association has put down $100,000 for the same thing.
Below you'll find a few tables and graphs taken from the Public Disclosure Commission website that provide more detail about exactly who (and what) is paying for Initiative 1185.
Public Disclosure Commission Public Disclosure Commission Public Disclosure Commission