OLYMPIA -- Tim Eyman may wind up losing more from this month’s election than just an initiative.
The Mukilteo resident’s last ballot measure put him at deep odds with longtime allies in the business community, and it could take a while to regain their trust -- and their all-important financial support.
Some, like the Washington Food Industry Association, vow to sever ties completely after the battle on Initiative 517, which voters overwhelmingly defeated. It would have given signature-gatherers nearly unfettered access to grocers’ private property.
“There’s a whole bunch of us very active in the business community saying no more,” said Jan Gee, the president and chief executive officer of the group, who also helped manage the No on 517 campaign. “We will not be giving Tim money to do an initiative or do a campaign.”
Eyman acknowledged it was a mistake to include language that would have expanded where signature-gathering could occur.
“If I had to do it again over again, I wouldn’t have put any of that stuff in there,” he said. “It is what it is.”
But he seemed nonplussed at the idea the food industry association and other business groups would go their own way on initiatives.
“Every initiative is a la carte. Everyone is free to support the ones they like and not support the ones they don’t like,” he said.
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Jerry Cornfield is the statehouse reporter for the Everett Herald. Reach him at (360) 352-8623; email@example.com.