During his 21 years as head of the most aggressive conservative activist

During his 21 years as head of the most aggressive conservative activist group in the state–the homebuilders’ trade association known as the BIAW–Tom McCabe made a name for himself with his shrill rhetoric, most especially directed at environmentalists and government officials. (Lord help you if you were both.) And while he liked to refer to Department of Ecology officials as “yellow-booted thugs,” and compared regulators’ tactics to “those used 70 years ago in Nazi Germany,” he also was none too generous-of-spirit toward people without jobs.One of the bumper stickers BIAW handed out to its members back in the ’90s said: “Make Welfare As Hard To Get As A Building Permit.” Charming. In the early ’00s, the BIAW went to war against the state’s unemployment insurance system, which it condemned for its “extreme costs and liberal benefits.”McCabe himself, meanwhile, is leaving his longtime place of employment with very little to worry about. He’s collecting a $1.25 million buyout from the BIAW, the Olympian reports. That’s after blowing millions of dollars of his members’ money on two failed efforts to elect Dino Rossi governor, as well as a failed initiative this year to privatize workers’ comp. McCabe, whose official BIAW mug shot (above) did not change during his two decades of service, is certainly staying true to his principles: You won’t see him feeding at the taxpayer trough. Trouble is, unlike McCabe, most of us don’t have hundreds of small Washington businesses willing to shower us with cash if we’ll only go away.