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Washington More Big Oil bucks for Eyman: It’s a gusher

eymanAfter Thursday night’s disclosure of two $100,000 donations from oil refiners to Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1185, Eyman himself has revealed that another $150,000 gusher of Big Oil money has gone into putting the measure onto the ballot.

Tesoro has put in $100,000 and Equilon has donated $50,000 through the Association of Washington Business Political Action Committee, donations “that are being used to support Initiative 1185,” Eyman said in an e-mail letter to supporters.

Filings with the state Public Disclosure Commission revealed that BP and ConocoPhillips have each given $100,000 to the Eyman initiative.

Eyman did backtrack a bit, and cloud the waters, in a statement later on Friday.

“We made an error in our e-mail,” he said in another e-mail.  “The donations being made to the Association of Washington Business Political Action Committee are not exclusively for Initiative 1185.  It is their ‘catch all’ political committee that’ll support candidates, ballot measures and other political activities now and in the future.

“So, some of their PAC donors may be giving to support I-1185 (Washington Association of Realtors, for example) but others are simply supporting the political efforts generally of the AWB (Don Brunell and Wes Uhlman, for example).  Very sorry for the mistake.”

Eyman later issued a clarification-to-the-correction, saying it was the Washington Restaurant Association — not the Realtors — that was contributing $25,000 to the I-1185 campaign.

And, in yet another clarification, Eyman said that the Realtors are indeed channeling their $25,000 through the AWB PAC to the Initiative 1185 campaign.

Whew!!!  Based on their 2010 contributions, however, it is expected that money from Tesoro and Equilon will go to I-1185 — for the simple reason that Big Oil has a dog in the hunt for signatures.

The Eyman initiative would extend the requirement that any new state revenue measures, or closing of tax loopholes, be approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the Washington Legislature.

“There is no limit on how much a person, company or association can contribute to an initiative campaign because the voters will have the final say,” Eyman said in his pitch for money.

The $350,000 investment by the state’s oil refiners dwarfs the big dollars that Big Oil gave in 2010 to a similar measure, I-1053.  BP donated $65,000 with ConocoPhillips and Equilon putting in $50,000 apiece.

The money to Eyman’s campaign comes as part of an ongoing campaign by oil refiners to thwart a major legislative goal of the state’s environmental groups.

The Hazardous Substances Act came close to passing the Legislature in 2010, when it needed only a majority vote in the State Senate and House of Representatives.

It would have enacted a small per-barrel fee ton pay for oil spill prevention and provide money for upgrades designed to keep oily storm water runoff out of Puget Sound and Washington’s other inland waters.

The 2/3rds vote requirement has made it well nigh impossible to pass the Hazardous Substances Act.

Eyman is both boasting — he loves to boast — and warning in his latest missive to “our thousands of supporters.”  He boasts of “lots of regular sized donations” and says the campaign is “starting to see a groundswell of enthusiastic support from the business community.”

Yet, in the true tradition of fundraising comeons, he warns of potential dire consequences if the dollars don’t keep coming.

“Each week our PO box in Spokane is packed with petitions and donations from our supports BUT THEY’RE NOT COMING IN AT A PACE THAT ENSURES OUR SUCCESS,” Eyman wrote.

Other major donors channeling dollars to the Association of Washington Business PAC include the Washington Restaurant Assn. ($25,000), Port Blakeley Tree Farms ($10,000) and liberal-turned-conservative former Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman ($1,000).

The I-1185 money is going largely for the services of paid signature gatherers.

Eyman suffered a major setback last year with defeat of an initiative that sought to sabotage tolls to pay for major state transportation projects like the S.R. 520 bridge, and to block expansion of light rail across Lake Washington.

The sugar daddy of his 2011 initiative, to the tune of more than $1 million, was Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman, Jr.

Link to original article on Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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  • Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim, Majority State Whip) - Van De Wege made the following statement to the organization "Fuse Washington" on his resignation from ALEC:
“I have decided to resign my membership from ALEC, effective April 11, 2012. As a legislator, my job is to represent the interests of all my constituents, not just those whose views align perfectly with mine. I have been a member of ALEC since I was first elected to the Legislature, and my very-limited participation enabled me to learn more about the organization’s legislative agenda and its stance on issues. I thought this insider’s view would help me to better understand those who do not agree with me politically, and in many ways, it has. However, my membership status is increasingly becoming a divisive issue this year, and I prefer to put my time and energy into efforts that unite our district rather than divide it.”[29]
  • Rep. Troy Kelley (D-28) - Kelley said he did attend one meeting but told Washington's Newsstand News that he does not participate in ALEC and is not a member.[30]
  • Rep. Brian Hatfield (D-19) - Hatfield announced in April 2012 that he has not renewed his ALEC membership and has no plans to attend upcoming ALEC meetings.[31]

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