hmmm... once again Tim Eyman is using our tax dollars to experiment with how to create an initiative that will suck people in. He's filed an experimental initiative, he has no intention of gathering signature for, to get Secretary of State's office to do his legal research for him.
Eyman wants to extend the time allowed to gather signatures for initiatives from 10 to 16 month, keep anyone who opposes an initiative at least 25 feet away from his paid signature gatherers, prevent verification that petition signers weren't tricked into signing and make the names of petition signers secret.
Here's the details from the Washington Office of the Secretary of State’s blog:
R-71 monitoring plan draws Eyman fire
by David Ammons June 26th,2009
Initiative promoter Tim Eyman is taking aim at potential harassment of signature-gatherers and people who sign their petitions. One feature of his new initiative says the names, signatures and addresses of people who sign initiatives and referenda would be blacked out before petition sheets are made public by the state Elections Division.
This grows out of announced plans by some supporters of a new “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law to put online the names and addresses of all who sign petitions for Referendum 71. The referendum is sponsored by people who oppose the new law, Senate Bill 5688, and seek a public vote this fall.
Some opponents of R-71 say they want to create a database of the names and addresses so that opponents can talk with them about the ramifications of the
referendum. The referendum sponsors, though, say it amounts to bullying and that the threat of publicizing the signers is aimed at suppressing signatures.
Eyman’s “Protect the Initiative Process” measure, filed Friday with the state Elections Division as an initiative to the 2010 Legislature, says redacting the names and addresses from petitions that are made public would “ensure the safety of individuals … and protect them from and make them less susceptible to, intimiation, retaliation, harassment and identity theft.” His measure also includes other protections for signature-gatherers and would extend the amount of time sponsors have to collect signatures.
Eyman will have until the end of the year to gather about 241,000 valid voter signatures to win a place on the Legislature’s agenda.
Lawmakers could pass his plan, ignore it and allow it to go to the ballot, or send it and a legislative alternative to the ballot. Another route is for Eyman to switch his goal and try to send it directly to the 2010 ballot and not go through the Legislature.
R-71 sponsors have until July 25 to turn in at least 120,577 valid signatures. The Elections Division has said it has no authority to withhold or redact petitions from review as a public-records request.
UPDATE: Tim Eyman says this proposed initiative is “one of several ideas we’re doing R&D (research and development) on as an initiative in the future,” possibly as an initiative to the people next year. If history is a guide, a 2010 initiative to the voters would be far more likely than Eyman actually pursuing signatures this year for a plan he would route through the Legislature. He says he hopes his proposal will generate discussion about the issue, and that he will announce specific plans once they firm up. He notes that he went through more than a dozen drafts of his current I-1033 before actually going to the street to get signatures. That one deals with revenue limits at state, county and city levels, with any excess collections going to property tax relief.