Morning Fizz: Clueless
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring vehicle license fee votes, split votes, and more.
1. Anti-tax ballot hawker Tim Eyman sent out an email after King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a countywide ballot measure yesterday to prevent deep Metro service cuts (17 percent cuts) for a $60 vehicle license fee and sales tax increase of one-tenth of one percent, raising about $130 million a year countywide.
Under the subject line "Constantine is clueless—zero chance King County voters will OK these massive tax increases," Eyman wrote: "Every time politicians put higher car tab fees on the ballot, voters reject them overwhelmingly. ... There is zero chance King County voters will OK these massive tax increases."
Eyman's measures to cut car tab taxes, 1999's I-695 and 2002's I-776, were, in fact, approved by voters (though 1999's was declared unconstitutional), but here's a relevant footnote: Eyman's anti-car tab tax measures failed in King County.
King County voters rejected Eyman's I-695 by 53.34 percent and King County voters rejected Eyman's I-776 by nearly 60 percent, 59.57 percent.
And Fizz would add: King County is doing exactly what Eyman has said he wants government to do to raise taxes—ask their voters directly.
By the way, Eyman also floated a 2006 measure, I-917, to cap motor vehicle excise taxes at $30, but it failed to make the ballot.
Eyman does correctly point out in his email blast though, that liberal Seattle voters themselves recently rejected a $60 car tab fee.
2. File this bit of caffeinated news and gossip under gossip: Fizz heard—and state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Lake Stevens), one of the Democratic senators who chairs a committee in the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus setup in the legislature, told us he also heard—that the Republican caucus took a vote to remove him from his spot as chair of the financial institutions committee.
It was reportedly a 12-12 split vote among the 24-member Republican caucus, and so Hobbs was evidently spared.
The theory goes that many Republicans don't like having Hobbs chair a contribution-friendly committee like financial institutions in 2014, an election year. Hobbs is up for reelection this year.
Fizz has messages in to the GOP.
3. In case you missed it, Josh posted an analysis—the headlines, the Isn't it Weirds, and the cringe lines—from Gov. Jay Inslee's state of the state speech late yesterday afternoon.