The Seattle Times reports that a national conservative group called The Sam Adams Alliance has awarded initiative guru Tim Eyman $20,000 for his "lifetime commitment" to "shrink the size of government in Washington State." In a press release the group called Eyman "a modern day Sam Adams."

Whether or not one believes in the policies Eyman has pushed over the years, no one can doubt his effectiveness. His latest triumph, the passage of I-1053, has tied the hands of state legislators by requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes. As a result, house Democrats in Olympia recently approved a budget that cuts over $4 billion from state programs without raising or creating a single tax.

The $20,000 ought to come in handy for Eyman, who took out a mortgage on his house to get I-1053 on the ballot last year and is struggling to repay that debt.

According to Permanent Defense, a liberal group dedicated to fighting Eyman, the initiative guru had $196,101.06 remaining to pay back on that $250,000 mortgage, "but so far in 2011, nobody with deep pockets has come to Eyman’s rescue."

As the Times also notes, Eyman has his eye on some new ways to shrink government this year:
Eyman isn't done, of course. He's waging local campaigns to ban red-light cameras. And he's filed more than a dozen possible new state initiatives, from liquor store privatization to limits on vehicle registration fees.
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