This Washington

Afternoon Fizz: Wenatchee Judge has Bad News for Tim Eyman

By Josh Feit May 23, 2011

While Tim Eyman cheered King County Superior Court Judge Laura Gene Middaugh's ruling on Friday mandating that the people have the right to vote on the tunnel ordinance (Eyman was "90 percent" cheering the precedent for initiative power, he told us, as opposed to caring so much about the tunnel), another ruling came down on Friday that might harsh Eyman's buzz.

Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges ruled on Friday that Wenatchee's red light camera program cannot be challenged by initiative. Eyman ran a successful initiative in Mukilteo to reverse the Mukilteo's "Big Brother ... scheme"  to install red light cameras. The state supreme court will hear a challenge to that initiative tomorrow.

Bridges' ruling Friday stated that the state "legislature expressly delegated to local legislative authorities to  determine a city's use and operation of automated traffic cameras ... That legislative grant of authority precludes local initiatives and referenda on  the subject."

Eyman tells PubliCola: "The state supreme court will definitely have the final word on having a public vote.  Tuesday's hearing in Olympia before the state supreme court is what really matters."

Eyman also accurately points out that Snohomish County Judge Michael Downes ruled last year against blocking the red light camera vote.
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