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Sun., April 6, 2014, 6:35 a.m.

Sunday Spin2: Initiative season brings a nuke proposal

With the signing of the supplemental operating budget and some other bills Friday, lawmaking by the Legislature officially ended for 2014. But the other kind of lawmaking, by the public, is just heating up. . .

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. . .Perennial initiative entrepreneur Tim Eyman has been hawking his latest idea since January, a ballot measure designed to force the Legislature into passing a constitutional amendment to require a super-majority to raise taxes. Perennial Eyman foes have been trashing the idea for just as long.

More than a dozen marijuana-related measures have also been filed, as tinkering with pot laws seems to be surpassing tinkering with tax laws among initiative fans.

New to the arena is a proposal by Ted Mahr of Moses Lake that would require testing the water off the Washington coast and the Puget Sound, and the critters in it, for signs of radiation from the Fukushima reactor. It would also require the governor to form a task force with the leaders of other states on the coast and British Columbia to deal with Fukushima and send help to Japan “to stop the dumping of the extremely radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.”

The proposal, which has not yet received a number, is notable on several fronts beyond its topic. It may have one the longest statements of purpose ever – 14 points over two pages, including one that accuses state and national leaders of “cataracts of ignorance or indifference” to radiation dangers – and misspells the first name of the president.

Mahr said he helped run successful ballot campaigns in the ‘70s and ‘80s. We’ll see if he can apply what he learned then to the present.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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