Posts tagged: voter discontent
OLYMPIA – Anyone doubting 2010 is an extraordinary year in the body politic should consider two numbers: 77 and four.
The first is the record number of proposed initiatives filed with the secretary of state, which swamps the previous record of 60 in 2003. There are initiatives to cut taxes, raise taxes, restrict federal powers, end state programs, legalize marijuana, criminalize martial arts weapons and force schools to do a better job of teaching the Declaration of Independence and the state and federal constitutions. Oh, and trade George Washington’s face on the state seal with a tapeworm.
A wide array of political persuasions are at work, from perennial initiative sponsor Tim Eyman and his band of merry activists – Eyman’s name is on about one in five of the active and inactive initiatives filed this year – to Bill Gates Sr., who was in Spokane late last week to drum up support for a proposal to place an income tax on people who make more than $200,000 a year in exchange for dropping some existing taxes.
Many initiatives are ideas that have been kicked around the Legislature for years, such as getting the state out of the liquor store business. Others want to undo something the legislators did, such as removing the supermajority requirements for tax increases.
It’s possible that supermarkets will have to schedule petition gatherers in designated time slots next month, much the way they do Girl Scout units at cookie time.