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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Sunday Spin2: New definition of victory?

In elections, victory is usually well-defined. You got the most votes. Period.

So it was a bit odd Thursday to get a post-election email from initiative guru Tim Eyman describing the results of the election as “7 measures, 7 votes, 7 victories". . . 

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I-517, the initiative on the initiative process which Eyman had helped shepherd to the ballot, failed by a big margin. So had the GMO labeling initiative, I-522. The five tax advisory measures, which were a result of a previous Eyman initiative, were split at two for repeal, two for maintain and one too close to call.

Eyman claimed victory because people got a chance to vote on these concepts, which is a metric that suggests every initiative, referendum, bond issue or tax package is a victory. “Letting the voters decide a few issues each year is a healthy, positive aspect of our state’s governmental system,” he wrote.

That may sound strange until one realizes Eyman makes his living by getting things on the ballot, so this is definitely his definition of victory. A reminder of that was near the bottom of the email, which contained what most of his emails do: a plea for money for him to continue his work.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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