Tim Eyman has previously violated Washington State’s public disclosure laws as an initiative sponsor and as an orchestrator of independent expenditures.
Now he’s violating our public disclosure laws as a candidate.
And he must be held accountable.
Washingtonians For Ethical Government (WFEG) today filed a new complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) against Eyman, alleging that he is violating state law by falsely advertising himself as Washington’s incumbent governor. In campaign materials, including emails and a website, Eyman calls his gubernatorial campaign “Governor Eyman for Washington” and “Governor Tim Eyman for Washington.”
This is a violation of RCW 42.17A.335(1)(b), which states:
(1) It is a violation of this chapter for a person to sponsor with actual malice a statement constituting libel or defamation per se under the following circumstances:(a) Political advertising or an electioneering communication that contains a false statement of material fact about a candidate for public office;(b) Political advertising or an electioneering communication that falsely represents that a candidate is the incumbent for the office sought when in fact the candidate is not the incumbent;
In its political advertising guide, the Public Disclosure Commission explicitly warns candidates:
“Do not falsely imply incumbency in a political advertisement about a candidate who does not hold the office.”
Tim Eyman is not the governor of Washington State (that would be Jay Inslee), but Eyman clearly wants unwitting voters to think that he is.
In an email sent on November 21st, 2019, Eyman described himself as Washington’s Governor and described Inslee as the Governor of Seattle.
Of course, there is no such position. Inslee has been elected twice to statewide office as Governor of Washington State, whereas Eyman hasn’t been elected to anything.
But facts do not matter to Tim Eyman. Truth does not matter. All that matters is perpetrating cons against the people of Washington State… with the assistance of the state’s mass media.
“Tim Eyman keeps operating as though he’s above the law,” said WFEG President and Northwest Progressive Institute founder Andrew Villeneuve, who has nearly eighteen years of experience organizing opposition to Eyman’s destructive initiatives.
“Eyman’s attitude is that laws are for suckers and he’s just going to do whatever he wants because our system of justice won’t be able to keep up with him. That’s unacceptable. Our public disclosure laws apply to everyone. We are asking the PDC to investigate this alleged violation of RCW 42.17A.335 immediately and respond swiftly to determine if Tim Eyman violated the law. Action is needed now… not next year, or some distant point in the future. A serial offender like Eyman benefits from any delay.”
“Tim Eyman has a long history of attempting to deceive the public,” said Sherry Bockwinkel, a WFEG boardmember who filed the complaint that led to Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s major campaign finance enforcement lawsuit against Eyman. “The behavior we’ve seen from ‘Candidate’ Eyman over the past few days is part of a pattern that goes back twenty years. Eyman’s contempt for our public disclosure laws couldn’t be more obvious.”
A copy of the complaint submitted to the PDC is reproduced below.
Complaint Against Tim Eyman For Violation of RCW 42.17A.335 (1)(b).
Serial public disclosure law offender Tim Eyman is once again violating Chapter 42.17A RCW… this time, as a candidate.
On Thursday, November 21st, Eyman announced his intention to become a candidate for governor for the first time in his long career as a professional political scammer. Previously, Eyman has focused on initiatives; he once also tried his hand at doing an independent expenditure. Now he is running for office.
Eyman is calling his campaign “Governor Eyman for Washington” in emails and on his website, despite the fact that he is not Washington’s governor.
This is a violation of RCW 42.17A.335 (1)(b).
This provision of our public disclosure laws states:
(1) It is a violation of this chapter for a person to sponsor with actual malice a statement constituting libel or defamation per se under the following circumstances:
(b) Political advertising or an electioneering communication that falsely represents that a candidate is the incumbent for the office sought when in fact the candidate is not the incumbent.
Tim Eyman knows he is not the incumbent governor of Washington, but is nevertheless falsely representing that he is by calling his campaign “Governor Eyman for Washington”. Eyman’s website, in addition to using this language, also displays a prominent photograph of him sitting in a ceremonial chair that is used by the Governor when holding events at the governor’s office in Olympia.
The PDC must act swiftly to discipline Tim Eyman for this violation of our laws. Past complaints against Eyman have taken years to investigate. This complaint must be investigated immediately. Eyman, a serial offender, will benefit from any delay in addressing this violation of our public disclosure laws.