Tim Eyman faces lifetime ban from handling political finances
A Thurston County Superior Court Judge ruled Friday that political activist Tim Eyman could face a lifetime ban from handling finances for political committees as a possible punishment in a case being filed against him by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
The ruling didn’t directly deal in sentencing for any of the list of legal issues Eyman currently faces. Ferguson is currently charging him with violating Washington’s state campaign finance laws, and is in the process of suing him for $2.1 million, in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars in court contempt fees.
Friday’s ruling determined that a complete ban from managing political finances would still be on the table should Eyman ultimately lose his court battle with Ferguson. Eyman had argued — sans a lawyer — that such a ban violated his First Amendment right to free speech.
According to a report from The Seattle Times, he labeled the ruling a “gut punch,” and that he “couldn’t conceive of how this could not go in my direction.”
He also filed for bankruptcy back in November, citing a need to protect his assets while his legal battle with Ferguson plays out.
Eyman has long advocated for various anti-tax ballot initiatives in Washington, and has faced legal trouble more than once for improper use of campaign funds, a charge he was fined $50,000 for in 2002.
In that 2002 ruling, Eyman agreed to a similar ban that barred him from acting as “signer on any financial accounts” for political committees. He alleges that the punishment on the table for this latest case is stricter, and could potentially keep him from participating in campaigns for initiatives altogether.
Most recently, he got an initiative for $30 car tabs onto the ballot for this November’s election.
Eyman is also facing a separate charge for misdemeanor theft, related to him taking a $70 chair from Office Depot. Surveillance video shows him leaving the store with the chair, and returning to purchase a printer.