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Tim Eyman, I-976, Ferguson
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Tim Eyman: AG Ferguson ‘needs to get a life,’ stop analyzing my spending

I-976 sponsor Tim Eyman. (AP)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleges that the spending of frequent initiative sponsor and gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman, who formally declared bankruptcy over a year ago, does not match the financial situation that Eyman says he is in.

But Eyman insists this is just another weapon from the attorney general, who has for the past several years been suing Eyman for allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

“Bob Ferguson, for the last seven years with investigations, litigation, and persecution, is just doing everything he can to destroy me,” Eyman told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “It’s not because I did anything wrong, but because I’m sponsoring initiatives that he’s against that voters keep voting for, and he’s seeking to be able to shut it down.”

According to The Seattle Times, Ferguson drew attention in court documents to the fact that Eyman bought 97 Starbucks cards last year, pays $2,500-per-month rent in Bellevue, eats out frequently, and regularly spends $79 on haircuts at Gene Juarez. Eyman spoke candidly in a video last year about just having gone on a trip to Disney World.

Dori: AG Ferguson bullying Eyman by counting every meal out, movie, haircut

“All my personal spending is coming from our own personal savings,” he insisted. “So the reality is, he’s upset with how I’m spending my personal money — he needs to get a life.”

It was an $80,000 legal bill in November 2018 put Eyman over $1 million in legal expenses. At that point, he explained, his only debt was to the state of Washington; his house, car, and credit cards were paid off. So, he decided to file for bankruptcy.

“I just clearly was running out of money, and so I asked for bankruptcy protection,” Eyman said.

Since then, he said, all of the money he has received from supporters has gone toward his legal bills. He reiterated that not one dollar of this money has gone toward his personal expenses.

If Eyman is found guilty, Ferguson wants a lifetime ban on his political activism, and wants him to pay $20,000 per month to the state. Eyman said that this number is “an amount of money I just cannot possibly ever have.” Ferguson said that Eyman could afford this because he made over $325,000 last year.

“All the money that I ended up raising last year didn’t go to me, didn’t go to my family, it ended up going to the lawyers,” Eyman stressed. “I’m having to raise money in order to be able to fund-raise in order to beat back this lawsuit.”

Eyman believes that Ferguson never wanted to let the case go to trial because he was afraid of losing; instead, he has drawn out the process to make it longer and more expensive than a defendant would typically want to keep going with.

“Under this system, the process becomes the punishment,” Eyman said.

This entire inspection of his finances, he said, is a red herring to distract voters in a year when Eyman is running for governor.

“What they want us to do is argue about $79 haircuts and not about the fact that [Governor Jay Inslee] has raised your taxes $50 billion, and our initiatives have lowered them $43 billion,” he said, asking, “What do you care more about, $50.6 billion in higher taxes, or the fact that Tim Eyman gets a $79 haircut, which is about the price of an office chair at Office Depot?”

If it were not for his anti-tax political activity, Eyman said, politicians would not go after him in this way.

“By sponsoring initiatives that limit government, they’re going after me,” he said. “If I was sponsoring initiatives that raised taxes and voters were on board, I’d be getting awards, government subsidies, and fawning media coverage.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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