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Rantz: In I-976 gripe, local Socialists reveal stunning ineptitude

Washington lawmakers had a chance to avoid the I-976 iceberg months ago. (File, MyNorthwest)

Local Socialists don’t quite seem to understand how to read I-976 results.

The Puget Sound Socialist Party (PSSP), an official chapter of the The Socialist Party, complained about a King County judge’s decision to reject most of King County and Seattle’s legal complaint against I-976.

The Tim Eyman initiative restricts car tab fees to $30, which significantly cuts funding to transportation projects favored by Sound Transit and urbanist activists in Seattle.

I-976 was borne out of a deceptive campaign to back the ST3 funding package. Proponents purposefully misled voters on how their car tab fees would be calculated. Angry, Eyman pushed through the statewide I-976. It passed with nearly 53% of the vote.

Angry Socialists (are there any other kind?)

The Socialists complained about the judge’s ruling via Twitter.

“The areas of the state where ST3 applied voted overwhelmingly against Tim Eyman’s anti-ST3 initiative,” PSSP tweeted. “It only passed in places that weren’t even paying the tax.”

That isn’t true. At all.

I’m not shocked that a Socialist group doesn’t understand basic math. And, truth be told, I think they’re well-intentioned. But it’s important to push back against this false narrative.

The facts

ST3 passed overwhelmingly in King County, fueled by Seattle urbanists. They also overwhelmingly rejected I-976.

But Pierce County soundly rejected ST3 (with 55.76%). In line with that vote, Pierce County overwhelmingly supported I-976, voting to approve with a whopping 65.75% of the vote. In Snohomish County, ST3 passed by a slim margin (less than 4,000 votes), but I-976 was approved with a significant 58.21% of the vote, indicating a general anger with how dishonest ST3 was pitched to them.

When I pressed the group on their shoddy analysis, they wrote back an interesting complaint: “This ruling says the voters of King Co. don’t get a say in their own local taxes because some voters in eastern WA think they pay for ST3.”

Actually, the opposite is true.

I-976 opponents thought Seattle and King County could dictate car tab tabulations statewide for transportation projects from which they would disproportionately benefit. If King County wants to pass a tax for local transportation projects, it can be done.

While Socialists posting a clown emoji is cute, it might better reflect their own position.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

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