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AG’s office ‘sabotaged the case’ at I-976 court hearing, claims Eyman

Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The state Supreme Court held a hearing Tuesday on I-976, the voter-approved $30 car tab initiative backed by Tim Eyman. Among the big questions was whether it violates the state constitution when it comes to things like the single subject rule for ballot titles, among other constitutional questions.A lower court in King County didn’t think so when it upheld the majority of I-976 earlier this year.

Battle over $30 car tabs heads to Washington State Supreme Court

The justices didn’t rule Tuesday, and while it usually takes several months for a decision, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson told KIRO Radio’s Hanna Scott he doesn’t think this is going to take as long, given everything at stake.

Eyman joined The Dori Monson Show to provide a recap of the hearing.

“Remember, this is the third time the voters have voted for it. We qualified the initiative. It overwhelmingly passed, passed huge outside of Seattle, lost in Seattle. But we even got a King County Judge, a Jay Inslee-appointed, conflicted judge, to uphold the initiative,” Eyman said. “Before these nine Supreme Court justices [Tuesday], it was like Judge Ferguson didn’t exist. The attorney general’s office muddled around and sabotaged the case, as they’ve done since day one. There was one lawyer in that room that was actually, aggressively fighting to defend our initiative, and he was relegated to five minutes during the hour long thing.”

Since the voters approved the initiative, Bob Ferguson has a legal obligation to defend the will of the voters and the yes vote on I-976, Dori pointed out.

“He could have put an intern on it, and they would have done a better job than the meandering, … muddle-headed guy they ended up throwing into this thing,” Eyman said. “He’s done a horrible job since day one. That’s exactly what Bob Ferguson wanted.”

In the hearing Tuesday, Eyman says the AG’s lawyer referred to the $30 car tabs as “more of a political characterization” than an actual policy.

“I was beside myself thinking this is the zealous defense of the people’s vote? I mean, it was infuriating. It was maddening,” Eyman said.

The argument has been that the voters were confused about the ballot title, and may not have known what they were voting for. Eyman is sure that’s not the case, and claims Ferguson is sabotaging the initiative.

“The voters should know: You didn’t do anything wrong. You know exactly what you were doing. But because it was a conservative initiative, the broken system just took it and spit it out,” he said.

Eyman does not believe the Supreme Court will issue a ruling before the election, as many of the justices are on the ballot this November.

“Fundamentally, I don’t believe the court’s going to actually issue their ruling before the election because they … don’t want to make voters really mad at them because they want to get reelected,” Eyman said.

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

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