Tim Eyman vows to continue initiative campaigns despite new legal hurdles
On Wednesday, a Thurston County Superior Court judge fined anti-tax activist Tim Eyman $2.6 million, and barred him managing any and all finances for political committees. Despite that, Eyman plans to continue authoring and promoting initiatives in Washington.
The case brought by the state against Eyman — originally filed in 2017 by Attorney General Bob Ferguson — alleged that Eyman had received kickbacks from donors contributing money to his initiatives, and then used that money for personal gain.
Speaking to KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson, Eyman claimed he has been legally soliciting money for his legal defense, citing a need to pay his lawyers during a years-long legal battle with state AG Ferguson.
“If I hadn’t asked all these people to help me with my legal defense, … I never would have made it to trial,” he said. “I never would have been able to fight this thing all the way until the end, and I just couldn’t walk away from the fight.”
“I had to ask people for help and they basically said, ‘that help you received, you personally benefited from,'” he added.
Eyman has led campaigns for anti-tax initiatives for nearly two decades in Washington. Even with newly-imposed legal limitations on his ability to manage the finances for those campaigns, he still intends to maintain those efforts.
“I mean, I’ll continue to do what I’ve done literally for the last 18 years,” he vowed. “I just need to make sure that the literally hundreds of landmines that are in this judge’s order, I don’t step on any of them — that is going to be a tremendous challenge, but in many ways, it’s just a new set of rules.”
Eyman was previously banned from serving as treasurer for initiative campaigns following a ruling in a separate 2002 court case. For this most recent litigation, the state asked the court to enact more stringent restrictions, claiming that Eyman “continued to act as the de facto treasurer for political committees even though he was not named treasurer” in the years to follow.
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