Even though he already said he was running for governor, anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman came to his old hometown Wednesday to announce he would challenge Gov. Jay Inslee as a Republican.
Eyman, who also was celebrating a King County Superior Court judge’s decision to uphold his initiative setting car-tab rates at $30 earlier in the day, told a group of Yakima County Republicans that he planned to rescue the state from what he described as decades of Democratic policies that ignored the will of the people.
“The Democrats have been given 40 years to help us, but they betrayed that trust,” Eyman told the audience at the McCormick Air Center in Yakima, many sporting pro-initiative stickers Eyman handed out before the event.
A recurring theme for the evening was Eyman’s ongoing push for the $30 car registration fee, which voters approved most recently in November’s election. The initiative was challenged by a coalition that included King County, Seattle and others who said it was unconstitutional and that voters were misled by the ballot title.
But on Wednesday, Judge Marshall Ferguson rejected most of the arguments opponents raised, but delayed the initiative’s implementation to allow time for an appeal of his ruling, as The Seattle Times reported.
Eyman, who earlier accused the judge of bias and questioned whether Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who has taken Eyman to court over campaign-finance issues, could objectively defend the initiative, saw the ruling as a victory.
“It has put such a spring in my step. I am euphoric about the ruling because it was such as surprise,” Eyman said. “No one thought a Seattle judge would be fair.”
He also downplayed the attorney general’s role, claiming it was an attorney representing a group of Eastern Washington residents who successfully defended the initiative.
In a statement published in The Seattle Times, Bob Ferguson said his office would continue to work to uphold the voters’ will on the initiative.
While Eyman claimed Inslee had failed Washington on other issues, such as education, tax increases and maintaining roads, he continued to come back to the $30 tabs, which he said was the best example of the contempt he claims Inslee and Democrats have for the public who voted for it.
He also vowed, if elected, to also defend gun rights, as well as end what he described as the “homeless-industrial complex,” that he blamed on Seattle’s policies to not aggressively pursue low-level drug offenses while seeking to create an income tax on the city’s largest businesses to address homelessness.