- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - State investigators found Monday that anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman apparently violated Washington election law by misspending campaign funds, including $170,000 for his personal use.

Staff of the Public Disclosure Commission recommended the case be referred to the state attorney general to take legal action against Eyman and two political committees he helps run for what investigators called “apparent violations” of election laws.

The News Tribune (https://bit.ly/1V6k3q9) reported investigators found that at least $182,000 in contributions raised for Initiative 1185 went to support another initiative. Initiative 1185 aimed to make it harder to raise taxes in the Legislature by requiring support of two-thirds majorities.

A lawyer criticized the findings against Eyman, who has made his name pursuing ballot measures restricting taxes and fees.

“The report omits and mischaracterizes evidence,” attorney Mark Lamb of Bothell said in a press release. “To this day, my client believes all required information was reported.”

The dispute stems from a signature-gathering company, Citizen Solutions, that was paid more than $1.1 million to qualify Initiative 1185 for the 2012 ballot.

The commission tied that money to an unreported $308,185 payment in July 2012 by Citizen Solutions to a limited-liability company formed by Eyman. Eyman told the commission under questioning that Citizen Solutions paid him so he would find new clients for the company, but that they had no written agreement.

Of that money, Eyman told investigators he used some to support his family while paying $190,000 to a Virginia group that went on to spend $182,000 between July and October trying to put a different Eyman-backed measure, Initiative 517, on the 2013 ballot.

I-517 was an “initiative on initiatives” that aimed to protect signature gathering from interference and give campaigns more time to collect signatures.

Voters overwhelmingly approved I-1185, but the state Supreme Court ruled the next year that such a restriction is unconstitutional. Voters rejected I-517.


Information from: The News Tribune, https://www.thenewstribune.com

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