Politics Washington State Politics

Political Extortion

What will it take for elected Democratic legislators in our state, and the governor, to refuse to accede to extortionists?

EXTORTION – excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

“The term extortion is often used metaphorically . . .   It is also often used loosely to refer to everyday situations where one person feels indebted against their will, to another, in order to receive an essential service or AVOID LEGAL CONSEQUENCES . . . . .

“Neither extortion nor blackmail require a threat of a criminal act, such as violence, merely a threat used to ELICIT ACTIONS, money, or property from the object of the extortion.”

Unfortunately, a pattern of Democratic acquiescence has set in with the passage of Eyman’s I-1053.  This is not the same as being willing to compromise, a necessary part of democratic governance.

We are at a financial impasse caused by the apparently tacit agreement among Democrats in our legislature not to challenge Eyman’s I-1053 voting restrictions on the legislature in matters of taxation. Presumably, this is due to fear of possible political fall-out at the next election.

Because I-1053 is unconstitutional on its face since it is in direct conflict with at least four articles of the Washington state constitution, its status must be determined by our state Supreme Court.

Until its constitutionality is settled,  the legislature should proceed on the premise that it is not constitutional, especially in the area of ending or suspending selected corporate tax reductions.

This would enable the legislature to produce a budget for our educational needs that more closely resembles the needs of a modern state, instead of the Draconian lopping off of essential parts that the proposed budget now entails.

It changes nothing at all for the victims of current budget priorities if the Democratic enablers of Eyman’s I-1053 in our legislature are in pain and wish they could do otherwise.

What they must do is undertake a reassessment of whether or not to confront the extortionists head-on for the benefit of the people of our state.

Washington voters have repeatedly shown their support for education. With truthful, forthright explanation of why we must remove tax exemptions  in order to restore funding for education in this exceptionally straitened economic context, the potential “political fall-out” could not only be avoided, but turned into a political victory.

How much courage does it take to do the right thing?

Elaine Phelps

WSDCC State Committee Woman
President, May Arkwright Hutton Chapter, WSFDW



3 Replies to “Political Extortion

  1. If legal scholars in the state believe that it’s possible to build a case against the constitutionality of 1053, then some group should organize the lawsuit.

  2. If 1053 could be voted in by means of a referendum, then I assume it can also be overturned by means of a referendum. But this time a careful, well-constructed, methodical campaign would have to be organized, not as a side issue given second priority after the candidates. I will personally provide details on what that means, because I believe that the no 1053 and yes 1098 campaigns had very bad organizational flaws. If organizations who can financially back it want to hire me as the field director for a no on 1053 campaign I would be willing to put serious time and organization into this for the next year and half.

  3. The Democratic Party in WA State stood on the sidelines and didn’t take a leadership role in supporting I-1098. Our leaders don’t lead. They argue (perhaps correctly) that if they advocated for I-1098 and against I-1053 the voters would have punished them. Even a progressive candidate on the Eastside couldn’t publicly declare his support for I-1098.

    Independently of ballot initiatives, the Left needs to market the idea of fair taxation and good government. The Left needs to make videos and songs and articles and books and … They need to do this for years and decades, if necessary. The Right spent decades building up its media disinformation machine. Unfortunately, if the Left needs to wait decades, the US will be a banana republic.

    BTW, I had ideas for satirical videos for the I-1098 campaign (a rich man pleading with the voters about how expensive it is for him to maintain his private jet and second home…), but the organizers repeatedly showed no interest.

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