Maybe Tim Eyman has finally done it.
It started a few years ago when he was caught paying himself from what he self-described as his "pro bono" efforts. And ever since- after his every excess, and grandiose lie; after every one of his foible-filled stumbles, the chattering class always says: "Eyman's got nine lives, he always comes back."
But maybe, just maybe, he's done himself in this time.
In case you're not up on this, Eyman claims that some 35,000 signatures for his anti-car tab I-917, were lost, stolen, or strayed from the offices of Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed's office after he turned them in.
Nobody's buying it- not even his traditional supporters and oldest friends in talk radio.
Longtime ally John Carlson (KVI, m-f, 3-5p) bent him over and drove him to Tukwila today on his show, Monday.
Ordinarily loyal libertarian and I-917 supporter, Dori Monson (KIRO m-f 1-4p) remained highly skeptical throughout a simultaneous interview with Eyman and Reed. It was some great radio- listen to it here:
Eyman accused Reed of an intentional criminal conspiracy or a fuck-up of massive proportions. Monson asked: did you make copies of the initiatives you turned in?
Perhaps showing a sudden twinge of confidence in the government he says he distrusts and abhors, but Glib Timmy said, "No, we didn't think you'd have to."
Carlson, who may be feeling personally burned, was especially harsh with Eyman, holding his Birkenstocks to the flames. (It was exposed 2 weeks ago by Dan Sytman (KTTH m-f, 5-9a) that Eyman wears Birkenstocks, which is against the Republican canons and Sytman was aghast. This was our first inkling that apostasy was afoot).
The two have worked together on initiatives since the early 1990's. The anti-affirmative action I-200 was a failing Eyman proposal until he hired Carlson to shepherd it over the airwaves and through the woods of public acceptance.
Carlson mentored Eyman on the political ways of the world, and has, with rare exception, supported every Eyman initiative. His show has always been a welcome place for the obnoxious two-toed reform entrepreneur to come to bloviate or crow.
But Carlson isn't buying this one; and he told Eyman: "I know the government can screw up, but I also know you can screw up; I know the government can be dishonest; but I also know you can be dishonest."
In one amazing exchange, Eyman struck out at Carlson accusing him of opposing his anti-car tab, (which is really anti-Sound Transit) initiative because it, he said, would endanger the transportation package Carlson and others, including former Governor Gary Locke, are trying to hammer out in a bipartisan effort for next year's ballot.
At one point, Eyman, in a rare loss of smarm control, lashed out: "How did I-912 go for ya, John?" He was rubbing it in about the failed anti-gas tax initiative Carlson helped get on the ballot last year. It was a petty off-topic jab, which showed more hostility than Eyman usually shows- especially for a fellow Republican.
Carlson wouldn't buy into either swerve in the conversation. "Tim," he said, "I know you well enough that when you change the subject, it 's because you're uncomfortable answering the question."
Listeners were, in general, not convinced that Eyman was telling the truth. One told him, "I'm no Kool-aid drinking Democrat- but you sound ridiculous. I don't believe you," said one.
"We're not going to bow down to John Carlson, and Gary Locke," Eyman blustered.
(Don't know about you, but this is all music to our ears. Just another major way the pathetic state Republican Party, and the conservatives are deconstructing in a realpolitikal way).
Carlson summed up for Eyman what he said, "makes me think you're lying." (emphasis ours).
~ Nothing like this, on this scale, with this volume of signatures has ever happened in the Secretary of State's office, and it strains credulity that it could.
~ The "time stamped receipt" for the petitions was a letter Eyman brought in and got a receptionist to time stamp
~ He astoundingly made no copies of the petition sheets before he turned them in- a minor expense, relative to its importance.
~ And our personal favorite: "You took a third of a million bucks from a donor, spent his money- and that's not going to make him very happy."
After his duplicity a few months ago enticing the press out to a news dry hole for a publicity stunt, a lot of good will wells were poisoned with the media, who have always treated him with the respect he demands.
Talk radio has clout with the Republican base- it's their town hall.
Now that Eyman's lost this support and good will, maybe we're
witnessing him putting a fork into what has long been the only way
Republicans have been able to make policy in this state.
Talk Check.com points out that Carlson made a revealing slip in this conversation about the I-912 campaign. Read it here.