An initiative has been filed with the state legislature to name the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River after Tim Eyman, taking a swipe at the anti-tax advocate. It's a move Eyman calls "silly."
That is the same bridge which partially collapsed in May after an oversize truck hit an overhead support. A temporary span is now in place with a permanent one set to replace it in the fall.
Eyman has spent more than a decade successfully championing tax reduction in Washington state in the form of voter initiatives. Some have been overturned either in the courts or the Legislature.
A section of the Skagit River bridge initiative reads:
“That portion of state route number 5 from the junction with state route number 538 in Mount Vernon, thence northerly to the junction with state route 20 in Burlington is designated "the Tim Eyman Memorial Bridge", dedicated to the efforts of Tim Eyman to reduce Washington State tax revenues and the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge on May 23, 2013.”
Nicholas Santos of Bothell filed the initiative.
Some political websites had already targeted Eyman on this issue, suggesting that the bridge be named after him. They say his work has diminished public funding for services, including roads and bridges.
"It's always so silly when opponents of our initiatives attack me personally, as if I have tremendous power. I don't," said Eyman in an email Thursday. "I have a great team who works super hard each year to give voters a greater voice in their government. Regarding our initiatives, some pass, some don't, but all of them give the average taxpayer an equal voice in the process and that's something I'm very proud of."
The Washington Secretary of State’s Office says 246,372 valid signatures of registered voters must be turned in by Jan. 3, although they recommend at least 325,000 to allow for invalid signatures.
The Seattle Times reports the Legislature could then enact the initiative or send it to the ballot. The Legislature can also put the measure and an alternative on the ballot.