The middle class in Washington State was struck a cruel blow yesterday when the State Supreme Court ruled against citizens and sided with Democrats and Education Union Groups in finding unconstitutional citizen initiatives requiring the state legislature to reach a 2/3 supermajority vote in order to raise our taxes.
Most telling is just who the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed shortly after voters for the 4th time approved the requirement of a 2/3 supermajority in I-1053 in 2010.
In addition to the League of Education Voters and the Washington Education Association we also see Representative Laurie Jinkins (D. 27th); Representative Jamie Pedersen (D. 43rd); Representative Deb Eddy (D. 48th); Representative Sam Hunt (D. 22nd); Representative Jim Moeller (D. 49th); Representative Timm Ormsby (D. 3rd); Representative Eric Pettigrew (D. 37th); Representative Chris Reykdal (D. 22nd); Representative Cindy Ryu (D. 32nd); Representative Mike Sells (D. 38th) and State Senator David Frockt (46th) listed as plaintiffs against middle class citizens of Washington State.
Jim Moeller was quoted in the pages of the Columbian saying, “The constitutional legality of the supermajority has gone unresolved for many years, and I’m really pleased that the court has finally settled the issue.”
Unfortunately for Jim Moeller, the legality of the supermajority has not been settled as we see the Senate Majority Coalition propose a constitutional amendment the very same day.
Unlike Democrats who have aligned themselves in opposition to the middle class in Washington State, we see State Senator Janea Holmquist Newbry (R. 13th) announce, “All 25 [majority alliance senators] have pledged to support a two-thirds constitutional amendment.”
Democrats, who have held the majority in Olympia for over a decade are falling back on claims of combating “the tyranny of the minority” in opposing the middle class in Washington State with State Senator Ed Murray (D. 43rd) saying, “You are voting against a core principle that this nation was founded upon.”
The “core principle” found in Article I Section I of the state constitution that “all political power is derived from the people” and the fact that the people have voted a 2/3 supermajority requirement on the state legislature apparently is not worth considering.
Republicans are vowing to make it a campaign issue in Democrats standing in opposition to middle class voters preparing to ask them “Will you stand for what your constituents want?”
Jim Moeller, Speaker Pro Tem in the House is vowing any 2/3 supermajority constitutional amendment sent to the house is dead!
Representative Sharon Wylie (D, 49th); State Senator Annette Cleveland (D, 49th); and Representative Monica Stonier (D. 17th) have all joined Moeller saying they would not support a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 supermajority in the legislature to increase taxes.
Wylie also said, “The supermajority rule prevents you from doing any kind of meaningful tax reform, including getting rid of tax loopholes,” completely ignoring that it is the middle class that always ends up hurt by “meaningful tax reforms” that are in reality always means to increase taxes.
Indicating how pleased she was with middle class constituent votes being invalidated, Cleveland said she “[is] pleased with the courts decision because I’ve always believed that efforts to require a two-thirds majority really reverses the fundamental tenet of our democracy. Our nation’s founders left Europe because they were tired of ‘minority rule by a privileged minority’.”
She too somehow misses that the efforts of her and her fellow Democrats is a minority of opponents of the 2/3 supermajority vote in the legislature overruling a majority of middle class voters in the state.
Siding with middle class voters, the Columbian editorialized Time to Rescue Supermajority and correctly noting, “We’re not big believers in changing the state constitution, but when an ill-advised court ruling forces the hand of the people who have consistently asked for this provision, we are left no choice.”
State Senator Don Benton (R. 17th) summed it up as “Washingtonians have seen one majority toss out what another majority has approved time after time.”
Benton correctly notes that middle class voters have approved I-601 in 1993, R-49 Reaffirming provisions of I-601 in 1998, I-695 in 1999, I-960 in 2007, I-1053 in 2010 and I-1185 in 2012, all requiring a 2/3 supermajority for the legislature to increase our taxes.
Yesterday, February 28, 2013 the State Supreme Court tossed all of those in the nearest trash can.
In an email reply to me, State Senator Ann Rivers (R. 18th) said, “I’m going to do what I was sent to Olympia to do and represent the people. The people of my district, by a 72% majority told me that they like the 2/3 mandate and I look forward to voting yes on a constitutional amendment to allow them to remain in charge of their government.”
Representative Brandon Vick (R. 18th) issued a statement saying in part, “With the decision today the state court demonstrated that it is not listening to our citizens. Just as a one-party controlled Legislature has not listened for years. The people want bipartisan agreement in order to raise taxes and as representatives of the people we must ensure that they have a voice. We can still uphold the will of the people, and I am working to do so by co-sponsoring House Joint Resolution 4206 to put the two-thirds requirement in the constitution once and for all.”
Representative Liz Pike (R. 18th) also issued a statement saying, “Today’s ruling is a direct affront to a majority of Washington residents who voted overwhelmingly to require a two-thirds majority of the Legislature in order to raise taxes. Voters spoke loud and clear and said with their vote they want government to live within its means without raising taxes.”
“Voters are smart; they realize a two thirds majority requirement will make it very difficult for us to raise taxes. Elections have consequences and it’s our job in the Legislature to keep faith with the voters who put us here.”
Instead of living within our means, elected Democrats wish to be able to easily increases our taxes whenever they choose, locking out moderate Democrats and Conservatives who wish to see the middle class be relived of the ever increasing tax burden on our backs.
The Senate Majority Coalition is a bipartisan effort with 2 Moderate Democrats aligning themselves with Republicans on many issues in support of the middle class. Those two are Senator Rodney Tom (D. 48th) and Senator Tim Sheldon (D. 35th).
For taking a stand with the middle class, both are facing condemnation & censure from the Washington State Democrat Party.
The Democrats War Against the Middle Class goes on.