Judge Doubles Down on Contempt for Half-Asked Production
Tim Eyman apparently didn't hear the judge the first time.
Judge James Dixon ordered him to produce financial records in a lawsuit that accuses Eyman of using campaign donations for personal use. The judge also fined him $500 a day for any delay in producing the documents.
When Eyman turned over five files to the attorney general's office, however, the judge said it wasn't enough. Now it's $1,000 a day.
Eyman is a political force in Washington, where he has put 20 initiatives on the ballot. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has sued him, his political committee, and Citizens Solution, for $2.1 million in a civil suit.
Ferguson says Eyman took $308,000 for personal use from donations made to his campaigns, and concealed $490,185 in contributions. Ferguson denies the charges, and claims he is the victim of "political jihad."
"No matter how much we give them, they ask for more," he told supporters in a fundraising letter. "When you're the target of a government lawsuit like this, whether you're innocent or guilty, saint or sinner, the result is the same: The process is the punishment."
So far, his punishment for contempt is up to $101,000 and counting. That's on top of nearly $36,00 for related court costs and fees.
$101,000 and Counting
Eyman got into the initiative business in the 1990s. Among others measures, he pushed a requirement for super majorities in the legislature on bills that would raise revenue or close tax loopholes.
According to reports, however, his campaign days may be over. It's the third year in a row that he hasn't been able to put an initiative on the ballot.
Still, said political critic Andrew Villeneuve, the daily doubled fines won't force Eyman to turn over all his records.
"Not enough," he told KomoNews.com. "They should be quadrupled."
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