Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. In a Conflict Between People/Voters and the State, Who Wins?

 

Last year, the Voters of Washington State approved an Initiative that reduced car-tab taxes to $30. This same initiative has been voted on at least three times and the state managed to get it overturned twice. The third time, a coalition of cities, counties, and transit agencies has sued in an effort to keep it from taking effect, claiming the initiative is unconstitutional and would have a devastating impact on transit projects statewide. The units of government immediately sued, stating that because the initiative would reduce funds to themselves, it was unconstitutional. They are basically saying that because they are entitled to those funds for transit projects, the People’s approved initiative could not stand.

The state agencies have claimed that the ballot title was misleading, and the Voters didn’t understand what they were voting for. If the ballot title had NOT been “misleading” then the people would have understood the effects on all those transit projects, and would never have approved that initiative. Assumption: The voters of the State of Washington are too stupid to read the detailed initiative that was pretty clear what funds might be reduced, and whose ox would be gored. Actually, most Washington voters understand very well that a goodly portion of their auto registration fees goes not for maintaining highways in the state, but for transit projects that few of them actually use. The voters are pretty smart about this, and are continually beating down the doors of the Department of Transportation, and insisting that their car-tab fees should go primarily for road maintenance and not for public transit.

Every time the people approve a similar initiative, the affected agencies sue to overturn the will of the People. Once again, the Seattle Supreme Court is considering the question of who should win when the People approve an initiative affecting state agencies, the People or the State. We can, once again, guess where this will be heading.

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  1. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    Are they Republican judges or Democrat judges?

    Also, John Roberts can eat a mouthful of…….ducks.

    • #1
    • July 1, 2020, at 4:05 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49

    Uh, this is the State of Washington, and Seattle basically runs the state. Ask me again if they are Republican or Democrat judges.

    • #2
    • July 1, 2020, at 4:14 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The voters keep voting for the people blocking them.

    The voters are to blame here, at the end of the day. They are too stupid to make a change. 

    • #3
    • July 1, 2020, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. Fritz Member

    I think the local governments’ arguments about crippling projects and poor wording of the ballot title are rather weak. But as for honoring voters?

    Isn’t this the court that let unaccountable Sound Transit proceed with collecting Regional Transit Authority taxes in three adjoining counties despite voters’ having decisively voted it down in one of the counties? Why, yes it is.

    The Washington Supreme Court also allowed the construction of a publicly financed stadium despite the voters having rejected it at the polls.

    In my opinion, I think this court just has a sympathetic ear for certain unions — especially teachers and other WA public employees. Trade unions such as construction, not so much, so how this all shakes out will be interesting, as much of the road maintenance and so forth the challengers worry about is performed by private unionized contractors under agreements with WDOT.

    • #4
    • July 1, 2020, at 4:33 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Uh, this is the State of Washington, and Seattle basically runs the state. Ask me again if they are Republican or Democrat judges.

    Heh. It was a rhetorical question.

     

    • #5
    • July 1, 2020, at 4:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I knew what I was voting for…

    • #6
    • July 1, 2020, at 4:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49

    Spin (View Comment):

    I knew what I was voting for…

    So did I. 

    • #7
    • July 1, 2020, at 5:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49

    Hey, @spin are you still moving to PA?

    • #8
    • July 1, 2020, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Arvo Coolidge

    Ask any person whether or not they’re wise enough to participate in their own governance, and the answer will be unanimously affirmative.

    (Not original, but I don’t know who to cite)

    • #9
    • July 1, 2020, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. CJ Coolidge
    CJ

    Another in a long list proving that democracy is a farce. The ratchet of increasing government power almost always goes in one direction.

    • #10
    • July 1, 2020, at 5:41 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. tigerlily Member

    Reminds me a bit of the same-sex marriage issue here in California and elsewhere as well. In California, the voters twice voted that marriage was the union of one man and one woman, the second time including in the state constitution only to have it overturned twice by the state Supreme Court for reasons that amounted to no more than “we don’t like it.”

    • #11
    • July 1, 2020, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I would suggest a massive campaign to simply mail the check for $30 dollars, photocopy the check and keep it in the car. If they don’t cash it, fine. If they do, you have the photocopy of the check that says what it was for. 

    They can’t jail you all and once they pick and choose they can probably be sued for that as well as they will only pick on the vulnerable. 

    • #12
    • July 1, 2020, at 6:04 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. The Reticulator Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The voters keep voting for the people blocking them.

    The voters are to blame here, at the end of the day. They are too stupid to make a change.

    The voters collectively or individually?

    • #13
    • July 1, 2020, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. The Reticulator Member

    What’s the point of funding transit projects when mass transit is pretty much obsolete due to covid-19?

    • #14
    • July 1, 2020, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  15. Jon1979 Lincoln

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Reminds me a bit of the same-sex marriage issue here in California and elsewhere as well. In California, the voters twice voted that marriage was the union of one man and one woman, the second time including in the state constitution only to have it overturned twice by the state Supreme Court for reasons that amounted to no more than “we don’t like it.”

    I was thinking of that one as well. I suppose the difference between that and this was Prop 8 in California didn’t personally involve tax dollars, and the activists pushing to overturn the voters’ decision (including the judge in the case) were able to use non-election year voter apathy on the other side to come out on top. Prop 8 won in 2008, but the passion wasn’t on the side of the ones who won. The Washington State situation in one where the public sector bureaucrats are basically telling voters you have no decision on where your money goes, but it must go to us. The arrogance there is more likely to keep opponents of overturning the vote more engaged in seeing the fight through to the end (which will likely be decided based on how John Roberts is feeling that day).

    • #15
    • July 1, 2020, at 7:00 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49

    Washington is run by a bunch of mass-transit lovers. They are building an extensive light-rail system, and you can darn well bet that NONE of them will be caught dead riding any kind of mass-transit. The disgusting head of (un)Sound Transit, Peter Rogoff, has a chauffeured black SUV to drive him to work every day.

    Except, in order to have mass transit, you need MASS. And we sure don’t have that here in Western Washington. Seattle residents scream bloody murder if someone wants to build any kind of remotely multi-family dwellings in or near their single-family neighborhood. With all the stuff that’s going on in Capitol Hill these days, I’m betting that the demand for any kind of multi-family housing will be decreasing. It will be interesting to see what happens when the University of Washington opens back up, how many commuter students will still ride the bus to school.

    • #16
    • July 1, 2020, at 7:05 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What irritates me is when they won’t take no for an answer and keep re-voting it until they get the answer they want.

    My local school district ran a referendum to build an auditorium three times in the space of about two years before it finally passed. In the first referendum they had a two part question – the first part (to build an addition on the high school) passed by a reasonable margin, but the auditorium went down. So they ran it out as a separate question. And it lost again. I forget what they did to justify the third time, when it passed narrowly.

    I think there ought to be a (State) Constitutional Amendment to forbid re-asking the same (or substantially similar) question more than once every five years.

    • #17
    • July 1, 2020, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I realize that we’re out of practice with the whole Blood of Tyrants thing, but our nation would probably be healthier if we burned down a governor’s mansion every once in awhile. 

    • #18
    • July 1, 2020, at 7:18 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. CJ Coolidge
    CJ

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Washington is run by a bunch of mass-transit lovers. They are building an extensive light-rail system, and you can darn well bet that NONE of them will be caught dead riding any kind of mass-transit. The disgusting head of (un)Sound Transit, Peter Rogoff, has a chauffeured black SUV to drive him to work every day.

    Except, in order to have mass transit, you need MASS. And we sure don’t have that here in Western Washington. Seattle residents scream bloody murder if someone wants to build any kind of remotely multi-family dwellings in or near their single-family neighborhood. With all the stuff that’s going on in Capitol Hill these days, I’m betting that the demand for any kind of multi-family housing will be decreasing. It will be interesting to see what happens when the University of Washington opens back up, how many commuter students will still ride the bus to school.

    If you privatize the roads and transit, the cost of commuting would probably go up, and demand for mass transit would increase. The amount of roads & mass transit would be built based on actual price signals instead of the wild guesses of clueless bureaucrats.

    Also, without public roads, the need for police would decrease dramatically.

    • #19
    • July 1, 2020, at 7:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    What irritates me is when they won’t take no for an answer and keep re-voting it until they get the answer they want.

    My local school district ran a referendum to build an auditorium three times in the space of about two years before it finally passed. In the first referendum they had a two part question – the first part (to build an addition on the high school) passed by a reasonable margin, but the auditorium went down. So they ran it out as a separate question. And it lost again. I forget what they did to justify the third time, when it passed narrowly.

    I think there ought to be a (State) Constitutional Amendment to forbid re-asking the same (or substantially similar) question more than once every five years.

    Our school district here in the Permian Basin of West Texas did a $400 million bond 14 months ago, which failed, then immediately came back last November with a bond of just under $360 million, thinking a 10 percent cut was going to sway voters’ minds. It also failed, so this November they’re coming back with a $75 million bond issue, which only focuses on new buildings for the lower grades (which to be fair, they need for kindergarten, since Texas is going to full-day instead of half-day classes, so they can no longer put two classes per day into each room).

    From an economic standpoint, they’re still in good shape on their property tax base for this year, since Texas bases it on January 1 estimates, which was pre-COVID and pre-oil price drop. The stuff doesn’t hit the fan on property taxes until next year, if oil prices and production don’t come back up. But some of the school board members never met other peoples’ money they couldn’t spend, and can’t get it through their heads when they say Big Oil will pay for over 95 percent of the cost people are looking at possible looming plunges in oil/gas valuations.

    • #20
    • July 1, 2020, at 8:20 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. Flicker Coolidge

    CJ (View Comment):

    Another in a long list proving that democracy is a farce. The ratchet of increasing government power almost always goes in one direction.

    That’s the perfect analogy for feckless ineffectual Republicans: the handle swings both ways, but the ratchet turns only one.

    • #21
    • July 1, 2020, at 11:42 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The voters keep voting for the people blocking them.

    The voters are to blame here, at the end of the day. They are too stupid to make a change.

    The voters collectively or individually?

    The majority of voters in CA vote for this over and over, and then complain about the outcome. But this is what they are voting for. 

     

    • #22
    • July 2, 2020, at 5:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I will never vote “yes” for a Special Option Sales Tax again. 

    • #23
    • July 2, 2020, at 5:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Stad Thatcher

    RushBabe49: Every time the people approve a similar initiative, the affected agencies sue to overturn the will of the People.

    Defund the agencies! Start making the protest signs now . . .

    • #24
    • July 2, 2020, at 5:57 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Hey, @spin are you still moving to PA?

    Supposedly…

    • #25
    • July 2, 2020, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    What irritates me is when they won’t take no for an answer and keep re-voting it until they get the answer they want.

    “They” understand that it is a chinese finger trap. You can go in, but you can’t go out.

    • #26
    • July 2, 2020, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  27. Skyler Coolidge

    Homosexual marriage was voted down in almost every jurisdiction, but the courts decided they knew better.

     

    The city of Austin proposed a wasteful, useless “light rail” system that cost way too much money. Despite overwhelming pressure from politicians and lobbyists who stood to profit from our tax money, a grass roots movement voted it down, THREE times. But not to be deterred, the city just kept putting it on the ballot until finally it squeaked through. Hardly anyone rides that stupid train.

    Government is out of control, the federal government most of all. There is no check on federal power. The three branches do not provide checks and balances, they are a cabal to increase federal power.

    • #27
    • July 2, 2020, at 7:26 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  28. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Homosexual marriage was voted down in almost every jurisdiction, but the courts decided they knew better.

     

    The city of Austin proposed a wasteful, useless “light rail” system that cost way too much money. Despite overwhelming pressure from politicians and lobbyists who stood to profit from our tax money, a grass roots movement voted it down, THREE times. But not to be deterred, the city just kept putting it on the ballot until finally it squeaked through. Hardly anyone rides that stupid train.

    Government is out of control, the federal government most of all. There is no check on federal power. The three branches do not provide checks and balances, they are a cabal to increase federal power.

    At least 1/2 the problem was that while the people of Austin are reliably left wing even they knew that Capital Metro (our resident transit authority) was completely incompetent. The backlash wasn’t so much against light rail it was against giving people who couldn’t run buses a train system to run incompetently. Thankfully for the ambitions of the Capital Metro leadership eventually enough Californians, who were unaware of the competence gap, came to Austin to vote for the train. On the magnificent day when Capital Metro finally realized its ambition of having a commuter rail train. When the train full of a delegation of dignitaries approached the station on its inaugural run. It derailed forcing the dignitaries to walk to the station to declare that light rail had come to Austin and and an effort to get the commuter train back onto the tracks. Only then did our newly imported Californians learned what wiser heads had tried to explain. Thus when Capital Metro asked for a 900 million dollar expansion for 9 miles of light rail track even the Californians were against it. Fortunately I left Austin for Williamson county so now I can observe the lunacy from a distance.

    • #28
    • July 2, 2020, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  29. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    The city of Austin proposed a wasteful, useless “light rail” system that cost way too much money. Despite overwhelming pressure from politicians and lobbyists who stood to profit from our tax money, a grass roots movement voted it down, THREE times. But not to be deterred, the city just kept putting it on the ballot until finally it squeaked through. Hardly anyone rides that stupid train.

    At least 1/2 the problem was that while the people of Austin are reliably left wing even they knew that Capital Metro (our resident transit authority) was completely incompetent. The backlash wasn’t so much against light rail it was against giving people who couldn’t run buses a train system to run incompetently. Thankfully for the ambitions of the Capital Metro leadership eventually enough Californians, who were unaware of the competence gap, came to Austin to vote for the train. On the magnificent day when Capital Metro finally realized its ambition of having a commuter rail train. When the train full of a delegation of dignitaries approached the station on its inaugural run. It derailed forcing the dignitaries to walk to the station to declare that light rail had come to Austin and and an effort to get the commuter train back onto the tracks. Only then did our newly imported Californians learned what wiser heads had tried to explain. Thus when Capital Metro asked for a 900 million dollar expansion for 9 miles of light rail track even the Californians were against it. Fortunately I left Austin for Williamson county so now I can observe the lunacy from a distance.

    The route stinks — it does go through some of the growing parts of Leander and Cedar Park, but then it completely loops east and away from the north side of downtown Austin, including the UT campus and the State Capitol, before coming in all the way by the river. So the people most likely to use it — liberal pols and college student — don’t because it doesn’t hit places where they’re going.

     

    • #29
    • July 2, 2020, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Unsk Member

    You stupid useless people still think voters matter and that silly piece of old paper called the Constitution still matters. They don’t. Voters and that stupid Constitution don’t matter at all ; we in the Elite do. We know better than you. We in the elite know what’s best for you and we will see to it that what we think is best will be done. We still have our ways of definitely controlling what happens, despite what that Orange Racist Bastard in the White House says. 

    Wait till November when we grab total control and then we will come looking for you people who won’t toe the line. A new order is coming and we have many effective ways of dealing with racist people like you.

    • #30
    • July 2, 2020, at 8:37 AM PDT
    • 6 likes