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Jerry Cornfield |
Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 6:28 p.m.

Suit filed to keep Eyman initiative signers' names secret

If you've signed a petition for a Tim Eyman initiative in the past, there is someone who wants to know your name today.

That someone is Bryan Wahl of Mountlake Terrace, formerly with the Washington Association of Realtors. According to the Secretary of State's David Ammons, Wahl has already plunked down $1,500 for documents containing the hundreds of thousands of names of people who helped get those initiatives on a ballot.

Ammons writes Wahl's request covers signers of I-722 (property tax limits) and I-745 (transportation funding) from 2000, I-747 (property tax cap) from 2001, I-776 (car tabs) from 2002, I-900 (performance audits) and I-912 (gas tax) from 2005, I-917 (car tabs) and I-920 (estate taxes) from 2006, I-960 (tax limits) from 2007, I-985 (transportation) in 2008 and I-1033 (revenue limits) from this year.

But late Tuesday, lawyers for Eyman filed legal papers aimed at barring the state from releasing the documents. They figure a federal court order preventing the state from giving out the names of people who signed Referendum 71 petitions should apply to this latest request too.

A hearing is set for Wednesday in Thurston County.

(It should be noted that before the federal case got started, the National Education Association did obtain the names of the 300,000-plus signers of Initiative 1033 that is on the Nov. 3 ballot.)

In the federal case, Protect Marriage Washington is fighting to keep the names secret and the state is trying to get them treated as public records.

That case will be the subject of a hearing Wednesday morning in front of the 9th Circuity Court of Appeals in California.

Deputy Solicitor General Bill Collins will argue the case for the state while James Bopp will represent Protect Marriage Washington.

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