EVERETT — Bolshevik is in. BS is out.
And a nearly month-long scrap appears over between initiative promoter Tim Eyman and Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Weikel regarding the content of his voters pamphlet statement against a tax hike measure on Mukilteo ballots this fall.
On Thursday, the county prosecutor upheld Weikel’s decision to remove from Eyman’s statement a hyperlink steering voters to online coverage of the BS battle.
“We will be moving forward,” Weikel said Friday. “We now have a statement from him that meets the guidelines and we’re going with that.”
Eyman wanted to submit another version — which would have been his third overall — but acknowledged Friday that he can’t.
“I really was fighting for a very important principle. The government shouldn’t be able to authorize what is said” in the pamphlets, he said.
Eyman opposes Proposition 1, which would increase the sales tax in Mukilteo by one-tenth of 1 percent. If approved, money generated from the increase would be spent on improving streets and walkways.
He volunteered to write the argument against the measure for the voters pamphlet plus a rebuttal to what supporters penned.
In their statement, supporters wrote the city’s need for additional funds for road maintenance and sidewalks is indisputable and the sales tax hike is the “best answer” to the question of how to pay the bill.
Eyman, in his original rebuttal, wrote “Politicians always say the need for higher taxes is ‘indisputable.’ We call B.S. on that.”
Weikel rejected use of the abbreviation, calling the term “vulgar and inappropriate” for the guide. She asked him to try again.
Eyman appealed instead, contending Weikel should not be able to censor his use of a “tame” word.
Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe upheld Weikel’s decision, ruling Sept. 11 that Eyman could use whatever language “he sees fit” in letters to the editor and mailings to registered voters.
“However, the local voters’ pamphlet still remains a limited public forum where decorum and discourse are respected and valued,” he wrote.
Eyman submitted a new version, swapping Bolshevik for B.S. and inserting a hyperlink to online coverage of the disagreement.
Weikel approved Bolshevik but rejected the hyperlink. She said it was because it did not lead readers to material germane to the ballot measure. Had it done so it would have been left in, she said.
On Thursday, Roe upheld Weikel’s latest editing decision, noting county rules restrict ballot measure arguments to statements supporting or opposing a measure.
“The auditor appropriately removed the reference to the sideshow hyperlink from the proposed rebuttal statement, and did so without altering the content that addresses the actual ballot measure,” Roe wrote. “The appeal is denied and this matter is concluded.”
In his decision, Roe also didn’t mask his irritation at being asked again to review a decision concerning Eyman’s “insistence that he be allowed to inject vulgarity” in the voters pamphlet.
“Virtually everyone, including Mr. Eyman, would probably agree that the term he desires to use would be offensive to at least some voters therefore I have to conclude that offending some people is his goal,” he wrote.
Weikel said the decision ensures all the material for the pamphlet can be sent to the printer on time in early October.
Eyman said he didn’t get his way but he did put a spotlight on the ballot measure.
”I think there was a positive outcome to this,” he said. “It did give me an opportunity to say it was an unnecessary increase.”