Permanent Offense team issues statement regarding inaccuracies in major news media

Seattle, WA - 4/18/02 - Joint statement by Monte Benham, Jack Fagan, Mike Fagan, and Tim Eyman, co-sponsors of Initiative 776, "$30 Tabs for Everyone" (Media contact: Monte Benham, ph: 509-783-3829, cell: 509-531-8994, email:

"The Seattle PI front-page story yesterday ('Contributions to I-776 plummet') and the Associated Press story today about I-776's fundraising was wrong.  If the media had investigated our campaign reports rather
than just swallowing the false numbers spoon-fed by the political consultant of I-776 opponents, they would've gotten the story right. Instead, the media looks like lap dogs for I-776 opponents (as if anyone
needed further proof).  We demand a press correction immediately and a public apology by the full-time anti-776 political consultant paid by the public employee unions for purposely misleading reporters."

"Our campaign reports for March, April, and May, 2001 were later amended but the anti-776 political consultant gave the press the outdated reports.  The truth is that our fundraising totals for I-776 are about
the same as previous initiative campaigns.  The press would have known this if they had investigated, rather than disseminated, our opponents lies."

"There's no doubt we need to raise a lot more funds to get I-776 on the ballot ($175,000 more).  So in that sense, the front-page stories were a good message:  'we need financial assistance to ensure I-776's success'.  But our opponents' lies must always be exposed."

"We suggest corrected front-page headlines like 'Donors stay loyal to I-776 despite government, media assault' or 'I-776 supporters demand $30 tabs ONCE AND FOR ALL' or 'I-776 campaign holds Gary Locke to campaign promises' or 'I-776 forces revote on Puget Sound light rail boondoggle' or 'I-776 campaign demands accountability, accuracy by politicians and the press."

"This isn't the first time the press has had trouble with numbers.  In a recent Seattle PI story on Initiative 776, reporter Neil Modie repeatedly referred to our initiative as "I-676."  When he heard about
it after the story appeared, he replied with this email:  "Oops, I've got too many initiative numbers twirling around in my tiny brain, I guess."

"The media's commitment to accuracy is summed up very well by that word 'Oops.'"

"It is this kind of shoddy, biased, slanted journalism that infuriates our supporters and deepens our resolve.  We are all busting our tails to get enough signatures by July 5th to get I-776 on the fall ballot."

Comparison of donation totals from December-March, taken from our AMENDED campaign reports:

I-722 (year 2000)  I-747 (year 2001)   I-776 (this year) Total  
 $125,211.00   $136,620.26 $122,961.53

Again, there's no doubt we need to raise a lot more funds to get I-776 on the ballot ($175,000 more).  We really need your help -- please send donations to:

PO Box 6131
Kennewick, WA  99336

Best Regards, Monte, Jack, Mike, & Tim

This is critical - What is your e-mail address:
                               PLEASE PRINT VERY, VERY CLEARLY
Your Name  ___________________________________________________________
Address  ______________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip
Phone ________________________________________________________________
Are you retired? (Yes or No) ____________________

The media and government assault against I-776 is appalling.   Enclosed is my check for $_________________  Made payable to "I-776"

Monte/Jack/Mike/Tim, I commit to gathering _____________ signatures.


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