I-732’s Yoram Bauman, the man leading the initiative to create a revenue-neutral carbon tax in Washington, announced Monday that the group is considering not submitting the final batch of signatures – which it already possesses – to send I-732 to the Legislature.
That has many speculating that, after spending almost $700,000 to gather signatures and promote the initiative, Bauman and his campaign have received assurances from a big-pocketed donor that they’ll be paid off.
Any guesses who Suspect #1 on that list is? Why, California billionaire Tom Steyer of course, who can’t seem to stop meddling in Washington state elections.
Cites poll from competing Steyer-financed group
Bauman said polling he’s seen indicates that a competing cap-and-tax initiative would start off with higher levels of support. That polling was paid for by the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, the Steyer-backed group that would sponsor the competing initiative. The text of that competing initiative hasn’t been released yet, but it notably would not be revenue-neutral.
Bauman was up front that the reason many on the Left don’t like his initiative is that it doesn’t hike overall tax levels and bring in new money for government to spend. He wrote:
We have tried hard to get support from progressives for I-732, but many of them want to integrate solutions for other very real social problems into climate action. Those solutions require revenue, which has led them to oppose our revenue-neutral policy, despite its clear improvement in the financial situation of low-income families. One Democratic legislator also went so far as to state that his side of the aisle “would oppose I-732 if it was even one dollar revenue-negative”. [emphasis added]
Reactions to Bauman’s post were mixed, but most urged him to submit the final signatures needed to qualify the initiative. “Don’t betray the 350k people who signed and everybody who worked on this in any capacity,” one wrote.
Meteorologist and local celebrity Cliff Mass also urged the I-732 campaign to stick to its plan, adding, “A carbon tax for WA by itself will only have marginal value–we are already one of the most low-carbon states in the union. It is the example of creating a moderate coalition that is of great meaning. Folks donated money and worked hard to collect the signatures…are you ready to throw that away?”