Thursday, September 9, 2010

Has Initiative 1105 thrown in the towel?

As we remarked two weeks ago and notice again today, the I-1105 campaign hasn't updated its Twitter feed or  Facebook page since July 27. The Facebook page has a paltry 118 fans, compared to the new I-1100 page, which recruited over 1,500 fans in barely a month.  The 1105 campaign website hasn't been updated since they posted a hallucinatory "revenue estimate" on August 10 (the day before the OFM torpedoed 1105's only plausible selling point by calling out the Emperor of "more revenue" for wearing no clothes).

Meanwhile, I-1105's charming and formerly excitable spokeswoman Charla Neuman keeps making the defeatist plea (first noticed here, most recently here) that voters "should vote for both measures". At the Tacoma News Tribune's endorsement interview, she stated that the two initiatives were not in competition. (This is a distinct change from early summer when she expressed the non sequitur that I-1100 would bring us the "Wild West").

Last month's SurveyUSA poll showed 1105 leading, but 1100 winning more decisively. I speculate that 1105's internal polling shows that their support is soft and possibly depends on enough tax-happy voters buying their now discredited claim of a "guarantee" of higher revenue. The non-scientific web poll at the Puget Sound Business Journal shows that 46% of respondents would vote for 1100 alone, 34% would vote for both measures and a pitiful 3% would vote for 1105 alone.  If they ever expected to win for real while defeating 1100, they've probably looked at their prospects and concluded it's too tough and expensive of an effort for its poor odds of success.

So what do they accomplish by pulling back on their own messaging and tying themselves to 1100? If their real goal is to defeat 1100 and maintain the status quo, they've done their part by confusing voters, sticking 1100 with its odor of worse financial consequences than it actually has, and letting their beery siblings do the heavy lifting. Alternatively, if they're genuinely motivated to win, but realize they can't win through the ballot box alone, their next best option is encouraging both to win and letting the courts and/or Legislature sort out the mess -- where their lawyers, lobbyists and ability to influence elected officials [look up by employer = Southern Wine] can give them a better deal than the voters are likely to.

Either way, the 1105 campaign is remarkably strange.

1 comment:

  1. Don't know that we can compare the PSBJ and SurveyUSA polls, given the former isn't scientific. What I don't understanding is the 1105 leading comment. The USA poll shows 1100 with 59% and 1105 with 54%, or am I reading something wrong? Are you just saying that both are looking to pass?

    Anecdotally, I've noticed a lot more people stating off-the-cuff that they weren't supporting 1105's oligopoly. A few months ago, there was definite confusion. So, I think 1105's campaign has failed and they probably know it. That would make it a good time to lie low and save all your energy for the final stretch. For me, I am using it to educate people on 1100 with every fact I have at my disposal.