Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman poses for a photo with a sign from his original 1999 campaign for $30 car registration tabs, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, as he waved a sign for his current Initiative 976 on election day in Bellevue, Wash. The measure would again cut most car tabs to $30 in Washington state, if passed by voters, and would leave state and local governments scrambling to pay for road paving and other transportation projects. 
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Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman poses for a photo with a sign from his original 1999 campaign for $30 car registration tabs, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, as he waved a sign for his current Initiative 976 on election day in Bellevue, Wash. The measure would again cut most car tabs to $30 in Washington state, if passed by voters, and would leave state and local governments scrambling to pay for road paving and other transportation projects.
Credit: (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Tim Eyman is running for governor ... and against Seattle

First order of business if he wins: Not paying his car tab bill.

Tim Eyman, the anti-tax man of Washington state, confirmed the news to KUOW, saying he has no party affiliation as of yet, and has been equally frustrated by Republicans and Democrats at times.

But he made clear his plans to capitalize in anti-Seattle sentiment among conservatives in making his first run for office.

Eyman sponsored Initiative 976 to reduce statewide car tab fees to $30. It passed in this month's election. But he said voters outside Seattle who supported it are dismayed by Seattle’s prompt legal challenge.

“I think people are just sick and tired of Seattle making every single decision when it comes to public policy,” he said, noting that the initiative failed in Seattle but gained the votes to pass statewide.

Eyman made the comments at a Sound Transit board meeting, and said he’ll file paperwork Monday to form a political action committee titled “Governor Eyman for Washington.”

Eyman announced his candidacy to the board, only to have his microphone cut off. There’s a rule against campaigning during public comment.

“I’m going to run for the next year nonstop,” he confirmed to reporters at the meeting.

“I’m running against Jay Inslee, who is Seattle’s governor. He clearly is using this as a consolation prize, he wanted to be president, he didn’t get that, so now he’s running for a third term.”

Eyman told reporters “the system is completely rigged” to favor Seattle’s legal challenge to I-976, considering that it’s up to Attorney General “Bob Ferguson who’s made it his life’s mission to make sure that I can never do initiatives ever again, and we’re supposed to rely on him to defend voters’ intent?”

Ferguson has successfully sued Eyman associates for campaign finance violations.

The media circus at the Sound Transit meeting was typical of Eyman’s brand of showmanship.

He recently filmed himself attempting to return a chair to Office Depot that he was accused of stealing after a surveillance video showed him wheeling it out of the store.

Newly elected Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis gleefully alluded to the episode in his response to Eyman’s run for governor. Lewis responded on Twitter, “The only way Tim Eyman is gonna get the governor’s chair is if he steals it…go Jay Inslee!”

In 2017, the state sued him, accusing him of profiting off initiative campaigns.

And then in 2019, the incident with the Office Depot chair. Lacey Police said he had rolled out a chair from Office Depot, intending to steal it. Eyman said he was distracted by a phone call.

Eyman said that running for office is "probably the biggest risk I’ve ever taken – actually putting my name on the ballot. I’m unnerved at the idea that there’s going to be a campaign sign with my last name on it. It’s going to be creepy and weird.”

This is his first time running for office.

“For 21 years, I’ve said I would never run for public office," he said. "I wouldn’t do it. And I’ve done 21 years of political activism and I feel like it was like an internship to learn how exactly dirty the process is, how corrupt it really seems to be.

"I’ve just heard so many of our supporters say over and over again, ‘We vote for these initiatives, but why is it that we don’t actually get them?’ And it’s because they use the system against us.”

As for what he'd do if he won: Tell folks not to pay their car tab bills.

“Civil disobedience is the kind of thing that you have to do when you have the tyranny of one city making the decision for everybody," he said. "I’ll be the first one. I’ll be right in there with them.”