Dan Wood is back with I-933 this year, and a couple of days ago he was worried about another UW study. Turns out the killer study came from OFM, but he did have time to send out this hyperventalating email:
WFB Demands Disclosure from University of Washington
The Washington Farm Bureau today filed a public records demand from the University of Washington regarding a “planned study” on Initiative 933.
We want them to come clean on who is behind the so-called “study,” who is directing the “study” and to disclose whatever connections there are between the University and the special interests that are funding the anti-I-933 “study.”
The study is to be paid for by the same environmental extremists that are backing the campaign against the Property Fairness Initiative. If true then why do these extremists have to turn to U-Dub to buy credibility and are public resources being used to conduct the study?
Because the University of Washington is a state agency, it is required to disclose public documents – on paper and in electronic form – under the state Public Records Act. (RCW 42.56) We expect an immediate answer from the University.
The Northwest Center for Livable Communities, a division of the University, is conducting the “study” on behalf of the Bullitt, Brainerd and Wilberforce Foundations along with others. These are the same foundations that funded a UW “study” released in 1995 when a similar measure – Referendum 48 -- sought to address excessive regulations that treated property owners unfairly.
The University of Washington was embarrassed then and should be now!
In 1995 the respected Washington Institute for Policy Studies examined documents prepared by the University and Evergreen State College and declared that the “studies bordered on fraud.”
“There was no peer review…no ability to replicate their numbers or to independently verify their conclusions…and that the documents did not comply with basic academic standards…”
The authors of the 1995 study acknowledged in their background methodological statement that their estimates of takings costs…”were difficult to prepare due to data limitations, time constraints and the wide range of variables.” The authors themselves called the study “Mission Impossible.” Yet, environmental extremists used the “study” to deceive the public and ran advertisements before the University could stop them.
The Institute’s analysis of the so-called study went further, alleging that the study went beyond the collected data and that the six page document attributed to the University of Washington was pure analytical fabrication with two pages of rhetoric and conjecture without any supporting analysis.
In 1995 environmental extremists used statements from the “study” in advertisements opposing R-48. At that time the University demanded that they cease attributing the “study” to the University. In fact, state law prohibits state agencies (including universities) from taking a position for or against any ballot measure.
If the University releases a property rights study between now and the general election there would be no way to characterize it than as an effort to influence the outcome of a ballot measure.
Our opponents are using tired and worn-out ideas to attack I-933 at a time when citizen awareness of government abuses is at an all time high.