'Zombies' to march on Capitol over budget slashings

The OlympianMay 12, 2011 

Sounds like something out of a dark realm and a prank – and it sort of is. Self-styled zombies plan a slow march and "monster budget slash" event at the Capitol tomorrow – Friday, the 13th.

The state Department of General Administration expects about 100 people to show up, and that's a lot better turnout than the Secretary of State Sam Reed usually counts from cemeteries on Election Day.

The Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget, which helped organize a rally against education and health-care cuts at the Capitol in April, is behind the march. It starts around 1 p.m. – one press release says 1:30 p.m. – from Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia and ends with a rally at the Capitol steps.

There's supposed to be some kind of lobbying interaction with lawmakers, too.

Here's an excerpt from the news release on the event:

On this Friday, May 13th, zombies will rise from graves, mausoleums, and PAC contribution lists across the state for a Monster Mash Budget Slash slow zombie march on their headquarters — the State Capitol. Together, Washington State Zombies will raise their grunting voices and rotting fists to ensure that the darkness of the brutal state budget continues to descend without mercy on the people of the state. Their single demand: that ideas with brains, hearts, and spines never see the light of day. This zombie rising is timed at a moment when the state's political process is not-moving at pace suggesting the Legislature itself is in a classic zombie stupor. After two months when the House and Senate engaged in a slashing competition to see who could bury poor people, immigrants, and the elderly deeper underground and close their ears more firmly to the cries, there have been no real signs of life for weeks now.

Read more about it at “Undead Olympia,” which has had a running commentary about cold and bloody spending cuts that lawmakers are trying to make – and which apparently only a soulless zombie could love.

Tim Eyman's Initiative 1053 is blamed by some Democrats for making it impossible to raise taxes or close so-called tax loopholes in the Legislature, which might blunt the zombie-style budget cuts. So Eyman has been invited, and so has Sen. Don Benton, the Vancouver Republican who has co-sponsored anti-tax measures with Eyman.

Eyman says he won't show up – even if he might still have a Darth Vader costume in his wardrobe. Instead he'll be in a King County courtroom watching how well the right-to-local initiative and referendum is defended in a couple of local cases, including Seattle's deep-bore tunnel.

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