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Attorney General Jerry Brown guilty of misleading language in drafting the title and summary of Prop. 23


Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

JM TIM FRAWLEY.JPGSacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley today ordered a change in the ballot language for Proposition 23, agreeing with proponents' charge that Attorney General Jerry Brown's office used misleading language in drafting the title and summary for the measure.

Bee colleague Rick Daysog reports:

Frawley said use of the term "major polluters" in election materials carried negative connotations with voters and ordered Brown's office to use the less loaded term "major sources of emissions."

Frawley also said the state inaccurately described the proposition as "abandoning" California's climate change law, or AB 32, and ordered it to substitute the term "suspends."

"My concern is that the word 'polluters' suggests something that comes out of a smokestack. That's where the prejudice lies," Frawley said.





New language ordered for initiative to suspend state climate change law

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 - 12:53 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 - 2:22 pm

A state judge today ordered the attorney general's office to change its wording of a ballot initiative to roll back the state's landmark climate change law.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley agreed with measure proponents charging that California Attorney General Jerry Brown used misleading language when his office drafted the initiative, Proposition 23.

Frawley said use of the term "major polluters" in election materials carried negative connotations with voters and ordered Brown's office to use the less loaded term "major sources of emissions."

Frawley also said the state inaccurately described the proposition as "abandoning" California's climate change law, or AB 32, and ordered it to substitute the term "suspends."

"My concern is that the word 'polluters' suggests something that comes out of a smokestack. That's where the prejudice lies," Frawley said.

Proposition 23 seeks to suspend California's global greenhouse gas reduction law until the statewide unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for a year. Supporters of the measure say AB 32, which aims to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, will lead to job losses and higher energy costs.

But opponents of Proposition 23, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, environmental groups, high-tech companies and venture capital firms, say AB 32 not only will reduce greenhouse gases but will bolster a growing clean tech industry and will create new jobs.

Anita Mangels, spokeswoman for the Yes on 23 committee, said Frawley's ruling eliminates the "false, misleading and prejudicial" language developed by the attorney general's office.

"Yes on 23 is pleased that voters will be provided a fair and accurate official description of Prop 23 and are confident that they will vote Yes on 23, a common-sense proposal to protect jobs and California's economy," she said.

Paul Knepprath, vice president of advocacy and health initiatives for the American Lung Association, said the changes ordered by the judge were "cosmetic."

"We're confident that voters will see Prop 23 for what it really is: a job-killing proposition bankrolled by Texas oil companies," he said.