CALmatters columnist Dan Walters zeroes on the deceitful political tactics of state Attorney General Xavier Becerra in his Nov. 22 column.
Becerra is mounting an all-out blitz against Californians who are attempting to overturn the state’s gas-tax hikes.
Rather than write a straight-up ballot title, as he should, Becerra is distorting the language of a repeal ballot measure.
Writes Walters: Becerra’s title doesn’t even directly refer to the taxes and fees in the package, but rather says it would “repeal revenues” and “eliminates recently enacted road repair and transportation funding.”
It doesn’t get much more misleading than that.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley said as much when the leader of the gas-tax repeal effort, GOP gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen, challenged Becerra’s wording. Frawley said it “obscures the chief purpose of the initiative: repeal of the recently enacted taxes and fees.”
As state attorney general, Becerra has taken an oath to uphold the law. He’s also expected to carry out his duties honestly, fairly and ethically.
It appears, however, that Becerra is a partisan hack. He certainly is far more interested in protecting the legacy of his boss and fellow Democrat, Gov. Jerry Brown, than in fulfilling the responsibilities that come with being California’s top prosecutor and law enforcement overseer.
Thus far, Becerra is winning
Unfortunately, it also appears that Becerra will get away with his shameful tactics.
“Frawley ordered Becerra’s office to write a new title that makes the proposed measure’s purposes clear to would-be petition signers, but instead of complying, the attorney general appealed, claiming that Frawley overstepped.
“Last Friday, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento overturned Frawley, noting that state law gives the attorney general ‘considerable latitude’ in writing ballot titles and declaring that his words are neutral enough. Allen’s attorney said he would appeal to the state Supreme Court
“Even were Allen to win on the petition title, Becerra could take another shot at the measure by drafting the official ballot language describing its provisions.”
To read Walters’ column in its entirety, click here.