The UCL Practitioner
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Chronicle vs. Lockyer
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle published this editorial recommending a "yes" vote on Proposition 64. The same day, it published an opinion piece by the Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California presenting an opposing view: "Protect consumers and fight pollution -- No on Prop. 64." Then, yesterday, it published this letter to the editor from Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who recommends a "no" vote on Prop. 64:

Editor -- Regarding your editorial, "Yes on 64" (Oct. 26): The Chronicle fell victim to the "spin" peddled by Proposition 64's proponents. Public prosecutors will be not be able to undo the tremendous harm this initiative would inflict on citizens' rights to protect the natural resources they cherish and the privacy rights they prize.

The proponents try to disguise Prop. 64 as a small-business protection measure needed to eliminate "shakedown" lawsuits. But the initiative's primary backers hardly qualify as a coalition of mom-and-pop enterprises. They rank among the largest companies in the world, with annual profits in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

These huge corporations know public prosecutors do not have the resources to take up the meritorious environmental and privacy protection lawsuits Prop. 64 would wipe out. The Chronicle brushes aside this fact by saying public pressure will force officials to act. Act with what? Are we supposed to divert resources from finding and prosecuting criminals?

Prop. 64 strips citizens of their right to effectively fight pollution and law-breaking businesses. It endangers our privacy and threatens our air, water, forests, wildlife and the health and safety of our children. Voters should reject Prop. 64.

California Attorney General
Well said.
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