California’s attorneys general are empowered to write official titles for statewide ballot measures but the current AG, Xavier Becerra, continues the practice of providing slanted and partisan summaries.
California’s attorneys general, the state’s top legal officers, have developed a bad habit in recent years — skewing the official titles of ballot measures.
Since all have been Democrats for the past two decades, that’s meant writing favorable titles for measures their party leaders favor and unfavorable ones for those Democrats oppose.
The current attorney general, Xavier Becerra, has continued the unsavory practice that violates the spirit, if not the letter, of Election Code Section 9051. It states that “in providing the ballot title and summary, the Attorney General shall give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure in such language that the ballot title and summary shall neither be an argument, nor be likely to create prejudice, for or against the proposed measure.”
Becerra first displayed his penchant for creative writing two years ago on Proposition 6, a measure that, if passed, would have repealed a $5 billion a year package of taxes and fees on motorists.