Calif. AG candidates get lackluster review from taxpayer group

By Chris Rizo | Nov 17, 2009

Jon Coupal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California's four candidates for state attorney general who are members of the state Legislature on Monday received poor marks from the state's taxpayer rights group.

In its annual report cards on the Legislature's 120 members, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association gave failing marks to more than half of lawmakers.

Of the candidates for state attorney general, the only Republican vying for the post, state Sen. Tom Harman of Huntington Beach, received the highest mark-a "C" grade.

The three Democrats running to succeed Attorney General Jerry Brown as the state's chief legal officer all were given "F" grades.

They are: Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico of Newark, and Assemblymen Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara and Ted Lieu of Torrance.

The Sacramento-based Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said in all 73 lawmakers received a grade of "F" for the 2009 legislative session, while 29 received a grade of "A."

"Sadly, many of these politicians are so dedicated to picking taxpayers' pockets that they have no shame," HJTPA President Jon Coupal said. "Some may actually regard their 'Fs' as a badge of honor."

The grades are based on lawmakers' votes on 35 bills. Fourteen bills were double-weighted, including six constitutional amendments that would have eroded taxpayer protections outlined in Proposition 13 or Proposition 218.

Legislators who voted for $12.6 billion in new income, sales and car taxes in February received an automatic 20 point deduction.

Other Democrats running for California attorney general are: Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer for the Web site Facebook, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris and former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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