CalWatchdog Morning Read – September 27

  • CalWatchdogLogoTobacco-tax fact checks miss the mark
  • Child prostitution decriminalized
  • Gov. Brown vetoes bill to increase costs of concealed-carry permits
  • California roads improving
  • California Democrats tying Trump to Republican candidates
  • New $1 fee on car batteries to pay for Exide cleanup

Good morning! With the election a little more than a month away, we’re being bombarded with horserace news about the 17 statewide ballot measures. That includes fact checks. 

Twice now we’ve seen fact-checkers panning the anti-tobacco tax campaign’s claim in a radio ad that Prop. 56, an increase of $2 per pack on cigarettes and other tobacco and nicotine products, “cheats schools out of at least $600 million a year” — once in The Sacramento Bee and once in Politifact California.

And then last week, when a video with similar claims was released by the “No” campaign, The Bee doubled down on its assessment that the commercial contains “inaccurate claims about school funding and omits information to mislead voters.”

Making no value judgement about the pending measure, while happily admitting that the fact-checker sites generally perform good work and a valuable public service, CalWatchdog decided to fact-check the fact-checkers.

One of the findings was that there is at least a diversion of potential funds. In 1988, voters passed Prop. 98, which Prop. 111 then amended the following election. These policies earmarked a certain amount of new revenue for education funding.

Voters have the power to amend the Constitution to waive this requirement, as would be done in this case. But that doesn’t change the fact that we currently live in a world where a certain amount of all new funding is earmarked for education.

CalWatchdog has more.

In other news:

  • “Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed more than half a dozen bills that decriminalize prostitution and increase protections for young trafficking victims in court amid growing efforts in California to help children and young adults swept into the trade of forced sex and labor,” writes the Los Angeles Times.

  • “Though often sympathetic to new gun regulations, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed legislation that would have allowed sheriffs to raise the price of obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon,” reports The Sacramento Bee.

  • “California’s system of roads, bridges and freeways have improved incrementally in recent years, according to a newly released annual survey of state highway systems by the free-market-oriented Reason Foundation.” CalWatchdog has more.

  • “In California, at least, the assumption remains that Trump will drag down GOP candidates in congressional races. That’s why the state Democratic Party is seeking in seven swing districts to target Republicans who are ‘running on the Trump ticket,’ according to a party statement last week as it launched the website and related social media efforts.” CalWatchdog has more.

  • “Californians will pay a new $1 fee on lead-acid car batteries under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, with a portion of the proceeds going to the massive toxic cleanup in communities near the former Exide battery plant in Los Angeles County,” writes the Los Angeles Times.


Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced.

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