Pamela Pressley, litigation director for the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, insists voters were deceived by major corporations that are now trying to pervert the initiative for their own interests.
"It was a bait and switch," Pressley says. "Voters were told one thing, and now the companies are turning around and using [Prop 64] as a shield against liability."
Pressley's allegations are the central theme of an amicus curiae brief her nonprofit group filed 10 days ago with the California Supreme Court in In re Tobacco Cases II, S147345, a major unfair-advertising suit against six of the nation's largest tobacco manufacturers.
Prop 64, which limits private attorney general suits, was heavily funded by corporate interests. The brief — which enters territory not even raised by the plaintiffs in the case — claims that support was given under the guise of stopping frivolous suits against small businesses and protecting legitimate public interest cases.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights has put up a non-subscription copy of the Recorder article on its website.