We are writing in response to the heavy claims and mistruths coming from supporters of Measure C. Only minor changes to ballot arguments have been made, none of which are substantive or represent a departure from the original language.
Furthermore, these changes were made through a legal settlement process, meaning that no entity or individual was found guilty of misleading the public—it is our understanding that in order to settle, the proponents of Measure C themselves had to validate the current language.
The following language was settled upon and, as a result, deemed true and factual by Measure C supporters:
-- “Napa County already has rigorous environmental regulations. This measure undermines voter-approved Measure J, which continues to effectively protect Napa County’s water quality and oak woodlands.”
-- “An independent legal analysis concluded that Measure C is ‘unlawfully vague and misleading’ and ‘creates a significant likelihood’ of costly lawsuits against the County -- lawsuits that taxpayers will ultimately have to pay for.”
-- “Measure C’s proponents say they want to protect woodland areas. Yet Measure C will allow 795 acres of oak woodlands to be removed.”
-- “Agricultural organizations are united against Measure C.”
-- “Someone who removes even two oak trees from their property without following the strict regulations of Measure C could be charged with a misdemeanor.”
These are just a few of the many unintended consequences of Measure C. Measure C will undermine the Ag Preserve. A third-party law firm concluded Measure C is “unlawfully vague and misleading.” It is our understanding agricultural organizations all oppose Measure C. Violating Measure C could result in misdemeanor charges.
We question whether the proponents of Measure C can explain why, if they believe the information to be misleading, they chose to settle on the arguments bulleted above? Or, for that matter, to explain what “misleading” arguments they successfully corrected? In the meantime, they have helped to prove that No on Measure C arguments can be held up in a court of law.
Wyman Smith and Erik Lawrence
Gaw Van Male LLP