County Elections Office rejects "Frack-Free" initiative after law firm speaks up

Jun 18, 2014 8:07 PM by Brian Johnson

Members of Frack-Free Butte County now face a major roadblock, as the Butte County Elections Office rejects their initiative petition.

This comes less than two weeks after the anti-fracking activists submitted their 10,000-some signatures.

A Sacramento law firm, Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross, & Leoni sent documents to the elections office one day after Frack-Free Butte County submitted their initiative petitions to put a ban on fracking in Butte County.

The documents tell County Clerk Candace Grubbs and the county elections office that these petitions have "facial defects."

Among them: "Failure to include the full text of the proposed measure, failure to include a mandatory enacting clause, and failure to reproduce the title and summary in 12 point or larger type."

Candace Grubbs said that after county council reviewed the petition, she sent a letter to initiative proponents (aka Frack-Free Butte County), telling them that two of the three complaints listed by the law firm are true, and therefore their petition has now been rejected.

She said she hasn't heard from Frack-Free Butte County.
Action News Now spoke with Frack-Free's spokesman, Dave Garcia.

"They didn't attack the text of our initiative at all," said Garcia. "Apparently they couldn't find anything wrong with the actual language to the ban so they're going at inconsequential things like the text not being bold and other minor discrepancies."

Garcia said Frack-Free lawyers are still working out what's next.

Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy Future, the organization behind the local effort called Butte Citizens against Higher Energy Costs, confirms they work with this law firm.


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