An ad's claim about the impact of Proposition 28 on state legislators' tenure falls well short of the full story.

Ad Watch: Commercial against Prop. 28 mostly misleading

Published: Saturday, Jun. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 3, 2012 - 10:28 am

Opponents of Proposition 28, a measure on Tuesday's ballot that would alter the state's legislative term limits law, have launched a 10-second television commercial blasting the measure. Here is the text of the ad and an analysis by Bee Capitol Bureau Chief Dan Smith.

NARRATOR: "Prop. 28 is a scam. It weakens term limits and doubles the time politicians can stay in the Legislature. Vote no on 28. Stop the scam."

ANALYSIS: While "weakens" may be in the eye of the beholder, telling voters that Proposition 28 "doubles the time politicians can stay in the Legislature" is misleading.

Current law allows legislators to serve three two-year terms in the Assembly and two four-year terms in Senate, 14 years maximum. Proposition 28 reduces the maximum to 12 years for future legislators, but allows them to serve the time all in one house. Technically, a future member of the Assembly (the measure doesn't apply to sitting legislators) could serve 12 years in the lower house, double what is allowed now.

But the measure doesn't allow a doubling of the current eight-year limit for the Senate and the overall change – 14 years to 12 years – is a reduction, not a doubling.

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