If I hear one more thing about how Proposition 65 is the great environmental protector I think I am going to have to check myself in. This initiative was passed by the voters of California in 1986. Whatever the voters thought they were doing has really turned into a windfall for a small group of attorneys.

Recently, our esteemed Attorney General Jerry Brown, posted the 2008 list of Proposition 65 settlements for our state. It is an absolute joke what is going on in California in the name of environmental protection. One firm, the Environmental Law Foundation, had one settlement against Laidlaw for $6.6 million. Guess what the attorney’s fee was in the case – $6.6 million. The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation had 39 settlements for a total of $1,775,300. Its fees totaled $1,060,000. Insane and it gets better.

One organization called the Consumer Advocacy Group seems to have boutique practice at tackling Prop. 65 warnings. The firm had 31 settlements totaling $1,003,250. Its fees… $972,750! Are you kidding me!?!?!?!?!?!

One of its settlements was against Hilton Hotels. The settlement was for $166,250. The attorneys’ fees – you guessed it – $166,250! That is a lot of Hilton Honor Points. The same with its settlement against Hotel Sofitel. Settlement $75,000. Attorney Fee $75,000.

This is not about environmental protection. This is a pure and simple shakedown. There were 39 pages of these obscene settlements. And a small tiny portion going to some obscure environmental offset.

The legislature and the public need to stop this systematic pillaging. They stopped it with ADA and the Trevor Law Group and even with Proposition 64. In the words of Jack Nicholson in the original Batman, “it is time to trade up”.

Stop the Proposition 65 Shakedowns.