A Republican candidate for governor has failed to collect enough signatures for his proposed ballot initiative to eliminate last year's increase in the gas tax, but he said Friday he's backing another repeal measure instead.
Assemblyman Travis Allen blamed legal wrangling over the initiative's official title and summary, which he said prevented him from collecting signatures ahead of a deadline this week.
Allen challenged the ballot summary written by Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra, which centered on losing revenue rather than repealing the tax. A Sacramento County judge agreed Becerra's description was biased, but the Court of Appeal overturned the decision.
"Unfortunately, the attorney general, through his political maneuvering, was able to stall the repeal of the gas tax and put us in a legal catch-22 that ran down the clock for our signature gathering," Allen said.
Allen said he'll work on collecting signatures for another initiative that would repeal last year's hike in gas taxes and vehicle registration fees while requiring voter approval for any future increase. The measure is backed by several Republican members of Congress and San Diego businessman John Cox, one of Allen's main GOP rivals for governor.