Are legislators pulling their support of the $11 billion water bond they placed on the ballot?
That's what the campaign opposing the bond suggested in a press release distributed earlier this week.
"The list of supporters of the $11.14 billion water bond is shorter now by 5 legislators than it was last month," the release reads.
The release went on to say that three Democratic legislators, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, Assemblyman Ira Ruskin and Sen. Fran Pavley, had been "dropped" from the campaign's list of supporters. Two former legislators, GOP Sen. John Benoit and Democratic Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, had also disappeared from the list, though both have since said they still support the bond.
But Ruskin never endorsed the water bond.
"He wants the voters to decide," said Communications Director Karen Zamel.
Neither did Pavley.
"They never asked," Pavley Chief of Staff Liz Fenton said.
Huffman also hasn't decided whether to back the measure.
So what gives?
The list of supporters, which you can see here, initially included all legislators who voted for the bond last November, including the three listed above, spokeswoman Kathy Fairbanks said.
"Obviously they recognized that California has a water crisis. We're in dire need, we need to address it now, we need to address it in November," Fairbanks said. "They raised their hand, they pressed the button, 'yes.' "
When several "supporters" contacted the campaign to point out that they had not formally endorsed the measure, the campaign complied in removing their name from the list, though Fairbanks said she thinks "support" was an appropriate characterization.
"They had already staked their flag in the ground, saying, 'Yes we support the bond. We voted for it,'" she said.
This post was updated to reflect that Benoit and Krekorian were added back to the list.