Once one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's allies, Jon Coupal, head of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, now is seeking to undo a major part of the governor's legacy.
Coupal submitted signatures to the Sacramento Registrar of Voters today to qualify an initiative that would suspend California's landmark AB 32 signed by Schwarzenegger in 2006 to force reductions in greenhouse gases.
UPDATE: The measure is dividing Republicans.
Economist and former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, among Schwarzenegger's early advisors and mentors, is serving as honorary co-chair of the committee to block AB 32's suspension, the campaign to block the suspension announced today. Shultz was President Reagan's secretary of state.
Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger's own California Republican Party broke from the governor today and joined on the side of Coupal to call for suspension of the measure.
Coupal estimated that he has helped qualify 20 initiatives, ranging from measures limiting the ability of government to raise taxes, to restricting government's ability to invoke eminent domain and impose rent control.
The latest measure to unravel AB 32 could be the most high-profile and far-reaching, as described in Sunday's Forum in this article by writer Rita Beamish piece and in this column. For more detail on the roots of the initiative, please go here. Coupal was one of several operatives who submitted roughly 800,000 signatures today to county offices around the state, all but ensuring the measure will be on the November ballot .