Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/27/2010 06:01:26 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – City Attorney James F. Penman is a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the written argument in favor of Measure C, which is a proposal to amend the City Charter.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court. Penman, who did not file in his official capacity, contends that Measure C proponents’ argument submitted for voters’ sample ballots contains numerous errors.

Measure C would amend the City Charter to give the City Council and mayor power to appoint the city attorney, city clerk and city treasurer. Those positions are currently elected.

“I’m not behind this lawsuit, I’m in front of it,” Penman said Friday. “They’re trying to take my constituents’ right to vote and I’m going to fight that all the way.”

Penman filed the case alongside well-known San Bernardino resident Renee Affaitati. Their claim asks a judge to delete pro-Measure C language that he contends falsely present the ballot measure as a tax reform proposal, instead of being about the way three city officials get their jobs.

“The voters of this community deserve to have the actual facts,” Affaitati said. “This isn’t about taking it off the ballot.”

For example, the plaintiffs want a judge to strike six passages that assert the measure will “save taxpayer money.”

Penman is the lone opposing official whose job will be affected by Measure C. City Clerk Rachel Clark and City Treasurer David Kennedy are among a group of prominent San Bernardino figures who submitted the ballot argument being challenged by Penman’s lawsuit.

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