The blame, says the group California Pension Reform, goes to Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris. CPR's Dan Pellissier says Harris assigned a "misleading" title and summary that would make a ballot measure "nearly impossible to pass."
Pellissier: "When you're saddled with a title and summary that fundamentally misrepresents what you're doing, the voters responded, and that's what our survey showed us. People liked our pension reform measures. They didn't like the way they were described."
The group could ask a court to rewrite the title and summary. But by the time that all got sorted out, Pellissier says it'd be too late to qualify the measure for the November ballot - and he couldn't raise money under those circumstances. That leaves union-friendly Democratic lawmakers without any significant outside pressure for a major pension overhaul - like the one Governor Jerry Brown is calling for.
The Attorney General's office declined comment on this story.