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Prop. 64 is simple: you're either for the greedy lawyers or the consumer-cheating companies

AP reports: A wave of large corporations that have been sued under California's Unfair Competition Act -- including Microsoft, Nike, General Motors, Bank of America, Blue Cross and State Farm -- are now pushing a November ballot initiative to weaken the law.

They're among at least 22 companies that have contributed almost $1.34 million of more than $7 million in donations to the campaign behind Proposition 64, according to campaign finance documents and consumer groups fighting the initiative.

"It's pretty clear to us that the largest corporate donors to this are attempting to limit their liability, their accountability, for unfair practices," said Carmen Balber, a consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, based in Santa Monica. "Their donations are just a small investment compared to having to return millions to consumers that they cheat."

But John Sullivan, president of the Civil Justice Association of California, a coalition of businesses and local governments that fights what it considers wasteful lawsuits, said the companies are backing the initiative because they've been victimized by greedy lawyers. ...

The [unfair competition] law allows individuals, interest groups, companies and prosecutors to sue to stop businesses from using practices that would allegedly give them an unfair advantage over competitors or defraud consumers. In many cases, suits are brought by public interest groups with no direct connection to an alleged abuse, such as misleading advertising, other than their interests as citizens. -- Corporations use ballot to fight Unfair Competition Act (AP via SeattlePI.com)