The People of California Will Finally Be Heard on the Fate of Prop. 47, Despite Efforts to Thwart Them

Congressman Kevin Kiley (R-CA) is taking a well-deserved victory lap. He received the official certificate which qualifies the End Prop. 47 measure for the November 2024 ballot:

KCRA Capitol correspondent Ashley Zavala has done yeoman’s work in keeping on top of the ins, outs, and permutations of the battle of the people of California versus their governor and legislature. The representatives who they thought they elected to serve, protect, and do the will of the people, have had zero interest in fulfilling that role, but have systematically worked to oppose them and thwart them at every turn. As Rep. Kiley stated in his post, despite still making last-gasp efforts to destroy the revise Prop. 47 coalition’s work, they ultimately have failed:

California voters in November will decide whether to ramp up the consequences for repeat thieves and drug dealers, a question they may see on the ballot not once, but twice.

At the crux of the issue is Proposition 47, an initiative voters approved a decade ago that loosened the penalties for drug and theft crimes. Critics have blamed the law for a rise in crime, drug use and homelessness.

A coalition of police, district attorneys, business groups, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle are backing an initiative that would repeal parts of Proposition 47 by enhancing the consequences and prison time for fentanyl dealers and repeat thieves. Those convicted of stealing twice would face a felony on the third conviction, regardless of the amount stolen. The measure, known as the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act, has already qualified for the ballot.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders attempted to negotiate the measure off the ballot. The state leaders repeatedly said the issue should not go to voters and claimed they could address voter concerns around crime legislatively.

Like they’ve done over the last 10 years? As our Managing Editor Jen Van Laar wrote, there has been little to nothing done to mitigate crime, and the last year has seen an increasing escalation of murders, robberies, and violence:

As bad as crime has been in California over the past 10 years, it’s been increasing at a frightening pace over the last year as soft-on-crime district attorneys refuse to admit that their coddling of repeat violent criminals doesn’t work – and Saturday night’s armed robbery of a Secret Service agent who’d just been working on President Biden’s detail is the perfect example.

RedState reported on these attempts at “negotiation” by the California legislature: 

One good thing that has come from this drive to get Prop 47 revisions on the ballot has been the sudden hair-on-fire urgency of Democrats to combat crime. What it has also shown is that they are not very good at doing it. The only way they know is to undercut businesses and the will of the people in their hard-won victory to get the revised Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act on the ballot. What has the Democrat Supermajority been occupying themselves with for the past few days? Inserting poison pills into current public safety legislation that would go into effect if the Prop 47 countermeasure passes.

So, the California legislature’s latent push to “do something” is less about the desire to address voter concerns on crime, and more about strong-arming and extortion in order to get their way. Typical: 

As Van Laar further wrote:

If you thought that the state’s Democrat governor, Gavin Newsom, might actually care about keeping families safe in his state, the email chain obtained Monday by CBS California between Newsom’s chief of staff and the head of the California District Attorney’s Association, Greg Totten, will disabuse you of that silly notion. 


Newsom’s administration, along with Democrat supermajority leaders in Sacramento, have drafted a slate of supposed public safety bills that are going through the legislative process with the aim of confusing voters so they’ll think that the initiative isn’t needed:

Steve Maviglio is a Democratic strategist who said that while this tactic may be unpopular, it can be effective for Democrats concerned that the ballot initiative would lead to a return of mass incarceration in the state.

“A poison pill in legislation is designed to essentially kill something that they don’t like,” Maviglio said. “The goal is to confuse voters so they vote no.”

The Office of the Governor also claimed that they were trying to negotiate with the re-envision Prop. 47 organizers. Leaked emails revealed that Dana Williamson, Newsom’s Chief of Staff, tried to bully organizer Greg Totten. Newsom’s continued duplicity on this matter was further exposed, and the poison pill measures went down in flames as constituents called their assemblypersons and state senators to make their voices heard. Sadly, even now Newsom and Co. continue to plot and scheme to create an alternative ballot measure that erodes the hard-fought-for victory of getting the revise Prop. 47 measure on the ballot:

But those negotiations broke down as a key ballot deadline neared, and Democrats were forced to come up with a new strategy. Now, Newsom and legislative leaders are trying to fast-track a competing initiative in an attempt to splinter support for that initiative, which KCRA 3 first reported last week.

More “shady” games from @GavinNewsom and some Democratic legislators.  A new low. 

They never cared about Prop 47 reform, they said it wasn’t needed.  Now they are concocting a last minute attempt to put their own “reform” initiative as #1 on the ballot, in order to confuse voters on the Prop 47 measure that has already qualified and actually does something.  Sad.

If it was that important to them, why wait until the last few days to do something? It shows their true intentions.

To lie and distort. To pay back those who refused to bow down to the Governor.

I hope there will be a strong bipartisan effort to stop this.  

On Friday, Newsom and a handful of lawmakers spent part of the day working on the competing measure that is very similar but not as harsh, according to multiple sources close to the situation. The legislative initiative would focus on increasing penalties for retail theft crimes, repeat thieves, plus added consequences for drug distributors who place illicit fentanyl into other drugs, according to three sources who reviewed the plan. The proposal would also ensure the enhancements would specifically apply to adult offenders.

According to Zavala’s Saturday post on X, Newsom’s “skinny” crime ballot initiative will include a new felony category for drug dealers who cut fentanyl into other drugs, and impose tougher penalties for serial offenders. Newsom will use his influence with the affirmative-action Secretary of State Shirley Weber to make sure his crime initiative is the first on the ballot. What Newsom and the Democrats hope is that Californians will not know which measure to vote for. So, they will choose his skinny initiative over the revised Prop. 47 measure because it is the first one on the ballot, or voters will be so confused that they will not vote for either one.

Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Riverside) affirmed that these last-ditch efforts will not work this time:

Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, addressed Newsom’s lies and interference and said it plainly. Newsom wants to impose chaos in what should be a smooth democratic process: 

For the last 6 months, CA’s Governor and legislative leaders have publicly stated that: 1) “Proposition 47 is working” and; 2) There is simply “no reason to go back to the ballot on a Prop 47 fix” initiative because lawmakers in the Capitol can better address crime issues legislatively. 

Thus, when reports began circulating just days ago (which some denied) that the Gov and the assembly & senate leaders were secretly working on their own last-minute legislative initiative to amend prop 47, to “compete with” the recently qualified citizens’ initiative to fix Prop 47 (endorsed for the Nov 24 ballot by over 900k voters), it shocked many & raised more red flags (in addition to those already raised due to their unethical poison pill plan) about more shady political gamesmanship by the Administration and majority leadership.  

Neither the public, the media, nor any honest lawmaker should condone such obvious deceptions and backroom deals by those in power when principally designed to confuse voters and disrupt the democratic initiative process.

Newsom loves to preen and pontificate about democracy to the cameras, while scheming and playing dictator to thwart Californians’ ability to freely exercise their civil liberties and constitutional privileges. I suspect this ballot measure signals the end of his incessant meddling and social engineering, and hopefully, its passage will be another nail in the coffin of his political career.

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