Thursday, May 26, 2016

There is only one ballot measure on the primary ballot and it was placed there by the Legislature.

VOTE NO on Prop 50!

The California Federation of Republican Women (CFRW): The primary election is less than three weeks away! Vote by Mail ballots have been sent out, sample ballots and voter information guides have been mailed, and it is time for Republican Women to educate voters! There is only one ballot measure on the primary ballot and it was placed there by the Legislature. In our mission to educate other voters, it is important to understand why there is only one ballot measure on the primary ballot and why there will be close to 20 ballot measures on the November general election ballot.

Back in 2011 the union controlled legislature, in an effort to block Prop 32, passed SB 202 which moved all citizen initiatives from the ability to be on a primary ballot to only on the general election ballot. This was done because conservative measures had a better chance of passing in the primary election because Republicans vote consistently whereas union machines do a better job of getting out the vote in general elections. Therefore, the legislature moved all ballot measures to the general election except for ones placed on a primary ballot by the legislature itself. Why this double standard? The Democrat legislature has now made the elections process more difficult for voters while protecting their interests. Not unlike Prop 50.

Prop 50 protects corrupt legislators while giving voters a false sense of security. Called, “Suspension of Legislators”, Prop 50 stipulates that legislators may be suspended “with or without pay.” But there is no teeth to this smoke and mirrors measure. Prop 50 aims to save face when in 2014 the Senate had three Democrats that were either indicted or convicted of felonies ranging from perjury to political favors to gun running. The legislators were suspended, but were still getting paid. So to correct this constitutional oversight, Senate President Pro Tem at the time, Darrell Steinberg passed SCA 17 which became Prop 50. Instead of expelling the convicted Senators or writing legislation that would protect Californians from this type of corruption, Steinberg writes SCA 17 to protect his colleagues. Prop 50 increases the vote threshold for suspension, from a simple majority to 2/3rds, making it more difficult to suspend those who truly deserve it. Prop 50 also does not articulate when or why a legislator may be suspended and the legislature decides if it is with or without pay. There is no language or mechanism to expel truly bad legislators, so constituents could have no representation in the legislature for no articulated period of time while their representative is suspended. Californians deserve to know that ballot measures like this just perpetuate the culture of corruption in Sacramento.

Here are some talking points to help you talk to voters about voting NO on Prop 50!

-It gives Californians a false sense of security. Prop 50 has no mechanism to actually expel legislators that have broken the law. This bill just allows the legislature to suspend a legislator WITH or WITHOUT pay! It protects the political ruling class, not the constituents.

-It is smoke and mirrors. This Prop was created when 3 Democrat Senators were either indicted or convicted of crimes ranging from perjury to political kickbacks to gunrunning! These 3 Senators were suspended with pay. So to make voters comfortable and save face, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wrote this law to include "without pay". But the legislature still makes the decision regarding pay, not the voters and not a clear written law.

-There may be taxation without representation. By merely suspending a legislator instead of expelling them, a district will have no one representing their interests for an unspecified amount of time! This means no election can take place since the suspended legislator still holds office.

-It could stifle political opposition. This prop would create a permanent constitutional amendment that could be used to silence a representative who may be vocal against the majority party. This could potentially take away their vote and your voice in the legislature. (CFRW)

Note: The California GOP SUPPORTS Prop 50. CFRW Recommends a 'NO' Vote.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association takes positions on issues of direct concern to taxpayers. We also may take positions on ballot measures that will impact the economy. Because initiatives (measures placed on the ballot through signature gathering) have, by law, been moved to the November ballot, HJTA will list most recommendations this fall.

The one statewide proposition that will appear on the June ballot is Proposition 50.

Proposition 50 was placed on the ballot by the Legislature following three corruption scandals in 2014. Should the measure pass, legislators who are suspended will no longer receive pay and benefits. However, Prop 50 also requires that a legislator can be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the legislative body, not a majority vote as under current law. Because the measure actually makes it more difficult to suspend a legislator, it only represents ‘fig leaf’ reform. As such HJTA-PAC cannot take a position on Proposition 50.

Gun Control Battle

The California Federation of Republican Women (CFRW): More gun control bills are on the move in the Capitol, as well as headed toward the November ballot. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has sponsored a ballot initiative that would require background checks for ammunitions purchases, require ammunitions sellers to be licensed, and establish a program to seize guns from those prohibited to own them. But aspects of this gun control omnibus bill are already making their way through the Capitol in separate legislation. Democrat lawmakers are urging Gavin Newsom to abandon his ballot measure because they believe they can pass gun control legislation without voter approval. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D, Los Angeles) sent Lt. Governor Newsom a strongly worded letter asking him to pull his measure from the ballot. Instead the senate wants to pass a series of gun control measures with no voter oversight. These bills are potentially more dangerous than the ballot measure. The gun control package includes:

SB 880 (Hall, D): Would revise the definition of "assault weapon" to mean a semiautomatic centerfire rifle, or a semiautomatic pistol that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of those specified attributes. The bill would also define "fixed magazine" to mean an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.

SB 1235 (de Leon, D): This bill would require the Attorney General to also maintain information about ammunition transactions and ammunition vendor licenses for those purposes. SB 1235 would similarly authorize specified agencies, officials, and officers to disseminate the name of a person and the fact of any ammunition purchases by that person, if the subject of the record has been arraigned, is being prosecuted, or is serving a sentence for domestic violence or is the subject of specified protective orders. The bill would require the law enforcement officer to provide a victim of domestic violence to whom information regarding an ammunition purchase is disseminated with a "Victims of Domestic Violence” card. Existing law requires that the delivery or transfer of ownership of handgun ammunition occur only in a face-to-face transaction and makes a violation of this requirement a crime. This bill would extend those provisions to any ammunition transfer.

SB 1407 (de Leon, D): Would, commencing July 1, 2018, and subject to exceptions, require a person who manufactures or assembles a firearm to first apply to the Department of Justice for a unique serial number or other identifying mark, as provided. The bill would, by January 1, 2019, and subject to exceptions, require any person who, as of July 1, 2018, owns a firearm that does not bear a serial number to likewise apply to the department for a unique serial number or other mark of identification.

SB 1446 (Hancock, D): This bill would, commencing July 1, 2017, make it an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 for the first offense, by a fine not to exceed $250 for the 2nd offense, and by a fine not to exceed $500 for the 3rd or subsequent offense, for a person to possess any large-capacity magazine, regardless of the date the magazine was acquired. The bill would require a person in lawful possession of a large-capacity magazine prior to July 1, 2017, to dispose of the magazine, as provided.

Similarly, in the Assembly, there are several gun control bills that chip away at our Second Amendment rights:

AB 1663 (Chiu, D): Would classify a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds as an assault weapon. The bill would require a person who, between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2016, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, and who, on or after January 1, 2017, possesses that firearm, to register the firearm by July 1, 2018.

AB 1673 (Gipson, D): Current law defines the term "firearm" for various regulatory purposes, including, among others and subject to exceptions, the requirement that firearms be transferred by or through a licensed firearms dealer, the requirement of a 10-day waiting period prior to delivery of a firearm by a dealer, the requirement that firearm purchasers be subject to a background check, and the prohibition on certain classes of persons, such as felons, possessing firearms. This bill would expand the definition of "firearm" for those purposes and other purposes to include a frame or receiver blank, casting, or machined body, that is designed and clearly identifiable as a component of a functional weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.

AB 1674 (Santiago, D): Current law prohibits a firearms dealer from delivering a handgun to a person whenever the dealer is notified by the Department of Justice that within the preceding 30-day period the purchaser has made another application to purchase a handgun that does not fall within an exception to the 30-day prohibition. A violation of that delivery prohibition by the dealer is a crime. This bill would make the 30-day prohibition and the dealer delivery prohibition described above applicable to all types of firearms.

Capitol Update
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Allison Olson, CFRW Advocat