Home>Articles>Democrat’s Poison Pills in Prop. 47 Retail Theft Legislation

In California’s major cities, homicides rose by roughly 17 percent in the last year. Homicides in Los Angeles reached their highest total in 15 years. (Photo: Eva Carre/Shutterstock)

Democrat’s Poison Pills in Prop. 47 Retail Theft Legislation

This is an unethical way to oppose District Attorney’s Voter Initiative to ‘Fix 47’

By Katy Grimes, June 9, 2024 2:45 am

California Democrats are so disturbed right now that the proposed ballot initiative to amend and fix Proposition 47 will qualify for the November 2024 ballot, they are planning to put a “poison pill” amendment provision in the bills in their “retail theft package,” to provide that the bills would be repealed if approved by voters in November, the Globe has learned.

We knew that Assembly Democrats are attempting to commandeer the initiative, the Globe reported. Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) threw his weight behind the package of bills aiming to thwart serial retail theft.

California Democrats are so worried that the initiative to fix Proposition 47 will be passed by voters, they are watering down the bills so they won’t really fix much, and we must ask ourselves why.

They also plan to put in an urgency clause to make the bills immediately operative upon signing by the Governor, warns the California District Attorneys Association.

Democrats have had 10-years – one decade – since the passage of Proposition 47 to legally address the crimes Prop. 47 turned into misdemeanors from felonies, and ushered in a decade of serial retail theft, homelessness, drug trafficking, sex crimes, sex trafficking and other violent and terrible crimes.

“The purpose for these actions is two-fold: (1) to position the Attorney General to write a negative title and summary noting that these bills would be repealed if the initiative is enacted, and (2) to use the specter of repeal in campaign messaging,” the CDAA says.

The efforts to reform Prop. 47 has been stealthily and cynically launched by the Governor & some Sacramento politicians & lobbyists, in a move that even some Democratic lawmakers have described as “deceitful,” “immoral,” and “undemocratic,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig warned Saturday.

Yolo DA Reisig continues:

“We need your immediate assistance and advocacy. Here is the situation: Days ago, proponents of ‘The Homelessness, Drug Addiction and Theft Reduction Act’ (a People’s Initiative that will qualify for the Nov 24 ballot) learned that the Governor’s office directed Sacramento lawmakers to insert a ‘poison pill’ provision into their current package of bills dealing with retail theft and other crimes.”

“The purpose of the Governor’s ‘poison pill’ language in the crime bills is to guarantee, subject to legislative votes, an automatic repeal of those same laws should the People’s Initiative be enacted by voters in Nov 24! This unprecedented & unethical gamesmanship is designed to punish the voters of CA & anyone who might support the enhanced accountability sought by the People’s Initiative to amend Prop 47, which goes much further than the legislation to effectively address the fentanyl/drug, retail theft and homeless crises.”

“In addition, this ‘poison pill,’ if successfully passed, will immediately trigger a critical rewrite of the ‘Official Title and Summary’ of the People’s Initiative by the CA Attorney General. This is what voters will see on the ballot. This is the potential political kill shot they seek! As you know, a negative amended “Title and Summary” by the AG, as a result of the “poison pill“ legislation, could irreparably doom the People’s Initiative.  

This is 100% their goal & this perversion of Democracy is their play. On Tuesday, June 11th, the bills with the new “poison pill” language will begin to be voted upon by politicians in the Capitol. URGENT ACTION REQUESTED: 1) Contact your respective association leaders & lobbyists and ensure they “OPPOSE” any crime bills that contain the new “poison pill” unless that language is removed. 2) Contact your lawmakers and urge them to “OPPOSE” the “poison pill” perversion.  Dems & Reps both know this 11th hour plot is undemocratic. Remind them. 3) Inform your business community and constituents of this outrageous situation & ask them to contact lawmakers. In close – Many of us have spent our entire professional lives fighting side by side for truth, justice, victims and our communities across CA. Thank you for standing for principles.

This is the Governor’s “poison pill” provision:

Some are calling this political blackmail. Governor Gavin Newsom is threatening that voters kill Prop. 47 reforms or he and state Democrats will subject California to more crime. 

Importantly, the same groups and individual donors are funding the opposition to repealing Prop 47. –  the same people who put Los Angeles DA George Gascon, former San Francisco (now recalled) DA Chesa Boudin, and Pamela Price into power.

Despite overwhelming evidence of rampant crime throughout the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom has continually praised Proposition 47, Proposition 57 and AB 109 (prison realignment), claiming they all helped reduce crime in the state – all while emptying out the state prisons of felons back onto the streets.

Yet, California leads the nation in fentanyl deaths, homelessness and retail theft thanks to Proposition 47.

There have been numerous attempts to repeal and/or reverse Proposition 47. Republican Assemblymen Kevin Kiley, James Gallagher, and Jim Patterson authored Assembly Bill 1599 to repeal Proposition 47, in early January 2022. AB 1599 would have more substantially eliminated Prop 47, repealing all changes and additions made by the initiative, except those related to reducing the penalty for possession of concentrated cannabis, the Globe reported. The bill sat untouched, assigned to no hearings, even as crime raged in the state during January and February 2022. However, 7 weeks after its introduction, AB 1599 was finally assigned a hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee – and killed.

This is why the Fix 47 campaign was such a success across the state with voters.

“Fentanyl is openly sold on the streets near California’s Capitol for $1.50/pill. Same scene in SF, LA, SD & more. CA leads the nation in fentanyl deaths, homelessness and retail theft. Ignoring the connections is malpractice,” DA Reisig posted on X/Twitter.

There are seven new Assembly bills, as well as a similar package of bills in the Senate, when the ballot initiative will fix the problem(s) if passed.

Here is what Assembly Democrats are proposing:

  • Assembly Bill 2943, co-authored by Rivas and Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Los Angeles), is a nod to Newsom’s suggestions for how the state should try to curb theft. The bill addresses serial thieves, aggregates dollar amounts and expands drug diversion programs. Parts of this bill address similar issues in the ballot initiative.
  • Assembly Bill 1794 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) would allow prosecutors to aggregate theft crimes by the same perpetrator even when they involve different places and victims. It also would streamline the process of reporting shoplifting incidents directly to prosecutors through a statewide program called “CAL Fast Pass.”
  • Assembly Bill 1845 by Assemblymember Juan Alanis (R-Modesto) is the only Republican bill in the package and would expand the California Highway Patrol’s property crimes task force program to include cargo theft and railroad police.
  • Assembly Bill 3209 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) would allow a court to impose a restraining order for up to two years against a person who has stolen, vandalized or committed battery against an employee. It would also require the court to consider whether a person lives in a “food desert” and whether the store is the only location for necessities.
  • Assembly Bill 1779 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) is co-sponsored by the California District Attorneys Assn. It would allow prosecutors to charge several offenses that took place across counties and handle them in a single court.
  • Assembly Bill 1802 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) would make permanent the California Highway Patrol property crimes task force. Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón sponsored this bill.
  • Assembly Bill 1960 by Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria (D-Fresno) would enhance penalties for a person who takes or destroys property valued at more than $50,000 . Supporters include the Merced County district attorney, the California District Attorneys Assn. and the Orange County District Attorneys Assn.

Democrats could instead have thrown support behind the Fix 47 ballot initiative if they really believe in “bipartisan” agreements. This is more about controlling the process by Democrats than it is fixing a problem. How dangerous and disgusting does California have to get before Democrats will repeal Prop. 47?

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10 thoughts on “Democrat’s Poison Pills in Prop. 47 Retail Theft Legislation

  1. What continues to astonish me is the nonchalance exhibited by elected Democrats whenever they do something that clearly harms their constituents. I felt the same when the Newsom recall failed. It’s as though they know they are untouchable regardless of their actions. A number of theories exist; rigged elections, misleading ballot titles, supremely powerful public employee union masters, moron voters, etc. These explanations are all plausible but never rise to the level of a smoking smoking gun. It’s appalling .

  2. Lest there are still Californians out there who continue to think the mega-majority Dem-Marxist legislature is the champion of our safety, welfare, and very best interests, think again, because this latest bit of legislative vandalism will burst the bubble for good.

    The so-called Dem legislative “package” of Prop 47 “reforms” (listed above) was itself meant to be a spoiler and confuser against the Citizen’s Initiative the legislature knew was out there gathering signatures and which would likely be on the November ballot. But now that the initiative has all but qualified, “poison pills” have been added to the “package” from these very bad people who can’t stop talking about how much they believe in “democracy” and how much “democracy” is being “threatened” by the likes of sensible people like us?

    Who even knows why these people are bound and determined to create a hell on earth in California. Let’s go ahead and contact anyway, as requested, our state reps, etc. It can’t hurt, despite our understandable cynicism. Call, write, email, whatever works for you. Maybe the barrage of calls and emails sends them into the fetal position. That would be good! It IS an election year for many of them, after all.

    Also below is the email format, if you wish to write to one or more or them directly, even the ones who are not “your” representative. Replace “smith” with the last name of the legislator you wish to contact.

  3. Hey Demoncrats,
    Keep showing us you really are!

    The Neo Marxist Libs do not care about justice, fairness, safety! The rule of law is dead to them!
    They are the party of destruction!
    In order for positive change in this state the voter must stop voting for any Demoncrat!

  4. Thank you Katy for this very informative article. I watched Assembly Speaker Rivas speak at a press conference, along with the other legislatiors that introduced the package of bills you mentioned in the article. None of these bills will address the homeless drug addicts that are contributed to the thefts. Many of these drug addicts are being cited and released, because possession of a controlled substance (low-level offense) is now considered a misdemeanor, due to Prop 47. AB109 is another reason they are not being kept in jail. These homeless drug addicts may spend a couple hours in jail then released to return back to their encampment to use more drugs. No consequences given or drug court. Homeless drug addicts will steal things so they can sell the items in order to feed their habits. I know this for a fact, because sadly my son is one of those homeless drug addicts who has been arrested16 times in 10 months for possession of a controlled substance (meth). They cite and release him and he returns back to his spot and gets high once again. He will steal food articles from the little mini-mart, because he gets hungry. This ballot initiative will stop this vicious circle he is experiencing, and the many others that are in the same boat.

    1. Hello, not to be nosey or rude. I was captivated by your thoughts behind the article. You mentioned your son is a homeless drug addict. Can you provide any insight to how he went that route if you know? Why does he choose drugs and homelessness? Was it pure choice or did things occur in his life to get him there?

  5. Why am I not surprised to see Jacqui Irwin’s name on one of the bills? She is responsible for AB 705 and AB 1705 that are wreaking havoc on the California Community College system while claiming to improve it.

    1. No kidding, Eyeroll, Jacqui Irwin has been a nothing-but-trouble “progressive” (Marxist) from the beginning and even before, and was likely “installed,” not elected.
      Check out Ted Nordblum, Republican businessman, who is running against her and is on Nov 2024 ballot. Looks like a perfectly reasonable viable candidate to me! High voter turnout of sensible people looking to dump Jacqui Irwin he might save the district from the likes of her. (It appears the opposition is hoping to make trouble for him on the internet — which in our current atmosphere of skullduggery weighs even more in Nordblum’s favor — because I had issues trying to get onto his website.) Given who Jacqui Irwin is and what she has done, it sure as heck seems support for Ted Nordblum for the seat would be a major step up. In the meantime here is a VCStar article just to get a taste:

  6. This “poison pill” nonsense doesn’t really concern me, as it serves mostly to make the Democrat super-majority look as bad as they really are. Assuming that the vote rigging we know they’ll engage in isn’t successful, this initiative will pass easily. What does concern me is that super-majority. If “Fix 47” does pass, it will take the Dems less than a week to put legislation on Hair Gel’s desk to undo it.

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