Wednesday, August 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Referenda a sign of GOP surrender

elias column sig

By
From page A8 | December 07, 2013 |

There was a time, and not so long ago, when politicians who flouted deeply held public feelings often faced survival threats the next time they ran for re-election.

Those days may not be totally over in California, but for the most part they are now confined to intra-party disputes during primary elections. The times appear long gone when the Legislature’s minority party would seriously try to regain a majority in either the state Assembly or Senate as a result of votes by their political opponents.

Republicans, with fewer than 30 percent of the state’s registered voters, harbor no illusions they will soon win back control of the Legislature. So when conservatives viscerally dislike and detest something, they are now taking the referendum route, asking voters to overturn laws before they take effect.

California voters will see on their ballots next November some products of the GOP’s throwing in that legislative towel.

When Democrats in the 1960s passed the Rumford Fair Housing Act banning racial and religious discrimination in real estate rentals and sales, Republicans made a strong effort to oust many of them and retake a majority.

There has been no similar issue-driven effort in half a century.

Before last year, Californians had not faced a serious referendum drive since 1982 (like ballot initiatives, referenda quality for the ballot by gathering voter signatures). A bipartisan popular vote then overturned the Legislature’s plan to build a Peripheral Canal to bring Northern California river water south around the Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.

In 2012, voters faced one referendum, placed on the ballot by Republicans unhappy with a nonpartisan citizens commission remap of state Senate districts. The measure lost by 72-28 percent. There was some confusion, as there often is with referenda: A yes vote on the referendum actually supported the law the measure sought to overturn.

It will be similar next year, when voters will likely face three referenda, on the social issues of gambling, abortion and gender identification.

The anti-abortion and anti-transgender rights measures both are the work of conservative political activists, while the anti-gambling referendum is funded mostly by casino Indian tribes that dislike the idea of other tribes building gaming resorts off their remote reservations. “Don’t allow gambling where it’s convenient,” they will essentially beseech voters. “Instead, keep using our remote locations.”

In fact, more money could be spent on both sides of that referendum, which aims to overturn gambling compacts approved for two small tribes, than on the transgender- and abortion-related ones.

The gender identification measure, which may often be called a “bathroom battle,” targets a new law letting transgender students in public schools use whichever sex restroom they feel most comfortable in. It also lets them compete in sports with the gender of their choice. So you could have some boys who identify as girls playing on girls’ teams without undergoing sex-change operations.

The abortion-related referendum, for which signatures are now being gathered, seeks to block a new law allowing early term abortions by specially trained nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives and physicians assistants. That law resulted from a six-year pilot program at the University of California at San Francisco that saw more than 8,000 early term aspiration abortions conducted and no more complications than when the same procedure is done by doctors.

The idea of that new law is to make abortions more available in more than 25 counties that now have no abortion providers.

Leading opponent the Most Rev. Gerald Wilkerson, president of the California Catholic Conference, maintains that “Until (abortion) becomes illegal, we will oppose measures which expand it.”

Abortion foes hope to get the same degree of volunteer support enjoyed by opponents of the new transgender law. Most signatures to quality the referendum to overturn that one were obtained by volunteers.

But referenda are a piecemeal approach. Even in a day when they are becoming more common, voters offended by some new laws will not get a chance to try repealing most of what they dislike.

Yet, with one party essentially giving up on taking over significant parts of the state’s decision-making process, referenda may be the only recourse for deeply offended voters.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at tdelias@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Ryde Hotel: A speakeasy from the past

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Walnut Grove shows a bit of historic Japan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Solano County supervisors get raise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A2, 5 Comments

Solano supervisors declare quake state of emergency

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Solano helps after Napa quake

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Weather for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

 
 
Solano promotes hand washing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Solano College to host college transfer fair

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

 
Golf tournament to benefit college sport’s teams

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A6

Man steals car from Fairfield resident

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 6 Comments

 
Learn about local travel opportunities

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Pierce Brosnan thriller kicks off week’s new films

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
 
Museum guild schedules trip to historic San Francisco home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A8

 
3 die in I-680 crash; 2 from Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 24, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 23, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Obama defends handling of veterans affairs issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 3 Comments

Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
AP sources: US surveillance planes fly over Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 2 Comments

Napa quake stirs clamor for warning system

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
American woman held hostage in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Putin and Poroshenko meet for bilateral talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Israel, Hamas agree to open-ended Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Los Angeles schools halt iPad deal amid criticism

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Report finds 1,400 children exploited in UK town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
Police: Slain woman ID’d ex-deputy as her attacker

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Officials: Instructor accidentally killed by girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 10 Comments

 
Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Opinion

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

 
Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Editorial cartoons for Aug. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

We were good parents. Why won’t our adult children help us out?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B7

 
Choosing chutney

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Women talk about sports on CBS Sports Network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Miley Cyrus’ date wanted by Oregon police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NBC’s Emmycast logs robust 15.6 million viewership

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

US teen Bellis, 15, stuns Cibulkova at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders CB DJ Hayden to start season on PUP list

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers prepare for possible Aldon Smith suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Serena Williams beats American teen at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carter’s HR in 8th leads Astros over A’s 4-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Love struck: Kevin Love pledges commitment to Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sarkisian: USC looking into Shaw’s heroic story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Davis, US men beat Slovenia in basketball exhibition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Latest Astrodome proposal: massive indoor park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bumgarner flirts with perfection, finishes with 1-hitter in Giants win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
No reason to feel sorry for Jim Furyk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

TMS 2015 schedule springs back to night race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

UN health agency urges crackdown on e-cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Survey: US consumer confidence near a 7-year high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Burger King buys, plans expansion of Tim Hortons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Frank W. Moy Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Lyle Cullum

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Gary Allen Person

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Florentino”Paul” Castaneda Bersola

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Nadine L Wetherell

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6