Tuesday, July 29, 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

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

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

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

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

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

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

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
 
.

Living

Horoscopes for July 29, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Today in History for July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

I don’t want to have intimate contact since learning I had a STD

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5