Newsom’s ‘Hail Mary’ Proposition to Neuter the Reform Prop 47 Ballot Initiative Goes to the Legislature

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As RedState has been reporting, it’s been a battle between the will of the people of California and a willful, dictatorial Governor Gavin Newsom. As Managing Editor Jen Van Laar wrote, Newsom doesn’t want his feather-in-the-cap legislation of Prop 47 to be gutted and has done everything within his powers to thwart the ballot initiative effort, even after it has been certified for the November 2024 ballot.


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, who has presidential aspirations (despite repeated denials), has been making those attempts to look as if he’s trying to do something about the problem. However, he is a true believer in “justice reform” and one of the architects (along with then-San Francisco DA George Gascòn) of 2014’s Prop 47, which caused the problem to start with, so he can’t support any attempts to repeal or “fix” Prop 47 without admitting that his genius ideas didn’t work. Apparently, Newsom doesn’t realize that one sign of intellectual and emotional maturity is the ability to recognize and admit when one is wrong or that one’s idea didn’t work.

And that’s why he is pulling out all of the stops to derail The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act, a proposition that recently qualified for the November 2024 ballot and aims to fix Prop 47.

As RedState further reported, once the Reform Prop 47 ballot initiative was certified, the California legislature (at the behest of Newsom) made a last-gasp effort to load public safety bills with poison pills to water down and chip away at the ballot initiative’s force. This effort also failed, hence this Hail Mary to save Newsom’s precious Prop 47 legislation. In the dead of night, on a weekend, Newsom worked with a select group of his Democrat legislators to create an opposing crime initiative to go on the November ballot.


California lawmakers this week are expected to vote on a last-minute, fast-tracked crime initiative that could result in voters seeing not one, but two crime-related questions on the November ballot.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and a handful of Democratic lawmakers on Sunday night finalized their proposed initiative that attempts to compete with an initiative that has already qualified for the ballot backed by law enforcement and business groups to toughen penalties for thieves and drug dealers. The initiative that has already qualified is known as the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act

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.

Legislative leaders and the governor this year have repeatedly stated they did not think Proposition 47 needed change and neither has commented yet on the effort to put together the competing initiative, which KCRA 3 first reported last week. Multiple sources told KCRA 3 on Sunday the governor had spent the weekend gathering up support from Democratic lawmakers for a legislative initiative.


Further, according to procedure, initiatives on the ballot require a 131-day deadline. The only way to bypass this is the Legislature’s approval to fast-track the Skinny Initiative’s appearance on the ballot because it is an “emergency matter.” Sound familiar? As San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow asked Saturday on X:

Anyone have an idea what legal authority the @CAgovernor or @CAlegislature can use to circumvent the 131 day deadline (to propose an initiative) contained in Election Code section 9040?  I sure would like to know why they seem to think the statutory deadline does not apply to them. Even though they acknowledge the deadline applied to the ACA they passed on Thursday (the last day).   Here’s Election Code section 9040: “Every constitutional amendment, bond measure, or other legislative measure submitted to the people by the Legislature shall appear on the ballot of the first statewide election occurring at least 131 days after the adoption of the proposal by the Legislature.” The 131st day before November 5, 2024 was last Thursday 6/27/20. 


Kathy Grimes of the California Globe interviewed Capitol staffers who are being strong-armed and threatened to ensure Newsom’s Skinny Initiative gets rammed through the Legislature.

Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water, California Democrats are now calling session for late night Wednesday, July 3rd to enact an alternative to the Proposition 47 reform initiative. Capitol Staffers received that message late Sunday.

This isn’t going to go well.

Nope, it’s not — for the staffers, the Legislature, or for Gavin Newsom. Can you say “desperation,” boys and girls? 

Before readers give in to temptation to offer the middle finger to Capitol staffers, remember that many are very skilled policy experts who genuinely want a functioning state government. And the really good staffers have been there many years – some for decades – through long, arduous budget sessions, often to only see their functional policy recommendations go up in smoke.

At issue at this moment is the ballot initiative to reform the 2014 Proposition 47, which qualified with 900,000 signatures for the November ballot. Democrats in the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom are attempting to derail it, despite the important legal fixes it will implement to California’s outrageous crime problems, to ultimately make crime illegal again in California.

“Selfish Democrat legislative leaders are throwing a temper tantrum because all their efforts to stop the initiative repealing Prop. 47 have been stymied, mainly by their own members,” a Senior Senate Republican staffer told the Globe Sunday on the condition of anonymity. “They are threatening to keep legislators and staff in session all night on July 3rd and into the 4th. When Sen Min (drunk driving in a state vehicle) announces he’s standing for ‘law and order’ you know vulnerable Democrats are in ‘CYA mode.’”

“This could hopefully be the biggest political revolution since Prop 13!”

Wow. Just wow.


“Wow,” was exactly what I said after going over all the particulars, including the watered-down language on fentanyl dealers and possession. But in a clearly obvious move to gut and destroy the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act: the Reform Prop 47 ballot initiative, if Newsom’s Skinny Initiative gets more votes, it will render the hard-fought-for, grassroots coalition ballot initiative null and void.   

To DA Dan Dow’s question on what right Newsom and his legislature have to bypass election law to get this on the ballot, here is what one staffer told Grimes.

I asked the Capitol staffer how this is legal. Here is the response:

“With a 3/4 vote and a governor willing to declare an emergency anything can be done. If challenged in court, the State Supreme Court will fold and say they are ‘reluctant to interfere with the Legislature’ etc, etc.”

How can the people still stand against this? Information warfare.


Recall again that all year @GavinNewsom and these same Democrats have said Prop 47 DID NOT need to be reformed.  They tried to stop the citizen initiative all year. Now they are doing their own Deep Fake Reform initiative at the very last minute with only 72 hours notice. The initiative was circulated for months and had well over 900,000 citizen signatures.

The Reform Prop 47 organizers and informed California citizens are going to have to use every resource available to them to urge people to Vote YES on the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act and a resounding NO to Newsom’s Skinny Initiative. Newsom likes to spout about Democracy being at stake this election; what he doesn’t want you to see is that it is he and the Democrat Supermajority who are doing everything they can to destroy it. 

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