Tag Archives: Proposition 4

back alley abortions in CA

It’s 2008, and even in California the religious right is attempting to punish young women for having sex by bringing back illegal abortion. Progressives are starting to fight back, but the bad new is Yes on Prop 4 is still leading.

The last two times they put this anti-choice crap on the ballot, California voters wisely rejected it. This time, people aren’t paying enough attention with so many other races and issues grabbing the headlines.

Please help with your time or money

Prove The Wingnut Wrong

A couple weeks ago I headed down to The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA to hang with the wingnuts at the Sarah Palin super rally. The Courage Campaign, with the help of its members, paid for a plane to fly around overhead during the speech trailing a sign that read “Sarah Palin – Thanks, But No Thanks! No on Prop 4.” Our goal was to connect the latest right-wing attempt to pass a “parental notification” law via the ballot initiative process with Sarah Palin’s extremist anti-choice views. And let me tell you, every single person I spoke to at that rally was walking talking evidence of that connection. They are pumped about voting for Palin as well as Propositions 4 & 8 and they will be coming out in droves leading up to and on November 4th.

One of our goals in going to the Palin rally was to make sure people don’t get lulled into a false sense of complacency about the election, so we produced a short web video to show you just how ubiquitous our banner was at that rally as well as to demonstrate just how wingnutty our fellow Californians can be and how motivated they are. One guy I spoke to in particular had some choice words about liberals — you’ll see him at the end of the video — and issued what I take as a challenge to us all. You gotta see it to believe it.

Watch it below:

Let’s make sure we prove him wrong and let all of our friends and family know how crucial it is to vote against Prop 4 and 8. Spread the word HERE.

(disclaimer: I am proud to work for the Courage Campaign)

[Updated] Proposition 4: no, No, and NO again!

Proposition 4 is another bad anti-choice proposal:  parental notification, an automatic child abuse investigation if the young woman doesn’t want to notify her parents and can’t find a judge to approve.  And if she is able to find a judge, the judge then has to declare her mature enough, and the judges have to make annual reports, county-by-county, on how many abortions are approved for young women each year.  

Details over the flip.

Proposition 4 on the general election ballot is an initiative measure to amend the California State Constitution to impede a minor’s ability to obtain an abortion, even in the case of rape or incest.  This is all too familiar.  Twice in the past three years, Californians have narrowly defeated two similar measures — Propositions 73 in November, 2005 and 85 in November, 2006.  But this time, the measure is in danger of passing.  A poll (caution: .pdf file) conducted by the Field Research Corporation has it at Yes 49, No 41, with 10 percent undecided as of September 26th.  All of this in a state that is 71% pro-choice.  

Proposition 4 changes the California Constitution to prohibit abortion for minors caution — large .pdf file — until 48 hours after physician notifies the young woman’s parent or legal guardian.  To make matters worse, it mandates reporting requirements, including reports from physicians regarding abortions on minors, and it authorizes civil damage awards against physicians for violations.  

It gets worse for young women in potentially abusive situations.  In this case, the physician would be allowed to skip the notification only if an equivalent notice has been delivered

… to an adult family member designated by the unemancipated minor and has made a written report of known or suspected child abuse concerning to unemancipated minor to to the appropriate law enforcement or public child protective agency.  Such report shall be based on a minor’s written statement that she fears physical, sexual, or severe emotional abuse from a parent who would otherwise be notified and that her fear is based on a pattern of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of her exhibited by a parent.  The physician shall also include the minor’s statement with his or her report and shall also retain a copy of the statement and the report in the minor’s medical records.  The physician shall also include with the notice a letter informing the adult family member that a report of known or suspected child abuse has been made concerning the minor and identifying the agency to which the report was made.  The minor shall be informed that the notice and the letter will be delivered to the adult family member she has designated.

(proposed section 32(e))

A young woman facing the choice of an abortion is likely going through enough turmoil without having to ensnare her family into a child abuse investigation, especially if that family is dysfunctional.  

The initiative-backers attempt to throw a few bones by providing notification exceptions for medical emergency or parental waiver, and permitting courts to waive notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or best interests.  But court proceedings are intimidating and a young woman

must appear personally in the proceedings in juvenile court


It gets worse:

Each court shall provide annually to the Judicial Council, in a manner to be prescribed by the Judicial Council to ensure confidentiality of the unemancipated minors filing petitions, a report of the number of petitions filed, the number of petitions granted … deemed granted, .. or denied … said reports to be publicly available

(emphasis added)

Why publicly available?  So the wingnuts can try to intimidate and remove judges siding with from young women who are seeking refuge in the courts.

There is also a provision for civil lawsuits of medical personnel and their assistants!  It includes awarding of statutory damages of $10,000  by a parent “wrongfully denied notification” even if actual damages are much less.  The proposed statue of limitation is four years after the young woman becomes an adult OR four years after a parent discovers a failure to comply whichever is later.  

Who is behind Proposition Four?

Proposition 4’s major supporters are winemaker Don Sebastiani and publisher James Holman of the alternative San Diego Reader.  From ballotpedia:

As of September 27, 2008, the six largest donors to Prop. 4 are:

James Holman, $1,375,590. (Of this, $1.35 million is listed as a loan)

Don Sebastiani, $530,000

Knights of Columbus, $200,000

Life Legal Defense Foundation, $50,000 (who are these people?)

The Lenawee Trust, $100,000 (again, who are these people?)

The Caster Family Trust, $100,000 (who is Caster?)

(Bold print added)

Ben Stein is also mentioned as a supporter on the pro Prop 4 web site (No, I will not link to it).

Here are some ideas to help defeat Proposition 4.  Please add more in the comments:  

– Contact Planned Parenthood or The Campaign For Teen Safety (No on Prop 4)

– Contact Assembly and State Senate candidates and request their support.  Request their campaigns to distribute No On Prop 4 literature along with their own.  (I spoke with mine today and she has already begun to include the No On Prop 4 message.)

– Contact our statewide Democratic elected officials.  Request they get help the word out:

Senator Dianne Feinstein – (202) 224-3553

Senator Barbara Boxer – (202) 224-3841

Lt Gov John Garamendi – (916) 445-8994

Jerry Brown – Attorney General (916) 445-9555

Debra Bowen – Secretary of State (916) 653-7244

John Chiang – Comptroller (916) 445-2636

Bill Lockyer – Treasurer (916) 653-2995

Jack O’Connell – Superintendent of Public Instruction (916) 319-0800

Betty Yee – Board of Equalization District 1 (916) 445-4081

Judy Chu – Board of Equalization District 4 (916) 445-4154

– Attend Obama-Biden rallies/meetings and inform the people you meet there of this measure.  Enlist their support.  Ask them to help spread the word.

– Boycott Sebasitani wines.

   — If anyone has Sebastiani brand wine, get together with friends who have some, videotape the wine being poured down the toilet and the bottles being smashed, then post the video on YouTube.  

   — Contact stores carrying Sebastiani wines and request them to remove the products.  

   — Contact everyone you know, in California and out, and have them join the boycott

– Write Letters to the Editor.  They still get read.

– Call sympathetic radio talk shows and get the word out.

– Bring this issue up at local club/central committee meetings.

If you are in the San Diego area, contact businesses that advertise in the San Diego Reader and request they pull their ads.  Support those businesses that do.  Boycott those that refuse.  Also, look at starting another paper to compete with the San Diego Reader and siphon off their ad revenue.  

We need to move out on this quickly.  Early voting has begun.  The good news is a little bit of effort will go a long way to defeat this ugly measure.  


Sebastiani Wines Brand Names and Contact Information

This news story mentions some brand names under which Sebastiani Wines are marketed.  (Hat Tip to FoundingFatherDAR on DailyKos).

 B Side Cabernet Sauvignons will be offered in very small lots at price points from $20 to $30 a bottle. The wine will be marketed through the Three Loose Screws division of Don & Sons. B Side distribution will be focused on upscale urban restaurants and key independent retailers.

Don Sebastiani & Sons is a family-owned wine negociant firm specializing in the marketing of upscale varietal wines. Principals Don Sebastiani and sons, Donny and August, are third and fourth generation California vintners and merchants. The company is headquartered in Sonoma Valley and has a winery in the Napa Valley.  Don Sebastiani & Sons’ fast-growing The Other Guys portfolio is currently expanding at an annual growth rate of 200%: the more established Three Loose Screws portfolio includes Impact Hot Brands Smoking Loon and Pepperwood Grove.

(Bold type added)

Contact Sebastiani Wines.  Let them know you are no longer buying their product … and tell them why.

Don Sebastiani & Sons

Three Loose Screws Wine Co.

P.O. Box 1248

Sonoma, CA 95476

(707) 933-1704

The Other Guys

485 First Street West

Sonoma, CA 95476

(877) 996-8463

[email protected]

Also, contact local restaurants and request they quit serving Sebastiani Wines (or we will boycott them, too).

California Welcomes Sarah Palin – With Protest

Disclosure: I work for the Courage Campaign

Sarah Palin, fresh off the Vice-Presidential debate that Joe Biden handily won, is coming to California this weekend, including a rally at the Home Depot Center in Carson. California progressives are ready for her and are going to roll out our own welcome mat, letting Palin and the public know that California does not support her or the far-right beliefs she espouses.

The Courage Campaign is going to greet her with an airplane banner over the Home Depot Center tomorrow that will read “Sarah Palin, Thanks But No Thanks: No on Prop 4!” Proposition 4 is the return of parental notification, and Californians deserve to know what Palin’s stance is on Prop 4 and parental notification. In her interview with Katie Couric:

Katie Couric, CBS News: “If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion. Why?”

Governor Sarah Palin: “I am pro-life. And I’m unapologetic about my position…”

In 2007 the Alaska Supreme Court declared a parental consent law as unconstitutional, a decision Palin called “outrageous.” Her response was to appoint another conservative to the court, giving it a conservative majority.

Californians need to know that Prop 4 is an attempt by social conservatives like Sarah Palin to write their extremist beliefs into our state’s laws. Especially as Prop 4 holds a narrow lead in the polls, it is important that Californians are educated about Prop 4’s Palin-esque goals.

Courage Campaign members are helping to fund the banner – it’s a people-powered action, as are all these protest actions. Donate $33 to help get the banner in the air tomorrow!

The California Democratic Party will be there as well. They’ll be bringing a projection screen to a rally outside the Home Depot Center that will display questions for Palin – tough questions that the McCain-Palin campaign doesn’t want asked – that Californians have sent via text message. For more info and to sign up go to www.cadem.org/palin.

California progressives are also organizing protests for tomorrow’s Palin events. Community organizers are helping put together a protest at Home Depot Center, appropriately enough. Click here for more information. LA Indymedia has information on how to get tickets for the event. Orange County activists will be holding a rally at the OC Performing Arts Center near South Coast Plaza from 3:30 to 6 tomorrow afternoon.

California Race Chart (Part 1 of 3: Statewide Races)

As always, good stuff

Here is my analysis of this fall’s elections in California, broken up into 3 parts. Part 1 will cover the presidential race and the ballot measures, and the other two will be on the Congressional and State Legislature races; Part 2 Northern/Central California and Part 3 Southern California.

Cross-posted at Swing State Project: http://www.swingstateproject.c…

Here is the most recent registration data: http://sos.ca.gov/elections/ro…

Here is the list of candidates that will appear on the ballot: http://sos.ca.gov/elections/el…

Statewide Layout

Democrats: 7,053,860 (43.75%)

Republicans: 5,244,394 (32.53%)

Decline to State: 3,128,684 (19.40%)

Others: 696,849 (4.32%)

Key: I will list the incumbent first, in boldface (in open seats, the incumbent party first without boldface), and all minor parties after the two major parties.

D: Democratic

R: Republican

L: Libertarian

G: Green

AI: American Independent

PF: Peace and Freedom

I: Independent

Race Ratings

Toss-up: Margin by less than 5%

Lean: Margin by 5-10%

Likely: Margin by 10-15%

Strong: Margin by 15-20%

Solid: Margin by more than 20%

U.S. President: Sen. John McCain (R) vs. Sen. Barack Obama (D), Bob Barr (L), Alan Keyes (AI), Cynthia McKinney (G), and Ralph Nader (PF)

Profile: Obama’s win of our whopping 55 electoral votes is a foregone conclusion; no matter how many times McSame says he can compete here.

Outlook: Likely to Strong Obama

Ballot Measures: A whopping 12 measures will be on the California ballot this fall. Information can be found here: http://www.smartvoter.org/2008… Field has released polls on 1A, 2, 4, 7, and 11. http://www.field.com/fieldpoll…

Prop. 1A (High-Speed Rail): This measure would issue $9.95 billion of general obligation bonds for a $40 billion high speed train, connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, under supervision of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The train would run from San Francisco to Los Angeles. So far, this measure is passing 56-30, and I strongly urge my fellow Californians to vote for this measure!

9/17/2008 Outlook: Likely Pass

Prop. 2 (Regulations on Animal Confinement): This measure would prohibit the confinement of farm animals that basically does not allow them to be comfortable, imposing a misdemeanor penalty and fine or imprisonment for violators, and bans cages for egg-laying poultry, gestation crates for sows and veal crates for veal calves. This measure is also passing by an overwhelming margin.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Strong Pass

Prop. 3 (Children’s Hospital Bond): This bond issue would authorize $980 million for improvements on children’s hospitals. A similar measure, Prop 61, passed 58-42 in 2004, so for now I can say that 3 will pass also.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Strong Pass

Prop. 4 (Waiting Period and Parental Notification): Those anti-choice folks just never give up, and are hoping that the third time will be a charm. Like its predecessors 73 and 85, this one would prohibit abortion for minors until 48 hours after physician notification, only this one mentions an alternative adult family member in the case of reported parental abuse. Still, the addition of that change does not change my staunch opposition to this at all. Right now, though, this measure is passing 48-39%. I can only hope those affirmative numbers go down.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Toss-Up/Lean Fail

Prop. 5 (Nonviolent Drug Offenses): This measure would allocate $460 million annually for expansion and improvement of treatment programs for nonviolent drug offenders, limiting court authority to incarcerate offenders who commit certain drug crimes or break treatment rules or parole. So far no polls have been released, so I can’t make an accurate prediction as to how this measure will fare.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Not Yet Rated

Prop. 6 (Law Enforcement Funding and Criminal Law Revisions): This measure requires about $700 million of funding for police and local law enforcement, and makes 30 revisions to California criminal law. The funding would come from education, health care, and the environment, just to name a few. The last thing we need is money being diverted from services that keep people out of becoming criminals, so I am saying no to this measure. No polls on this have been released yet, though I hope concerns over the budget will send this to the ballot measure graveyard.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Not Yet Rated

Prop. 7 (Renewable Energy Generation): This measure would require government-owned utilities to generate 20% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010, upping that requirement for all utilities to 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025. However, from an L.A. Times editorial ( http://www.latimes.com/news/op… ) this bill has many drawbacks, including new regulatory powers which could lead to confusion, requiring a 2/3 vote of the legislature to remove, and the excluding of small renewable power-producing plants, which are actually leading the way in our transition to solar power. So I hope the affirmative numbers there go down fast and hard.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Toss-up/Lean Pass

Prop. 8 (Elimination of Same-Sex Marriage Rights): Basically, this measure is what it says; it eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry. Marriages between same-sex couples would be neither valid nor recognized by the state. After our hard-fought victory in the Supreme Court, we want to make sure that same-sex couples have the same legal rights as everyone else. So far, it looks like that they will still be able to have their marriage rights, though the margins are too close for comfort. We still have to fight to protect them. So vote NO ON 8!

9/17/2008 Outlook: Toss-Up

Prop. 9 (Victims’ Rights and Protection): This would amend the California Constitution to guarantee notification for crime victims, allowing victims’ input in the criminal justice process, including bail, pleas, sentencing, and parole; taking victim safety into consideration for bail or parole which, except for guaranteed notification, is already in place. In addition, judges and the state lawmakers would have less power in awarding restitution, releasing inmates early, and granting inmates the ability to earn parole. No polls have been released on this yet, though I hope it goes down also!

9/17/2008 Outlook: Not Yet Rated

Prop. 10 (Renewable Energy): This measure would authorize $5 billion in bonds to assist in buying fuel efficient/alternative fuel vehicles (though only the natural gas-fueled Honda Civic qualifies) and for research in renewable energy and alternative fuel vehicles. I am for alternative energy, but not to give more money to the biggest donor to the Swift Boat Liars, T. Boone Pickens. Basically, this is his plan to control a nationwide natural gas monopoly, giving bigger tax incentives to people that purchase natural gas vehicles (though there is already a federal subsidy for them), than people that purchase hybrid vehicles, though the latter is more efficient. So I hope this proposition goes down also.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Not Yet Rated

Prop. 11 (Redistricting): This would amend the constitution to shift authority of shaping district borders from the state legislature to a commission made of 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 others, which is out of balance with the registration numbers, as you can see above. California voters have a history of rejecting redistricting ballot measures, and I do think this one will also, though by a small margin. So far, this measure is passing, though by just a plurality. Ballot measures’ affirmative numbers tend to go down over time, and California voters have a long history of rejecting redistricting measures, having rejected 9 so far including Prop 77 in 2005, which went down in a nearly 60-40 landslide.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Toss-Up/Lean Fail

Prop. 12 (Veterans’ Bond): This would authorize $900 million in bonds for veterans’ assistance in purchasing farms and homes. No polls on this measure have been released yet.

9/17/2008 Outlook: Not Yet Rated

Proposition 4: From Juno to Juneau

Why are we all in shock that a woman whose current residence is the Governor’s mansion in Juneau would be chosen as the GOP vice presidential nominee?  Perhaps it is because she is so cold to our view of democracy and women’s rights that her ideals could have a terrifying effect here in California. She is the poster mom for the film Juno whose storybook tale of a teenage pregnancy has become incarnate in Bristol Palin.  While her story is certainly played out in thousands of households across America, we all know the sugar-coated tale that winds from Hollywood to Alaska isn’t the norm for teenagers facing this monumental issue.

Teenage pregnancy is an issue that we Californians will be facing once again on our November ballot. Like a bad movie sequel, it’s a three time re-run for us in California.  Proposition 4 will force voters to assess the idea of promoting parental notification for underage abortions.  Twice before voters have rallied against this because they know it doesn’t really work.  Yet again we have to fight the fight for reproductive choice.

But never before has this ballot proposition had a limelight example like we do today.

Unlike the previous propositions, the opposition now has a teen pregnancy, pro-life family bursting across every media outlet courtesy of the McCain camp.  An atypical example readily available for the opposition to hold up for voters as a typical prototype.

While we can all dislike Palin’s ideology, we also must realize, like or not; that she represents a large population of women.  Palin represents my sister-in-law, who is anti-choice and staffs a teenage pregnancy hotline encouraging girls to not get abortions. My sister-in-law and women like her can neither be ignored nor should they be disrespected.  They vote too and they hold their ideals as dear as we Democrats do.  And, for us as Californians, this is particularly challenging because teenage pregnancy is an issue that Prop 4 will force Californians to face once again on the November ballot.  As critical as we are of her as a candidate, we should not overlook the fact ruthless forces behind this attempt to chip away at the Roe v. Wade stone will surely hold up the Palins as an example of how “easy” it is for a pregnant teenager to tell her parents about her predicament. Previous parental notification initiatives failed narrowly; Prop 85 in 2006 failed 46/54, and Prop 73 in the 2005 special election failed 47/53. A nationally recognized poster family can make this margin far narrower or tip the scales.

Who’s behind Proposition 4, anyway? It is funded almost entirely by two men, James Holman (publisher of the San Diego Reader) and Don Sebastiani (a winemaker and former assemblyman). Together they gave over 2 million of the 2.4 that funded the entire movement for it. The fact that this is the project of two guys is story enough, and surely if they are willing to throw two million of their own dollars at this initiative, they will have no problem making an example out of Bristol Palin.

(Note: Planned Parenthood has provided the most funding in the movement against these types of propositions and it is time that we help Planned Parenthood defeat this proposition. Donate visit the Campaign for Teen Safety website at http://www.noonprop4.org. ) The fact that this is the project of two guys is story enough.

This initiative continues to have the boomerang effect on the ballot circling back around for a third time. However, Proposition 4 is more precarious than the first two because it damages families as well as teens. Proposition 4 calls itself “family notification,” but in reality it’s a cruel process that would force scared pregnant teens who wanted to notify an alternate family member to report their parents to law enforcement.

In Juneau, Palin, though adamantly pro-life, said this about her daughter: “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.”   The key word is decision.  If all teenage girls were lucky enough to have forgiving and supportive parents like Sarah and Todd Palin they might all consider notifying their parents, but statistics show that’s not the case.

This is one reason why I think that Sarah Palin’s unyielding pro-life stance is so dangerous. Will her daughter’s pregnancy validate teens having babies? Can her actions be construed as a role model for young girls?

Teen pregnancy is a complex bipartisan issue that requires multi-faceted answers.  Blanket, one-dimensional thinking cannot solve this problem — And don’t get me started on Palin’s even more narrow views on gun control or even global warming.  Palin doesn’t think outside the box and therefore she isn’t the right leader for America in the 21st century. Palin’s rigid worldview makes her to archaic a leader for the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

Right now, as we are all focused on the national debate, serious challenges face us at home here in California. We must stay focused on the issues, not the personalities to make sure that our rights for teenagers, women, and as citizens remain our choice.

Vote NO on Proposition 4. If you would like to help, please visit The Campaign for Teen Safety for more information.

Bettina Duval is the founder of CALIFORNIA LIST, a network to elect Democratic women to California state government.

Field Poll Tackles Five Props

Field Poll today on 5 of our hottest propositions for November (pdf). Results below, h/t to Cap Alert which also has the crosstabs.

Proposition 1 (High speed rail)

Yes: 56 percent

No: 30

Undecided: 14

Proposition 2 (Treatment of farm animals)

Yes: 63 percent

No: 24

Undecided: 13

Proposition 4 (Abortion notification for minors)

Yes: 48 percent

No: 39

Undecided: 13

Proposition 7 (Renewable energy)

Yes: 63 percent

No: 24

Undecided: 13

Proposition 11 (Redistricting)

Yes: 42 percent

No: 30

Undecided: 28

A few of these are looking very good, parental notification is looking a bit iffy, and redistricting is…well…have fun with that one.