Big Labor and their liberal allies don’t like the initiative process in California because it challenges their choke-hold on power in this state in their perpetual control of the State Legislature. Of course, their policies have been failures. But they conveniently avoid taking responsibility, with the help of the MSM, by throwing out blue-smoke and mirrors and for example, blaming an utterly failed educational system, despite trillions of tax dollars dumped into it, on “California’s dysfunction”. Those are liberal code words for blaming the initiative system, which is the only check on their power other than the Governor’s office.
Now the liberals and unions are feeling even more threatened, as initiatives are being promoted statewide and locally to equalize their power and do good things like reducing taxes and stopping forced contributions of workers to liberal union’s political committees. So to counter those efforts at an early stage, they are buying advertisements that are intended to dissuade the public from engaging in their constitutionally protected right to petition government, which is a “hyper” fundamental right in California given it’s initiative history. The advertisements use the ruse of “identity theft” to try to trick Californians from exercising what are called “expressive constitutional rights” by signing a petition they agree with to empower putting a measure on the ballot. These advertisements must be seen for what they are: an “assault” on freedom.
In law the concept of “assault and battery” involves threats to a person. A battery involves a “touching”, but an assault does not and involves a perceived threat.
The Federal civil rights act, and California’s Uhruh Civil Rights Act notwithstanding, the California Election Code has a specific provision that protects initiative petition circulators from “assaults”. It states at Section 18630: “Every person who threatens to commit an assault or battery on a person circulating a referendum, initiative, or recall petition or on a relative of a person circulating a referendum, initiative, or recall petition or to inflict damage on the property of the circulator or the relative, with the intent to dissuade the
circulator from circulating the petition or in retribution for the
circulation, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
It seems to me that an enterprising District Attorney in one of California’s 58 counties, even a really small one like Alpine, might be able to interpret the “identify theft” advertisement of the liberals as a form of verbal assault “with the intent to dissuade the circulator from circulating the petition or in retribution for the circulation”. After all, there are petitions in circulation right now, and the intention of the ads are clearly to suppress signature gathering. And a constitutionally protected right is involved. There aren’t any case precedents on the books and I’m not saying flat out that the ads are criminal misdemeanor assault (heh, I’m just writing a blog here, right?), but if a D.A. opened such a case, I am very certain that the document discovery would reveal that stopping identity theft has little to do with the motivation for these ads. And once an intention to suppress the exercise of a constitutional right is shown, and given the Election Code provision, well, you get where I’m going!