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For the fee of just $200, a California lawyer has proposed a ballot measure to authorize the killing of gays and lesbians. It's obviously outrageous and unlikely to qualify for the ballot. But legal experts agree that Attorney General Kamala Harris has no choice but to give it a title and a 100-word summary so signature gathering can begin. Do we need new rules for citizens to create laws outside the legislative process?

Also, should the under-age victims of sex trafficking be locked up for their own protection?

Photo: Elizabeth Jenkins

Producers:
Sasa Woodruff
Mike Kessler

California's Ballot Initiative Process Is Up for Grabs 16 MIN, 51 SEC

California's ballot initiative was established by legal reformers as an alternative to the legislative process. It allows citizens a way to create their own law — first by paying a fee, then by gathering enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Now a Huntington Beach attorney has made a mockery of the process. He calls it the "Sodomy Suppression Act," which would allow the killing of all gays and lesbians. He's paid the fee $200. Legal experts say that Attorney General Kamala Harris is now required to provide a title and a 100-word summary so that signature gathering can begin. It will take 365,000 to qualify for the ballot.

Guests:
Joe Mathews, Host, "Zocalo's Connecting California" (@joemmathews)
Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation (@kimalex3)
Charlotte Laws, advocate against revenge porn (@CharlotteLaws)

More:
Initiative Measures (Steinberg's SB 1253)

California Crackup

Joe Mathews

Should Victims of Sex Trafficking Be Locked Up to Keep Them Safe? 7 MIN, 10 SEC

Three years ago, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 35 — to greatly increase penalties for pimps who traffic in minors. In the past, the children have been treated as criminals and sent to juvenile hall, but the new law says they are victims of crime and should be treated with more compassion. The trafficking continues — with 12 the average age of children, boys as well as girls -- who serve as prostitutes. Now some LA County officials are asking Sacramento for authority to lock them up — for their own protection. Allison Newcombe is a staff attorney with the Alliance for Children's Rights, which provides legal services to children and youth.

Guests:
Allison Newcombe, Alliance for Children's Rights (@adnewcombe)

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