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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
December 9, 2023

GOP seeking to head off ballot initiatives on abortion access, Florida's included

Gov. Ron DeSantis was blunt following a GOP presidential primary debate on Nov. 8: Abortion-rights referenda are becoming a problem for leaders like himself who want to come as close as possible to outlawing the procedure.

“Pro-lifers in particular have a big problem on these referenda,” DeSantis said during an interview with NBC News, referring in particular to Ohio voters’ decision that very week to enact a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights, even though, as he noted, many of the voters support Republican candidates.

“But if the [abortion] issue is presented the way it is, they’re willing to vote for what from a pro-life perspective was a very extreme, very expansive pro-abortion amendment,” said DeSantis.

“So, I think the pro-life movement has got to start keying in on these referenda. You gotta be strategic about how you’re doing it; you need to know the landscape that you’re dealing with. There may be some states where you shoot in a certain direction; there may be others, you shoot in a different one. But they have been getting their clock cleaned on the referenda.”


December 9, 2023

Changes Coming to Absentee Voting in Michigan

Since the state approved proposal two in the most recent state election, new changes are coming to absentee voting in Michigan. Proposal two in the state last year, allowed voters to opt into being added to the Permanent Mail ballot list starting in 2024 if they were already a part of the permanent Absentee voter list. The permanent absentee voter list will be eliminated next year for the new absentee process.

All Michigan registered voters can now be placed on the permanent mail ballot list. Any voter who desires to have themselves placed on the list is asked to inform the local county or city clerk in writing. Those individuals will then receive a mailed ballot in future elections. It is the responsibility of voters to inform municipal clerks of the desire to be added to the permanent mail ballot list, or for any changes to the voter’s status.

Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly says this information is important to residential snowbirds, or those residents who live in the region during the warmer months and leave for the winter. Any voter wanting to vote absentee in the presidential primary, or general elections in 2024 will need to contact your municipal clerk to inform them of the intent to vote by absentee ballot. Individuals interested in learning more or would like to apply for the new mail ballot list can obtain a copy of the application from your municipal clerk or online.


December 9, 2023

San Francisco cracks down on appropriation of Chinese names for gains at the ballot box

San Francisco is cracking down on the long-standing practice of candidates choosing their own Chinese names to appear on the ballot as a way to appeal to Asian American voters.

Traditionally, candidates for elected office — including those who are not Chinese — have strategically selected Chinese names to convey certain personality traits, seemingly to bolster their image.

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, for example, took the name 謝安宜, pronounced Xie An Yi in Mandarin and Ze On Ji in Cantonese, meaning “safety and pleasant” in the 2022 special election.

And in 2010, Michael Nava unsuccessfully ran for San Francisco Superior Court judge with the name 李正平, pronounced Li Zheng Ping in Mandarin, meaning “correct and fair.”


December 9, 2023

California Campaign To Legalize Psychedelics Submits Final Version Of Proposed 2024 Ballot Measure

The campaign behind a prospective California ballot initiative to legalize psychedelics filed a final revised measure with state officials this week, making a handful of changes to the proposal following a public comment period that ended late last month.

While adults would be allowed to legally grow, possess and use substances like psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline under the measure, they would need physician recommendations to purchase the psychedelics at regulated stores.

Among the major changes in the final, revised proposal are the addition of a section requiring that larger psychedelics businesses obtain peace agreements with labor unions. It also expands the types of businesses that could operate under the change and includes an additional qualifying condition for psychedelic treatment.

The amended measure also replaces references to “medical” psychedelics with the word “medicinal,” which lead campaign organizer Dave Hodges, the founder of the Church of Ambrosia said is meant to ensure the California’s existing adult-use marijuana market isn’t affected by the change.


December 9, 2023

Voters in New York and Pennsylvania could see abortion on ballot

In 2024, two abortion-related constitutional amendments will appear on the ballot in Maryland and New York, and 14 measures have been proposed in 11 other states. Potential ballot measures are either in the process of circulation for signatures or need to be passed by the state legislature to qualify for the ballot.

States with confirmed abortion-related ballot measures in 2024


December 9, 2023

Texas Attorney General threatens to go after doctors who give emergency abortion to Kate Cox

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is threatening to prosecute any doctor or hospital that assists in an emergency abortion recently approved by a state judge since the fetus of the women seeking it would likely be born dead.

On Thursday, Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble granted Dallas resident Kate Cox, 31, a temporary restraining order allowing her to terminate her pregnancy. Cox learned at 20 weeks pregnant that her fetus has full trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality that will most likely be fatal for the child before birth or very soon after, according to details reported by the Texas Tribune.

Even so, Paxton's office issued a statement shortly after the ruling, telling Houston Methodist Hospital, the Women's Hospital of Texas and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston that the restraining order "will not insulate hospitals, doctors, or anyone else, from civil and criminal liability for violating Texas' abortion laws."

Paxton's office addressed the letter to those three hospitals because Gamble ruled that Houston-based OB/GYN Dr. Damla Karsan would be allowed to terminate Cox's pregnancy.


December 9, 2023

Just When You Thought the Abortion Battle in Ohio Was Settled

Abortion won big in Ohio last month, when 57 percent of voters approved Issue 1—a citizen-initiated referendum to write protections for reproductive freedoms, including abortion, into the state constitution. The victory came after a long and arduous fight. Banding together as Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights (OURR), activists pushed back against all the Republican measures designed to defeat the ballot— including a failed attempt to amend the state constitution to raise the threshold vote for approving future amendments from a simple majority to 60 percent of the voters.

After months of denial, Secretary of State Frank LaRose finally admitted that the attempted maneuver was, in fact, “100 percent about keeping a radical pro-abortion amendment out of our constitution.”

In light of this resounding win, one might think the abortion issue had at last been put to rest in Ohio. Instead, it’s bubbling up in the city of Lebanon—whose elected officials are currently debating whether or not to retain its status as a sanctuary city for the unborn.

In June of 2019, the all-male city council in Waskom, Texas, unanimously approved a municipal ordinance making the tiny town the nation’s first sanctuary city for the unborn. This marked the first step in the campaign of Mark Lee Dickson—founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative and director of Right to Life East Texas—aimed at “protecting our cities by outlawing abortion, one city at a time.”


December 9, 2023

AZ Supreme Court ruling on near-total abortion ban could result in a tie decision

The state Supreme Court will decide whether nearly all abortions are illegal in Arizona with only six justices. And that leads to the possibility of a 3-to-3 tie.

The high court now says it won’t replace a seventh justice who recused himself as hearings are set to start Tuesday.

In cases of ties, the decision from the state Court of Appeals is held. And in this case, it would leave in place the 2022 law that makes the procedure legal up until 15 weeks of pregnancy. The justices are weighing that law against a near-total ban from territorial days.

Justice William Montgomery said he recused himself after reviewing the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct.


December 9, 2023


Women in Missouri could be charged with murder if they get an abortion under two bills pre-filed in the Missouri legislature.

The “Abolition of Abortion in Missouri Act” is sponsored by State Rep. Bob Titus, R, Billings, in the House and State Sen. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, in the Senate. It would extend criminal and civil laws protecting those already born to the unborn and repeal provisions of state law that “permit willful prenatal homicide or assault.”

Both HB 1508 and SB 775 would allow duress to be used as a legal defense by a woman charged with murder for having an abortion and would exempt abortions performed to save a woman’s life.

Missouri outlawed almost all abortions in the state last year when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade and ruled that states could regulate abortion on their own. There are several proposed constitutional amendments that would make abortions legal again in Missouri.


December 9, 2023

Florida 2024 abortion measure nears 700,000 signatures

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ensure abortion rights in Florida continue moving closer to submitting enough petition signatures to get on the 2024 ballot.

The Florida Division of Elections website on Friday showed 687,700 valid petition signatures for the measure, which is sponsored by the political committee Floridians Protecting Freedom. The committee by Feb. 1 will need to submit at least 891,523 valid signatures statewide and meet signature requirements in at least half of the state’s congressional districts to get on the November ballot.

The committee also needs the Florida Supreme Court to sign off on the proposed ballot wording. Floridians Protecting Freedom announced the initiative in May after the Republican-controlled Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a law that could prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The six-week limit is contingent on the outcome of a legal battle about a 15-week abortion limit that DeSantis and lawmakers passed in 2022.

Attorney General Ashley Moody has argued the Supreme Court should keep the proposed constitutional amendment off the ballot, saying its wording would mislead voters — a contention that amendment supporters dispute.


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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
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Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

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