(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

CA State Senator Henry Stern Hates Conservatives More Than He Values Protecting Children

While the days of Democrats and Republicans in any given legislative body fighting each other like maddened terriers all day and then going out for drinks afterward are long gone, the present era where everyone must fight everything 24/7 via the politics of personal destruction has long stretched beyond the pale. Case in point is California State Senator Henry Stern (D-Malibu), a man whose job skills obviously do not include calendar reading ability yet leaves no opportunity to smear Republicans unused despite his latest effort being so bereft of logic Spock would have immediately grabbed him with a Vulcan neck pinch for sullying the brand.

The kerfuffle centers around California Senate Bill 14, a bipartisan effort aimed at those who sell children for sex.

Existing law defines the term “serious felony” for various purposes, including, among others, enhancing the punishment for felonies pursuant to existing sentencing provisions commonly known as the Three Strikes Law.

This bill would include human trafficking of a minor within the definition of a serious felony for all purposes, including for purposes of the Three Strikes Law. By expanding the scope of an enhancement, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

In short, the bill would not only stiffen penalties for those convicted of such crimes but also eliminate the option of plea-bargaining down the punishment. The bill has broad bipartisan support and passed the State Senate unanimously. Slam-dunk, right?

Wrong, as on July 11 the bill stiffed in the Assembly Public Safety Committee due to the eight-member committee’s six Democratic members all abstaining from voting. Reason? California State Senator Henry Stern blames … um, read it for yourself.

To watch @ShannonGroveCA and @HeathFloraCA use human trafficking victims and #SB14 as PR fodder for Qanon and their box office hit #SoundofFreedom is 🤯.

Really, dude?

Let us review. The bill has 11 Democrats signed on as co-sponsors. One doubts any or all of them appreciate the accusation of being lackeys for conservative conspiracy theories. The next Democratic caucus promises to be lit. But I digress.

Stern’s argument against the bill is … oh, wait, that’s right. There is none, other than it somehow being tied into a currently popular movie that studios let sit on the shelf for four years because no one wanted to touch the subject matter. And conservatives, for reasons unfathomable to the progressive mindset, believing human trafficking of children to satiate the perverted sexual cravings of adults is not something to applaud. Therefore, SB 14 is bad. Even though Stern publicly agrees with the bill, as he insisted in a subsequent tweet.

Agree that we must be all in to #StopHumanTrafficking. Led fight w/ legit groups like @CASTLA and @Hadassah to make largest ever $30M in enforcement last session. Authored SB 630. And voted for SB 14. But dont be fooled. It won’t be a magic fix of some conspiratorial loophole.

What in the actual flying flip is this man talking about? You voted for the bill — which, for the record, was introduced on December 5, 2022, several months before “Sound of Freedom” was released — then tried to kill it in absentia in committee because you don’t like the new Jim Caviezel flick, work on which started a year before QAnon first appeared? Just how far does your pathological hatred of conservatives extend, Senator Stern? So far that you would see a bill aimed at protecting the dignity, sanctity, and safety of childhood tossed away like the lives it seeks to preserve?

Get a grip, Senator Stern. Scott Wiener voted for the bill. California Governor Gavin Newsom put you and the other committee members on blast. As Jennifer Van Laar reported here on July 12:

Newsom said:

“I talked to Sen. Grove about it this morning, which is indicative of my desire to see what we can do. And I want to say nothing more than that because I want to understand exactly what happened yesterday. I didn’t have the privilege…of watching that Assembly hearing, but I was well aware that it went through, I think overwhelmingly through the Senate, so I was surprised by that. It’s an area I care deeply about, have since my time as mayor, as a supervisor working with then-District Attorney Kamala Harris. We put $25 additional million in the budget last year in the space, and I take it very seriously.

“So I appreciate Shannon Grove’s efforts on this and wanted to make sure she knew that today, and we’ll be following up and we’ll have more to say about that very shortly.”

Translation: Some people in the Assembly screwed up, and Newsom’s gonna bang some heads together and get back to us. Linking in Kamala Harris is an additional warning to those who strayed: the system isn’t going to look favorably upon this.

It is worth noting Stern is not the only politician valuing partisanship over humanity. Committee Chairman Reggie Jones-Sawyer had this astonishing mouthful to say.

“The Three Strikes model of sentencing is ineffective in preventing crime and protecting the public’s safety. We will not build on a deeply flawed sentencing system that unfairly punishes disadvantaged communities,” Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, the chairman of the committee, said in a statement.

So … skin color excuses the sex trade? Really?

The worst-kept secret in politics is that Newsom is jonesing for the 2024 Democratic Presidential nomination once Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are removed from consideration by any necessary means. Not even the fawning media could keep such a story as SB 14 under wraps. Thankfully, upon a scrambled re-vote in response to the backlash, the bill passed out of committee on Thursday and will now be taken up by the Appropriations Committee in August. The bill is guaranteed to pass in its present form, with Newsom making a grand spectacle of signing it while touting his ability to reach across the aisle. Sad that this is what it will take to do the right thing, but whatever it takes.

As to California State Senator Henry Stern, I suggest brushing up on Jude 1:9.

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