NEW: Gavin Newsom Isn't Happy With CA Dems Who Blocked Child Trafficking Bill

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Twenty-four hours after the Democrat-controlled California Assembly Public Safety Committee refused to vote out of committee a bill that would make human trafficking of a minor a serious felony, Gov. Gavin Newsom has indicated that he’s “surprised” by the vote on an issue he “cares deeply about,” that he spoke with the bill’s author, Republican Sen. Shannon Grove Wednesday morning about the bill, and that he will have more to say soon.

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Since the six Democrats on the Public Safety Committee, which includes both the Assembly Majority Leader and the wife of the state’s Attorney General, killed the bill that had passed the state Senate with massive bipartisan support, public reaction has been overwhelmingly negative and loud, with various organizations listing the names and contact information of the committee members and labeling them pedophile supporters.

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.”

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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.

Now, it’s not uncommon for public outcry about something California Democrats have done to be loud and overwhelmingly negative, but it’s uncommon for Gavin Newsom to acknowledge it, and almost unheard of for him to signal something will be done. For example, in March of this year when people were trapped in snowbound mountain communities in San Bernardino County, the backlash was loud and negative but Newsom ignored it. The fact that he’s apparently working on bringing this bill back to life in some way certainly seems like a signal that he’s running for President; this issue is pretty cut-and-dried, and opposing the bill can’t be explained away as linked to some QAnon conspiracy theory the way Democrats explain away The Sound of Freedom movie.

About 30 minutes after Newsom’s comments were made, journalist Ashley Zavala reported from a Sacramento Press Club luncheon at which newly-minted CA Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-San Benito) indicated that all is not said and done regarding this bill. Rivas “suggested he has some issues with the process the Public Safety Committee took to blocking the bill,” according to Zavala. Rivas told attendees he’d also spoken to Sen. Grove and “wants to get this right,” and that attendees should “stay tuned” on the bill.

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What makes Rivas’ comments even more interesting is that the Asm. Majority Leader, Isaac Bryan (D-Los Angeles) is on the Public Safety Committee and refused to vote on the bill. Rivas appointed Bryan, widely regarded as an up-and-coming Democrat star, as Majority Leader just over a week ago, on July 3. But, Committee Chair Reggie Jones-Sawyer, who also represents Los Angeles, is very close to Bryan, and another influential Los Angeles-based Assemblyman, gun-grabbing Miguel Santiago, is on the committee. Did those three go rogue just a week into Rivas’ speakership? It seems Rivas might have a leadership problem.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami, who prosecutes crimes against children, told RedState:

Human Trafficking of Minors should be a “serious” felony in CA. Period. This isn’t a political decision. It’s the right decision. Any so-called “leader” playing politics with this vote and the safety and well being of children should step down immediately. And I don’t care what political party you are in. I don’t know one person who doesn’t think human traffickers of children shouldn’t be severely punished and in prison except maybe the so-called Assembly “Public Safety” Committee members. We are all responsible for the safety of children. All of us. It’s time for these so-called leaders to stop protecting wrongdoers and start protecting the rest of us.

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We will absolutely stay tuned on this issue and bring additional developments as they occur.

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