Did Anti-Vax Moms Defeat Give Dems 2/3 Control of Legislature?

John Seiler
Former Editorial Writer at the Orange County Register

Watch out for the Moms! I wrote earlier how a decade ago California homeschool Moms defeated Delaine Eastin’s attack on them.

In the Nov. 8 election, Moms also played a role in defeating Republican Assemblymember Young Kim in the 65th District, giving Democrats their two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature.

The Moms were upset Kim was the only Republican who in 2015 supported Senate Bill 277, by state Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento, which mandated 10 vaccines be injected into the children in not just public, but private schools. The large number of vaccines was of particular concern, as was the removal of the “conscience exemption.” Opposition centered not on the efficacy of vaccines, but forcing them on children against the rights of the parents and the kids’ health.

The Republican Party officially opposed the bill. However, the anti-vax group includes many Democratic Moms.

At the time, state Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, explained his opposition to the bill, “In the debate over who owns one’s body versus what is the limit to public health, I am very uncomfortable about forcing vaccinations on children when there are legitimate concerns that are held by certain parents (see http://traceamounts.com/). Without getting into a lengthy discussion, I would just state that certain infants have had reactions to vaccinations. And education and modification may go a lot further than mandatory requirements.”

On Nov. 8, Kim got 46.8% of the vote, losing to Sharon Quirk-Silva, who got 53.2%. That was about the opposite of the vote two years ago, when Kim won with 54.6% to Quirk-Silva’s 45.4%, and became a rising star in the party.

“I’d like to think we helped to defeat Kim,” Stefanie Fetzer told me; she’s one of the leaders of the Moms against the mandatory vaccines. “We did a few things to educate voters on her stand against parental rights.” She said about 50 Moms were active in the anti-Kim effort, with 7,000 Moms active statewide in the general effort against SB277.

According to FollowtheMoney.org, contributors to Kim’s campaign included: $13,700 from the California Medical Association, which backed the vaccine bill; and $1,000 or more each from the following pharmaceutical companies: Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Allergan, Takeda, Zhang and Mallinkrodt.

Quirk-Silva also received $15,200 from the pharmaceutical industry. So as they said during Watergate: Follow the money. With her victory, Quirk-Silva is on the hot seat.

Now the Moms are hopping mad about a new bill to control parents, Senate Bill 18, also by Sen. Pan. It reads, “This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to expand and codify the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California to establish a comprehensive framework that governs the rights of all children and youth in California, outlines the research-based essential needs of California’s children, and establishes standards relating to the health, safety, well-being, early childhood and educational opportunities, and familial supports necessary for all children to succeed.”

Fetzer said, “It’s touted as a children’s bill of rights, but it gives the state unlimited authority over on how we parent.” The Moms are working on a new website, SB18Takedown.com, which may be up by the time you read this.

Of course, if the Legislature really wanted to help children, in particular their “educational opportunities,” it would fix the state’s bottom-performing schools, such as through a voucher system, or with adequate safeguards against abusive teachers. But the teachers unions adamantly oppose any real reforms.

Another factor is that, even if the legislation is passed in California, SB18 almost certainly would be opposed by Donald Trump’s nominee to head the federal Department of Education, Betsy DeVos. The Republican Congress might even pass legislation banning such interference in parental rights.

And should a case go to the U.S. Supreme Court, by then a couple of conservative Trump justices will be on the bench.

As the recent election also showed, including Bernie Sanders’ surprising appeal in the Democratic Party, regular Americans are just tired of being ordered around by the establishment and its “experts.” The revolt is here, led by the Moms.

Longtime California columnist John Seiler’s email: [email protected]

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