Laphonza Butler, progressive California Gov. Gavin Newsom's hand-picked replacement for the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat, once backed a policy to abolish bail for criminal suspects in the state.
As an executive board member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Butler was a proponent of SB 10 — a policy to eliminate cash bail — that was signed into law by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018.
However, the bail industry was able to force a referendum that put the new law on hold before it was quashed by 55.4% of California voters in November 2020.
"By eliminating the discriminatory money bail system that preys on the poor and working people like SEIU members, SB 10 is a significant step forward in our movement for equality and civil rights," Butler said upon Brown signing the bill.
Newsom announced the selection of Butler, president of Emily's List, on Sunday, fulfilling his vow to appoint a Black woman to replace Feinstein.
Newsom's office was forced to scramble just to make Butler eligible, given she lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Butler's social media accounts that listed Maryland as her home were reportedly scrubbed and roots to Los Angeles were added to coincide with Newsom's announcement.
"Butler is a longtime California resident and homeowner. She moved to the D.C. area when she became president of Emily's List. Butler has already re-registered [to vote] in California," a spokesperson for Newsom's office told the New York Post on Monday.
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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