A California state legislator withdrew a bill Wednesday that would have repealed a ban on communists working in the state government and excised anti-communist language from the books.Earlier this month, Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) proposed AB 22, which passed the State Assembly on a narrow vote, over the objections of Republicans, particularly those representing the Vietnamese community in Southern California.
On Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, Bonta “announced he was shelving the bill and apologized to veterans and people who fled the communist regime in Vietnam.”
The Sacramento Bee quotes Bonta’s apology, which specifically mentioned the lobbying efforts of California’s Vietnamese community: “Through my conversations with veterans and members of the Vietnamese American community, I heard compelling stories of how AB 22 caused real distress and hurt for proud and honorable people. For that, I am sorry.”
Bonta’s press statement added: “I appreciate the candor and heartfelt expressions of concern. As a member of the State Assembly and throughout my career as a public servant, I know that listening is just as important as speaking. I have worked to bring communities together and promote the values of justice, inclusion, equity and opportunity.”
Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who had opposed the bill from the beginning, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: ““This bill is blatantly offensive to all Californians … Communism stands for everything that the United States stands against.”
The withdrawal of the bill leaves intact state law that defines communism as a national threat: “This world-wide revolutionary movement is predicated upon and it is designed and intended to carry into execution the basic precepts of communism as expounded by Marx, Lenin, and Stalin.”