Tim Donnelly pushing for referendum on vaccination law

July 2, 2015
Tim Donnelly

Tim Donnelly

Former California assemblyman Tim Donnelly is attempting to launch a statewide referendum on a mandatory vaccination law that Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Tuesday. [LA Times]

The law will eliminate a provision that has allowed parents to cite personal or religious beliefs as valid reasons to avoid vaccinating their schoolchildren. When the law takes effect on July 1, 2016, all children attending public and private schools in California must be vaccinated, unless they obtain medical exemptions.

Donnelly, also a former gubernatorial candidate, filed paperwork with state attorney general’s office on Wednesday and paid an accompanying $200 fee. Supporters of his initiative now have 100 days to collect signatures from at least 365,880 registered voters in the state.

The former assemblyman says the mandatory vaccination law is a violation of religious liberty and an infringement of parental rights.

“With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Brown took away a really important choice for parents to make. I just believe that decision belongs to the parents, not the government,” Donnelly said. “This is not about vaccination. This is about choice.”

Last year, Donnelly lost his bid to become governor when Neel Kashkari edged him in the Republican primary. He now hosts the Tim Donnelly Show on KIXW-AM in the Inland Empire.

A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll indicated that two-thirds of Californians believe children should not be allowed to attend public schools unless they are vaccinated. Support for stricter vaccine requirements grew after a measles outbreak began last December at Disneyland and lasted until mid-April.

But, the new law has other vocal detractors. After Brown signed the bill into law, actor Jim Carrey called the governor a “corporate fascist” in a tweet.

“California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in mandatory vaccines,” Carrey tweeted. “This corporate fascist must be stopped.”

If Donnelly’s signature drive is successful, the initiative would appear on the 2016 ballot.



  1. Casinogal says:

    Did anyone of anti-vaccinations ilk notice that one of the doctors (if not the founder of the movement) committed suicide just recently? Wonder why?

    When your child contracts any of the diseases for which vaccines are available, please do NOT start asking for donations because you can’t pay the bills associated with medical care or funeral expenses.

    If you never saw a person in an iron lung suffering from Polio, look it up on Google and then decide if you want vaccinations or not. I have seen such patients and it is not a pretty sight.

    The anti-vaccine people must also like to play Russian Roulette. Unfortunately the kid doesn’t get a choice. Wonder what a child would say when they are older and contract one of the diseases that a shot when they were babies would have prevented (?).

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
  2. AmericaBeautiful says:

    As Donnelly points out, outrage over the new law is more about robbing parents of their say in their child’s welfare:
    “This referendum is not about vaccinations; it is about defending the fundamental freedom of a parent to make an informed decision for their children without being unduly penalized by a government that believes it knows best.”

    I want to decide myself for my own children’s welfare, not some ignoramuses in the government bureaucracy mess.

    (-6) 18 Total Votes - 6 up - 12 down
    • zaphod says:


      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • mbbizpro says:

      I am as conservative as anyone and I am always concerned about Government taking more control of our lives. Obamacare, gun control, tax increases, minimum wage, and more are all things that we should be resisting. Vaccinations help children stay healthy, they prevent the spread of dangerous diseases and pose minimal risks. This issue is way down the list of government intrusion in our lives or the restrictions on our freedom.

      (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
    • hijinks says:

      You want to decide for YOURSELF about your child’s welfare. Well, do the kids get a say? Maybe they’d rather be healthy than let you decide to roll the dice on their “welfare.”

      People like you should be careful when calling others “ignoramuses!” Was that your own reflection in the mirror you saw?

      (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
  3. r0y says:

    For people still arguing about vaccines and diseases. You’ve been had. This is about control. EVERYTHING the government does, especially at higher (state, fed) levels is about control. They just wrap it in something you can argue about and completely miss seeing the framework that is being built.

    We missed common core, and look where we are now… 8 years ago, I was hard-pressed to find anyone who ever heard of it. 6 Years ago, I couldn’t find a teacher that DIDN’T like Common Core. Today, it’s hard to find one that likes it. But it was wrapped up in crap people wanted to argue about, but in the end, the control is now out of the hands of the parents, the teachers, the district, the state.

    I’m sure this whole mandatory (insert anything here) / vaccine will be different this time… ;-)

    (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
  4. r0y says:

    The only thing I would add to Mr. Donnelly’s argument is that mandatory vaccines are not a violation of religious liberties, but a violation of one’s liberties in general! One does not have to be religious or even a believer to have their liberties infringed upon.

    (-1) 13 Total Votes - 6 up - 7 down
    • Vagabond says:

      You obviously have a problem with understanding the word “mandatory” In this case it’s only mandatory if you want your little germ vector to attend school. Don’t want to vaccinate? feel free, but no going to school and infecting other people. You haven’t lost any liberties, you do not have the freedom to pass disease, in fact you can be legally removed from society (quarantined) until you no longer pose a threat.

      (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
  5. laftch says:

    A woman’s body is her own. A child’s body belongs to the state? People who unquestioningly accept the religion of science’s dogma and demand everyone else does also, calls to mind radical Islamists who proclaim non believers as infidels and justify their elimination.

    (-5) 15 Total Votes - 5 up - 10 down
  6. CentralcoastRN says:

    There is a reason children under 2 need so many vaccinations.

    Most childhood disease mortalities occur in children under age 5. The experts believe young children do not have the immune system to fight disease as effectively as an adult. Children have smaller airways and organs, putting them at risk for organ failure, respiratory distress, death. This age group needs protection.

    Many vaccines are designed to be injected in to muscle. Only small amounts of fluids and meds can be injected at a time, as baby muscles are small. This means vaccines like pertussis must be given in a “series” of 3 shots to make sure enough of these have been given to create antibodies for the disease we want immunity from.

    (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
  7. Slowerfaster says:

    I almost died from german measles . 106 degrees. My parents were thinking of taking me to the hospital, but they said NO. Put him in the bathtub as cold as you can get it. They even put ice cubes in.
    Yeah, I lived.

    I’m sure my parents would have preferred a vaccine.

    (8) 18 Total Votes - 13 up - 5 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      The method you describe is not a good one for fever cases. Sudden immersion in cold water can cause the body to reduce peripheral circulation and actually cause body core temperature to increase.
      Cold wet clothes under the arm pits, at the back of the neck, and in the groin are much safer. It is also vitally important to keep the child hydrated.
      If possible, get immediate medical care for any temp 104 or more.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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