LA County Twin Towers Jail

Proposition 47 would reduce penalties for drug possession and thefts below $950 — reducing offenders’ time in jail. Shown is the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

By Paige St. John
October 7, 2014

The push by progressive foundations and a conservative evangelist to recast some of California’s most common crimes as misdemeanors is drawing major financial support from the state’s well-heeled activists.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and finance scion Molly Munger have thrown in with progressive activist Steven Phillips and Christian ministries proponent B. Wayne Hughes to help raise more than $4 million for Proposition 47.

The proposition would reclassify seven common crimes as misdemeanors instead of leaving prosecutors the option of seeking felony convictions. The list includes drug possession and crimes involving forgery, check fraud and theft of less than $950 — including handguns.

Hughes is son of the billionaire founder of the Public Storage chain. Munger is the daughter of a billionaire advisor to Warren Buffet.

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