Recall of Boudin Seen As Boost to Efforts To Oust Gascón As District Attorney
By a MetNews Staff Writer
(News and Analysis)
“George Gascón, you’re next,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva declared after Chesa Boudin conceded the success of the effort to recall him as district attorney of San Francisco.
The Recall Gascón Committee on Monday reported having collected more than 500,000 signatures on petitions to recall the district attorney. There are 566,857 signatures needed by July 6—though more than that will have to be gathered in light of the inevitable disqualification of some of them.
Tim Lineberger, the spokesperson for the recall committee, told the METNEWS yesterday:
“We are absolutely seeing increased enthusiasm, momentum, and participation. People are fed up, and the potential success of this recall is right on their fingertips and more possible than ever. Petitions are piling up in the mail as well – we recently mailed out 3.6 million petitions to L.A. County voters and those returns are increasing.”
He repeated his election night statement:
“Tonight showed that voters from every community and every walk of life, regardless of political ideology, are rejecting pro-criminal policies that are masked as criminal justice reform. George Gascón and Chesa Boudin’s failed social experiments have destroyed communities while doing nothing to meaningfully reform the system. If L.A. County voters sign and return their recall petitions, Gascon will be walking the same plank in the very near future.”
Former District Attorney Steve Cooley commented that in light of the recall of Boudin, “If Gascón is placed on a recall ballot, I have 100 percent confidence he will be recalled,” adding:
“It will be a mega landslide to recall him.”
Political consultant Fred Huebscher remarked:
“The recall of Boudin should be an impetus to the pro-recall Gascon forces to make sure and qualify the recall. If someone like Boudin is successfully recalled in San Francisco, it means that someone like Gascon should likely be recalled here.”
The Association of Deputy District Attorneys yesterday mounted on its website the following statement by its vice president, Eric Siddall:
“San Franciscans had the last word on George Gascon’s failed legacy as San Francisco’s District Attorney. Over the next few weeks, Angelenos will take the first steps to bring his failed term as Los Angeles’ chief prosecutor to a necessarily early end.
“Chesa Boudin wasn’t recalled because he was a reformer; he was recalled because San Francisco voters rejected his defendant-centered approach to criminal justice reform. The same approach that his predecessor, George Gascon, has forced upon Los Angeles.”
Siddall went on to say:
“Approximately 98 percent of his own deputies voted to support that grassroots effort. And thirty-four cities have voted to express their lack of confidence in Gascon and his leadership abilities. They all agree that we need to reform our criminal justice system. They desperately want a district attorney who will do the job, protect the public, and follow the law.”
The vote on Tuesday “seems certain to provide momentum” for the current effort to force a recall vote on the Los Angeles district attorney, George Skelton observed yesterday in his Los Angeles Times column. He quoted Democratic Party strategist Garry South as saying (reflecting mounting sentiment):
“The reason we call district attorneys ‘prosecutors’ is because that’s their job. They are not elected to be criminal justice reformers. Or public defenders. We already have them. They’re not elected to make excuses for some murderer because potty training was hard, or he was bullied in school. People are fed up with those excuses.
“A D.A. can carry out the job with some compassion. But they’re elected to put bad guys behind bars. And if they don’t see that, and are perceived as making excuses for bad guys, they’re going to pay a price.”
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