Late last week, Katrina Schmidt’s home was attacked following her personal address being included in an ad by Bonin’s anti-recall organization. Schmidt is one of the activists leading the recall against Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin.
Earlier this year, several disaffected Democrats, including Schmidt and Nico Ruderman, started up the recall petition against Bonin. According to Recall Bonin 2021, the recall effort was formulated due to years of alleged inactivity and broken promises by Bonin since his election to the City Council in 2013, centered around the homeless crisis, public safety situation, and the trash buildup in the city and in his district, which covers many high profile neighborhoods such as Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and Venice. Despite Bonin’s opposition, the recall was approved by the city clerk in July, with the recall effort having until November 4th to get 27,405 signatures from voters in LA’s 11th district.
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With support growing, Bonin ramped up his anti-recall campaign, including adding more ads. In one such video, his anti-recall committee showed a document with some recall campaign proponents addresses on it. The committee, Stop The Right-Wing Recalls, soon sent a tweet on Twitter that prominently showed the Venice address of Schmidt, as well as others, like Ruderman’s.
This led to the incident Thursday night. At 8:30 P.M. that night, Schmidt was in her condo when her front glass door was smashed. She quickly called the LAPD, who responded to the attack. While police vowed to look for who did it, Schmidt immediately called out the anti-recall committee for giving out her home address and leaving her open to attacks like this.
“Their posting of my home address was intentionally reckless,” noted Schmidt during the weekend. “I think they’re intentionally trying to intimidate us and putting us in danger.”
However, the anti-recall campaign has denied any intent, saying that the address being highlighted in the ad in that manner was an error, as they had simply been trying to get documents together to try and find any right-wing funding behind the effort. Jesse Zwick, a spokesman for the anti-recall campaign, even pointed out that they had pulled the tweet days ago and put out a new one apologizing for disclosing personal information.
This thread was deleted and reposted because the original version inadvertently disclosed personal information. We regret the error.
— Stop the Recall (@stop_recalls) September 15, 2021
The latest recall attempt in LA
The effort to recall Bonin is only the latest of numerous attempts to recall officials and lawmakers across California this year. Signature drives to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and LA Councilwoman Nithya Raman were all defeated this year. However, recall proponents have kept hope alive due to Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall effort managing to make it to a statewide vote before being losing last week and 3 members of the San Francisco school board clinching enough signatures to go on the ballot sometime later this year or early next year.
Recent past successes, such as the 2020 recall against 2 Santa Cruz Council members for work misconduct, the 2018 recall of Senator Josh Newman over his support of a gas tax, and the 2018 recall of Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky for his lenient sentencing of rapists, have also helped push supporters to keep the effort alive.
“California is fortunate enough to let people decide if someone is doing a bad enough job whenever to boot them out of office before they can do more damage,” explained Alan Capshaw, a signature petition gathering advisor, to the Globe on Monday. “But when it gets personal rather than being kept political, like with the anti-recall effort putting their opponents addresses out in the open like that, bad things happen. We’re lucky it was a broken window this time. It could have been much, much worse.”
“We can’t say it was definitely because of it, because we honestly don’t know. But it would have been the easiest way to get the address, and the timing of the ad being out and the attack is suspect. Either way, it’s not a good look for Bonin.”
As of Monday, the LAPD are still looking for the suspect. They have also not determined if the attack was directly linked to the recall effort.