A new movement to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney will likely begin sometime next year as the current effort falls short on the eve of the October 27th deadline.
Throughout 2021, California has seen several recall efforts garner enough signatures to be put on the ballot. A recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom beat the odds of qualifying for a ballot by seeing a large spike of support over the winter, with over 2 million voters signing the petition to recall him by the deadline in March. While Newsom eventually beat the recall in the special September election, he is likely to face future election consequences by having the recall election on his political record.
Last month, three embatteled San Francisco School Board members, including former Board Vice President Alison Collins, had a successful recall drive placed against them, with enough signatures being gathered for a recall election next year.
Similarly, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin also received more than 30,000 more signatures needed this month to face a recall election, with signatures currently going through the verification process. Should there be enough, Boudin will also face a special election next year.
With so many successful signature drives already this year, the one other main major elected official who has come under the same recall petition drive scrutiny, Los Angeles County DA George Gascon, has managed to avoid it. Signature drives against Gascon have been happening throughout 2021, but none have gotten as nearly as close as other major drives around the state. The current effort organized by “Recall George Gascon” has gotten a bit more than 200,000 signatures in half a year, but fell several hundred thousand behind the 580,000 needed by tomorrow’s deadline.
The recall effort against George Gascon
Proponents, angered at Gascon’s progressive policies, which has caused crime to spike in the county, as well as the removal of cash bail for most crimes despite California voters voting to keep it last year in Prop 25, still were unable to rally enough voters for the recall effort.
The Gascon recall effort did have Desiree Andrade, whose son was tortured and killed in 2018. Andrade railed against Gascon because he removed some charges from the criminals’ sentences. While they could have been locked up away for life for killing her son, they instead only received 20 years.
“I was baffled, because I don’t find justice in them only serving 20 years for brutally taking my son’s life,” said Andrade in interviews throughout the year. “He did away with special circumstance charges, which changed my son’s case drastically. They are now facing 25 years and only have to do 80%, which is 20 years. As soon as I learned this, I knew this was not justice. Not only my son but for so many other victims out there. Please open your eyes and see how crime has spiked in L.A. County since George Gascon took office in December 2020. Do not fall victim in order to understand how important this is.”
However, a new effort will start up again in approximately 160 days to rebuild finances through fundraisers, gather more victims of Gascon’s policies, and to organize both old and new on the team volunteers.
Andrade, wanting to avoid siding with another Gascon recall effort backed by people who spearheaded the Newsom recall movement, instead is being joined in a new bipartisan effort with former Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley.
“Mr. Gascon is the 43rd district attorney in Los Angeles County’s 171-year history,” said Cooley in a statement earlier this month. “And moments after being sworn in, he announced criminally-oriented policies that abandoned victims. He instantly became not only the worst district attorney in LA County history, but one of the greatest dangers to the criminal justice system.”
Supporters note that, thanks to Gascon’s continued poor policies and the rise in more successful recall signature drives in recent years, they have a good chance at triggering a recall election of Gascon next year.
“He’s making the lives worse for not only residents of the county, but is ruining the lives of victims and families of victims with his policies that favor criminals,” said Kyle Key, whose brother was severely injured by someone who received a significantly, reduced sentence earlier this year at the behest of the DA’s office. “We’re talking people that assault others, murder others, and rape others getting off with less time. This is why a lot of crime victims are backing the recall against him. He took away justice.”
New recall efforts against Gascon are expected to be introduced for petition sometime after the holiday season.