Rogue Prosecutors Gascon and Boudin Panicking Over Recall Elections

COMMENTARY Crime and Justice

Rogue Prosecutors Gascon and Boudin Panicking Over Recall Elections

May 19th, 2022 5 min read

Commentary By

Charles “Cully” Stimson @cullystimson

Legal Fellow and Deputy Director, Meese Center

Zack Smith @tzsmith

Legal Fellow and Co-Manager, Meese Center for Legal Studies

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks at a press conference, December 8, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

These rogues can’t defend their policies on the merits, as we have written here, and crime has exploded in their cities as a result of their policies.

Recall elections are authorized by law in California. Far from being an “end” to democracy, they are the product and fruits of democracy.

This is democracy in action. Maybe you think recalls are a bad idea, but the voters of California did not.

This commentary is part of a series on the rogue prosecutors around the country who have been backed by liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Cari Tuna and the threat those prosecutors pose to victims and others alike.

Previous entries in the series have focused on the rogue prosecutor movement; prosecutors in BaltimorePhiladelphiaChicagoBostonSt. LouisSan FranciscoLos AngelesFairfax, VirginiaNew York City; and U.S. attorneys. To read all our scholarship on rogue prosecutors, click here.

The residents of Los Angeles and San Francisco—home, respectively, to George Gascon and Chesa Boudin, both rogue prosecutors previously identified in this series—have borne the brunt of their pro-criminal, anti-victim policies. These rogues can’t defend their policies on the merits, as we have written here, and crime has exploded in their cities as a result of their policies.

So what are they doing?

They are blaming everyone and everything they can think of, from poverty, to over-policing, to COVID-19, to guns, to Republicans. This blame game seems curiously timed as each prosecutor faces either the certainty or possibility of recall election (the fruit of bipartisan efforts in these cities). The latest punch line is that the recall efforts are an attempt to “end democracy.” That’s absurd.

On Tuesday, Gascon and Boudin ganged up with two other bought-and-paid-for rogue prosecutors, Larry Krasner of Philadelphia and Kim Foxx of Chicago, and a radical moderator to have a “conversation” about the criminal justice system. Think of it like five families of the mafia getting together to talk about how to improve “community relations.”

During the forum, did they take any responsibility for the fact that in Los Angeles and San Francisco crime is way up? Nope.

And who did they ask to moderate the discussion? Melina Abdullah, who is the daughter of Trotskyite union organizer John Riemann and the granddaughter of Guenter Reimann, a prominent member of Germany’s Communist Party in the 1920s and 1930s. Of course, she shouldn’t be held to account for the views of her parents or grandparents, but her own views are—to put it mildly—troubling.

An antisemite and supporter of Louis Farrakhan, Abdullah is the co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter and a professor (of course) of Pan-African studies at California State University in Los Angeles. She told Libby Denkmann of LAist that “the violence and pain and hurt that’s experienced on a daily basis by black folks at the hands of a repressive system should also be visiting upon, to a degree, to those who think that they can just retreat to white affluence.”

To put that statement into action, on March 2, 2020, Abdullah organized a group of BLM protesters to show up at the house of former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to yell and scream for hours, demanding that Lacey come out of her house to “talk” with them. When Lacey, the first black female elected to lead the largest district attorney’s office in the country, didn’t meet their demands, Abdullah trespassed onto her property at 3 a.m., pounded on her door, and demanded that Lacey come out of the house.

David Lacey, Jackie’s husband, emerged with a handgun, telling Abdullah, “Get off my porch.” Filming the entire episode, Abdullah switched to her NPR voice and said, “What, are you going to shoot me?” Lacey said, matter-of-factly, “Yes, I will shoot you.” Abdullah was thrilled, as the trained Marxist got what she wanted. She immediately uploaded the video to the @BLMLA Twitter account, and then played the victim to the press the next day.

Abudllah’s stunt also seems curiously timed on the eve of the Democratic primary for Los Angeles County district attorney, possibly to assist Gascon, whom BLM backed beginning in 2019.

At the forum Tuesday, Krasner, who was reelected in Philadelphia despite his horrific record as district attorney, expressed confidence that Gascon and Boudin would survive their recall elections.

So far, recall leaders in Los Angeles have collected over 425,000 signatures supporting the recall (they need 566,000 by July 6), and the latest poll in San Francisco shows that 57% of registered voters plan to recall Boudin, and only 22% reject the recall. We take no position on either recall; it’s up to the voters in those cities on whether either Gascon or Boudin survive recall.

But make no mistake about it: Recall elections are authorized by law in California. Far from being an “end” to democracy, they are the product and fruits of democracy.

As the California Office of the Secretary of State notes in its guide to recall elections, “Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express dissatisfaction with their elected officials.”

Boudin’s recall election is slated for June 7, 2022, the same day as the statewide primary elections. Organizers behind the recall effort collected 83,484 signatures from registered voters last year, which surpassed the threshold to trigger the recall election. If Boudin is recalled, then London Breed, the Mayor of San Francisco, would appoint an interim district attorney until Boudin’s original term expires.

Gascon’s recall effort is in a different phase. Organizers behind his recall are still gathering signatures from registered voters. To date, they have well over 425,000. They need 566,000 by July 6, 2022. If they succeed in passing that threshold (10% of registered voters), then Gascon’s name would appear on the November ballot with two questions:

  1. Do you support the recall of George Gascon as district attorney?
  2. If yes, please select one person listed below to become the next district attorney for the County of Los Angeles.

If the “yes” votes outnumber the “no” votes, he is recalled, and the top vote-getter is elected as his replacement. If the “no” votes outnumber the “yes” votes, he remains in office.

This is democracy in action. Maybe you think recalls are a bad idea, but the voters of California did not.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal