Progressive prosecutor and Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon campaigned on a promise to dramatically reform the criminal justice system. He has stood by the promise. But, in the process he has angered many of his more conservative constituents who are now, for the second time, seeking to qualify a recall election for the ballot.
In their effort last year, recall supporters gathered only about 200,000 of the 580,000 signatures needed to put the recall to voters. As of May 16th, they claimed to have approximately 400,000 signatures so far this time around. While projecting confidence, the fact is that they will likely need to collect another 300,000 signatures before the July 6 deadline as some signatures will certainly be disqualified for various reasons. In the last 10 years, there have been 41 recall efforts in California in which the organizers turned in enough unverified signatures, but failed to get on the ballot once those signatures were audited.
In addition, once the signatures are turned in, Gascon is allowed 30 days to collect signatures from people who previously signed the petition for recall asking to have their names removed.
While Gascon’s policy changes have been dramatic and perhaps some were not as carefully thought out as they could have been, I don’t believe for a second that the recall organizers actually care about the results of these policy changes. Simply being a prosecutor who was willing to talk about social justice and reform of the criminal justice system was enough that they would stop at nothing to remove him from power.
As with the failed attempt to recall Governor Newsom from office, it is simply one more example of a well funded and organized minority seeking to overturn a fair and credible election. If you’ve signed the petition to recall Gascon, I would urge you to reconsider and seek to remove your signature from the petition. If the recall does make the ballot, I urge all Angelenos to vote against it.
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