A recall campaign aimed at ousting Los Angeles County’s soft-on-crime District Attorney George Gascon told Fox News Wednesday the effort received enough signatures to force a referendum on the ballot.
The Recall George Gascon campaign told Fox that organizers reached more than the 567,857 signatures needed by the July 6 deadline, and are aiming to collect 650,000 to ensure a buffer in case county officials declare signatures invalid. The campaign is the second attempt to rid Gascon from office after organizers failed to gather enough validated signatures last year.
“Simply clearing the required threshold is not enough – we must build the necessary cushion for signatures that are inevitably invalidated,” the group said in a campaign statement. “The only thing that can stop us at this point is complacency.”
Since becoming L.A.’s top prosecutor in December 2020 when he ran on criminal justice reform, Gascon has emerged as a national mascot for California’s sweeping crime wave terrorizing residents. Gascon has barred staff from pursuing sentencing enhancement and has also stopped prosecuting juveniles as adults no matter how heinous the crimes.
Further north, San Francisco residents frustrated by rampant lawlessness under a similarly left-wing reformer decisively voted to remove their own district attorney, Chesa Boudin, by roughly 55 to 45 percent last week.
The momentum against liberally reform-minded prosecutors in light of an ongoing crime wave has put other district attorneys of the same stripe on notice across the country. Several prominent incumbents told The New York Times that Boudin’s lost California contest is a lesson on messaging.
“We have to acknowledge that crime is up, that people are afraid,” Illinois’ Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx told the paper. “I think for too many folks when they talk about reform, they don’t talk about the link to public safety.”
“Countermessaging, however, can be tough,” the Times reported. “A story about 1,000 people who were allowed to await trial at home with their families and hold on to their jobs can be less compelling than that of one person who hurt or killed someone while out on bail.”
Voters, however, are placing blame for rising crime on the leftist prosecutors who decline to press charges as “smash-and-grab” robberies became the norm.
In October, Foxx drew criticism from her own mayor, Lori Lightfoot, for declining to pursue cases against suspects in a deadly shootout.
“Having been a prosecutor myself, having been briefed and looked at the evidence myself, I see ground for charges,” Lightfoot said.
Charges were eventually filed four months later.
Last month, a 911 dispatcher in Chicago criticized them both for an absence of leadership after a 35 percent spike in year-to-date crime.
“It’s crazy here in Chicago,” dispatcher Keith Thornton Jr. told Fox News. “It’s done, the city is done. If we don’t get new people in these positions to lead the city, the city is done.”