By Priana Aquino
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Last week, listener-funded talk radio and music radio station, 94.1 KPFA released an episode discussing the origins of the Chesa Boudin recall campaign.
Host Cat Brooks interviewed Tim Redmond, a criminal investigative reporter at 48 Hills.
When asked if the political landscape was changing in San Francisco, Redford pointed out that to answer that question, you had to understand the Chesa Boudin recall campaigns.
He told Brooks to “follow the money,” explaining that the funding for the campaigns wasn’t from a grassroots organization, noting the most recent filing showed 20 small contributions were made from an organization called Neighbors for a Better San Francisco: a group originally formed to attack progressives and at the time, stop higher real estate taxes.
Originally, a number of people from Neighbors For a Better SF donated $300,000 to $400,000 each to campaign against the real estate transfer tax. When the tax eventually passed, the group was left with $300,000 to invest in another cause, namely the Chesa Boudin recall campaign.
“I’m not sure that the original donors realize that their money is being used to recall Chesa Boudin,” said Redford, citing the unusual genesis of this whole recall, and explaining that while vit is not a popular uprising, it is an example of a Republican agenda to remove progressives like Boudin.
Redmond highlighted the fact that the claims being used against Boudin were simply false. “The claims don’t add up at all,” he said. “Most are simply false narratives.”
In the first few minutes of the segment, Redmond clarified that there are actually two recall committees. One is run by Richie Greenburg, a Republican activist, and the other is made up of people who support Suzy Loftus who ran against Boudin for District Attorney in 2019.
The latter group has been motivated by the unlikelihood of a Republican win for the DA seat, and have raised funds and support to back Loftus for Boudin’s possible removal.
Neither recall committee has yet garnered enough signatures to qualify.
Redmond compared this recall to the one of Gavin Newsom, saying that it showed signs of a new pattern. He stated that recall was never intended to be a way to reverse an election, explaining that nowadays, “if you don’t like the results, you immediately start a recall.”
Redmond argues that these campaigns are fueled for the wrong reasons, suggesting that Boudin has never done anything of concern. But, Redmond adds “He’s simply carrying out his campaign promise.”
Brooks and Redford touched upon the recall campaign as an example of fear mongering enacted by the GOP to manipulate the general public.. Redford explained that this was another way to attack democrats and attack the democratic prosecutors currently in elected positions.
He also drew parallels between the present and the fears curated during the Reagan era. He explained that it was the beginning of the mass incarceration in the 80s, a direct effect of increased awareness of violent crimes and their ties to people of color.
“This racist baiting approach is coming back,” charges Redford.
When asked by Brooks if it will have the same effect that it did in the 80s, Redford replied that it wouldn’t.
“I’d like to think that it will not be effective this time,” Redford said. “The data is there and the American public is more sophisticated on this.”