By David M. Greenwald
Los Angeles, CA – The second attempt at forcing a recall election of George Gascón has fallen short. While 715,833 petition signatures were submitted, just 520,050 were found to be valid and 195,783 were found to be invalid.
“To qualify the recall for the ballot, the petition required 566,857 valid signatures; therefore, the petition has failed to meet the sufficiency requirements and no further action shall be taken on the petition,” a release from the LA County Clerk stated on Monday.
In a tweet, George Gascón said, “Grateful to move forward from this attempted political power grab—rest assured LA County, the work hasn’t stopped.”
He added, “My primary focus has been & will always be keeping us safe & creating a more equitable justice system for all. I remain strongly committed to that work & to you.”
Grateful to move forward from this attempted political power grab-rest assured LA County, the work hasn’t stopped.
My primary focus has been & will always be keeping us safe & creating a more equitable justice system for all.
I remain strongly committed to that work & to you.
— George Gascón (@GeorgeGascon) August 15, 2022
Jamarah Hayner, a consultant working against the recall added, “Recalls are California’s brand of the national rightwing trend of attempting to overturn election results with piles of money and misinformation. We’re thrilled to move on from that political distraction so we can stay focused on more than two million Angelenos voted DA Gascon into office to do: the tough but necessary work of making our justice system more fair for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”
The news was greeted with disappointment from the group attempting the recall.
“While the initial results are surprising and disappointing, the Recall Committee intends to exercise its full statutory and legal authority to review the rejected signatures and verification process that took place, and will ultimately seek to ensure no voter was disenfranchised,” said Tim Lineberger, spokesperson for the Recall Campaign.
He added, “Nonetheless, according to the Registrar-Recorder, over half a million residents placed valid signatures on a petition to initiate the recall of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón. To deprive them of the opportunity to restore public safety in their own communities is heartbreaking. And to interpret this in any other way other than a wholesale rejection of Gascón’s dangerous polices would be disingenuous, or naive at best.”
“The over half a million signatures are in addition to 37 cities voting no confidence in the District Attorney, and over 98% of Gascón’s own prosecutors supporting the recall,” the statement continued. “The removal of George Gascón from office has never been a matter of if, but when. The citizens of Los Angeles cannot afford another two years of Gascón unleashing havoc on their streets – people’s lives are at stake.”
However, supporters of the DA had a very different take.
“Los Angeles County voters saw the recall campaign for what it was: a page out of a national playbook to roll back the clock on widely-supported criminal justice reforms.,” said Anne Irwin of Smart Justice California. “Fueled by Republican mega-donors, police unions, and others ideologically opposed to reform, the campaign followed a familiar pattern of using misinformation, fear-mongering, and the politicization of tragedies to scapegoat District Attorney George Gascón.”
Irwin added, “Angelenos saw through these disingenuous tactics for a second time. LA voters understand that we are all safer when our justice system is more fair, equitable, and effective when we hold people accountable in ways that address root causes of crime rather than relying solely on incarceration. That is why they’ve consistently backed criminal justice reforms over the past decade, why they elected D.A. Gascón in 2020, why they rejected incarceration-only candidates in the June 2022 primary, and why they rejected this recall today.”
BREAKING: 2nd attempt to recall @GeorgeGascon fails to qualify. Our statement below:
"No matter how many millions they spent spreading misinformation, the rightwing mega-donors behind Donald Trump & Mitch McConnell could not convince LA voters to share their dated vision
— Prosecutors Alliance (@ProsAlliance) August 15, 2022
“No matter how many millions they spent spreading misinformation, the rightwing mega-donors behind Donald Trump & Mitch McConnell could not convince LA voters to share their dated vision,” the Prosecutor’s Alliance tweeted in a statement. “As evidenced by history, more punishment does not create more safety. It creates inequity, instability, and wastes taxpayer dollars. Reform isn’t a threat to community safety, it’s a threat to a system that has failed to make us safer.”
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