Recall Against Radical San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin Likely Qualifies for Ballot

Chesa Boudin (Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)
Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

An effort to recall radical San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin turned in 83,000 signatures to city election authorities on Friday, about 32,000 more than needed for a vote as early as June, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Boudin, the son of convicted left-wing Weather Underground militant David Gilbert, was elected in November 2019. He campaigned on ending prosecutions of “quality-of-life” crimes, like public urination, and fired experienced gang prosecutors upon taking office. Boudin has become a lightning rod for criticism of rising crime in the city.

The Chronicle noted:

Boudin, a former public defender, was elected in November 2019 as part of a wave of progressive prosecutors across the country who want to unwind tough-on-crime policies that have disproportionately impacted people of color. The recall campaign, which has so far raised about $1.4 million, not only will serve as a referendum on Boudin, but also test a largely progressive city’s attitude toward policing and prosecuting crime.

During his short time as district attorney, Boudin became the first prosecutor in the nation to eliminate cash bail, saying it discriminates against the poor. He also has sharply limited sentencing enhancements for alleged gang members and restricted the use of a controversial “three strikes” law for repeat offenders.

At the same time, Boudin has been criticized for alleged mismanagement of his office. A San Francisco Superior Court judge took the unusual step last month of blasting Boudin at an open court hearing, for what the judge said was a disorganized District Attorney’s Office with high staff turnover.

The signatures, collected in a second effort after a first recall petition fell short, also beat a October 25 deadline.

Boudin’s father was granted clemency by former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his last hours in office. He still must have parole approved by the state before he can be released. Boudin has campaigned for his father’s release.

California voters resoundingly defeated an attempted recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom last month.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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