Activists officially filed a recall against Alameda County, California, District Attorney Pamela Price, who was backed by left-wing billionaire George Soros in a failed 2018 bid, and has allowed crime to soar in Oakland since winning her election in 2022.
Soros, who has funded radical prosecutors across the country, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars backing Price in 2018. She won in 2022 and immediately backed “criminal justice reform” of the kind that has upended law enforcement around the country.
Known for its “progressive” left-wing policies, Oakland embraced the “Defund the Police” movement when it began during the Black Lives Matter protests and riots of 2020. Then-Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told a meeting of Democratic mayors in June 2020 that it was not enough to “defund the police,” but that it was also necessary to “replace the police.” That month, Oakland abolished its school police department. In February 2023, newly-inaugurated “progressive” Mayor Sheng Thao fired Oakland Police Department Chief LeRonne Armstrong, who had been critical of police budget cuts; he is suing her for wrongful dismissal.
Meanwhile, crime has become so bad in Oakland — the largest city in DA Price’s jurisdiction — that police have encouraged the public to use airhorns to warn thieves away, and normally left-wing-minded residents are blasting a failed progressive utopia.” Even the local NAACP chapter has demanded more police and more aggressive action against crime on the streets of Oakland.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that Price’s critics had filed a “notice of intent” to launch a recall campaign:
The campaign still has a lengthy and potentially costly process ahead, with more than 93,000 signatures to gather — or 10% of registered voters in the county — before the measure would qualify for the ballot. But Price’s opponents appear energized.
According to numbers the department released Monday, Oakland saw 2,164 robberies as of Sunday, a 25% increase over the same date last year. Aggravated assaults surged 11%, from 1,967 to 2,188, while burglaries shot up 44%, from 7,873 to 11,307.
Price won election on promises to reduce sentences, stop charging youth as adults, and take a hard line on alleged misconduct by police officers. She made history as the first Black woman to hold the top law enforcement seat in Alameda County, and quickly transformed the office by hiring former public defenders to work as prosecutors and introducing new policies, including a controversial guideline to restrict her staff from charging enhancements that extend prison time.
New concerns have arisen recently about Price after it was revealed that she had hired her boyfriend to a six-figure salary job, though he had faced accusations in the past of extorting local businesses. The San Jose Mercury News reported on Monday:
The office of Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price hired her boyfriend for a six-figure salary, despite a past that includes allegations he extorted Richmond business owners for tens of thousands of dollars — a claim that drew the attention of the FBI.
Antwon Cloird joined Price’s team at the beginning of her administration, occupying an office at her headquarters as a “senior program specialist” whose responsibilities the county declined to detail.
Emails obtained by this news organization highlight those concerns. They show that in 2015, Richmond’s mayor, city manager and police chief suspected Cloird, at the time a politically connected nonprofit executive, of shaking down businesses to the tune of $5,000 to $20,000.
The Washington Free Beacon notes that Price has been funded by other wealthy, “progressive” San Francisco Bay Area donors.
The recall effort is being led by local activist Carl Chan, who has led anti-crime campaigns in the Chinatown neighborhood.
Recall elections are difficult to win. Last June, San Francisco voters recalled radical District Attorney Chesa Boudin. But Los Angeles voters failed to recall Soros-backed DA George Gascón after county officials found a way to reject recall signatures.
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 new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.