AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, who has been heavily funded by groups linked to liberal megadonor George Soros, announced last week that he is officially running for re-election next year. According to an email sent to supporters just after his campaign kickoff speech, even as crime in L.A. spirals out of control, one of the pillars of his re-election bid will be “holding law enforcement accountable” – effectively a promise to continue treating police officers as the enemy instead of criminals.
Gascon first won election in America’s second largest city in 2020. During that campaign, he rode a wave of backlash against police in liberal areas throughout the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Gascon also became one of many district attorney candidates throughout the country funded by Soros’s network of nonprofits. His 2020 campaign received some $4.7 million from Soros-linked groups – just a small fraction of the more than $40 million Soros has poured into local prosecutor races in recent years.
As has been well-documented, Soros DAs like Gascon all back a similar agenda of radical criminal justice “reform.” That agenda includes policies like the elimination of cash bail and refusing to prosecute certain “minor” crimes like robbery. As a result, crime numbers in jurisdictions with Soros prosecutors have predictably skyrocketed.
Gascon has repeatedly refused to punish even violent criminals, often allowing them back onto the street where they go on to commit more crimes. Soon after taking office, Gascon announced that his office would no longer prosecute many crimes at all, including trespassing, disturbing the peace, minor possession of alcohol, driving without a license, driving with a suspended license, making criminal threats, drug and paraphernalia possession, being under the influence of a controlled substance, public intoxication, loitering to commit prostitution, and resisting arrest.
Gascon was also a driving force behind L.A. County’s new “zero bail policy” introduced earlier this month, which critics have slammed as “catch and release” for criminals. The policy means that offenders of even the most serious crimes could be released immediately under “Magistrate Review.” Yet Gascon claims the new policy will “make us safer, because it’s going to create more room in our county jail to hold all the people that are dangerous.”
Soros prosecutors have also made it their mission to target police officers rather than criminals – a goal Gascon has been particularly passionate about. His campaign website brags that he has prosecuted more than 30 police officers, while nowhere mentioning a similar effort to get violent criminals off the streets. Gascon was an early supporter of “reallocating” police funding, and has overseen a sharp decline in officers for the LAPD.
Gascon has also sought disturbingly lenient sentences for criminals who target police officers. Earlier this year, he declined to pursue the death penalty against a man who executed a police officer in cold blood. Back in 2021, Gascon also dropped the death penalty for another man convicted of killing a police officer.
Unsurprisingly, L.A. has become even more crime-ridden under Gascon. Theft is up 14 percent from two years ago. The city is also experiencing an epidemic of carjackings, and murders and assaults have steadily increased since he took office.
The public backlash against Gascon has sparked multiple recall efforts – all of which have fallen short. It sems even rising violent crime isn’t enough for L.A. voters to abandon their affinity for progressive policies.
As bad as the public backlash has been to Gascon’s tenure, the internal turmoil has been even worse. Numerous prosecutors have quit or transferred to other jurisdictions specifically to avoid working for him. They’ve described the environment in his office as “toxic” and “belligerent.”
Gascon is also currently being sued by multiple former prosecutors under his jurisdiction who allege they were retaliated against or forcibly demoted for opposing his political agenda.
Despite all the controversy, Gascon seems unshaken and utterly committed to his beliefs. Even with ample evidence to the contrary, Gascon claimed last year that he “knows how to keep communities safe.”
Early polling indicates that Gascon may be in serious trouble, although it’s difficult to tell with more than a year to go until Election Day. A survey from the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs found that just 14 percent of L.A. residents would vote for Gascon if the election were held today.
In deep-blue Los Angeles, the election of a Republican seems a far-fetched possibility. A well-financed moderate Democrat primary challenge could possibly be successful, and several candidates have already filed to run in the Democrat primary next March.
Until voters have the chance to replace Gascon, however, Angelinos will likely have to look out for themselves, because it sure seems like their DA won’t be looking out for them.
Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.