LA’s Gascon Faces Another Stiff Test With Soros Prosecutor Movement Reeling

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2024
by Andrew Shirley


George Gascon

Earlier this month, incumbent Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon and challenger Nathan Hochman secured the top two spots in the all-party primary, setting up a November 5 showdown that could be a major opportunity for voters in one of America’s bluest cities to deliver a stinging rebuke to the so-called “criminal justice reform” movement.

Since assuming office in December 2020, Gascon has become one of the most prominent members of the club of radical left-wing prosecutors backed by liberal megadonor George Soros. While a growing number of Gascon’s ideological brethren are being ousted throughout the country, including names like San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin, St. Louis’s Kim Gardner, and Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby, Gascon has managed to hang on to power despite multiple attempts to recall him from office.

That trend continued on March 5 with Gascon earning the top spot in a crowded 12-person primary field. However, Gascon only earned 25.2 percent of the vote, while Hochman garnered 15.9 percent, indicating that both candidates will need to win over a significant number of voters to earn an outright majority in the November 5 general election.

Gascon’s tenure as L.A. District Attorney has been turbulent, to say the least. He assumed the office after having previously served as District Attorney of San Francisco for almost a decade.

While in San Francisco, Gascon attracted controversy for being an early advocate of ending cash bail, refusing to charge anyone under 25 as an adult, and downgrading charges for crimes he considered to be “victimless,” such as vandalism and robbery. Unsurprisingly, property crime increased by nearly 50 percent across San Francisco during his tenure. For a majority of these cases, no charges were filed.

Gascon threw this “equity-based” approach to prosecution into overdrive after he became Los Angeles D.A. The Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police movements were at the height of their power, and Gascon rode that wave with a platform of aggressive “reimagined” justice.

As noted by ABC News, Gascon during his first term “immediately imposed his campaign agenda: not seeking the death penalty; not prosecuting juveniles as adults; ending cash bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies; and no longer filing enhancements triggering stiffer sentences for certain elements of crimes, repeat offenses or gang membership.”

Initially, the liberal voters of Los Angeles cheered on this “progressive” prosecutorial approach. But as the city quickly descended into chaos, Gascon became increasingly unpopular.

He has since faced two recall attempts which enjoyed backing from major players in Hollywood – typically some of the most fervent supporters of progressive causes. As AMAC Newsline has previously reported, however, the recall campaigns were marred by Democrat city officials allegedly improperly invalidating legitimate signatures so as to avoid placing a recall question on the ballot.

Hochman now carries with him the hopes of all Angelenos who are fed up with the crime wave gripping the city and are ready for a change of direction at the D.A.’s office.

Although not nominally a Republican in this election, Hochman was the GOP nominee for California Attorney General in 2022. He was resoundingly defeated in that contest by Democrat Rob Bonta, 59.1 percent to 40.9 percent.

Previously, Hochman served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, along with a long career in private practice. From 2011 to 2016, Hochman was the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission president.

Since entering the race in April 2023, Hochman has raised more funds than every other candidate combined – a testament to voter enthusiasm to boot Gascon from office.

His campaign has centered on removing political ideology from the D.A.’s office, with his website stating that he will be “ready on Day 1 to remove politics from prosecutorial decisions and restore independence, honesty, and integrity to prevent crime, protect public safety, and ensure justice is served to all LA County residents.”

Hochman has also blasted Gascon for “putting the criminals before the victims” and enacting bail reform policies that let violent offenders back out on the streets, sometimes in a matter of hours. In one high-profile case from 2022, two violent offenders were released on bail thanks to Gascon’s “reforms,” after which they went on to murder a police officer in cold blood. Gascon never apologized for the tragedy.

It is clear that a significant number of voters want to clean up their streets and end the wave of violence and fear that is causing businesses and residents to flee. But what is not yet clear is if enough L.A. residents are willing to acknowledge that it is progressive politics which have failed their city and vote for something different.

Between now and November 5, Gascon and his allies will undoubtedly smear Hochman as a racist right-wing Republican with no compassion or empathy. The future of public safety in America’s biggest county – and perhaps the future of the Soros prosecutor movement – will depend on whether voters can see through these lies and finally punish the left for destroying their communities in the name of “justice.”

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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