It’s still unclear when Chesa Boudin will be sworn in as the new San Francisco district attorney, but his opponents are already taking to Twitter saying his progressive policies are going to “create Batman” in San Francisco.
Saturday’s 4 p.m. batch of election results effectively sealed the deal for Chesa Boudin’s victory as the new San Francisco district attorney, as his nearly 3,000-vote lead over appointed opponent Suzy Loftus is now mathematically insurmountable. But as the Examiner reports, we don’t know whether Boudin will be sworn in quickly, or not for another two more months. His term technically begins January 1, 2020, and these swearings-in generally occur in the first week of January. But the first fight of Boudin’s tenure could be a pressure campaign on Mayor Breed to immediately appoint him over the unelected Loftus.
Now is the moment to fundamentally transform our racist and broken criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration, the failed war on drugs and the criminalization of poverty. Congratulations @chesaboudin on your historic victory! https://t.co/2CiM1sFo5c— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 10, 2019
Boudin’s showing won him a weekend of congratulations on Twitter from Bernie Sanders himself, as well as Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King (who reportedly appeared at the El Rio victory party), and got Boudin a glowing writeup in the Washington Post. Boudin is also catching plenty of high-profile hate; ex-“Wheel of Fortune” host and conservative troll Chuck Woolery weighed in to call Boudin a “Cop-Hating Socialist,” while anti-homeless shelter activists Safe Embarcadero called his supporters “relentless paid agitators.” But one viral tweet really stole the show, arguing that “very fit, technically-brilliant billionaires” should consider Batman alter-egos and superhero costumes to address the allegedly impending crime wave.
San Francisco has a number of very fit, technically-brilliant billionaires.— Tyler Willis (@tylerwillis) November 10, 2019
It has a crime and safety problem, and it elects politicians that exacerbate this problem.
If any place was going to create Batman, it's San Francisco.
Boudin antagonistes were already riled up over the now-infamous “F*** the POA” [Police Officers Association] chant at his Tuesday not-quite-victory party involving Sup. Sandra Lee Fewer. That association had raised $700,000, per the Chronicle, on ads saying Boudin was “the #1 choice of criminals and gang members.”
Boudin is a career defense attorney and was SF's deputy public defender, and as the Chronicle notes today, he's "never prosecuted a case." He has only spoken broadly on what his first actions will be as DA, though he is known to favor reduced prison terms and the elimination of cash bail. In a Sunday Los Angeles Times interview, Boudin merely said that his election “sends a pretty loud and clear message that the war on drugs and the tough-on-crime policies and rhetoric of the 1990s and early 2000s are on their way out,” and “shows that there’s a massive thirst for change.”
Boudin was similarly vague in a Chronicle interview today, but did specify that he’d prefer ankle monitoring over bail, would divert first-time, non-injury DUI cases to community courts, and would stop charging 1980s-era “gang enhancements” that are almost exclusively applied to suspects of color.
Even though Boudin is a Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law graduate, he will always, always be a tempting target for the national right-wing media because his parents were imprisoned for their role in a 1981 Weather Underground bank robbery that killed a security guard and two police officers. Boudin’s father remains in prison (Boudin visited him Friday while votes were being counted), and his mother was released in 2003.
Having Chesa Boudin serve as San Francisco district attorney will probably lead to sentencing reforms and less incarceration for non-violent crimes. But it will also ensure that national conservative culture warriors will keep hammering away at our fair city. Like District 5 supervisor race winner Dean Preston, Boudin describes himself as a Democratic Socialist. That’s enough to keep Fox News and various washed-up game show hosts using Boudin as a symbol of everything they feel is wrong with America, and Boudin is unlikely to shy away from these confrontations.
Image: Chesa Boudin for San Francisco District Attorney via Facebook