Remember George Gascón? Both SF district attorney Chesa Boudin and Los Angeles DA Gascón face recall efforts, a pro-Gascón PAC has made a lavish contribution to help Boudin.
Well, here’s a wrinkle to the narrative that the Recall Chesa Boudin effort is largely funded by one donor. Boudin’s allies are fighting back against the still-collecting-signatures effort to recall the very liberal Democratic Socialist SF district attorney, and as such, have started up a couple of political action committees (PACs) to finance that fight. And one of these PACs is — stop us if you’ve heard this before — largely funded by one donor.
And that donor comes with a familiar name. According to state campaign finance filings, the effort to support Boudin just got a $100,000 contribution from a pro-George Gascón PAC. Gascón, you will recall, erm, remember, was San Francisco district attorney from 2011 to 2019.
We should be very clear that Gascón did not give Boudin $100,000, and neither district attorney is affiliated with either one of the PACs that just so happen to bear their names in the titles. By law, candidates cannot coordinate with these groups, despite the whole ‘their name in the title’ thing. In technical language, the Real Justice PAC Supporting Gascón for LA County District Attorney 2020 made a $100,000 contribution to the San Franciscans Against the Recall of Chesa Boudin Sponsored by Real Justice PAC. So this is essentially self-dealing with a large PAC called Real Justice PAC, which your conservative uncle would say is all just George Soros money. Well, we looked at their contributions, and there is no George Soros money there. But there are some donations from NBA coach Stan Van Gundy, and from Susan Sarandon, though SFist could not confirm that it’s that Susan Sarandon.
According to SF Ethics Department filings, other big pro-Boudin, anti-recall contributions came from prominent local Dem donor Susan Pritzker, and Kaitlyn Krieger, whose husband happens to be a co-founder of Instagram.
So for now, the pro-Boudin forces opposing the recall appear to have more money than the well-heeled anti-Boudin forces pushing for the recall! But… not so fast. Campaign filings show the PAC supporting Boudin has received $160,000, while the Recall PAC has received $140,000. Given the size of the contributions rolling in, the money advantage could change any day, and probably will several times.
And again, neither the Gascón nor Boudin recall has even qualified for the ballot yet. But they’re certainly making national headlines, most recently in a Mother Jones article wherein a Miami Beach-based venture capitalist gave the unfortunate quote “VC Lives Matter,” a sound bite sure to be used to stereotype the Recall campaign as wealthy tech elite types who “don’t even live here.”
With the Gascón recall effort, the Boudin recall effort, the Gavin Newsom recall effort, and now throw in an SF school board recall effort, it seems we will be constantly living in election season for the foreseeable future. And this will certainly stimulate at least one sector of the economy, because political consultants and operatives have excellent, lucrative business prospects lined up as far as the eye can see.
Related: '60 Minutes+' Asks SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin About Crime, and Releasing Repeat Offenders [SFist]
Image: Smeeta Mahanti via StandWithChesa.com