The Recall Chesa crowd submitted 83,000 signatures Friday, and kicked off a PR blitz to welcoming media outlets, as it now appears the recall election will definitely be happening in 2022.
We're sure it was certainly not a completely coordinated effort with the Recall Chesa Boudin movement and the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board when three key events in the recall consecutively took place over the last few days.
On Friday, the recall campaign submitted 83,000 signatures to force an election, easily 30,000 more than required, near-guaranteeing that a recall election will take place. On Sunday, a Chronicle piece from the maybe-a-little-bit-biased Heather Knight told the story of two assistant DA’s who’ve quit under Boudin and are now volunteering in the recall effort. (Both also spoke to NBC Bay Area in an “exclusive.”) Then on Monday morning, these same two assistant DA’s spoke at on online press conference to kick off the official recall campaign, so mud will fly between now and a likely June 7, 2022 recall election.
💥 BOOM 💥 83,000 signatures! Chesa will be recalled! 🚨 🚨 🚨 https://t.co/WkIT9kGP6U— The Campaign to Recall Chesa Boudin (@recallchesa) October 23, 2021
“For those of us who have served on the front lines of the San Francisco criminal justice system,” said recently departed assistant DA Brooke Jenkins at Monday’s Zoom press conference, "We find it offensive that Chesa has represented that he is bringing something new to the San Francisco's DA office, that we have been doing for decades. Simply releasing someone without any consequence is not reform.”
As the Chronicle piece noted, Jenkins' husband’s cousin was slain in San Francisco, and the family has complained of “an ineffective prosecution of his alleged killers.”
Another recently departed assistant DA, Don Du Bain, spoke at the conference. “In the last year and a half I must say I have lost my confidence in Chesa Boudin to serve as our elected district attorney because I have concluded he selectively enforces laws in the state of California according to his own political priorities,” he said, citing the New Year’s Eve hit-and-run involving recent parolee Troy McAlister.
Many old guard prosecutors have left Boudin’s office, leading to an unusual rebuke from a judge last month who said, “I cannot express in any more certain terms my disapproval of the manner in which the Office of the District Attorney is being managed.”
But the recall campaign is curiously financed. According to data from the SF Ethics Department, that campaign has currently received $1.4 million in contributions. And $1.07 million of that — 76% of the total — comes from a nebulous organization called Neighbors for a Better San Francisco (which is based in San Rafael?), and reported by 48 Hills as having an extensive hit piece history attacking local far-left candidates.
That data also shows that the campaign is paying its coordinator Andrea Shorter a princely $16,000 per month to run the recall campaign. “It is an effort that is not taken lightly,” Shorter said at Monday's press conference. “Recall is serious, it rarely occurs.”
Actually, it’s occurring a lot, as SF Weekly reported last month that “approximately 70 recall campaigns have been launched this year” across the state of California.
A separate Chronicle report on the signature effort notes that the recall vote “very likely will reach voters as early as June.” That means the June 7, 2022 primary election, a mere 16 months before Boudin would just be up for reelection anyway. Should Boudin be recalled, Mayor Breed would appoint his successor, and it’s a fair bet she would just appoint Suzy Loftus again.
So could we see Suzy Loftus appointed by Breed, only to lose to Boudin again when the legit November election rolls around? It’s plausible we could. But in a town concerned with violent crime, the political consultant class will really make a killing in this process.
Related: Second Group Emerges With Campaign to Recall SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin [SFist]
Image: Joe Kukura, SFist