Lee Heidhues 5.17.2022
Shameful are Recall endorsements by two local politicians. One a former Assistant District Attorney. The other currently an Assistant District Attorney.
Both must realize it is unethical and blatant political expediency to join in this attempted political Coup d’etat against the sitting San Francisco DA. Chesa Boudin.
Both are on Mayor London Breed’s short list should the Recall succeed.
- San Francisco Board of Supervisor member Catherine Stefani, a one-time Assistant District Attorney in Contra Costa. She now represents the wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood.
- Nancy Tung, currently an Assistant District Attorney in Alameda County. She finished third in a field of four running against DA Boudin in 2019. The ambitious Tung has made clear her plans to run, again in 2023. https://sfstandard.com/criminal-justice/chesa-boudin-recall-nancy-tung-looks-to-take-another-shot-at-running-for-da/
- https://apps.calbar.ca.gov/attorney/Licensee/Detail/203236 .
It is truly depressing and exasperating that San Francisco, whose reputation for Progressive politics is clearly overblown, may be living up to the reputation that real San Franciscans know exists. Parochial, conservative, biased, racist and pro Cop.
San Francisco has now been seduced by the MAGA crowd with its millions of dollars which spent 1.4MM on mercenaries to qualify for the ballot. Spending millions more on false and misleading ads, recruiting what can only be called collaborators in their MAGA campaign in San Francisco.
Excerpted from The San Francisco Examiner 5.17.2022
If voters recall DA Chesa Boudin, San Francisco would be placed well to the right of many American cities and counties on issues of criminal justice and, indeed, civil rights.
A signal that San Francisco’s drift rightward has accelerated.
So, as the June 7 recall approaches, the district attorney faces a recall attempt due to a crime wave that doesn’t really exist and that — if it did exist — would be due to factors such as The City not having enough police, the opioid epidemic and the rising cost of living in the Bay Area, all of which are beyond Boudin’s control. To state the obvious, the recall attempt is about politics, not crime.
Chesa Boudin is American progressive royalty. So it is no surprise conservative groups and individuals cannot abide him. But the days when the DA was tough on crime and always sided with police are over in America — and Boudin is a reflection of that.
The easiest way to understand these politics is as a battle between moderates and progressives in San Francisco.
Recalling Boudin is not a moderate position. It is a reactionary one — an attempt to overturn an election and push out a district attorney who, while clearly progressive, does not exactly stand out among big city district attorneys in the third decade of the 21st century.
Boudin presents as more of a left-wing outlier than he is. It is true that no other big city DA has Boudin’s radical lineage. His mother, Kathy Boudin, who was a member of the group Weather Underground, was incarcerated due to her role in the robbery of a Brinks Security truck by Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army that resulted in the death of a security guard and two police officers. In addition to her own activities, Kathy Boudin was the daughter of a progressive attorney who represented the Cuban government and Paul Robeson. Kathy Boudin died of cancer earlier this month.
In major cities across the country, progressive prosecutors are remaking the job of district attorney in much the way Boudin is. For example, Manhattan’s new DA, Alvin Bragg, sent a memo to his staff on his first day on the job instructing them to explore alternatives to incarceration and cut back on pretrial incarceration to avoid sending youths to adult courts. Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Brooklyn are among the places that have, or have had, prosecutors well to the left of Bragg who share Boudin’s approach to the job.
This would be a big symbolic victory for the right, celebrated at Fox News and in conservative San Francisco circles. However, a successful recall would do little to decrease crime. Boudin’s successor might push for longer sentences and prosecute more people who are arrested, but given that Boudin’s prosecution rates are pretty much in line with most of his predecessors, crime rates would be only very marginally impacted.
Lincoln Mitchell has written numerous books and articles about The City and the Giants. Visit lincolnmitchell.com or follow him on Twitter @LincolnMitchell