Campaign to recall LA County DA George Gascón grows

Organizers of the second effort to recall embattled Los Angeles County DA George Gascón said they have gained momentum after collecting more than 200,000 signatures– with plenty of time to still hit their goal to get on the November ballot.

Campaign officials said they also have raised more than $4 million — already four times the money raised compared to last year’s recall efforts, which fizzled in September after failing to secure less than half of the approximately 500,000 signatures needed from LA County voters.

 “We are continuing to deploy our resources, and we are definitely going in the right trajectory,” recall spokesperson Tim Lineberger told The Post. “There is just a lot more support this time around since people are more aware that what’s been happening in Los Angeles County, especially crime increasing, is tied to George Gascón’s policies.”

While last year’s campaign garnered just 200,000 votes by the October 2021 deadline, the campaign this year has already collected more votes with still three months left before the deadline.

To get on the ballot, a total of 566,857 signatures — 10 percent of total Los Angeles County registered voters — must be submitted to the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office by July 6.

A “Recall George Gascón” petition signing held in Downey, Calif.

This time around, recall organizers deployed several tools to get the word out — from the “Recall DA George Gascón” app to an “accountability” feature on their website that shows a list of Gascón’s major donors.

The campaign also made sure to set up permanent signing locations throughout Los Angeles County, which voters can track via the app.

Gascón ousted incumbent Jackie Lacey from office in November 2020, promising sweeping criminal justice reform. In his first 100 days, Gascón ended the filing of death penalty charges, stopped the practice of prosecuting children as adults and did away with criminal enhancements that he said “exacerbate recidivism.”

Last month, however, Gascón backtracked some of his controversial policies, according to a series of memos obtained by The Post.

Since Gascón pivoted on some of his policies, prosecutors can once again seek special enhancements for felony charges that would add additional prison sentences depending on the circumstance, such as a murder committed for the benefit of a gang.

Desiree Andrade lost her 20-year-old son in 2018 and spoke at a press conference in Los Angeles to recall LA District Attorney Gascón.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

A new committee made up of Gascón’s executive team also will review those cases before enhancements can be filed. Prosecutors can again seek a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole “where it is deemed such filings are appropriate.”

However, Gascón remained steadfast on his refusal to seek the death penalty for any cases. In a statement, Gascón said, “After listening to the community, victims and colleagues, I understand that there may be the rare occasion where the filing of special circumstance allegations may be necessary.”

A request for comment from Gascón regarding the recall was not returned. 

Meanwhile, the list of supporters who have since rescinded their support for Gascón continues to grow and includes ex-Los Angeles Department Chief Charlie Beck, the LA Police Protective League, the LA County Professional Peace Officers Association and the Association of Deputy District Attorneys. 

“Politically, he’s on an island right now,” Lineberger said. “It’s a growing echo chamber and groups of people from all different walks of life are seeing that Gascón is even being used as a litmus test in other local elections. … That pressure has helped us get more awareness, and it’s good to see that despite their politics, so many different voices are now on board and agree on this issue, which is public policy.”

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