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News + PoliticsCommunity leaders line up to oppose attacks on DA Chesa Boudin

Community leaders line up to oppose attacks on DA Chesa Boudin

Records show the recall effort is backed by Big Tech, Finance, and Real-Estate (and someone who says 'VC Lives Matter.')


The right-wing campaign to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin is a long way from qualifying for the ballot, but a coalition of community leaders and activists is already organizing to oppose it.

They argue that this campaign is part of an emerging trend to attack progressives and their positions in the city at a time when the left has had tremendous electoral successes.

Boudin, supporters say, has been doing what he promised to do when he was duly elected, and now a right-wing group wants to recall him. Photo: Smeeta Mahanti

“It’s a shot across the bow, and we’ve seen it before,” said former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. The power structure doesn’t like our success, but I think they underestimate the people power out there.”

The list of Boudin supporters is already long and growing, and you can see it here. In a press release today, former state Senator Mark Leno noted that:

Recently, elections were held and the voters’ voices were heard. Now, just 16 months later, a minority of deep pocketed special interests want those voices silenced and their decision overturned. We see this happening throughout California. Endless recalls will keep us all in a constant state of campaigns preventing our elected officials from doing their jobs. I support Chesa Boudin and the important work that he’s doing. We should all oppose this recall for the unnecessary and disruptive impact it will have on our treasured democratic process.

There’s also an open letter from community activists noting that overall crime is down, the DA’s Office is prosecuting thousands of cases, and that the DA can’t prosecute when the cops don’t make an arrest.

The recall of Gavin Newsom appears to be going nowhere. But on a local level, there’s an attack on Boudin and on several progressives on the School Board.

Supporters of a Boudin recall will need to gather more than 50,000 valid signatures – and that’s a stretch (particularly during COVID). But they have plenty of money.

The recall organization has raised $76,000 as of March 15, according to Ethics Commission records. By my analysis, more than half of the donors – and two-thirds of the money – comes from either Big Tech, Real Estate, or Big Finance.

The single biggest donor is David Sacks, who put up $25,000. Sacks is a former PayPal exec who once wrote a book with Peter Theil that, according to Wikipedia,  

Argues racism is largely imaginary, that date rape is “belated regret,” that the real victims of the movement to end sexual assault are men, and compared the actions taken against future PayPal executive Keith Rabois for shouting homophobic slurs in a 1992 incident to the Salem witch trials.

Both men have since apologized for their comments about rape. But he remains a major right-wing figure who on Twitter calls for locking more people up and cites the Marina Times, which has a history of putting out false information about Boudin.

In fact, it’s the right wing of Big Tech that is pushing this recall – often in astonishing ways. Mother Jones has a stunning story on the issue that quotes tech investor Ellie Cachette as saying “VC lives matter. We’re the ones employing people, bringing business, buying properties, you know, paying property taxes.”

This is who wants to get rid of Chesa Boudin.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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