The first indepedent poll results reveal staggering numbers for District Attorney George Gascon as we are in the home stretch to the primary scheduled for March 5th, 2023.
The University of Southern California Dornsife/Price Center for Urban Politics and Policy,CSU Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, conducted the California Elections and Policy Poll of 1,416 of the California voter elctorate on January 21st-29th.
The survey asked vote choices in the U.S. Senate primary; the Democratic Presidential primary, the Rebublican Presidential primary and vote preferences in the November Presidential election with a subsample of LA County was asked about their vote choices in the County’s District Attorney’s Race.
Voters expressed their preference and attitudes about a number of policies including crime, a topic high on the list for LA County voters.
A summary of key poll findings for the LA County District Attorney poll indicates Gascon’s potential weakness in the LA County electorate. Over half of voters disapprove of Gascon’s pro-criminal policies, 25% neither approved or disapproved, and only 24% of voters approve of Gascon’s efforts to reimagine public safety.
While Geoorge Gascon came in at 15%, a jaw dropping 64% were undecided.
Among the candidates running against incumbent, veteran prosecutor Jonathan Hatami came in the lead with 8%.
“The amount of support all over the county has truly inspired and energized me and our campaign. I’m so incredibly grateful. We are the leading challenger. It’s now the final stretch. One month left. All Angelenos need to make sure they vote if they really want to get Gascón out and bring public safety back to LA. The final poll will be on March 5, 2024. Let’s make sure Hatami is on top.”
To date, Hatami has the most endorsements of all the candidates to date. Many are from City and County officials and members law enforcement unions and associations throughout LA County.
Nathan Hochman followed with 4%, Jeff Chereminsky 2%, Craig Mitchell 2%, Maria Ramirez 2%. All other candidates 1% each.
An unprecedented 37 cities in LA County voted No Confidence in DA Gascon after less than a year in office.
On February 1st, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, alleging a systematic and deliberate failure to comply with the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”), the state version of the Freedom of Information Act. The ADDA, representing the interests of over 750 Deputy District Attorneys, contends that Gascón’s failure to comply with the law and to provide documents contradicts his professed commitment to transparency.
This is the ADDA’s second suit filed against DA Gascon. The ADDA won their first suit filed just 13 days after he took office. The lawsuit targets four separate directives issued by the District Attorney that ignore or violate state law. The ADDA won the suit in State court and Appelate Court of Appeals. Gascon appealed to the Supreme Court after losing two decisions.
Michele Hanisee, President of the ADDA had this to say about the most recent lawsuit:
“The public must be aware of George Gascón’s lack of transparency. His calculated and persistent refusal to comply with California’s freedom of information law is one of the worst examples of that, but it’s not the only one. Voters deserve to know his entire record before they vote.”
Numerous CPRA requests directed to the Custodian of Records within District Attorney Gascón’s office, the person designated to handle such requests, have gone unanswered. The 88-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court outlines instances where Gascón cited improper and nonexistent legal justifications to duck his mandated disclosure obligations. The lawsuit also reveals instances in which Gascón selectively turned over some documents while claiming it was overly burdensome to turn over others.
In one specific case, Gascón claimed it was overly burdensome to disclose communications related to his decision to hire particular individuals. Despite the disagreement, ADDA narrowed its request to focus only on documents referring to Alex Bastian and Maxwell Szabo for a 20-day period. Similarly, the request concerning the hiring of Tiffiny Blacknell, Alisa Blair, and Shelan Joseph was refined to a 12-day period. Notably, Gascón failed to cite any statute supporting claims of privilege or confidentiality, rendering the delays and refusals unjustifiable.
Ryan Erlich, Vice President of the ADDA, added, “George Gascón is quick to take credit for other prosecutors’ victories, but he’s even quicker to hide his failures. We’re using California’s freedom of information law to ask about some of those failures. A million-dollar-plus no-bid contract with little work to show for it, outside consultants calling the shots on policy and staffing, serious cases handled and dismissed in secret (with seven-figure judgments), and political allies appointed to high-ranking and high-paid public positions. Why is he running from public disclosure on these issues? What’s he got to hide?”
Ballots were mailed out to LA County voters last week. The primary election. for Los Angeles County District Attorney is March 5th, 2024.