Nathan Hochman to Enter LA DA Race after Losing Big to Bonta, Failed Gascon Recall Co-Chair Steve Cooley is Key Supporter

This article was updated at 8:00 A.M. 4/3/23, 11:40 A.M. 4/5/23

*Editor’s Note: 4/7/23 11:50 A.M. – A representative for the Gascon Recall and Cassandra Vandenberg has contacted The Current Report to inform us that Vandenberg is not fundraising for Hochman, however, my sources working directly with fundraisers have said the opposite, in writing. 

4/11/23 10:43 A.M. Nathan Hochman sent me an email Friday, April 7th, after receiving an email from a representative from the recall, stating Vandenberg was *not* fundraising for him, however, my sources have since explained behind the scenes revenue sharing and selling of donor lists, is often not disclosed in the reporting of campaign finances (for obvious reasons) and warrants a completely separate story.

4/12/23 11:01 PM *Additional updates are in bold in each section with supporting information.

The 2024 L.A. District Attorney race is heating up with some controversial players entering the arena.

Nathan Hochman, a long-time Republican who lost big in the November 2022 California Attorney General race by over a 1.5 million votes, is formally announcing his candidacy Monday, April 3rd, for Los Angeles District Attorney, according to a press release sent out Friday morning.

Hochman’s Twitter account was recently updated to reflect his candidacy for LA DA.

After the devastating loss at the polls just a few months ago, why would Nathan Hochman want to go back into the ring for another potential political smackdown?

Powerful political insiders are telling The Current Report Hochman’s efforts smell more like a money grab than a true attempt to take the DA’s election, already filled with experienced Deputy District Attorneys who have already invested a considerable amount of time in the press opposing their opposing their boss, George Gascon since he took office.

Bait and Switch

Nathan Hochman in L.A. County is best-known for defending former Sheriff Lee Baca in his federal trial. Baca was ultimately convicted and on May 12, 2017, Baca was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in a scheme to obstruct an FBI investigation of abuses in county jails. Baca reported to prison and began his sentence on February 5, 2020.

Nathan Hochman, far right, with former Sheriff Lee Baca who entered federal prison to serve a three year term in 2020. Photo: Nick Ut/AP

Recently, The Current Report received a text Hochman sent out personally (within the last two weeks) to elected Republican D.A.s throughout the state mentioning Steve Cooley, the co-chair of the failed Gascon Recall and his endorsement, asking for their support.

Additionally, Hochman, a long-time Republican, dumped his party switching to “No Party Preference” for the non-partisan LA District Attorney race.

Cooley openly throwing his support behind Nathan Hochman for District Attorney is telling, given the Gascon recall is still in litigation and headed to court April 6th, just days after Hochman formally announces his candidacy, with oral arguments are expected to be heard July 13th, 2023.

Many highly respected supporters of the recall and political insiders believe the court process is only to “save face” for Cooley and fundraiser Cassandra Vandenberg, who according to sources and documents obtained by The Current Report ran the PAC for the recall amassing over $8 million for the recall effort – and now we are learning form inside sources, Vandenberg is fundraising for Hochman’s bid for D.A. (*See editor’s note.)

The first recall stopped abruptly in 2021, shortly before the first deadline to turn in signatures, to re-structure amid an inner power struggle. Vandenberg, who was involved in the first effort, took control over the second recall, according to sources both close and working within both recalls, was the highest paid, raking in nearly $2 million dollars for her failed efforts.

Text from a source close to the recall referring to Vandenberg and her role in the recall.

*A representative for the recall contacted The Current Report stating that Vandenberg made only $300,000 and was not in charge of the recall. My sources state otherwise and a lawsuit was filed against the recall naming Cassandra Vandenberg and her husband personally in the suit.


In the lawsuit, Vandenberg makes “personal guarantees” for the services she is requesting from LTVD. The Current Report obtained text messages between Vandenberg and Mark Jacoby of LTVD where she personally guarantees $1,000,000.

Additionally, LTVD states in the lawsuit “the actions of the defendants constitute a violation of “Penal Code 496“, the crime of “receiving stolen property” as described under California Penal Code. This statute makes it a crime to receive property knowing it was stolen or obtained by extortion. According to a representative for the recall, a countersuit was filed and sources tell us there are talks of a settlement (developing story).

While both recall efforts did not result in getting George Gascon on the ballot to remove him from office, Vandenberg, Cooley, and their pool of political consultants pocketed millions of dollars and according to reports, documents and pending litigation, could potentially have criminal implications.

Based on the in-depth report by Red State Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar, who was in contact with a whistleblower within the recall campaign:

“The Recall George Gascón effort failed because the committee’s purse strings were controlled by political consultants who were being paid by the campaign, and who contracted with vendors on the basis of cronyism or financial gain instead of competency. Despite the vast sums of money raised and spent, the quality of the signatures submitted to LA County was “embarrassingly incompetent,” in the words of one former professional who viewed some of the materials provided to RedState.

In addition, campaign insiders say a duplicate check was not performed prior to submitting petitions to the county, and that the numbers provided to the press and donors included these signatures that organizers knew would be disqualified.”

*A representative of the Recall asked myself and journalist David Greenwald to correct our stories, “The claims made in the RedState article are demonstrably false”, however, we both contacted RedState managing editor Jennifer Van Laar who stands by her reporting, as does Greenwald who also included an editor’s note at the top of his article. The same information quoting Van Laar’s article is published in this article by The Daily Wire and this article on Election Law Blog.


Mike Netter, who helped spearhead the effort to recall Gavin Newsom, the largest volunteer effort in U.S. History, successful in getting the Newsom recall to ballot, raised less than a third than both doomed Gascon efforts, had this to say about Nathan Hochman’s impending announcement:

“It seems rather bizarre that Nathan Hochman would abandon the Republican Party which endorsed him last election to align himself with those that have run two failed recall campaigns. I question the motivation of a man running for DA with experience only in white collar crime working with those who may be accused of white collar crimes themselves. Los Angeles needs a look of less corruption, not more. People have lost faith in both their city and county government, including the district attorney. Nathan Hochman just lost substantially in the LA vote for Attorney General. Is he running for the people of LA or just trying to create another fundraising machine to dilute others getting elected?”

Based on Hochman’s November 2022 results in L.A. County, the question is, why would he think his campaign would be viable?



Cece Woods

The Current Report Editor in Chief Cece Woods started The Local Malibu, an activism based platform in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of pro-preservation ballot measures and seating five top vote-getters in the Malibu City Council elections.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the two-year law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, and a few short months later provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over one million hits across her social media platforms.

Since 2020, Woods was the only journalist reporting on the on-going public corruption involving former L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington. Woods worked with Political Corruption expert Adam Loew, DC Watchdog organizations and leaders in the Capitol exposing Washington which ultimately led to the withdrawal of his nomination to head the FAA.

Woods also founded Malibu based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag devoted to the authentic southern California lifestyle.

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