Newsom Ducks Judging George Gascón As Soft-On-Crime DA Faces Recall

California Governor Gavin Newsom said he’s not in a position to judge the performance of controversial Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, whose soft-on-crime policies have been blamed for rising violence in the city.

Newsom passed on the chance to criticize the fellow liberal Democrat, but signaled that he is aware of deep concerns in the state’s biggest city. Gascón is facing a recall election effort to oust him from office over his unpopular, progressive strategies.

“I don’t know enough about the job he’s done,” Newsom told Elex Michelson, of Fox LA. “I am deeply concerned about the criticism… I’ll leave the more objective analysis of his job to locals.” 

I ask @GavinNewsom if he thinks @GeorgeGascon is doing a good job?

“I don’t know enough about the job he’s done…I’m deeply concerned about the criticism.”

“I’ll leave the more objective analysis of his job to locals.”

Full interview on @TheIssueIsShow

— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) July 15, 2022

Likely referencing his own recall election, Newsom said in the interview, “I have an aversion to recalls, as you know, and I am not convinced that’s the best democratic approach to solving every problem.”

The Gascón recall website states that the DA’s “pro-criminal agenda has turned Los Angeles into a nightmare,” pointing to his unwillingness to charge juvenile criminals as adults, “even rape, murder or other heinous crimes, even if days shy of turning 18.”

On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder said it finished a random sampling to verify the recall petitions, and will continue with a “full check of all signatures submitted,” according to Fox News. The office examined 35,793 signatures of the total 715,833 signatures that were sent in. Some 27,983 out of the signatures examined were deemed valid, which “falls within the threshold that requires the RR/CC to verify all petition signatures submitted,” according to the office.

Progressive district attorneys have been blamed for the rise in crime in several Democrat-run cities, including San Francisco, where progressive former District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recently recalled. Boudin addressed his loss at the time by blaming the situation on “right-wing billionaires,” while acknowledging “we’ve made mistakes” without elaborating.

Newsom has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, causing some to speculate about a potential 2024 presidential run. His re-election campaign recently bought ad space in Florida, criticizing Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ policies in the state. They purchased approximately $105,000 in cable television ads that began airing in the Sunshine State on Fox News starting on July 4.

In the ad, Newsom is seen saying, “It’s Independence Day, so let’s talk about what’s going on in America. Freedom? It’s under attack in your state.”

Newsom also went to Washington, D.C., this week to accept an educational award on behalf of the state of California, despite California being ranked worst in the nation for literacy and students’ scores dropping after strict lockdowns kept children at home during the pandemic. 

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