DA Gascon Gets Sued by His Own Staff
March 31, 2022
Opinion by Corva Corvax
The reform-minded district attorney no longer holds a plurality of voters in his camp
March 24, 2022 - A poll commissioned by the Los Angeles Police Protective League shows a plurality of voters would vote to recall controversial LA County District Attorney George Gascon. The same poll conducted last year showed an opposite result, with strong plurality supporting the district attorney. Over the last year, more voters grew undecided and sentiment against Gascon shifted 18 points.
The poll, conducted by New Bridge Strategy, solicited the opinion of 800 "likely" voters throughout the City of Los Angeles. With the single question voters would face on a ballot, "Shall George Gascón be recalled from the office of District Attorney?" they received a response of 41% saying Yes to recall him. 36% said they would No against a recall. And a significant 23% said they were undecided.
In the same poll last year, 49% of voters wanted to keep Gascon and only 36% wanted to recall him.
"Los Angeles voters are living with the results of George Gascon's failed policies that are making our neighborhoods less safe, and they are fed up," said LAPPL President Craig Lally. "He wants to protect the criminal and not everyday residents who are being victimized."
Gascon was elected to the county's highest law enforcement office in the November 2020 election and took control of the office in December of that year. He immediately instituted a number of policies he said were driven by the evidence of data to reduce crime and make neighborhoods safer. These included eliminating cash bail for nearly all crimes, refusing to prosecute most misdemeanors including resisting arrest and trespassing, forbidding filing sentencing enhancements, treating repeat offenders as first-time offenders, trying all youth offenders as juveniles no matter their age or the severity of the crime, and forbidding his deputies from attending parole hearings.
Gascon's staff immediately sued him to force him to obey state and local law. Recently, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys voted to support his recall by 97.9% in a poll with 83.3% participation.
The New Bridge Strategy poll found that age was the strongest predictor of a desire to recall George Gascon among likely voters. "Which means that the lower the turnout of the election, the more challenging this would be" for the embattled district attorney. The only subgroup New Bridge Strategy found that did not support Gascon's recall was 18-44 year-old white people. Among other subgroups, including Black and Hispanic voters, sentiment increased over the past year to recall Gascon. A plurality of both Black and Hispanic voters, in all age groups, would vote to recall Gascon.
New Bridge Strategy cautioned, at 23%, "a significant number of City voters are still unsure as to how they would vote in such an election.”