Even progressive San Franciscans seem to be saying enough is enough. District Attorney Chesa Boudin has been recalled because of his "soft-on-crime" policies. With a 25% turnout, 60 percent of those voters said no more, with 71 percent of the vote in at the time of this report.
It has been reported George Soros backed Boudin in his nationwide campaign to prop up progressive candidates. Soros has allegedly spent "more than $40 million in the past decade to elect scores of liberal prosecutors in half of America's largest jurisdictions, many of which are now roiled by crime."
Once the Board of Supervisors certifies the election results, Boudin must vacate his office within ten days. Soon after, Mayor London Breed will choose a successor. However, because of Proposition C—which might change the recall process—his replacement may be difficult to predict. If Proposition C passes, the candidate for replacement cannot be a candidate slated for that vacant seat in the next election. Effectively, it would prevent the Mayor's selection from occupying the seat in the special election scheduled for November 7, 2023.
The results were not entirely surprising because earlier polling of voter sentiment pointed to a likely recall. SFGate.com reported, "Public Policy Polling found that 48% of San Franciscans plan to vote 'yes' on recalling Boudin, 38% plan to vote 'no' and 14% are undecided. There have been two previous polls of the race: which found that 68% of voters support recalling Boudin in the June 7 election, and 32% of voters oppose the recall. A separate poll from the SF Standard found that 57% of San Franciscans plan to vote to recall Boudin while 22% will vote 'no.'"
According to local reporting, the city's voters never wholeheartedly embraced Boudin. He won with a razor-thin margin in 2019 with a low voter turnout. "He never had a coalition comprising 50+1 percent of the electorate, and cementing one was not a goal. And that left Boudin vulnerable to a recall—and, once one made the ballot aided by bottomless wells of cash distributed via a veritable matryoshka of political action committees."
San Francisco Voters Say Boudin's Policies Increased Crime
The San Francisco Police crime dashboard shows an overall increase in crime in the city of 7.8%. Larceny theft is up 20.4%, and robbery and homicide are up 11%.
Stories of smash and grab robberies of shops in San Francisco due to defund-the-police initiatives and failure to prosecute "low-level" crimes may well be behind some voter sentiment. According to CNN, some experts correlate the increase in shoplifting, for example, with Proposition 47, "a California ballot initiative passed in 2014, sought to alleviate prison overcrowding by reducing the penalties for some crimes. The measure raised the threshold for felony theft from $500 to $950." Some see raising the threshold monetary penalty as incentivizing recidivism in felony theft.
Boudin is also responsible for a plea deal for a gruesome crime involving James McGee, who "bludgeoned Arif Mohammed Qasim to death with a metal pipe." Boudin fired the head of homicide and allowed McGee to take a plea deal of involuntary manslaughter.
The Left-leaning Public Policy Institute's 2018 report entitled, The Impact of Proposition 47 on Crime and Recidivism contradicted the opinion that Prop 47 has been a root cause of rising criminal recidivism rates. The report found that recidivism decreased. Regardless of their findings, the electorate seems to disagree.
There are other indications that the people of San Francisco do not always embrace progressive policies. Boudin's recall follows a vote in San Francisco to remove three progressive school board members. "Board of Education President Gabriela López and commissioners Faauuga Moliga and Alison Collins were recalled by an overwhelming margin" in February.
Chesa Boudin hails from a solid lineage of Marxist and progressive ideology. His great-grand-uncle, Louis B. Boudin, was a Marxist theoretician and his grandfather, Leonard Boudin, was an attorney whose clients included Fidel Castro and Paul Robeson. His grand-uncle Isidor Feinstein Stone was a progressive investigative journalist.
The Weather Underground radical Kathy Boudin, who spent "more than two decades in prison for her role in a fatal 1981 armored truck robbery," was Boudin's mother. She was released under parole supervision in 2003. His father, David Gilbert, was also imprisoned for the same crime with a sentence of 75 years to life for the felony murders of two police officers and a security guard. Gilbert was released in 2021. Boudin was only 14 months old at the time of their conviction, and he was adopted by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, also members of the Weather Underground.