Ahead of California's June 6 primary election, San Francisco residents and special-interest groups are witnessing a record-setting influx of money in a bid to recall progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Courthouse News reports. Voting has already begun and the recall effort has had national attention, having reportedly raised about $5 million. Coalitions opposing the recall and Bay Area criminal law experts paint the effort as a conservative-backed attempt to change the city’s approach to criminal justice and politics that is not likely to succeed. Boudin took office in January 2020, beating out interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus with a call to combat mass incarceration. The website recallchesa.com was launched anonymously before his inauguration and the San Francisco Police Officers Association invested at least $600,000 into ads calling Boudin “the #1 choice of criminals and gang members.”
In 2021, political commentator Richie Greenberg registered the recallchesaboudin.org domain as a recall committee. Mary Jung, former San Francisco Democratic Party chair, launched another pro-recall committee San Franciscans for Public Safety. The latter’s website reports $3,879,250 has come from San Rafael group Neighbors for a Better San Francisco Advocacy. Recall backers claim Boudin is not prosecuting criminals as much as his predecessors, and cite policies such as alternative dispositions for fentanyl drug dealing to prevent deportations. The police union has repeatedly denounced Boudin’s policies. Police Chief Bill Scott attempted to end a memorandum of understanding holding the DA’s office as lead investigating agency on use-of-force incidents, in-custody deaths and police shootings. Boudin has also been at odds with the police department, including the disclosure that officers used DNA from a woman’s rape kit to implicate her in a property crime.