This past Wednesday, the process used to recall the district attorney of San Francisco failed to take hold, but the people that are opposing the reform-minded prosecutor may still have an opportunity to boot the person from office.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, “One of the two dueling efforts to oust San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has failed, falling short of collecting the required 51,325 signatures to qualify for a special recall election, city elections officials said Wednesday.” However, according to the outlet, “A second, more well-heeled recall campaign still looms large over the progressive prosecutor, and claims to have gathered nearly the required signatures months before they’re due in October.”
Also important to note: We don't know how many of these 49K would have been counted as valid. Recall organizer @richieSF2016 said they had received several batches of fake signatures, and didn't know if they had missed others.
— Megan Cassidy (@meganrcassidy) August 11, 2021
Groups of officials stated that the first campaign had managed to gather and submit over 49,000 signatures. The organizers of the recall stated that they ended up being just 1,714 signatures short of the required number to kick off the campaign.
Richie Greenberg, the former republican mayoral candidate, set off the spark that initiated the original recall attempt back in March. he stated that the two separate campaigns had only caused confusion. along with batches of entirely fake signatures turned in to the organizers over the past weeks. This past Wednesday, Greenberg went on to attempt to throw the blame on the second recall group for hampering his own campaign’s efforts.
“They’re the ones that screwed us over – there are bad, bad, bad feelings, for sure,” stated Greenberg.
As stated by the San Francisco Examiner, Greenberg’s “volunteers collected 52,990 signatures, but determined that 3,379 were either invalid or blatantly fake, filed with fictitious names such as ‘Ben Dover.’”
as stated by The Chronicle, Greenberg stated that he would not rule out a collaboration with the second recall group, all in spite of the apparent deep animosity.
Greenberg stated in a tweet: “Let’s be clear: Chesa supporters had nothing to do with us missing the mark. They convinced no one. Don’t let them celebrate.”
What an effort. The City owes a huge gratitude to the Recall Team for the tireless work done over the months. We needed 51,325. We fell short by 1,714.
Let’s be clear: Chesa supporters had nothing to do with us missing the mark. They convinced no one. Don’t let them celebrate. pic.twitter.com/yPRj62SCXY
— Richie Greenberg (@richieSF2016) August 11, 2021
As detailed by The Examiner:
The news is not completely unexpected. Political consultants have predicted the first recall effort would fail, while the second would succeed simply because of funding, The Examiner previously reported. The latest campaign finance filings show the Greenberg committee collected just $277,000 in contributions as of the end of July, compared to the second recall committee’s $715,000 war chest.
Both committees started based on the perception that Boudin is making San Francisco less safe as a progressive prosecutor who seeks to reduce mass incarceration. Boudin, in response, has pointed to police data showing that overall crime is down, while certain types of crimes like homicide are up.
The second committee is fronted by politicos Mary Jung, former chair of the local Democratic Party, and Andrea Shorter, a longtime member of the Commission on the Status of Women. They started the committee to appeal to a broader range of Democrats and distance the recall from Greenberg and his Republican ties, even though they later took in dollars from deep-pocketed donors that have supported Republican causes.