Groups Compete for Donors in Recall of DA Gascón

By Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
Jill McLaughlin
January 13, 2022 Updated: January 13, 2022

An official committee involved in a second effort to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has become embroiled in a tug-of-war with a competing group, causing the two to spar over donors and voter signatures.

Recall DA George Gascón, the recall committee that filed a petition with the county registrar in December 2021, advised donors on Jan. 12 to steer clear of the other group and advised them to try to get any donations they made to the group refunded.

The smaller group, Recall Gascón Now, continues to organize and raise money and intends to collect signatures, despite not filing a petition themselves.

The two committees have tried unsuccessfully to unify, which has devolved recently into infighting.

“It’s a tug of war where one side has no weight,” Recall DA George Gascón co-chair and former LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley told The Epoch Times. “I consider them kind of outliers and a distraction taking away from a very good cause. Probably the best thing to do is just ignore them and focus on the real issue which is recalling George Gascón.”

Epoch Times Photo
Steve Cooley, former LA County District Attorney, in an interview with EpochTV’s “California Insider” on Dec. 22, 2021. (Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

The smaller Recall Gascón Now organization is run by LA County Republicans Karen Roseberry, a political consultant, and Marc Ang, founder of the conservative nonprofit organization Asian Industry B2B, writer, and community organizer focused on race relations.

Roseberry ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for U.S. Senate in California during the election to replace retiring Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer. Kamala Harris was elected to the seat.

Roseberry told The Epoch Times that she never wanted to compete with the other committee.

“We don’t need to be attacking each other,” Roseberry said. “We can mutually exist.”

She said she has different opinions about how to spend money and when the recall election should occur. The official Recall DA George Gascón committee plans to place the recall on the general election ballot in November. Roseberry said she believed a special election would have more success.

The official recall committee launched the latest recall effort in December, citing disapproval with several of Gascón’s policies.

“He is basically the most dangerous man in Los Angeles County when it comes to public safety,” Cooley said. “That is because of his incredible criminal-friendly, victim-hostile policies. He is a clear and present danger to law-abiding citizens.”

Members of the official Recall DA George Gascón committee—made up mostly of crime victims, former police officers, and victims’ rights advocates—raised funds but wasn’t able to collect enough signatures last year to get on the ballot.

During the first recall attempt, the committee raised more than $1 million and collected over 200,000 signatures, according to organizers. The latest campaign needs to collect about 570,000 signatures in 160 days after a petition is accepted by LA County.

The committee submitted a petition in mid-December 2021 and expects to hear back from the county soon, according to recall committee spokesman Tim Lineberger.

If enough signatures are collected, the recall will be placed on the ballot before LA County voters.

To date, the committee has raised $2.7 million for its second official attempt, which is backed by major donors, elected officials, and victims’ families, according to the recall committee.

The city of Beverly Hills also voted recently to support the second effort. The city is one of a number of LA County cities to express public support for the effort, including Rancho Palos Verdes, Torrance, West Covina, Covina, Whittier, La Mirada, Santa Clarita, and many others. Rosemead School District is also in support of the recall, according to the group’s website.

Gascón has implemented several new controversial policies after taking office in December 2020. These include his decision to eliminate cash bail for some crimes, his policy not to prosecute suspects for some misdemeanor crimes, and his decision to seek reduced sentences related to hate, guns, and gangs.

Roseberry said she formed the smaller Recall Gascón Now effort after the official recall organization declined to offer her a full-time, paid position as a political consultant. Her group raised about $30,000 and collected signatures, but were unable to submit them to the county because the official signatures were not turned in.

“This obsessive-compulsive desire to be the official campaign is not beneficial for unity or success, especially when it casts dispersions,” Roseberry said. “There is more than enough money to go around. There shouldn’t be this need of monopolistic control.”

Cooley said it would not be possible to unify the two groups.

“Over several months, overtures have been made, but they want full-time high salaries and in charge. That’s not going to happen,” Cooley said. “They don’t merit that at all.”

The official recall committee is encouraging donors to request refunds from Recall Gascón Now. The committee members said they were optimistic about gathering enough signatures during the second attempt because of “substantial financial resources and a massive volunteer operation that is organized and ready to hit the ground running.”

“If we get this recall on the ballot, there is no doubt voters will remove George Gascón from office,” Recall DA George Gascón committee members said.