Woke San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, whose rocky tenure as the city’s top prosecutor ended with Tuesday night when voters recalled him, admitted he “made mistakes,” but bitterly blamed the loss on “right-wing billionaires.”
Boudin, the son of two members of the Weather Underground terrorist group, was seen as soft on crime as the city became increasingly dangerous – and dirty. Early returns suggested at least 60 percent of voters wanted him out. But Boudin, who was elected in 2019 with support from liberal billionaire George Soros, blamed well-heeled supporters of the recall effort.
“People are angry, they’re frustrated, and I want to be very clear about what happened tonight: The right-wing billionaires outspent us three to one, they exploited an environment in which people are appropriately upset, and they created an electoral dynamic where we were literally shadowboxing,” Boudin said. “Voters were not given an opportunity to choose between criminal justice reform and something else. They were given an opportunity to voice their frustrations and their outrage and they took that opportunity.”
BREAKING: San Francisco removes Chesa Boudin in historic recall.
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) June 8, 2022
One of Boudin’s first moves after being elected with just over 50% of the vote was to eliminate cash bail for suspects. He also had directed his department to refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, prosecuted fewer shoplifters, and in March of 2021, he dismissed the killing of an 84-year-old Thai immigrant as a “sort of temper tantrum” gone bad.
Homicides and property crimes including burglaries and car thefts have spiked over the past two years, and Boudin’s handling of suspected fentanyl dealers has draw criticism.
Boudin acknowledged that “we’ve made mistakes,” but did not specify what he believes those mistakes are. Under the city’s rules, Boudin, who had no opponent, will be replaced by an interim prosecutor of Mayor London Breed’s choosing.
Boudin is the son of Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, members of the 1970s radical terrorist group Weather Underground. The organization was responsible for several bombings of government buildings and banks in the 1970s. Gilbert was convicted of felony murder in connection with a 1981 Brinks truck heist that left two police officers and a guard dead, while Boudin, was also convicted for her role in in the crime. When his mother went to prison for murder in 1981 when he was just a year old, Boudin was adopted by the group’s leaders, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers and Dohrn went on the careers in academia and Ayers knew former President Barack Obama, a relationship which came under scrutiny in 2008.