An exclusive report by RedState found that the campaign to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón was unsuccessful due to the campaign’s negligence and willingness to turn in invalid petition signatures, mislead donors, and allegedly request workers to break the law.
On August 15, LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RRCC) Dean Logan announced that the recall campaign had not successfully turned in the necessary amount of signatures. Of the more than 715,000 signatures given to Logan, over 195,000 were found to be invalid.
“Based on the examination and verification, which conducted in compliance with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the California Government Code, Elections Code, and Code of Regulations, 520,050 signatures were found to be valid and 195,783 were found to be invalid,” Logan’s office said in a news release.
The recall effort needed to submit 566,857 valid petition signatures in order to qualify for the ballot in November.
RedState had discussions with sources and whistleblowers and examined materials surrounding the recall effort’s failure. The outlet claimed that the effort was unsuccessful because the campaign’s funds were under the thumb of political consultants who worked with vendors in a dishonest way and were more committed to making money than turning in accurate signatures.
Cassandra Vandenberg was widely known as the person in charge of the committee, but an anonymous whistleblower told RedState that Vandenberg was aware signatures were being included from people who were located outside of the county or non-voters and told campaign staff to keep them on the petitions “because we need the numbers.”
RedState reportedly spoke to witnesses and examined documents that showed a large number of circulators — the people who collect the signatures — didn’t finish the attestation section correctly. The person who collected the signatures is required to attest to every page of signatures. These mistakes were not noticed by hired validation firms, the firm that collected signatures, or the campaign committee until the petitions were almost ready to be submitted on July 6, according to the report.
Vandenberg allegedly told campaign employees — in the presence of several deputy district attorneys — to forge signatures of the circulators in the attestation section, which are signed under threat of perjury.
The campaign also hired Let the Voters Decide (LTVD), a signature-gathering firm, with whom they have ongoing litigation, RedState reported. LTVD claims they didn’t carry out any verification because they were aware that the validation firms were doing that.
Multiple L.A. County residents also complained of the strange and pushy behavior of the signature gatherers, with one Twitter user commenting that they asked her to sign even though she had already done so.
There were signature gatherers in Long Beach/ Lakewood area that were from Texas, I asked them why they’d move to California from Texas, woman told me they came to work. I asked doing signature gathering.. yes. No harm I guess but they were clueless to how bad Gascon is.
— Ms. Redbarn (@MsRedbarn) August 17, 2022
LTVD also submitted tens of thousands of signatures on the last day. Sources reportedly told RedState that there were ongoing negotiations over payment between the group and Vandenberg, with Vandenberg telling the office a few days before the deadline that she needed to bring in over $700,000 that weekend. Some people theorized this was because she needed to pay LTVD so they would turn over their signatures, but she didn’t explain the reason, according to the outlet. People within the campaign said Vandenberg doubled that threshold, the report stated.
The outlet also reported that documents revealed that the campaign committee overly exaggerated the amount of signatures gathered at specific times during the campaign in order to get more financial donations.
The campaign complained about procedural items concerning the count, which RedState says are not entirely fair. Logan’s office, however, had not given the committee information about how they can examine the rejected signatures and verification procedure as of August 17, per RedState’s sources.
RELATED: Recall Gascón Campaign Denies Negligence Allegations After Recall Failure