Gascón’s Failed Policies Highlighted in DeSantis-Newsom Debate

Gascón’s Failed Policies Highlighted in DeSantis-Newsom Debate

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón speaks at a press conference in Los Angeles, on Dec. 8, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Cece Woods
Cece Woods


Updated: 12/4/2023


In his attempt to illuminate Gavin Newsom’s failures as Governor of California in a televised debate on Nov. 30, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis zeroed in on Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s pro-criminal policies resulting in a catastrophic rise in crime in L.A. County since Mr. Gascón took office in 2020.
“Gavin Newsom has not lifted a finger to rein in Gascón in L.A.,” Mr. DeSantis said, arguing that the county has “collapsed” because the district attorney “is not enforcing the law.”
Earlier this month, Mr. Gascón attended his first debate after announcing he will run for re-election. During the debate he defended his policies—however, statistics presented during the forum by his opponent Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told a different story:
  • Hate crimes up over 100 percent from 2019 to 2023
  • Jewish hate crimes up 27.6 percent just this year
  • Restaurant burglaries up 103 percent from 2019 to 2023
  • Retail theft up 123 percent just this year
  • Commercial burglaries up 29 percent this year
  • Commercial robberies up 19 percent just this year
Violent crime was also up in Los Angeles County in 2021 and 2022, but dropped slightly this year.
“They are on an ideological joyride to let people out of prison,” Mr. DeSantis said. “Gavin’s buddy in Los Angeles, Gascón, he doesn’t even prosecute them,” he added, continuing that he had heard from people in California who were scared to go shopping for fear of getting mugged.
At the debate, Mr. Gascón denied that his progressive policies have lead to an increase in crime since he took office, calling criticism of him “fake news” and pointing out that crime is down on average in Los Angeles County in 2023.
“During the last three years of Gascón, property crimes and violent crimes in L.A. County have risen according to the Department of Justice,” said Mr. Hatami, a vocal opponent of his boss Mr. Gascón since he was sworn into office.
“It’s a fact. That’s even true when many crimes don’t even get reported anymore because of Gascón’s blanket no-filing policies and the result of less police, less arrests, less support and a demoralized police force. Furthermore, our felony filing statistics should reflect more filings, not the same as it was in 2019 and 2020, because L.A. has more crime. A higher crime rate should reflect more felony filings. That is clearly not the case under Gascón. Don’t believe Gascón’s gaslighting and word salad. Gascón came into the office promising not to charge many crimes and enhancements, and he has done just that. Now, we have more crime in L.A., less public safety, an abandonment of victims and a demoralized police force. That is Gascon’s legacy. That is what he calls reforms. It’s time to take L.A. back and vote Gascón out.”
Mr. Hatami recently announced he will be on the March 5, 2024 ballot as a candidate for district attorney.
The following 12 candidates have filed paperwork with the L.A. County Registrar to run for district attorney so far:
  • Jonathan Hatami
  • George Gascón
  • Eric Siddall
  • Maria Ramirez
  • John McKinney
  • Nathan Hochman
  • Jeff Chemerinsky
  • David Milton
  • Dan Kapelovitz
  • Debra Archuleta
  • Craig Mitchell
  • Lloyd Masson
The deadline to complete and turn in nomination papers is Dec. 8.
Los Angeles voters will have their say in the March 2024 primary regarding which district attorney candidates will appear on the November ballot.

Cece Woods is editor-in-chief of The Current Report. Ms. Woods also started The Local Malibu in 2014, and founded Malibu-based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag. She has reported extensively on hot topics such as the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, wildfires, and local public corruption.

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