By Tim Hunt
Expect next year's district attorney campaign to draw national interestUploaded: Jun 8, 2021
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley’s decision not to seek re-election for a fourth term next year likely will put the county in the spotlight of the national move pitting traditional prosecutors against progressives.
That move nationally is driven by liberal billionaire George Soros and others who share his political views. They have successfully invested in chief prosecutor races in big cities such as St. Louis, Chicago and Philadelphia. Here in the Bay Area, you can see the havoc that has been wrought in San Francisco by Chesa Boudin. During his short stint, crime has soared in San Francisco.
It’s the same in Los Angeles where former San Francisco DA George Gascon left that job and topped two-term incumbent Jackie Lacey. Both Gascon and Boudin wasted no time making major changes to the departments. Now both are facing recall campaigns, the anti-Gascon campaign helped along by Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The DA staff attorneys in Gascon’s office have publicly opposed his actions.
Two Black attorneys already had announced their candidacies before O’Malley decision was made public. Jimmie Wilson, a 16-year member of the department as a deputy district attorney, has put his hat in the ring and can be counted upon for a more traditional view of the office such as that held by O’Malley and her predecessors.
Pamela Price, a civil rights lawyer who ran against O’Malley in 2018, announced she’s in the race again. She was joined in her announcement by another Black woman, JoAnn Walker, a San Francisco police officer for 25 years. Walker will run against incumbent Sheriff Greg Ahern who has been elected four times unopposed.
Their press release said they would mount challenges from the progressive side.
Perhaps it was no surprise that His Highness Gov. Gavin Newsom changed what was expected on June 15 when all restrictions on Californians are to be lifted. He’s sticking with that date, but was unwilling to release his emergency powers. He’s issued more than 400 dictates using the emergency health powers and clearly has no plan to give those up anytime soon.
The Legislature bought into his $600 payments to low-income people and illegal immigrants, but he required no legislative approval to launch his vax lottery with $50k payments to people in the vaccination registry and a $1.5 million grand prize. His people staged a television show with the governor pulling the first 15 winners. As he’s trotted around the state with events designed to make folks happy and blunt the expected recall campaign, those emergency powers come in handy and are unfettered.