Op-Ed: I will bring an end to the failed reign of George Gascón - Nathan Hochman
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-22376,single-format-standard,bridge-core-3.0.9,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-29.7,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_bottom,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-7.1,vc_responsive

Op-Ed: I will bring an end to the failed reign of George Gascón

Op-Ed: I will bring an end to the failed reign of George Gascón

In the March 5 primary election, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón received 25.2% of the vote, the lowest vote total for an incumbent D.A. seeking re-election in L.A. County history.

Stated differently, approximately 75% of the voters rejected Gascón, and now I face him in a runoff in the November 5 general election, having earned the second highest number of votes in the primary.

My task to defeat Gascón is straightforward: uniting the 75% of those who rejected Gascón and come from across every political, geographic, and demographic line.

How will I accomplish this?  I will ask voters the simple question of who will keep them and their families safe over the next four years and ask them to compare my experience and record to Gascón’s. Gascón knows this attack is coming and fears it. On election night, once he found out that I would be his challenger in November, his campaign issued a statement.  Normally, the incumbent’s statement would tout his experience and record as the main reasons why voters should choose him against his opponent. Gascón did not do this because he loses on both fronts.

In a battle of experience, he knows he suffers a knockout blow in round one.  In contrast to my 34 years’ criminal justice experience as a federal prosecutor of over 100 cases ranging from narcotics traffickers, violent gang members, environmental criminals, corrupt public officials and cops, and tax evaders; as a presidentially appointed, unanimously Senate-confirmed U.S. Assistant Attorney General; as President of the L.A. City Ethics Commission; and as a defense attorney with over 200 cases under my belt, Gascón has never personally prosecuted or defended a single criminal case in his whole life. He is not only unqualified to be D.A., he is unqualified to be a line prosecutor in that office or a junior law firm associate. Yet, instead of attempting to learn from his over 750 deputy district attorneys with collectively thousands of years of prosecutorial experience, Gascón on his first day in office imposed a series of pro-criminal, anti-victim blanket policies that he required his prosecutors to follow. It’s no surprise that 98% of his prosecutors supported his recall.

His election night statement was not only deafeningly silent on his experience but also completely ignored his failed record. Normally an incumbent D.A. would highlight his four-year record of improving public safety to convince voters to re-elect him. But his record on safety has been an abject failure.As a result of his extreme, pro-criminal policies, violent and property crime have risen substantially in every year  he has been in office compared to the year he entered office. Shoplifting is up in 2023 by 81% alone. Hate incidents are up over 100%. While homicides are down over 30% in 2024 in cities like San Francisco and San Diego, the murder rate is actually up in Los Angeles for the year. Voters understand this since when polled, over two-thirds of them say they feel less safe today than when Gascón took office in 2020.

ailing on experience and his record, Gascon’s election night statement tried to politicize the race, dividing us rather than uniting us, saying this election will be about Democrats vs. Republicans. This is a desperate, failing gambit in many respects. In my political journey, I have been a Democrat for 20 years, a centrist, pro-choice Republican for 20 years (who has not voted for Donald Trump), and now an Independent running for a non-partisan position where we want an independent D.A. making decisions based on the facts and the law and not an extreme political agenda (like Gascon). Prominent Democrats like Max and Rory Kennedy and high-profile prosecutors and former opponents John McKinney and Maria Ramirez have endorsed me in the race. Indeed, Gascón must realize how ludicrous and convoluted this political ploy is – he is also a former Republican and he knows full well that I’m a centrist independent.

My goal is to take politics out of the D.A.’s Office since politics doesn’t keep people safe. I will hold criminals accountable and deter criminal conduct by working in the schools with students and in prisons with inmates to get them skill sets to transform their lives.

Knowing he is down right now by over 20 points in the polls, Gascón will try every trick to get voters to focus on something other than his non-existent experience and failing record. But just as criminals do not ask for your party affiliation before they rob you, so too will voters not be fooled with futile attempts to focus on politics over who will keep them and their families safe over the next four years. On those scores, I will succeed and be able to unite L.A. County to defeat Gascón, end the Golden Age of Criminals, and usher in a Golden Age of L.A. County.

This Op-Ed originally appeared in The Daily News, April 21. 2024.