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Major funding for the effort comes from Palos Verdes Estates investor Gerald Marcil and Beverly Hills real estate developer Geoff Palmer – both Republican megadonors – but other generous donors fall among Hollywood’s left-leaning elite.
“He keeps saying that this campaign is a Trump-funded campaign, and that is far from the truth,” recall co-founder Desiree Andrade, whose 20-year-old son died in a brutal attack in 2018, said of Gascon in an interview with Fox News Digital. “That bothers me because I’m not fighting about politics here. I’m fighting for public safety justice. And to me, public safety does not see color and does not see politics.”
Andrade, a registered Democrat herself, added that Gascon’s narrative about the recall effort “has stopped” recently because he has “seen” that the campaign is being funded, in part, by Democrats concerned about public safety.
“I can’t stand that everybody just kind of falls back on that whole Trump thing. It bothers me…when politics become involved because that’s not what it’s about, and I don’t want people to focus on that. I want people to focus on what’s really happening, which is safety and how we’re all being affected,” she said.
Her son, Julian Andrade, was brutally tortured and beaten to death four years ago. The suspects who threw him into a canyon to die while he was still holding on to a shred of life, according to Andrade, were sentenced to death under former LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s leadership. Once Gascon took office, Andrade said she got a phone call from the deputy district attorney saying the circumstances of her son’s case had changed.
“[T]hey shared with me that George Gascon, the new district attorney, was…dismissing special circumstance charges, and that affected my son’s case drastically,” she explained. “Where these individuals were all facing life sentences and the death penalty, now there are only facing 25 years and only have to do 80% of that time, which drops it down to 20 years. I, at that point, was devastated because the oldest one involved in my son’s murder was 21. So all of these guys would be out in their 40s.”
She added that, while her feelings about their new sentencing arrangements are not about “revenge,” she does not think 20 years of imprisonment delivers appropriate justice.
Andrade and other leaders in the recall movement are either direct victims of crime or “good people” who feel LA is becoming less safe under Gascon’s authority. A list of left-learning donors published exclusively by Los Angeles Magazine and confirmed to Fox News Digital by the recall campaign highlights her point.
Major donors so far this year include Mike Medavoy, co-founder of Orion Pictures and his wife, Irene Meadavoy; Ron Burkle, the co-founder of food and retail investment firm The Yucaipa Companies, LLC, and a President Clinton donor; Humbly Hills, President Biden’s pick for ambassador of Norway; billionaire media tycoon Marc Nathanson; real estate magnate and Hillary Clinton donor Jordan Kaplan; and Malibu condo developer Richard Weintraub and his wife Liane, according to records obtained by LA Magazine.
Other big-name donors include George Clooney’s producing partner, Grant Heslov, and his wife Lysa; former 20th Century Fox executive, Jonathan Sheinberg; Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, widow of Bud Yorkin, the co-developer of the sitcom “All in the Family”; and Lauren King, widow of Richard King of King World Productions, syndicator behind “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!,” the magazine reported.
George Soros backed Gascon and a number of other progressive district attorneys elected to office in major U.S. cities in 2020.
Since Gascon took office, however, a number of high-profile crimes have made headlines, prompting civilians and politicians alike to criticize the DA’s approach to criminal reform.
Last month, the murder of a 24-year-old University of California Los Angeles student, Brianna Kupfer, in broad daylight at an upscale furniture store where she worked rocked the LA community. Her alleged attacker, Shawn Laval Smith, had a lengthy rap sheet with previous charges out of California, North Carolina and South Carolina. Online records show at least 11 arrests in Charleston dating back to 2010, including a pending case for allegedly discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle on Nov. 13, 2019.
In December, the death of Jacqueline Avant, a well-known philanthropist and wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, in her Beverly Hills home furthered fears about the uptick in brazen home invasion robberies in and around Los Angeles.
LA authorities began investigating a crime trend known as “follow-home robberies” in 2021. The crime involves robbery suspects — some linked to gangs — who follow unsuspecting victims from public areas to their private destinations before robbing them of phones, cash, watches and other personal items.
Railroad company Union Pacific (UP) urged Gascon in December to “reconsider” his directive specifying 13 specific misdemeanor charges that will be dismissed with certain exceptions aft LA photojournalist John Schreiber shared footage of train tracks belonging to UP in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. He described “looted packages as far as the eye can see,” including “Amazon packages, UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pens,” he said in a Thursday tweet.
“Everybody’s feeling unsafe. I haven’t even talked to one person that’s said, ‘Gosh, you know, he’s doing a great job,'” Andrade said of the district attorney. “[T]here’s no way that you could feel safe. I live in a very…good neighborhood. I feel unsafe. It doesn’t even matter. I’m still watching my back. I feel like I need to. … Especially as a female…if you’re alone, you’re just you’re now a target.”
The recall organizer added that she tells those who voted for Gascon with optimism that “it’s OK,” and “we all make mistakes.”
“But this is the time to make it right now,” she said. “If we can make it right, and…put somebody there in that position that truly cares for victims and the public, that’s all we need. We need somebody like that right now.”
The several-million-dollar recall effort is seeking anywhere between 800,000 and 900,000 petition signatures from residents before submitting the measure to the LA County Registrar, which approved the recall last year.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano, Michael Ruiz and Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.