San Francisco’s police union is preparing to spend big money to defeat the most progressive candidate in the upcoming district attorney’s race.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association has poured $50,000 into a newly created political action committee opposing candidate Chesa Boudin, according to campaign finance records filed Monday.
The filings also show that a law enforcement advocacy group called Peace Officers Research Association of California has contributed another $5,000 to the SFPOA committee against Boudin.
Boudin, 39, is the son of radical activists who were arrested in 1981 for being involved a robbery that left two police officers and a security guard dead. He currently works a deputy public defender and has campaigned on a platform of reducing mass incarceration and holding police officers accountable.
“Boudin has never prosecuted a case in his life and is a danger to public safety, period,” SFPOA President Tony Montoya said in a statement to the San Francisco Examiner.
The SFPOA, which represents rank-and-file police officers, is known for taking divisive positions and running attack ads against its opponents. Its leaders have been trying to repair its image since pushing an unsuccessful 2018 ballot measure to arm officers with stun guns that was widely condemned by local officials.
In July, Montoya told the Examiner that the union intended to remain neutral in the race. But Boudin has apparently rankled union officials since then.
“After further evaluating the positions and words from Chesa Boudin, we have determined that he is not only the wrong choice, but the dangerous choice, for district attorney,” Montoya said. “He will work harder at finding ways for criminals to get back on our streets than protecting crime victims and increasing neighborhood safety.”
Montoya cited Boudin’s positions around never adding gang enhancements to charges and not trying first-time drunk driving suspects who do not cause injury as some of the reasons for creating the committee.
Boudin is running against candidates Suzy Loftus, Leif Dautch and Nancy Tung to succeed former District Attorney George Gascon, who stepped down Friday to run for office in Los Angeles.
The union has previously donated to Tung and initially planned to endorse Dautch in the race, but withdrew its endorsement after accusing him of making “inconsistent” remarks during his campaign. Dautch has denied the allegation.
On Saturday, Mayor London Breed swore Loftus in to office as interim district attorney after Gascon suddenly announced earlier this month that he would leave the position early.
The move has galvanized supporters of her opponents, who argue that Breed unfairly tipped the scales of the election in favor of Loftus just two weeks before the Nov. 5 election.
Boudin is using the latest news about the SFPOA committee to fundraise for his campaign. He tweeted about the committee Friday, asking for donations and said, “they know we’ll hold police accountable.”
Here they go… https://t.co/ogLXJuK1Jw
— Chesa Boudin 博徹思 (@chesaboudin) October 21, 2019
On Monday, he told the Examiner that the committee “makes the choice for voters very clear.”
“If you want to move forward on police reform and accountability, I’m your candidate,” Boudin said. “If you want to go backwards, vote for Loftus.”
Loftus herself has not escaped the criticism of the SFPOA. The union targeted her with ads back in 2016 when she worked to update the police use-of-force policy as president of the Police Commission.