Fed Up Voters Punish Democrats For Surging Crime And Rising Lawlessness

Americans Are Deeply Frustrated With Rising Crime And A Sense Of Lawlessness In Cities And Suburbs, And Are Demonstrating It Via The Ballot Box, Throwing Out San Francisco’s Notorious Radical Progressive DA While Boosting Law-And-Order Candidates Elsewhere


Fed Up With ‘Rising Crime And Rampant Homelessness In Even The Most Progressive Corners Of The Country,’ ‘Voters In California Delivered A Stark Warning To The Democratic Party On Tuesday’ Recalling Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin And Putting A Law-And-Order Candidate In The Lead For Mayor Of Los Angeles

“San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled Tuesday in a blow to the progressive prosecutors movement. Voters strongly endorsed ousting the reform-minded D.A. as partial returns showed about 60% of voters supporting the recall, the Associated Press said… Political consultants and law-enforcement officials say the recall of Mr. Boudin in this left-leaning city signals a broader voter backlash against the movement amid rising violent crime over the past two years. The recall campaign accused Mr. Boudin of being too soft on crime, an argument that found support with residents upset over persistent petty theft, drug use and homelessness.” (“San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin Recalled by Voters Amid Rising Murder Rate”, The Wall Street Journal, 6/8/2022)

“Voters in California delivered a stark warning to the Democratic Party on Tuesday about the potency of law and order as a political message in 2022, as a Republican-turned-Democrat campaigning as a crime-fighter vaulted into a runoff in the mayoral primary in Los Angeles and a progressive prosecutor in San Francisco was recalled in a landslide. The two results made vivid the depths of voter frustration over rising crime and rampant homelessness in even the most progressive corners of the country — and are the latest signs of a restless Democratic electorate that was promised a return to normalcy under President Biden and yet remains unsatisfied with the nation’s state of affairs.” (“California Sends Democrats and the Nation a Message on Crime,” The New York Times, 6/08/2022)

  • “In Los Angeles, Rick Caruso, a billionaire luxury mall developer, spent nearly $41 million telling voters how he would restore order in the city, vowing to add 1,500 officers to the police department and promoting the endorsement of William J. Bratton, the former police chief famous for his broken-windows policy. The race now heads to a November runoff. Mr. Caruso will face Representative Karen Bass, the Democratic former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Mr. Caruso had about 42 percent of the vote and Ms. Bass had around 37 percent early Wednesday morning. In San Francisco, about 60 percent of voters recalled Chesa Boudin, a former public defender who became district attorney in 2019 in a huge win for the progressive left. He promised then that ‘the tough-on-crime policies and rhetoric of the 1990s and early 2000s are on their way out.’ Instead, he is.” (“California Sends Democrats and the Nation a Message on Crime,” The New York Times, 6/08/2022)
  • “For months, the [Democratic] party’s tensions between the progressive left and law enforcement have been particularly acute in San Francisco. The city’s mayor, London Breed, has sparred with Mr. Boudin and declared in an emotional speech at City Hall in December that ‘the reign of criminals who are destroying our city’ was over…. Across San Francisco, anecdotes abound of break-ins, encampments, street fires. During the pandemic, drug overdoses have been deadlier in the city than Covid-19.” (“California Sends Democrats and the Nation a Message on Crime,” The New York Times, 6/08/2022)
  • “‘People walking the streets, in many cases, feel themselves in danger, and that’s got to be dealt with,’ said Willie Brown, a Democrat who is the former mayor of San Francisco. But Mr. Brown said too many Democrats do not want to talk about ‘what cops do’ for fear of crossing the party’s activist class and offending ‘A.O.S. or A.O.C. or whatever that woman’s name is,’ he said dismissively of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the influential progressive.” (“California Sends Democrats and the Nation a Message on Crime,” The New York Times, 6/08/2022)

‘For Months Now, Voters In San Francisco And Los Angeles Have Voiced Their Concerns That Daily Life In Their Cities Appears To Be Spiraling Out Of Control’

“For months now, voters in San Francisco and Los Angeles have voiced their concerns that daily life in their cities appears to be spiraling out of control. Residents in San Francisco have been contending with a rise in burglaries and car thefts, as well an alarming spate of hate crimes directed against Asian Americans. Los Angeles residents have witnessed a sharp increase in violent crime, while city leaders have been grappling with a homelessness crisis that has led to the proliferation of tents and trash across parks, sidewalks and public spaces, while exposing an untreated mental health emergency on their streets.” (“California Voters Send A Stark Message To Democrats On Crime And Homelessness”, CNN, 6/08/2022)


‘Boudin’s Defeat Is The Latest Wake-Up Call For Democrats, Who Have Lost The Public’s Trust On Criminal Justice And Play Down Voter Anxieties About Crime At Their Peril’

THE WASHINGTON POST’S JAMES HOHMANN: “More people died in San Francisco last year from fentanyl overdoses than covid-19, yet District Attorney Chesa Boudin did not convict a single person in 2021 for dealing the lethal opioid. This helps explain why one of the most liberal cities in America voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recall Boudin and repudiate the prosecutor’s soft-on-crime approach. Boudin’s defeat is the latest wake-up call for Democrats, who have lost the public’s trust on criminal justice and play down voter anxieties about crime at their peril.” (James Hohmann, “Boudin’s Recall Proves Democrats Have Lost The Public’s Trust On Crime,” The Washington Post, 6/08/2022)

  • “Fentanyl is widely available at open-air drug markets in the city, and the proliferation of the synthetic opioid is inextricably linked to other crimes. Junkies break into cars and shoplift from stores to feed their addictions. Many become homeless. They squat in tent cities, defecate on streets, trade sex for drugs, shoot up in front of children and, if they’re not in some stupor, harass productive members of society who are trying to do honest work. Burglaries are up more than 45 percent since Boudin took office in January 2020. Walk around, and it won’t take long to see smashed car windows — even in neighborhoods such as tony Pacific Heights that historically have been insulated from such hooliganism. Eleven Walgreens outlets have closed in the city since 2019.” (James Hohmann, “Boudin’s Recall Proves Democrats Have Lost The Public’s Trust On Crime,” The Washington Post, 6/08/2022)

‘Not Even In The Democratic Bastion Of San Francisco Is A Progressive Safe From The Wrath Of Voters Worried About Crime’

CNN’S HARRY ENTEN: “The successful recall of progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Tuesday is arguably the political earthquake of the year so far. Not because the result was unexpected, as polling generally suggested that Boudin would be recalled. Rather, the outcome showed that not even in the Democratic bastion of San Francisco is a progressive safe from the wrath of voters worried about crime. It was the latest sign that crime is a potent issue in municipal elections.” (Harry Enten, “Americans Are More Worried About Crime Than At Any Other Time This Century,” CNN, 6/08/2022)


Crime, Homelessness, And Drug Epidemics Are Plaguing American Cities All Across The Country

LOUISVILLE, KY: “[T]he city of Louisville is facing a crisis. Over the past several years, violent crime has sharply risen across the city, breaking gruesome records including record homicides and assaults. Another crime has more than tripled in the past five years: carjacking. In 2018, carjacking reports in Metro Louisville were on par with the rest of the country. Since then, the numbers have taken a steep climb up, with Louisville averaging more than 200 cases a year.” (“‘The Crime Catalyst’: Carjacking Criminals Are Most Often Louisville's Youth,” WHAS11, 6/02/2022)

BALTIMORE, MD: “Alarming trends have changed the political conversation. In Baltimore, the city is on track to record more than 300 homicides for the eighth straight year, along with a rise in carjackings, robberies and other serious crimes.” (“Democrats Face Pressure on Crime From a New Front: Their Base,” The New York Times, 6/03/2022)

ATLANTA, GA: “Atlanta is grappling with violent crime trends that have continued from 2021 into the new year, and local officials are working to come up with new solutions. The southern city saw a 30-year record in homicides last year, when it had 158 murders compared to 157 in 2020 and 99 in 2019. So far [as of February] 2022, homicides are up 43% compared to the same time period in 2021, with 20 total homicides reported this year compared to 14 at the same time last year. Rapes are up an astounding 236%, with 37 reported so far this year compared to 11 at the same time in 2021. Other violent crime, such as aggravated assault, is down year-over-year.” (“Homicides, Rapes In Atlanta Soar Despite Other Decreasing Violent Crime: 'Feels Like ‘Groundhog Day,’” Fox News, 2/21/2022)

MINNESOTA: “Robberies, assaults and gun crimes are causing waves of anxiety and fear among suburban residents across the Twin Cities…. Violent crime rates have been rising in the last couple of years in more than a dozen suburbs, according to a Star Tribune analysis of five years of crime data from 50 of the largest Twin Cities suburbs. A total of 51 homicides were recorded in those suburban communities in 2021, more than double the 22 recorded in 2019…. Similarly, the total number of robberies in 2021 rose 20% from a pre-pandemic average.” (“Amid Minneapolis Violent Crime Surges, Some Suburban Rates Grew, Too,” The Star Tribune, 5/30/2022)

DENVER, CO: “Homelessness in Denver was up by as much as 50 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. Violent crime had increased by 17 percent, murders had gone up 47 percent, some types of property crime had nearly doubled, and seizures of fentanyl and methamphetamine had quadrupled in the past year.” (“Anger And Heartbreak On Bus No. 15”, The Washington Post, 6/06/2022)

  • “[M]any of [the] passengers [on Bus No. 15 in Denver] ended up spending their nights at the last stop on the No. 15 route, Union Station, the newly renovated, $500 million gem of the city’s transportation system and now also the place the president of the bus drivers’ union called a ‘lawless hellhole.’ The station’s long indoor corridor had become the center of Denver’s opioid epidemic and also of its homelessness crisis, with as many as a few hundred people sleeping on benches on cold nights. The city had tried removing benches to reduce loitering, but people with nowhere to go still slept on the floor. Authorities tried closing all of the station’s public bathrooms because of what the police called ‘a revolving door of drug use in the stalls,’ but that led to more people going to the bathroom and using drugs in the open. The police started to arrest people at record rates, making more than 1,000 arrests at Union Station so far this year, including hundreds for drug offenses. But Colorado lawmakers had decriminalized small amounts of drug possession in 2019, meaning that offenders were sometimes cited with a misdemeanor for possessing up to four grams of fentanyl — enough for nearly 2,000 lethal doses — and then were able to return to Union Station within a few hours…. The only guaranteed way to protect a space from the homelessness crisis was to limit access, so Union Station had also recently approved a plan to create a ticketed-only area inside the station to restrict public use starting in 2023.” (“Anger And Heartbreak On Bus No. 15”, The Washington Post, 6/06/2022)

BOSTON, MA: “All told, it’s another heartbreaking day in the neighborhood around the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, the epicenter of [Boston’s] opioid and homelessness crises. The Wu administration cleared the area of ramshackle shelters in January, and connected scores of people to services, but the knotty problems of addiction and mental illness persist. Anecdotally, some in the area say there are fewer people milling about here on a day-to-day basis, but the scene looks much the same. The tents may be gone, but dozens of people are still using, selling, and seeking hard drugs on these streets everyday. A rash of violence has also plagued the area recently. Which leads to a pressing question for Mayor Michelle Wu: What’s next?” (“‘It’s Not Working Fast Enough.’ Heartbreak, Drugs, And Crime Persist At Mass. And Cass, Leaving Neighbors Asking, ‘What’s Next?.’” The Boston Globe, 5/11/2022)

  • “[Neighborhood leaders] question whether the benefits of having an engagement center that provides a daytime drop-in space for those struggling with addiction and homelessness outweigh the negatives. The center on Atkinson Street that opened in December offered food, shelter, clothing, treatment resources, and access to medical care, according to city authorities. The city recently shuttered the center — temporarily, officials said — following stabbings in the area. [Newmarket Business Association executive director Sue] Sullivan said the center, whatever its aim, has become a ‘safe place for drug dealers during the day where they can ply their trade.’ ‘And that has to stop,’ she said.” (“‘It’s Not Working Fast Enough.’ Heartbreak, Drugs, And Crime Persist At Mass. And Cass, Leaving Neighbors Asking, ‘What’s Next?.’” The Boston Globe, 5/11/2022)

LAS VEGAS, NV: “Record prices are making gas a big target for criminals. Highly modified vehicles are being used to steal tens of thousands of gallons from local gas stations. Metro says it is a huge problem in Las Vegas, one they are determined to stop. ‘Unfortunately, with the rise in fuel prices, we have an increase in fuel theft,’ shared Lt. Jeff Swanbeck with LVMPD’s Financial Crimes Section. Some gas stations have been hit for thousands of gallons and they will continue to go back until the tank is drained. That is thousands of dollars in losses for these gas stations and sometimes it almost gets to the point where it puts them out of business,’ said Lt. Swanbeck. In a secret location, Metro showed FOX5 modified trucks taken from gas thieves in the last few months. ‘These thieves are very sophisticated. They will take a truck that looks just like a normal truck, like a freeway service truck, and there is intricate pipping inside them,’ added Lt. Swanbeck…. Investigators say the thieves are brazen. They steal gas in plain sight, in front of people filling up at the pump who have no idea a crime is being committed right next to them. ‘They will open up the gas pump itself and there is a series of gears inside there, and they are smart enough to figure out how to manipulate the gears,’ explained Lt. Swanbeck.” (“Metro Gives FOX5 An Inside Look At Modified Trucks Targeting Gas Stations,” KVVU-TV, 6/08/2022)

BIG CITY TRANSIT SYSTEMS: “In the past two years, Denver-area bus drivers had reported being assaulted by their passengers more than 145 times…. Philadelphia was reporting an 80 percent increase in assaults aboard buses. St. Louis was spending $53 million on a new transit security plan. The transportation union president in Tucson said the city’s buses had become ‘a mobile refuge frequented by drug users, the mentally ill, and violent offenders.’ The sheriff of Los Angeles County had created a new transit unit to keep passengers from having to ‘step over dead bodies or people injecting themselves.’” (“Anger And Heartbreak On Bus No. 15”, The Washington Post, 6/06/2022)

PHOENIX, AZ: “As gas prices are at a record high right now, Valley Metro said more people are turning to buses and light rail to get around. But some riders and drivers have raised concerns about the safety of public transportation in the City of Phoenix. Crime data shows, that assaults and drug crime in and around public transportation have risen over the last five years. According to city data, crime has risen in and around public transportation in Phoenix since 2016…. The crime reports show aggravated assault and drug offenses drove the rise in overall crime on busses, bus stops, light rail, rail stations and platforms in the City of Phoenix. Bob Bean, president of ATU Local 1433, which represents bus drivers in the Valley, said he wasn't surprised that city data showed a rise in crime related to public transportation. It's something, Bean said, bus drivers have been noticing. ’Nobody wants to do this job anymore. And a lot of it's got to do with you don't know whether you're gonna get off that bus alive or in one piece at the end of the night,’ Bean said.” (“Assaults, Drug Crimes On Valley Buses, Light Rail Have Risen In The Last 5 Years,” 12News, 5/27/2022)

NEW YORK CITY: “New York City car thieves have shifted into high gear, with auto thefts soaring 61% so far this year, according to the latest disturbing statistics. There have been 4,467 car thefts so far in 2022, as compared to 2,769 in the same time period in 2021. The crime category has jumped a whopping 97 percent compared to 2020, NYPD data show.” (“NYC Auto Thieves Shift Into Overdrive As Glas Spike 61%,” New York Post, 5/14/2022)

  • “The NYPD has blamed the state’s bail reform overhaul in part, for the spike. The law, which kicked in Jan. 1, 2020, prohibits pretrial detention in most misdemeanors and some nonviolent felonies. A Grand Larceny Auto charge merits only a desk appearance ticket under the state’s bail reform law — so bad guys collared by cops for stealing a $35,000 Ford Econoline are back on the street in a New York Minute. ‘We used to call a desk appearance ticket a disappearance ticket,’ said Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former NYPD sergeant. ‘Deterrence matters in reducing crime and right now there is none — it’s that simple.’” (“NYC Auto Thieves Shift Into Overdrive As Glas Spike 61%,” New York Post, 5/14/2022)

DENVER, CO: “Motor vehicle thieves have been on a tear in metro Denver, more than doubling their haul over the last couple of years — from just under 13,000 automobiles stolen in 2019 to more than 27,000 last year. The sharp spike in vehicle heists has landed Colorado at the top of the list of all states for per capita auto thefts, with just over 500 stolen vehicles per 100,000 residents, according to data compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Only Washington, D.C. did worse.” (“How Did Colorado Become One Of The Worst States For Vehicle Theft? Auto Theft Task Force Officials, Reformers Disagree.,” The Denver Post, 5/16/2022)

  • “From an average of 36 cars stolen a day in metro Denver in 2019, the number jumped to 55 in 2020 and to 75 last year, according to the task force. The theft of 27,443 vehicles in metro Denver had an economic impact of $243 million last year, using the FBI’s economic impact estimate of $8,886 per stolen vehicle. Lakewood Police Cmdr. Mike Greenwell, who heads up the Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force, said what often goes unmentioned are the victims of this crime. ‘What bothers me is what that does to our communities in terms of victims,’ said Greenwell, noting that low-income families are often left marooned when their only car vanishes. ‘These people can’t afford it.’” (“How Did Colorado Become One Of The Worst States For Vehicle Theft? Auto Theft Task Force Officials, Reformers Disagree.,” The Denver Post, 5/16/2022)
  • “The [catalytic converter] theft that took place a couple of months ago on a cul de sac in Wheat Ridge is similar to those happening in neighborhoods across the Denver area, in parking lots of charitable organizations and apartments and even auto-body shops. Thieves are after the precious metals in the device that converts toxic emissions — hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides — into less harmful byproducts. As the value of the metals has soared, so have the crimes in Colorado and nationwide. Thefts of catalytic converters in Colorado skyrocketed 5,091% from 2019 to 2021, according to the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority in the state Department of Public Safety. In 2019, there were 189 reports of converter thefts; 1,153 in 2020; and 9,811 in 2021. The National Insurance Crime Bureau said claims filed for stolen catalytic converters shot up 325% from 2019 to 2020.” (“Thefts Of Catalytic Converters Are Skyrocketing. Why? And What Are Lawmakers And Law Enforcement Doing About It?,” The Denver Post, 5/09/2022)


Polling Shows Americans Increasingly Concerned Over Safety, Crime, And Homelessness

CNN’S HARRY ENTEN: “Americans are more worried about crime than at any other time this century … Americans, as a whole, are clearly worried about crime. A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that 72% of Americans were dissatisfied with the nation's policies to reduce or control crime. That's up from 65% in 2021 and 49% in 2020. In fact, that 72% dissatisfaction rate is the highest this century. The current discomfort with our policies on crime goes deeper than that, though. The percentage who are ‘very’ dissatisfied is at a 21st-century high too, at 42%. The dissatisfaction crosses partisan lines. Republicans are the least satisfied, with an astounding 87% expressing dissatisfaction. Democrats aren't happy either, with 65% saying they were at least somewhat dissatisfied with the nation's policies on crime. And to be clear, the level of dissatisfaction is not because Americans want a more dovish policy on dealing with crime. More Americans say they worry a great or fair deal about crime and violence (80%) than at any point in well over a decade, according to Gallup. This includes 72% of Democrats and 90% of Republicans.” (Harry Enten, “Americans Are More Worried About Crime Than At Any Other Time This Century,” CNN, 6/08/2022)

“A majority of New Yorkers believe the city has become less safe in recent years, with more than three-quarters saying they fear being a victim of a crime, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Siena College Research Institute. Seventy percent said they feel less safe in the city now than before the pandemic. Half of those polled said they have changed their daily routine to feel safer,” (“Most NYC Residents Say City Is Less Safe Since Pandemic, Fear Being Victim Of Violent Crime,” Fox News, 6/07/2022)

“As voters head to the polls across Los Angeles to elect new leaders, a new poll finds homelessness, housing affordability and crime among their top issues. The new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, asked what two issues were most important in deciding whom to support for mayor. Among likely voters, these were the results: Homelessness 49% Crime and public safety 40% Housing affordability 25% Education and schools 12% Jobs and the economy 12% Climate change 11% Racial justice 10% Abortion 7% Taxes 5% Transportation 3% Coronavirus 3% Homelessness, housing and crime have been dominant issues in the mayor’s race as well as many down-ballot city races and council elections.” (“Your Guide To 2022 L.A Elections: Homelessness, Housing, Crime And Other Big Issues,” Los Angeles Times, 6/06/2022)

“San Franciscans certainly believe that crime has increased: In a recent local Chamber of Commerce poll, an overwhelming majority of city residents said they thought that crime rates had gone up. ‘The results were consistent across gender, age, ethnicity, party affiliation, and neighborhood, and homeownership status,’ the business group noted. Separate polls by The San Francisco Standard and the Bay Area Council found much of the same: People are very worried about their safety. In that, the region mirrors national trends. The share of Americans who believe that there is more crime in their neighborhood and across the country has jumped since the coronavirus pandemic hit.” (“The People vs. Chesa Boudin,” The Atlantic, 5/19/2022)

“A study published in April by the Pew Research Center found that Black Americans were likeliest to name violence or crime as the top concern facing their communities, followed by economic issues and housing.” (“Democrats Face Pressure on Crime From a New Front: Their Base,” The New York Times, 6/03/2022)



Related Issues: Crime, Law Enforcement