It’s not enough that San Francisco politicians and policies dominate state politics, now a San Francisco elected official wants to bring his policies to Los Angeles. District Attorney George Gascón is considering challenging Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey for her job. 

This Game of Thrones-like sequel features the Kingdom of the North with eyes on spreading its progressive politics across the state. And, it’s saying a lot about how extreme the progressive agenda is becoming when progressives think a liberal city like Los Angeles is out of line—or at least its prosecution division is.

If Gascón makes the move it will be a continuation of efforts to establish more progressive policies in justice departments not only in California but also around the nation. 

Remember the effort by progressive groups to try and put a more liberal DA into San Diego, Alameda, Yolo and Sacramento counties in the last statewide election? For the most part they were unsuccessful, but as predicted here, they would be back. Now L.A. County is a target. 

There is a nationwide effort to replace district attorneys with individuals who generally oppose the death penalty and look for ways to reduce prison populations. As explained by Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attoneys, on this site a year ago, when a progressive DA is elected by efforts funded through the liberal organizations that have made this a cause, as happened in Philadelphia and Houston, many deputy DAs were fired to send a message that a culture change has come to the district attorneys office.

The campaign to increase the number of progressive DAs to change criminal justice is behind the effort to lure Gascon to challenge Lacey.

It’s not as if DA Lacey hasn’t made efforts to reform her prosecutorial office. She has set up a program to divert the mentally ill from prisons and to expunge marijuana convictions. But critics don’t approve of her pursuing death penalty cases or her handling of police shooting cases.

Are the citizens of LA ready for what some see as a softer-on-crime approach?

When UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies recently polled voters on keeping the death penalty for serious crimes, the San Francisco Bay Area agreed by a narrow margin, 51% to 48%.  Los Angeles County was stronger for keeping the death penalty, 58% to 42%.

Above and beyond the policy differences, the traditional rivalry between Los Angles and San Francisco could play a role if this political battle comes off. Rejecting a twice elected, home grown, LA District Attorney and replacing her with a San Francisco counterpart (even though he claims LA roots) would be an upset of  political norms.