LOS ANGELES – Today, the Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Mark Gonzalez, released the following statement in regards to revelations that racist ads are being funded by major Trump donors, the Groff family. Members of the Groff family donated $150,000 to Trump Victory this cycle, $138,300 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and $100,000 to a group opposing Propositions 47 & 57. In fact, former US Representative Elton Gallegly (CA-24) recognized Susan Groff and her family in the congressional record for their ‘conservative convictions.’
The ad portrays George Gascón, who immigrated from Cuba, as an elderly Caucasian man who is a dirty cop and intentionally mispronounces and mocks his Latino last name. LA County Democratic Party Chair, Mark Gonzalez, released the following statement in response:
“For the past three years, we’ve seen this administration use their rhetoric, policies, and money to drive a wedge between Americans in the name of justice. Now, major Trump donors are pulling out their same playbook and inserting themselves into our District Attorney race funding racist attack ads against our endorsed candidate, George Gascón, mocking his latino heritage. Make no mistake, ads like these are deceptive, manipulative, and have no place in a campaign that should be focused on holding our law enforcement accountable, protecting our neighbors, and serving our county.”
The advertisement provides insight into the underhanded tactics being employed in the conservative group’s more than one million dollar effort to maintain the status quo: A District Attorney that will not hold police officers accountable in unlawful use of force incidents. The inaccurate and misleading claims are largely directed to progressive voters in an attempt to undermine Gascón’s progressive support.
The advertisement claims that Gascón’s office hid evidence “or just made things up,” and that he “charg[ed] innocent people with crimes.” Both claims reference articles involving an Assistant District Attorney, Benjamin Mains, who was accused of withholding evidence and who Gascón subsequently fired. The ad also falsely claims that Gascón “concocted phony crime statistics,” but cites to an article which reported Gascón “forgot” certain statistics. In fact, in a move heralded by open government advocates, Gascón launched the first public portal for the public to view prosecutorial metrics in the State of California, called “DA Stat.”
The ad almost got one thing correct, however. Their portrayal of the suitcase being packed in order travel to LA and run for District Attorney resembles the lone suitcase Gascón’s family had in 1967 when they immigrated to the United States from Cuba and settled in Los Angeles.
George Gascón grew up in Los Angeles after his family immigrated from Cuba. An army veteran, Gascón served as a Los Angeles Police Department Officer for 30 years, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. In 2006 he became Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, where he stood up to the hateful and anti-immigrant policies of then Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2009, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Gascón Chief of Police. Newsom turned to Gascón again in 2011 when he tapped him to be District Attorney to fill the seat vacated by an outgoing Kamala Harris who had been elected Attorney General. During his tenure Gascón implemented reforms that are being duplicated across the country while overseeing violent crime and homicides drop to rates not seen in 50 years. After being elected to two terms, Gascón returned to Los Angeles to care for his elderly mother and to be closer to his two daughters and grandchildren in Long Beach. Gascón is married to Fabiola Kramsky, a three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and recipient of the “Premio Nacional de Periodismo,” the highest recognition given to journalists in Mexico.
For more information about George Gascón go to www.GeorgeGascon.org.