Over the weekend as some in Hollywood were focused on the Oscars, reality TV star turned California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner made what Politico in its Monday morning Political Playbook email called “her first major campaign gaffe.”
Jenner on Saturday took to Twitter to express outrage over the news in a San Francisco Chronicle article about a man arrested for murder in the death of a child he’d been watching. The man had reportedly been arrested twice before for felony domestic violence but not charged because the women he allegedly assaulted did not cooperate. According to the Chronicle, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office said there was nothing it could do. But Kathy Black, who runs a shelter in city for domestic violence victims, felt otherwise.
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“Domestic violence is a crime against the state of California, and the district attorney’s job is to work with what the Police Department has gathered at the crime scene and develop the evidence to present a case. That’s his job — it’s not the victim’s job,” Black told the Chronicle.
Looking to make a political point, Jenner tweeted a response to the story’s author that pinned the blame on California Governor Gavin Newsom. “This is horrible and also avoidable,” Jenner wrote. “Gavin’s District Attorneys across California are releasing dangerous criminals back on to our streets. Enough is enough. #RecallGavin”
This is horrible and also avoidable. Gavin’s District Attorneys across California are releasing dangerous criminals back on to our streets. Enough is enough. #RecallGavin https://t.co/zFfxGxHWDz
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) April 24, 2021
Retweeting Jenner, California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu quickly pointed out that D.A.s in the state are elected by the people, not appointed by the governor. He went on to question Jenner’s knowledge of basic civics saying, “Also, do you know how a bill becomes a law?” before tweeting a link to the famous “I’m just a bill” Schoolhouse Rock video.
Also, do you know how a bill becomes a law? Here is a cool Schoolhouse Rock video for you to educate yourself. https://t.co/E0hiH96QDw
Do you know what “veto” means? Or “budget”? https://t.co/wwfvQ5XM6I
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 25, 2021
Jenner then fired back saying she knows D.A.s are elected, but “as the CEO of the state, the buck stops with Newsom.” She also condemned Lieu’s “condescending tone”
Ted, that kind of condescending tone is whats wrong w/ politics. Of course I know DAs are elected, but as the CEO of the state, the buck stops with Newsom. If you want to defend the status quo then fine, but if you want to talk solutions to the crime in our streets, call anytime. https://t.co/uWWuEu4Syj
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) April 25, 2021
Lieu, who represents many of L.A.’s affluent Westside communities, responded saying that he didn’t believe Jenner’s claim she knew about D.A.s and elections. Lieu then said that her comment was condescending to those local officials.
Dear @Caitlyn_Jenner: Actually, I don’t think you realized DAs are elected. If you did, you would not have made your condescending statement about DAs. District Attorneys are not beholden to the California Governor. For example, the Orange County DA happens to be a Republican. https://t.co/okc13WYqge
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 25, 2021
It is interesting to note that Jenner hastagged the “RecallNewsom” mantra. While Gavin Newsom is indeed headed for a recall election, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is also facing his own recall election. Curious that Jenner did not raise the visibility of that local effort among her 3.5 million Twitter followers.
Politico California Playbook writer Carla Marinucci also pointed out that “@GavinNewsom did not endorse current SF DA @ChesaBoudin referenced here by @Caitlyn_Jenner; he endorsed opponent @SuzyLoftus.” Oops.
Could a candidate for governor be unaware that CA District Attorneys are not “Gavin’s”– but the choices of voters in individual counties? @GavinNewsom did not endorse current SF DA @ChesaBoudin referenced here by @Caitlyn_Jenner; he endorsed opponent @SuzyLoftus https://t.co/vwRuVgC6LI
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) April 25, 2021
Lieu was not the only political type who weighed in. California GOP operative Robert J. Molnar responded to Jenner’s tweet with: “District Attorneys do not work for Gavin. Politics 101. Lesson is over for today. Good luck!”
District Attorneys do not work for Gavin.
Lesson is over for today. Good luck!
— Robert J Molnar (@RobertJMolnar) April 24, 2021
Veteran CA Democratic strategist Gary South was even more pointed. Addressing the writer of the original Chronicle story he called Jenner “an uninformed idiot,” promising she would “expose more of her embarrassing ignorance as the campaign moves on.”
— Garry South (@GarrySouth) April 25, 2021