LAPD responds to a report of vandalism at the home of a Bonin recall backer
Police are looking into an incident in which someone shattered a glass front door at the home of an activist leading the effort to recall Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin.
Officers responded last week to the Venice home of Katrina Schmitt, one of two people spearheading the signature-gathering drive against Bonin, who represents coastal neighborhoods. Schmitt said she was inside her condominium around 8:30 p.m. Thursday when her glass door was smashed.
The incident took place nearly a week after Bonin’s anti-recall committee released a campaign video that featured a document showing Schmitt’s name and home address. Days later, the committee — which uses the Twitter handle “Stop The Right-Wing Recalls” — sent a tweet that also highlighted the document, which showed the name and home addresses of Schmitt and another recall proponent, Nico Ruderman.
Schmitt called the anti-recall campaign’s posting of home addresses “intentionally reckless.” She also said she and Ruderman are Democrats who voted against the recall targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“I think they’re intentionally trying to intimidate us and putting us in danger,” she said in an interview.
Jesse Zwick, spokesman for the committee fighting the Bonin recall, disputed that assertion, saying the inclusion of home addresses was done in error. The campaign has been using publicly available recall documents as part of its effort to show that right wing operatives are pushing the recall, he said.
On Wednesday, after receiving a complaint about posting the addresses, the anti-recall campaign deleted the tweet and issued a new message saying it had “inadvertently disclosed personal information,” Zwick said.
Backers of an effort to recall Raman called off their signature gathering drive, saying they had encountered “confusing forms” and “overly complex rules.”
“I did not intend to reveal anyone’s personal information. I took the post down the minute I was made aware of the error,” he said, adding: “If you’d like to run a story about how, I, Jesse Zwick, made an error at my job, feel free.”
The committee’s campaign video also was reworked to remove Schmitt’s address. A tweet promoting it also has been deleted.
Zwick said the idea that the campaign acted intentionally was “absurd” and “reflective of the general dishonesty of the entire recall effort.” He declined to comment on the vandalism incident reported at Schmitt’s home.
On Friday, LAPD spokesman Tony Im said investigators cannot say whether Schmitt’s home was specifically singled out or whether the incident is connected to the recall bid.
“We can’t make any assumptions at this time,” he said.
Backers of the recall have described Bonin as unresponsive to his constituents, saying he has failed to properly address homelessness, public safety and other issues across the district, which stretches from Los Angeles International Airport to Pacific Palisades.
Bonin, in turn, contends the recall is driven by right wing forces and would be a waste of taxpayer money, since he is already running for reelection. He argued that recall supporters have been fighting projects that would address homelessness in the district.
While the anti-Bonin group continues its signature-gathering drive, other recall bids have flamed out. Voters soundly defeated an effort to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office last week. Two other signature drives — one targeting Dist. Atty. George Gascón, the other focused on Councilwoman Nithya Raman — were halted a few days later.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time in recent months that police have responded to reports of vandalism targeting a political figure.
In June, police responded to the Sun Valley home of City Council President Nury Martinez, who reported that someone had poured a white liquid over her car late at night. During that incident, which was caught on video, someone also wrote graffiti on her driveway featuring the message “end the sweeps” — a criticism of the city’s approach to homelessness.
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