LAPD investigating September 16 incident
By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro
Katrina Schmitt, one of the leaders of the Recall Mike Bonin campaign, says the glass front door of her home in Venice was smashed last Thursday around 8:30 p.m after her address was posted on the Twitter account of an anti-recall campaign.
The LAPD will be investigating to determine who is responsible for this incident. This event was reported about a week after Bonin’s recall opposition committee published a video that had unredacted information that contained Schmitt’s address. Additionally, the committee’s Twitter account, “Stop The Right-Wing Recalls”, sent a tweet a few days later that contained both Schmitt’s and fellow Recall Bonin committee member Nico Ruderman’s home address in it.
Schmitt alleges that the anti-recall committee’s posting of the information was “intentionally reckless” and that “I think they’re intentionally trying to intimidate us and putting us in danger”.
It is unlikely that there will be any confirmation of these claims until the LAPD’s investigation is completed. 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.
Jesse Zwick, spokesman for the committee against the recall responded, “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. He added that the charges made by the recall committee about the release of the information are “absurd” and “reflective of the general dishonesty of the entire recall effort.”
According to Zwick, he did not receive a complaint about the information until Wednesday, September 15, the day before the alleged vandalism occurred.
Ruderman, who has not reported any incidents at his residence, placed the blame on Bonin for what happened at Schmitt’s.
“Mike Bonin is directly responsible for this act of political terrorism. He has been telling lies about us, riling his mob into a frenzy and then gives out our home addresses. This is unacceptable. He has put our lives and the lives of our families in danger. He should resign immediately,” Ruderman said in a press release.
The tweet from the “Stop The Right-Wing Recalls” Twitter account was deleted and the video was re-edited to remove the information. The Twitter account sent out a tweet that expressed regret for the error. After the information was removed, the video and other material were reissued without further incident.
Zwick, in a separate statement, called the reaction by the recall proponents “manufactured controversy”.
“After the recall campaign was revealed to be staffed by right-wing operatives and funded by undisclosed donors, it is no wonder it is resorting to the politics of distraction. Complaining that a public document was shared publicly is manufactured controversy, meant to hide the news that key recall supporters include the people who have consistently opposed solutions to homelessness, a former Trump employee, and supporters of Larry Elder. They don’t want the public to ask why they keep opposing solutions to homelessness, and they don’t want the public to know who is donating to their secretive, dark money PAC.”
Schmitt says that both she and Ruderman are lifelong Democrats who supported Gov. Newsom in the recent recall vote. Both Ruderman, a fourth-generation union member, father and small business owner, and Schmitt, a longtime Venice resident, voted for Mike Bonin in the past. They have made small political contributions in the past to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Andrew Yang and Kamala Harris. Neither have ever supported GOP candidates.
“To paint us and this movement as some kind right-wing, MAGA effort is not stretching the truth. It’s not playing loosely with the facts. It’s an outright lie by Mike Bonin that has incited his supporters against us. Publishing our names and home addresses is a blatant attempt to intimidate us and has now resulted in violence against us,” Ruderman said.
Bonin’s office could not immediately be reached for comment regarding the vandalism at Schmitt’s residence. Bonin was asked about the incident at the Palisades Democratic Club’s annual Garden Party on Sunday and responded by saying “we didn’t do that. There was a campaign ad that showed the public notice that was served upon me by the recall proponents and that public notice does include the addresses of people. When it was brought up to me a couple of hours ago, it was redacted and taken down.”
“There was nothing wrong or illegal about it at all,” he added. “I find it interesting that a Venice issue is being brought up at a Pacific Palisades Democratic Club meeting.”