CALIFORNIA, USA — California Attorney General candidate Nathan Hochman is rolling through the state this week on a bus tour hoping to win votes.
The bus tour is called 'Experience Matters' because Hochman says that's what he’s got compared to current Attorney General Rob Bonta.
“I have 30 years of experience in criminal justice issues from being a federal prosecutor, a U.S. assistant attorney general, and a defense attorney,” Hochman said.
What’s Hochman’s plan?
Hochman wants to eradicate the list of prohibited persons in California who are convicted of crime, but are still in possession of a gun or guns.
“On that list are people were subjected to domestic violence orders, mental health orders, who are not allowed to have guns," Hochman said. "There's over 26,000 people right now on that list, a list that has only grown under the last year of Rob Bonta's stewardship than actually shrink.”
Hochman vowed to clear the list and remove guns from people who aren’t supposed to have them within 18 months of taking office.
He also wants to work with lawmakers to reform Proposition 47, which voters passed in 2014 to make anything stolen valued at under $950 a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
“Democrats have even come up with ways to do it," Hochman said referring to a bill that did not make it through the last legislative session. "One of the interesting ways is to create a serial property theft law that works on the back of 47. It says if you commit a series of these property thefts under $950, either the second or the third one within a certain timeframe, let's say somewhere between 90 and 180 days, the second or third one becomes a felony, and then can result in state prison.”
Hochman said he takes issue with the cash-bail reform Bonta efforted during his time in the legislature.
"You got to look at each individual defendant, their criminal history, what crime they committed, and the often overlooked impact on the victim to determine who are the true public safety threats and need to be behind bars, and who are not a first-time nonviolent offenders who can serve their debt to society in some other way."
The Public Policy Institute of California said from 2019 to 2021, gun-related homicides and aggravated assaults surged by 52% and 64%.
Governor Gavin Newsom fights back on the crime narrative though, saying red states are the ones with a murder problem.
“The comparison he's drawing is the wrong comparison because he should draw comparison to California itself," Hochman said. "And let me give you the statistics that Gavin Newsom wants to avoid, 2014 was considered one of California's safest years in the last 50 years.”
Hochman said relaxing crime laws has lead to the steady decline in safety, but he still has deep love for the state he grew up in.
“This is an incredible state with resources that quite candidly, no other state can match," Hochman said. "The question is can we bring in leadership to get us back to where we were just eight years ago.”
Hochman said he is a moderate Republican. He said he’s always been pro-choice, believes in climate change and has never voted for former President Donald Trump.
Bonta’s team did not respond to an interview request by the time this story was published. Hochman has offered to debate Bonta many times now, but so far nothing has been scheduled.
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