OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Archive for the ‘Orange County District Attorney’s Office’ Category

OC’s Top Ten 2018 Primary Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 6, 2018

This is what $14 million of campaign spending looks like to average voters. My parents received nearly 100 pieces of mail from CD-39 candidates and IEs.

By contrast, here’s my paltry 6 pieces of mail from CD-45 laid out over the same section of my living room floor. I should note I did not include slates in either photo.

With 188,000 votes remaining to count in Orange County, here are the top ten OC Primary Election stories after the completion of the first night of results:

  1. DCCC Pulls It Off – Traditional Republican vs. Democrat General Elections Across the Board in Congress
    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), House Majority PAC, and their allies managed to get their first-time candidates to the top two against a Republican elected official in all three Congressional Districts where Republicans threatened to take both of the top two slots, which would have shut Democrats out of the general election.In the 39th Congressional District being vacated by the retiring Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), where $14 million was spent, former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) will face off against Lottery-Winning Philanthropist Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda).  The DCCC spent over $2 million hitting Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton) and former Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) while their allied House Majority PAC spent $300,000 hitting Huff and promoting businessman Phil Liberatore (R-La Habra).  It worked well, as Liberatore is in third place.

    In the 48th Congressional District where $9.6 million was spent, incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) will face off against a Democrat, either Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) or Hans Kierstad (D-Laguna Beach), who are separated by a mere 73 votes.  The DCCC spent nearly $1.7 million hitting Baugh and promoting businessman John Gabbard (R-Laguna Beach).  It worked well as Baugh is in fourth place, 1,146 votes behind Keirstad while Gabbard is the next highest Republican.

    In the 49th Congressional District being vacated by the retiring Darrell Issa (R-Vista) where $15.5 million was spent, Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) will face off against a Democrat, either Attorney Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) or Qualcomm Heiress Sara Jacobs (D-Encinitas).  The DCCC spent almost $1.7 million hitting Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) knocking him to sixth place behind Harkey, three Democrats, and San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar (R-Encinitas).  To add insult to injury, six Republicans split the vote to succeed Chavez in the 76th Assembly District, such that the top two candidates for the 76th District are Democrats in a seat that had only seen Republicans in the general election since it was drawn in the last redistricting.  To add further insult to injury, one of those Democrats is…Elizabeth Warren (D-Oceanside).

  2. Senator Ling-Ling Chang Elected After Senator Newman Becomes Second Democrat Recalled from the Legislature in California History
    Senator Josh Newman becomes only the fifth State Legislator recalled in California history and only the second Democrat after Senator Edwin Grant was recalled in 1914.  (An interesting aside: in all five successful legislative recalls, the replacement elected was a Republican.)  Anger over Newman’s gas tax vote helped propel Newman to this historic position.

    Former Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), who narrowly lost to Newman in 2016, now becomes Senator Ling-Ling Chang.

  3. Fourth Supervisorial District Way Too Close to Call
    Just 509 votes separate first place from third place in the Fourth Supervisorial District, where six candidates are vying to succeed the termed out Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton).

    Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) and Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) are currently in the top two spots while Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Placentia) is in the third spot.  Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) is 1,364 votes behind Kerr.

  4. November Runoff, as District Attorney Tony Rackauckas Gets 39%, Supervisor Todd Spitzer 35%
    As expected, the four-way race for District Attorney sends incumbent Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente) into a runoff with Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange).

    Not as expected, Spitzer managed to drag Rackauckas down below 40%, which is by far, the lowest percentage won by any Countywide incumbent in decades (“Countywide” meaning elected officials voted on throughout the entire County; it excludes officials voted on in districts).

  5. Can Don Barnes Prevent a Runoff for Sheriff?
    Undersheriff Don Barnes sits atop 50.7% of the vote, far ahead of LA County Detective/Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen (D-Tustin) who has 30.0% and Retired Sergeant/Mayor Dave Harrington (R-Aliso Viejo) who has 19.3%.  Embarrassingly for Harrington, he even came in third place in Aliso Viejo, the city where is the Mayor.

    Barnes probably can hang on to his 50% to stop a runoff and become Sheriff-Elect, but if late absentees or provisionals break strongly enough against him, he could be forced into a runoff, but it is nearly impossible for someone who wins a nonpartisan primary by 20% to lose in the runoff, so the question is do we say “Sheriff-Elect Barnes” in June or in November.

  6. Diep Defeats Haskin in the 72nd Assembly District
    Councilman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) defeated PepsiCo Government Relations Director Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley) in the 72nd District seat being vacated by Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who placed fourth in his race for Governor.  With Democrat Josh Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) getting 36.8% of the vote as the sole Democrat running, this seat will stay in Republican hands after Diep defeats Lowenthal in the runoff.

    The Democrats running against Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-Irvine), Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point), and even Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) all achieved higher percentages than Lowenthal, and Choi, Brough, and Bates occupy some of the safest Republican seats in the Legislature.

  7. County Board of Education
    In the County Board of Education, conservatives and pro-charter groups easily retained the Trustee Area 5 seat being vacated by Linda Lindholm (R-Laguna Niguel), as Lisa Sparks (R-Newport Beach) won 56% in a five-way race beating the second place union-backed Democrat by 31%.

    There’s a nailbiter in Trustee Area 2 where pro-charter conservative Mari Barke (R-Los Alamitos) is ahead of incumbent David Boyd (D-Costa Mesa) by just 2,694 votes.

  8. The Four-Month Senator
    In an inexplicable act by the voters of the 32nd Senate District, the odds are high there will be a State Senator who serves from August 8-November 30 and a different Senator will take office in December.

    For the remaining four months of the seat vacated by disgraced Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), the candidates who made the top two are Rita Topalian (R) and Mayor Vanessa Delgado (D-Montebello); in third place is Mendoza (D-Artesia) himself followed by Councilman Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) in fourth.  For the regular four-year seat running from 2018-2022, the candidates who made the top two are Topalian (R) and Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), with Delgado (D-Montebello) third and Mendoza (D-Artesia) fourth.  Archuleta is the prohibitive front-runner in this safe Democratic seat when voters cast their ballots in the November 2018 general election.  For the August 8-November 30 seat, Topalian and Delgado will face off in an August 7 special election.  Then on November 6, voters will elect their Senator for the 2018-2022 term, presumably Archuleta.

    Awkwardly, this August 8-November 30 Senator won’t be able to accomplish much because the legislative session ends on August 31.  This also means the 32nd Senate District will have three Senators in one year: Mendoza through February 22, Topalian or Delgado from August 8-November 30, and Archuleta in December.

  9. Irvine Measure B Fails
    Despite bipartisan backing from both the Republican Party of Orange County and the Democratic Party of Orange County along with the backing of virtually every elected official, Measure B fails in a landslide, with just 37% in favor.

    Now, $10 million has to be found to clean up an unsuitable site for a veterans cemetery or else no veterans cemetery will be built.  Had Measure B passed, the veterans cemetery could have begun at the suitable strawberry field site.

  10. Westminster Voters Give Mayor 4-Year Term
    Westminster voters decided to make their city the second in Orange County (after Anaheim) to have a 4-year mayoral term.

Posted in 29th Senate District, 32nd Senate District, 39th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 72nd Assembly District, Irvine, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Westminster | 2 Comments »

OC’s Top 10 Races to Watch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 5, 2018

Here are OC’s top 10 races to watch tonight when the polls close at 8:00 PM, and the Registrar of Voters begins reporting results at 8:05 PM, 9:30 PM, and then every half-hour after that until 1:00 AM.

The Big Three: Congress

  1. 39th Congressional District
    This could well be the most chaotic seat in the country.  There are 17 candidates running, and only two can advance to November to succeed retiring Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).  A whopping $14 million has been spent in this primary, as this is one of the most competitive seats in the country, but it is entirely possible that two Republicans could make the top two, thereby turning a highly competitive seat into a guaranteed Republican win in November.  Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are lottery-winning philanthropist Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda), former State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), former State Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton), Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), and businessman Andy Thorburn (R-Villa Park).

    Of the $14 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent over $10.6 million while there has been nearly $3.4 million in Independent Expenditure (IE) spending from PACs and other outside groups. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) alone spent nearly $2.1 million, with more than $829,000 against Huff, nearly $679,000 against Nelson, and over $560,000 supporting Cisneros.

  2. 49th Congressional District
    The 49th District was the closest Congressional race in the country in 2016, when Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) won re-election over Retired Colonel Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside) by 0.5%.  A staggering $15.5 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding never-before-elected candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are 2016 Candidate Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside), Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside), Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), Qualcomm Heiress Sara Jacobs (D-Encinitas), Real Estate Investor Paul Kerr (D-Rancho Santa Fe), and Attorney Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).

    Of the $15.5 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $9.6 million while there has been over $5.9 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  Women Vote! has spent nearly $2.3 million alone to support Jacobs.  The DCCC spent nearly $1.7 million against Chavez.

  3. 48th Congressional District
    The 48th Congressional District race was upended when former Assembly Republican Leader and OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) jumped in the race against Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).  A relative piker compared to the 39th and 49th, “only” $9.6 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th and 49th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) is widely expected to win the plurality of the vote.  The three candidates vying for the second slot (in alphabetical order) are Baugh (R-Huntington Beach), Scientist Hans Hans Keirstead (D-Laguna Beach), and Businessman Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).

    Of the $9.6 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $5.3 million while there has been nearly $4.3 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  The DCCC alone spent over $1.8 million, with nearly $1.7 million against Baugh and $137,000 to promote Republican Businessman John Gabbard (R) in an attempt to siphon votes from Baugh.  Gabbard has condemned the DCCC’s spending.

Would-Normally-Be-The Big Three if Congress Hadn’t Descended Into Chaos

  1. 29th Senate District Recall
    Will Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) survive the recall?  What would ordinarily be one of the biggest races in the state has seen both pro-recall and anti-recall forces battling just to get voter attention, as the millions spent in SD-29 have been swamped by the mega-spending 39th Congressional District, with more than 2/3 of all SD-29 voters residing in CD-39.
  2. 72nd Assembly District
    As the sole Democrat in the race FreeConferenceCall.com President Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach) is expected to win the plurality in his race against 4 Republicans to replace Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) who is leaving this seat to run for Governor.  The two leading Republicans are Councilman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) and former OC GOP Executive Director/current Pepsico Government Affairs Director Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley).  Diep and Haskin spent over $650,000 combined, a healthy sum for an Assembly race.  Unfortunately for them, they were swamped by the mega-spending 48th Congressional District, with more than 62% of all AD-72 voters residing in CD-48.
  3. 4th Supervisorial District
    In the race to succeed termed out Supervisor Shawn Nelson, the candidates in this race got drowned out by the 39th Congressional District and the 29th Senate District Recall Election.  Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Placentia) and Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) are the endorsed candidates of their respective political parties.  However, Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) and Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) came roaring in after their parties endorsed with spending to match Kerr and Shaw and outsized name ID from years in elected office in the two largest cities in the district.  Unfortunately for them all, they were swamped by both the mega-spending 39th Congressional District and the high-spending 29th Senate District recall, with nearly 62% of all BOS-4 voters residing in CD-39 and almost 85% of BOS-4 voters residing in SD-29.

The Rest of the Top 10

  1. 32nd Senate District
    This is the race that OC forgot, as only Buena Park lies in the LA County-based 32nd Senate District.  This is the seat vacated by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) who resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.  Mendoza filed to run for his old seat in hopes voters will send him back to the Senate.  The anti-Mendoza vote among just Democrats is split between two Mayors, two City Councilmembers, a Community College Board Member, and a former Assemblyman.  There are exactly two Republicans running.  This chaos could well send Mendoza back into the top two – and possibly against a Republican.  It is unclear what would happen if the top two were Mendoza and a Republican in this strongly Democratic district.  Also, voters have to cast two votes for this seat: one for the special primary election today for the six months remaining on Mendoza’s term when he resigned and one for the regular primary election today for the four years of the 2018-2022 term on the seat.
  2. District Attorney
    When a County Supervisor with high Countywide name ID and a campaign warchest far exceeding $1 million decides to challenge the sitting District Attorney’s re-election bid, how could this not be a major race? Virtually everyone expects this to go to a run-off, including the candidates themselves judging by their campaign spending.   While Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) spend several hundred thousand dollars on mail and slates, he appears to be holding $900,000 back for a run-off.  District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente) seemed to have only bought slates and digital advertising for the primary.
  3. Sheriff
    Undersheriff Don Barnes (R-Lake Forest) is the front-runner to succeed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.  The question is whether Retired Sergeant/Mayor Dave Harrington (R-Aliso Viejo) and Detective/Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen (D-Tustin) can pull enough of the vote to prevent Barnes from getting to 50%.  Harrington has relied heavily on slates while Nguyen has done direct mail to Democrats.
  4. County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5
    For eight straight elections, the incumbent was elected time and time again, even defeating future Assemblymen Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) and Don Wagner (R-Irvine) for this seat.  Yet, now for the second election in a row, the voters will be electing a new trustee. In 2014, Linda Lindholm (R-Laguna Niguel) knocked off 32-year Incumbent Liz Parker (R-Costa Mesa), who was running for a ninth term.  Parker had been elected to the County Board of Education the same month she graduated from UCLA at the age of 22.  After a single 4-year term, Lindholm chose not to run for re-election.  Chapman University Dean Lisa Sparks (R-Newport Beach) is the front-runner to succeed Lindholm.

Snoozer in June, Battle in November

  • 45th Congressional District
    Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) is the sole Republican in the race.  The question is which Democrat will face off against Walters?  This is the safest of the four OC Congressional seats held by a Republican.
  • 34th Senate District
    Former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park) is almost certainly the Democrats’ standard-bearer against Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).  Nguyen beat Umberg 11 years ago in the race for County Supervisor when front-running Umberg fell to third behind two candidates named Nguyen.  As a non-incumbent, Nguyen handily won the Senate seat in 2014 against former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), who was a stronger candidate than Umberg.
  • 65th Assembly District
    Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and former County Board of Education Trustee Alexandria Coronado (R-Cypress) are the only candidates on the ballot in June, so they will both advance to November due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Near-Snoozers

  • 55th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if a second Republican gets into the top two with Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R-Diamond Bar) since there’s two Democrats running who could split the vote, allowing a Republican to slip into second behind Chen.
  • 74th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if “Republican” Katherine Daigle (R-Irvine) gets into the top two with Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) since there’s three Democrats running who could split the vote.
  • Assessor
    With two opponents, there’s a tiny chance Assessor Claude Parrish (R-Tustin) could be forced into a run-off, but it is more likely he breaks 60%.
  • County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
    While there has been immense spending by charter schools for Mari Barke (R-Los Alamitos), there has also been immense spending by unions for David Boyd (D-Costa Mesa).  However, while this spending is immense in a school board race, it’s not much compared to the spending in a Congressional race or an Assembly race.  Most of this trustee area was drowned out by the 48th Congressional District and the 72nd Assembly District.  Additionally, there’s a third candidate, Matt Nguyen (D-Westminster), who will split the anti-incumbent vote, but unlike most other seats on the June ballot, there’s no run-off for County Board of Education.

Total Snoozer That Could Have Been Interesting

  • 73rd Assembly District
    For some reason, Mayor Ed Sachs (R-Mission Viejo) raised and spent literally nothing in his bid to unseat Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point).  Sachs’s campaign finance reports show he didn’t raise or spend a single dollar after paying to get on the ballot.  Had Sachs actually spent money, the 73rd could have been interesting.

Total Snoozers

  • Judge Ted Howard, Supervisor Michelle Steel (R-Sunset Beach), Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery (R-Orange), and Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen (R-Santa Ana) will cruise to victory in June, probably each with more than 70% of the vote. 38th District Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood), 46th District Congressman Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 47th District Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), 36th District Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), and 68th District Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-Irvine) will cruise to victory in November; they can’t end their elections in June due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Virtually Unopposed

  • 69th District Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) has one opponent: Libertarian write-in candidate Autumn Browne (L-Santa Ana).  She will come in second and appear on the ballot in November.

Unopposed

  • Superintendent Al Mijares (R-Tustin), Supervisor Lisa Bartlett (R-Dana Point), and Treasurer Shari Freidenrich (R-Huntington Beach) are literally unopposed.  As long as at least one person in all of Orange County (or the 5th Supervisorial District) remembers to vote for each of them, they’ll all be re-elected.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Choi and Woolery are clients of Western American, the firm that owns this blog.  For his City Council campaign, Sachs retained Custom Campaigns, the defunct firm that previously owned this blog, as did Lindholm for her County Board of Education race.  The writer of this article is Spitzer’s alternate on the Republican Central Committee and is the Legislative Manager in Woolery’s office.  Finally, the writer of this article is [as far as he knows] not related to Janet Nguyen, Matt Nguyen, or Hugh Nguyen.  Nguyen is the most common Vietnamese last name, held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 29th Senate District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 32nd Senate District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Independent Expenditures, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | Leave a Comment »

OC’s Best Ballot Designations, 2018 Primary Edition

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 2, 2018

Ballot designations are the only piece of information that appear directly on the ballot other than a candidate’s name (and sometimes, political party).

Yesterday was OC Political’s coverage about OC’s worst ballot designations.  Today, we’ll talk about OC’s best ballot designations.

As noted yesterday, “One of the most important things a candidate does in a California election may well be selecting a ballot designation. That short phrase below a candidate’s name is the very last piece of information that every voter sees before casting their ballots. Additionally in low-profile races, that short phrase could well be the only piece of information that voters see about a candidate before casting their ballots. California’s unique ballot designation system has even received coverage in the national press, such as this 2016 article in The Hill.”

Just a reminder, appearance on this list has nothing to do with whether the candidate is great or terrible, whether the campaign is well-run or poorly-run, whether the campaign is well-funded or underfunded, or whether I personally like the candidate or hate the candidate; it’s simply commentary on their ballot designation.

(Sadly, this post won’t be anywhere near as funny as yesterday’s post on OC’s worst ballot designations.)

Elected officials’ ballot designations are an inherent advantage, so this article excludes the designations of elected officials.  Even in the worst years of anti-incumbency, incumbency remains an inherent advantage.  Incumbents win 90% of the time typically, and even in anti-incumbent years, we still see 75% of incumbents re-elected.

Also as with the list of worst ballot designations, we will not be including statewide races, partly because Brenda Higgins and Craig Alexander have been beating the dead horse of the Governor’s race this morning on OC Political (and the past month) and partly because we didn’t include statewide races on the worst ballot designation list.  We are only covering County seats or State/Federal districts that include OC. Without further ado:

OC’s Ten Best Ballot Designations (for Non-Incumbents/Non-Elected Officials)

  1. Orange County Undersheriff (Don Barnes in the Sheriff’s race)
    It doesn’t get much better than this when you’re running for Sheriff.  This is as close to an incumbent ballot designation as it gets.
  2. Deputy Assessor (Richard B. Ramirez in the Assessor’s race)
    This is a great ballot designation when you’re running for Assessor.  Unfortunately, for Ramirez, there is someone with a much better ballot designation in the race: Orange County Assessor Claude Parrish.  (Parrish’s designation just wasn’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  3. University Dean/Professor (Lisa Sparks in the County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5)
    Everyone running for school board wants an education-related ballot designation.  However, “University Dean” is one of the most impressive ones available, showing both teaching and leadership experience at the highest levels of education.  The only better ones I’ve ever seen are “University President” (David Boyd when he first ran for County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2 in 2010) and iterations of Superintendent.
  4. Retired Fire Captain (Joe Kerr in the 4th Supervisorial District)
    Voters respect firefighters.  Fire Captain shows leadership experience.  Kerr’s tough battle is two of his opponents are mayors and two are councilmembers; it’s just their designations weren’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.
  5. Victims’ Rights Attorney (Brett Murdock in the District Attorney’s race)
    Voters have great sympathy victims and great respect for victims’ rights, and few offices are better-equipped to help victims than the District Attorney.  Unfortunately for Murdock, two of his opponents have better ballot designations: Orange County District Attorney and Orange County Supervisor/Attorney.  (Their designations just weren’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  6. FBI Advisor/Attorney (Omar Siddiqui in the 48th Congressional District)
    This one is intriguing.  In yesterday’s worst ballot designations, I wrote “Unless you’re running for Attorney General, Superior Court Judge, or District Attorney, there is no value in using attorney as your ballot designation: think about all the insulting things people say about attorneys. There are some modifiers that make great exceptions…” Well, FBI Advisor/Attorney is a great exception.  It makes Siddiqui look almost like a prosecutor, and voters love prosecutors.  (Though Siddiqui’s ballot designation is strong, his problem is how much better-funded his four opponents are, including the incumbent.)
  7. Fraud Investigator/Businessman (Russell Rene Lambert in the 46th Congressional District)
    This one is also intriguing.  A “Fraud Investigator” has a certain degree of expertise.  It lends itself well to a government reformer message.  Unfortunately, for Lambert, party registration is very slanted against him in his district for this partisan seat and the fact that there is someone with a much better ballot designation in the race: United States Congressmember Lou Correa.  (Correa’s designation just wasn’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  8. Orange County Business Owner (Scott Baugh in the 48th Congressional District and Greg Haskin in the 72nd Assembly District)
    This is a different spin on the usually strong ballot designation of Small Business Owner.  Adding “Orange County” makes it clear the candidate’s business is in Orange County, so they’re employing people locally.  The challenge for Republicans Baugh and Haskin is each of them are facing off against a Republican elected official: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Councilman Tyler Diep; plus there are well-funded Democrats for both seats.  (Rohrabacher and Diep’s designations just weren’t eligible for this list since we are excluding the designations of elected officials.)
  9. Entrepreneur/Company President (Josh Lowenthal in the 72nd Assembly District)
    There’s some good advice going on in the 72nd Assembly District when two of the candidates make this list and a third was simply ineligible because we are excluding the designations of elected officials.  With Company President, FreeConferenceCall.com President Josh Lowenthal has conveyed to voters that he is not only a businessman but a rather successful one, and with the Entrepreneur portion, he’s showing he’s a self-made businessman.
  10. Technology CEO/Entrepreneur (Rachel Payne in the 48th Congressional District)
    See above.

Posted in 46th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Party Affiliations of Everyone Running for Everything on June 5

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 31, 2018

In prior elections, some of the most popular articles on OC Political in the run-up to elections are the ones identifying the partisan affiliations of candidates on the ballot.  So back by popular demand, OC Political presents the political party affiliations of everyone running for everything on the June 5, 2018 Primary Election ballot in Orange County.

(Okay, this list is not everyone running for literally everything; it is everyone running for offices whose party affiliations are not shown on the ballot.  If you want to know the party affiliation of candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Senate, House of Representatives, State Legislature, etc., just look on your ballot.)

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 13

  • Franklin Dunn – Republican
  • Theodore R. “Ted” Howard – Republican

Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Steven Ireland – Democrat
  • Lily (Espinoza) Ploski – No Party Preference
  • Tony K. Thurmond – Democrat
  • Marshall Tuck – Democrat

County Superintendent of Schools

  • Al Mijares – Republican

County Board of Education, Area 2

  • Mari Barke – Republican
  • David L. Boyd – Democrat
  • Matt Nguyen – Democrat

County Board of Education, Area 5

  • Kimberly Clark – No Party Preference
  • Mike Dalati – Democrat
  • Dan Draitser – American Independent
  • Mary Navarro – Democrat
  • Lisa Sparks – Republican

Supervisor, 2nd District

  • Michael Mahony – Libertarian
  • Brendon Perkins – Democrat
  • Michelle Steel – Republican

Supervisor, 4th District

  • Cynthia Aguirre – Democrat
  • Doug Chaffee – Democrat
  • Rose Espinoza – Democrat
  • Joe Kerr – Democrat
  • Lucille Kring – Republican
  • Tim Shaw – Republican

Supervisor, 5th District

  • Lisa Bartlett – Republican

Assessor

  • Nathaniel Fernandez Epstein – Democrat
  • Claude Parrish – Republican
  • Richard B. Ramirez – Republican

Auditor-Controller

  • Toni Smart – American Independent
  • Eric H. Woolery – Republican

Clerk-Recorder

  • Hugh Nguyen – Republican
  • Steve Rocco – No Party Preference

District Attorney-Public Administrator

  • Lenore Albert-Sheridan – Democrat
  • Brett Murdock – Democrat
  • Tony Rackauckas – Republican
  • Todd Spitzer – Republican

Sheriff-Coroner

  • Don Barnes – Republican
  • David C. Harrington – Republican
  • Duke Nguyen – Democrat

Treasurer-Tax Collector

  • Shari L. Freidenrich – Republican

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Unholy Aliances: Body Parts trafficking in the Land of Gracious Living

Posted by Brenda Higgins on March 28, 2018

 

DaVinci Biosciences and related company, DVB, became part of the national exposure of Planned Parenthood and its distribution and sale of fetal body parts. David Daleidin and The Center for Medical Progress exposed these Planned Parenthood practices and a congressional investigation followed. The report that came from that investigation recommended prosecution and further investigation, into more than a dozen entities. Orange County District Attorney followed thorough with prosecution of the body parts traffickers found here, but many authorities and jurisdictions have not. New Mexico, whose university and interconnectedness with Planned Parenthood were some of the largest offenders, has elected to take no action.

DaVinci and DVB were formed in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Both for-profit corporations, both located at the same physical location in Savi Ranch area of Yorba Linda. OCDA stated that the companies were nearly indistinguishable, sharing employees and the same location, and both companies are owned and operated by several members of the Isaias family from Ecuador.

The Isias family migrated from Ecuador amid much controversy. In 2012, the Isaias’s were convicted in Ecuador, in absensia, for bank fraud. The conviction alleged that they falsified records of their bank, Filanbanco, in order to obtain more than $600 million in their government’s bailout funds. Presumably, the funds they bilked from the Ecuadorian government provided the foundation for the DaVinci companies, as well as their ‘media” venture in Florida, Fyre TV, an on-demand porn platform. The Isaiases are also rumored to have extensive real estate holdings, and have been reported to have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to political cadidates, like Marco Rubio, Barrack Obama, the DNC, and Senator Robert Menendez. In 2016, they gave $300,000 to the DNC.

Several members of the Isaias family encountered immigration difficulties after being caught smuggling ‘maids’ into the US. Both Senator Robert Menendez, and the Clinton State Department intervened on their behalf. The Obama administration refused to cooperate with Ecuador in extradition of the Isaiases. Linda Jewell, the American ambassador in Ecuador, indicated that the intervention of Senator Menendez and apparent favorable treatment by the State Department was “substantially beyond the usual level of interest.”

A direct link to the U.S. government favoring Ecuadorian convicts, and the Ecuadorian embassy in London harboring Julia Assange, has not been established. However, it is not a stretch to see retribution and discord in the actions of both nations. The Obama administration relationship with Ecuador was strained at best.

When the House Select Panel began its investigation in 2016, DaVinci was slow to produce the records of its donations to Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC). The report form the Select Panel ultimately concluded though, that the DaVinci group was brazen in its effort to market and profit from the fetal tissue it was procuring from PPOSB. The report showed that DaVinci had a sales force and extensive marketing plan, product brochures, a website and bulk discounts for their best customers. They also offered financing on approved credit, holiday discounts and free samples.

Stem Express and Advanced Biosciences are other California based fetal body parts traffickers who were investigated by the House Select Panel. Stem Express paid Planned Parenthood a per-shipment fee, while Advanced Biosciences paid a monthly procurement fee. DaVinci Made some tax deductible donations totalling nearly $4,000.00 between 2008 and 2011, but nothing in the investigation showed that they were paying a procurement fee. DaVinci provided the containers and picked up the specimens. Planned Parenthood obtained the consent, procured and collected the tissue, transferred them to the containers provided and notified DaVinci when they were ready for pick up.

The OCDA found that the DaVInci profits on each vial of tissue, after incurring nominal preparation costs, were ranging form $100 – $300 per vial. The profit on the sale of fetal or cadaveric tissue is prohibited by California state as well as Federal law.

The DaVinci Companies were ultimately closed down in 2017, pursuant to a settlement agreement with the OCDA. That agreement, in addition to closing them down, provided for DaVinci to pay fines and pentacles of about $7million, and to donate to an educational institution, all of their remaining inventory and equipment.

Posted in Orange County District Attorney's Office, Yorba Linda | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

DA’s Race: Spitzer Outraises Rackauckas While Murdock Can’t Pay Registrar of Voters

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 9, 2018

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente), Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange), and former Mayor Brett Murdock (D-Brea)

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente), Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange),
and former Mayor Brett Murdock (D-Brea)

In the race for Orange County District Attorney, Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) raised $103,953 more than incumbent District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente) did in the second half of 2017, according to campaign finance reports filed last week.  During the second half of 2017, Spitzer raised $234,077 while Rackauckas raised $130,124.  In the first half of 2017, Rackauckas raised $195,300; Spitzer did not have a DA account yet, but raised $273,284 into his Supervisor account during that time.  When Spitzer closed his Supervisor account, he also transferred $1,272,559 to his DA account.

Rackauckas spent $178,606 while Spitzer spent $139,233 on the DA’s race.  This leaves Rackauckas with $209,513 cash on hand and Spitzer with $1,367,403 cash on hand, or $1,364,903 cash on hand after accounting for one $2,500 unpaid bill.

Former Mayor Brett Murdock (D-Brea) raised 3% of what Rackauckas did and 2% of what Spitzer did.  Additionally, Murdock had no funds raised in prior periods, leaving him even further behind Rackauckas and Spitzer.  With $3,848, Murdock will need to spend $2,680 to pay the DA candidate filing fee to the Registrar of Voters, leaving him with $1,168.  Unfortunately for Murdock, the ballot statement payable to the Registrar of Voters costs $15,536.  In other words, as of the end of 2017, Murdock’s $3,848 cash on hand was only 21% of the $18,216 he needs to pay the Registrar of Voters by March 9.

For visual learners:

Candidate Contributions
(1/1/17-6/30/17)
Contributions
(7/1/17-12/31/17)
Transfers Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
Tony Rackauckas (R) $195,300 $130,124 $0 $0 $178,606 $209,513 $209,513
Todd Spitzer (R) N/A
($273,284 for Supervisor)
$234,077 $1,272,559 $2,500 $139,233 $1,367,403 $1,364,903
Brett Murdock (D) N/A $4,527 $0 $0 $679 $3,848 $3,848
Note: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

 

Posted in Orange County District Attorney's Office | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

BREAKING: Democrat Brett Murdock Enters District Attorney’s Race

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 24, 2017

Former Brea Mayor Brett Murdock, who unsuccessfully challenged Congressman Ed Royce’s 2016 re-election bid, has become the third candidate to enter the race for District Attorney of Orange County.  District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is running for re-election, and Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer has already announced his candidacy to unseat Rackauckas.

This came over the wire from the campaign of Brett Murdock for District Attorney…

WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR, LIFELONG ORANGE COUNTY RESIDENT AND ATTORNEY BRETT MURDOCK ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Orange County, CA – August 24, 2017 – Former Mayor of Brea, Brett Murdock, announces his candidacy for Orange County District Attorney, challenging Todd Spitzer and incumbent Tony Rackauckas.

Brett Murdock is running to restore integrity to the office of the District Attorney. He stated, “Orange County has seen a wave of corruption and disgrace in the District Attorney’s office because of Tony Rackauckas’s inability and unwillingness to play by the rules and uphold justice. I am running to restore dignity and trust in the District Attorney’s office.”

Brett Murdock is the former mayor of Brea, former member of the Brea City Council, and owns his own law practice. Given his experience working with county governance, Brett will bring stable leadership that is missing at the District Attorney’s office. Tony Rackauckas’s rule has prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, the District Attorney’s office has been “rocked by an ongoing scandal involving the use of jailhouse snitches and a steady stream of headlines about prosecutorial misconduct and overturned criminal cases.”

As an attorney, Brett regularly fights for victims of injustice and helps organizations that serve those in need. Brett has been a business owner for over 20 years. He will work hard to earn the respect of the over 700 professionals in the District Attorney’s office that work every day in the courtrooms and on the streets to protect our communities.

As District Attorney, Brett Murdock will bring a smart, tough, and victim oriented approach to crime and corruption. “It’s time for a change. We must dispense with the political infighting and favoritism that infects the District Attorney’s office and focus on the justice and fairness our county deserves.”

Brett Murdock was born in Anaheim and recently finished three years as an adjunct professor of American Government at Cal State Fullerton. He currently lives in Brea with his wife and two children.

For more information, visit www.brettmurdock.com.

Posted in Orange County District Attorney's Office | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

So what did taxpayers get from CUSD’s financing of Former Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson’s Financial Conflict of Interest defense? Nothing! Part One of Two

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on August 24, 2017

Former CUSD Trustee Hatton-Hodson’s Undisclosed Financial Conflicts Of Interest And The FPPC

Last fall it was discovered that elected CUSD Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson had an undisclosed financial conflict of interest due to her ownership interest in a vendor to Capistrano Unified School District. She apparently did not disclose this conflict in her required filing with the County known as a Form 700 (Statement of Economic Interest). A citizen made a complaint to the FPPC (the Fair Political Practices Commission) about Ms. Hatton-Hodson’s failure to disclose the obvious conflict.

Normally the filling out and defending of a Form 700 is completely on the shoulders of the person who files it – whether a successful candidate for office like Ms. Hatton-Hudson or the losing candidate who is not elected to office.  In this case the CUSD Board of Trustees had an attorney opine that filling out a Form 700 was an official act of a Trustee and any challenge regarding the form entitles the Trustee to a taxpayer funded defense by attorneys who specialize in this field.

Trustee Hatton-Hodson’s Undisclosed Financial Conflicts of Interest and the FPPC

In September 2016, the Board of Trustees voted 6 to 0 (Ms. Hatton-Hodson did not vote) to retain the law firm of Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP of Sacramento to defend their colleague before the FPPC.  The Board of Trustees authorized the District to spend $15,000.00 of taxpayer money to defend her.

The Olson firm was specifically requested by Ms. Hatton-Hodson in a letter addressed to CUSD’s general counsel Mr. David Huff of the law firm of Orbach, Huff, Saurez & Henderson, LLP. [Hatton-Hodson ltr to Huff].  Interestingly the fee agreement between the Olson firm and the District identified the District as the Client not Ms. Hatton-Hodson. [9-28-16 Professional Services Agreement]. Yet they apparently defended Ms. Hatton-Hodson, not the District, before the FPPC.

Conflict of Interest – What Conflict of Interest!

The California Policy Center, Inc. sent Public Records Act requests to CUSD and the FPPC after the FPPC closed its file in this matter in late February 2017.

Most of the time a contract between a client and an attorney firm is required under Business and Professions Code section 6148.  CUSD disclosed to CPC the agreement between itself and the Olson firm. Again, oddly, this agreement identifies the District not Trustee Hatton-Hodson as the Client of the firm.  The FPPC complaint was the sole scope of work listed for the Olson firm.

In addition, an attorney is not allowed to represent clients with conflicting interests. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3-310.  The attorney may represent two clients where the conflict of interest between them is only a potential one.  But the attorney should obtain a written Waiver of the Potential Conflict of Interest.  Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3-310 (c).

A potential conflict of interest is something that is very foreseeable in this situation and where the interests if the District and Ms. Hatton-Hodson could become adverse requiring the attorney to withdraw from the representation at any time.  However when we received the documents from CUSD, while the 9/26/17 Agreement was produced, no signed off letters or notices to either the District or Ms. Hatton-Hodson of the Potential Conflict of Interest for the Olson firm were disclosed.  Thus it appears no written waiver was obtained even though one Trustee apparently understood this and brought it to the attention to the Superintendent. [9-26-16 E-mail].

Public Records Act requests by CPC to CUSD and the FPPC – Surprise: Three Law Firms for One Matter!

When CPC sought records under the Public Records Act the requests included attorney fee invoices related to the FPPC matter from CUSD.  In documents disclosed by CUSD we received invoices from not one but three law firms.  Importantly there was one invoice from the Olson firm dated October 31, 2016 for just over $15,000 – the entire amount authorized by the Board of Trustees just one half of one month earlier. [10-31-16 Olson Invoice].

But there were two other firms sending CUSD invoices for this matter: The Orbach firm apparently to give legal advice that the Board could spend taxpayer funds to defend Trustee Hatton-Hodson and presumably to watch over the Olson firm.  Also billing on this matter was the law firm of Werksman, Jackson, Hathaway & Quinn acting as an expert to the Orbach firm.  The hourly rate for the Werksman firm’s senior partner is $750 per hour!  [Werksman Invoices]. All three law firm’s invoices were heavily redacted (blocked out) so that we could not read what these law firms did for Ms. Hatton-Hodson’s defense.  We asked CUSD to give us un-redacted versions of these invoices and it refused.

In Part Two of Two – More Public Money for Attorneys, And for What?  Plus Serious Questions Remain from this Episode. 

Craig Alexander is an attorney who represents requestors of information under the California Public Records Act. He is also volunteer General Counsel for the California Policy Center, Inc. a policy think tank that advocates for transparency in government. He is a former candidate for CUSD’s Board of Trustees. Craig can be reached at craig@craigalexanderlaw.com.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Full Text of Spitzer’s Candidacy Announcement for District Attorney

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 14, 2017

Here is the full text of the press release that came over the wire Monday from the Todd Spitzer for District Attorney 2018 campaign…

ORANGE COUNTY SUPERVISOR TODD SPITZER ANNOUNCES  CANDIDACY FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY PLEDGING TO RESTORE  TRUST IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Spitzer pledges to replace the “Rudderless Ship” in the District Attorney’s office, fight crime and serve as a champion for victims’ rights. His campaign begins race with massive spending advantage of $1,261,925 Cash On Hand. New poll indicates voters feel less safe under DA’s watch.

Orange County, CA – July 10, 2017 – Supervisor Todd Spitzer announced his candidacy for Orange County District Attorney challenging Tony Rackauckas. Orange County has seen murderers’ sentences reduced and violent criminals released into our communities early because of the District Attorney’s inept safeguarding of public safety. A former reserve Los Angeles Police Department officer, Supervisor Spitzer served for nearly ten years as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney handling cases at nearly every level. He has real hands on experience handling thousands of cases including nearly 100 jury trials to verdict.

Todd Spitzer has received numerous commendations and honors for his work such as Orange County Prosecutor of the Year (chosen by his peer line prosecutors), Victims’ Advocacy Lifetime Achievement Award from Crime Survivors, Inc., Victims’ Advocacy Recognition from Parents of Murdered Children, Outstanding Prosecutor by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Legislator of the Year by Crime Victims United California and Legislator of the Year by California State Sheriffs’ Association.

Spitzer has a track record of utilizing modern tools to fight crime. While in the State Legislature as an Assemblyman he was the Statewide Chairman for Marsy’s Law for California (Prop. 9, Nov. 2008), the most comprehensive Victim’s Rights Constitutional protection in the Nation, and Joint Authored Megan’s Law on the Internet (AB 488, Parra and Spitzer) that created an on-line database for the public to search for registration and residency information for convicted sex offenders.

Spitzer launches his campaign with a significant lead over his opponent, Tony Rackauckas, announcing more than $1,261,925 cash on hand compared to the last filing by Rackauckas showing $44,844 cash on hand.

Supervisor Spitzer stated, “I refuse to stand by as Tony Rackauckas destroys the District Attorney’s office and uses it as his own personal fiefdom for he and his cronies while the public’s safety suffers. I’m proud to announce my campaign for District Attorney and pledge to always uphold the rule of law, put people’s safety first and work tirelessly to make certain justice is served for victims and their families. We must restore faith and trust in our law enforcement and justice system.”

Supervisor Todd Spitzer pledges not to accept any endorsements from current elected officials. “First we have to clean up the corruption in the DA’s office and be fearless in the pursuit of public corruption wherever it exists. That’s why I will not accept endorsements from any current elected official. The DA must be impartial and beholden to no one.” Tony Rackauckas’ own Chief District Attorney Investigator, before he was fired by Rackauckas, alleged that Rackauckas interfered in political corruption investigations to help his political friends. Rackauckas’ history has repeatedly shown that he fires staff who reveal Rackauckas’ misuse of office for his own political and personal gain.

“As a former prosecutor and current Chairman of the Orange County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, I know what it takes to get justice for victims and work with the community to solve crimes and ensure violent felons stay behind bars. But we also must work to stop crime before it starts. As a former high school teacher and School Board Trustee and business owner, I know that solutions to complex crime problems begins by solving critical issues like homelessness, our kids’ broken education system and ensuring that our economy is growing to provide job opportunities for everyone. As Supervisor, I’ve already pioneered policies in our County to help address these issues and make our communities safer. It’s time to focus on rebuilding the DA’s office, including modernizing it by bringing the latest in crime fighting tools to our hard-working prosecutors. “

“Rackauckas has been in office for 20 years. This breeds corruption, complacency and a public failure of leadership. 20 years is long enough. While crime rates rise and the DA’s absence of leadership is causing cases to be botched and murderers to be let free, the real tragedy is that victims and their families are not getting justice. I’m running for District Attorney to be an advocate for every victim that has been let down by Tony Rackauckas. Every community deserves protection from criminals,” Spitzer said.

When weighing whether to run for District Attorney, Todd Spitzer tested in a June 2017 poll if public safety was listed as one of top three concerns. More than 1/4 Orange County voters feel LESS safe than a few years ago. Voters likely feel less safe because in fact, they are.

Under Tony Rackauckas’ failed watch as Orange County District Attorney crime rates have skyrocketed 23 percent in 2015 and there are over three times as many crimes per square mile just in Santa Ana as the rest of California, where shootings alone are up 556% since 2012. Even in cities like Brea and Westminster violent crime is up over 50%, while it spiked over 60% in usually low crime Rancho Santa Margarita.

Spitzer’s Chief Strategist, John Thomas, said, “As Tony Rackauckas approaches over 20 years in office it’s time for a new DA. Someone with the integrity and experience of a top prosecutor but also the understanding to know that we need to stop crime before it starts by focusing on proven and effective prevention methods like after-school activities and job training programs. Todd Spitzer is a battle-tested prosecutor who has the right priorities to restore faith in the DA’s office and get back to the business of fighting crime.”

Thomas continues, “Finally, the voters have a choice to replace Tony Rackauckas who has let down Orange County long enough. We look forward to running an aggressive campaign to hold DA Rackauckas accountable for the misconduct, misdeeds and mistruths that he continues to spread. We are not as cynical about voters as Rackauckas and his handlers. We know people are paying attention to the news and are disappointed that Orange County’s top prosecutor is out of touch and unethical.”

“Laziness, misconduct, abuse of power, failure to report political donations and outside employment, rampant sexual harassment–Rackauckas seems to believe the DA’s office is auditioning for an episode of Animal House or Shark Tank rather than a premier public safety agency.”

“Supervisor Spitzer begins the race for District Attorney with substantial advantages including his lifelong dedication to victims, a proven record on public safety, and a massive war chest to engage the voters. Meanwhile the OC Grand Jury refers to the District Attorney Tony Rackauckas as running the office with a “failure of leadership” and practicing as a “a lazy law firm”. (Orange County Grand Jury, June 2017) The void in leadership has blown up in scandals that continue to implode the District Attorney’s Office threatening the integrity of our justice system and maligning the great work of the employees who want to be proud again of their public agency.”


Supervisor Todd Spitzer has dedicated his life to keeping families safe and was inspired to dedicate his career to public service as an Orange County Supervisor and former California State Assembly Member. A champion for public safety, Supervisor Spitzer is recognized as an expert on security issues, whose reputation as an advocate for victims’ rights is respected nationally.

Supervisor Spitzer Chaired the groundbreaking campaign for Proposition 9, Marsy’s Law, the nation’s most comprehensive Victims’ Bill of Rights, and served as Statewide Co-Chair for Proposition 83, the nation’s toughest sex offender punishment and control law as well as Proposition 69, which requires the collection of DNA samples from all felons. Fighting to protect our community, he joint -authored Megan’s Law on the Internet, the landmark legislation requiring the release of public information related to sex offenders and as a former deputy and assistant district attorney he handled complex criminal matters while managing line prosecutors.

In his current term as Third District Supervisor, he secured Orange County’s first year-round, supportive housing shelter for the homeless, established an Ethics Commission, gained passage of pension reform measures and strengthened public safety oversight by expanding the Office of Independent Review.

Spitzer earned his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA (1982), a Master’s degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley (1989), and a Law Degree from UC Hastings School of Law (1989). While at Hastings, Spitzer was awarded the George Moscone Fellowship, for the law student dedicating his career to public service.

Spitzer is a former high school teacher and reserve police officer assigned to DUI enforcement and patrol duties. He is a doting father of a son and daughter and a dedicated husband to Judge Jamie Spitzer, Presiding Judge of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

###

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Orange County District Attorney's Office | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

District Attorney-Public Administrator Tony Rackauckas Statement on Landslide Re-Election

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 4, 2014

This came over the wire from the campaign of District Attorney-Public Administrator Tony Rackauckas

Rackauckas

District Attorney-Public Administrator Tony Rackauckas Statement on Landslide Re-Election

“I am grateful to the People of Orange County for once again entrusting me to defend victims’ rights, protect citizens from dangerous gang members and violent sexual predators, and fight against fraudsters who steal people’s dreams by embezzling their life savings.  I have been privileged to have been a public servant for more than 40 years, and have loved every job, but I can honestly say being District Attorney is the most rewarding responsibility I have ever held.  Orange County citizens can count on me to continue to vigorously fight for them and fairly administer justice.  The credit for all of these achievements go to the hard working men and women of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, our law enforcement partners and the courageous victims and witnesses.”

###

Paid for by Rackauckas for District Attorney 2014. ID# 970780.

www.ocdistrictattorney.com • www.orangecountyda.com

Posted in Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Public Administrator | Tagged: | 4 Comments »