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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2017
Todd Spitzer for Orange County District Attorney 2018
John S. Thomas - Chief Strategist
Tel: (818) 396-6578
Jennilee Brown – Press Relations
Tel: (347) 989-7106
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.
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