Todd Spitzer scares people

Steven Greenhut: Former Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, the Orange Republican who desperately wants to be Orange County’s next district attorney, has been in the news this week after he was fired by DA Tony Rackauckas for some allegedly inappropriate behavior in seeking out information for which he was not entitled. Spitzer has released his personnel files and is making the media rounds, as would be expected from a man who craves media attention. He won’t, however, waive his confidentiality agreement, which keeps the DA from telling his side of the story. How convenient.

One explanation, advanced by Spitzer, is that Rackauckas canned him to open the door to a bid for DA by his chief of staff. Susan Schroeder claims she probably isn’t running, but who knows? Spitzer had cut a deal with the DA not to run until 2014 in exchange for a job as a prosecutor and Rackauckas’ endorsement. That’s history now and Spitzer is doing what he does well — playing the martyr. That said, iIt wouldn’t surprise me if Rackauckas and the Schroeders (Susan’s husband, Mike, is a well-known and Machiavellian OC political operative) orchestrated something for political effect.

I don’t know what happened here, and the people I’ve talked to can only offer guesses. But this much is certain: The thought of a grand-standing tool of the law enforcement unions such as Spitzer becoming DA is scary to many people. Given his outrageous rhetoric as Assemblyman, his close alliance with the unions and his never-ending need for media attention — he even wore yellow firefighter boots and vest during the wildfires to look like he was a first responder! — it’s clear that many Orange County observers don’t want him to be the county’s top enforcer.

Watch Spitzer give a crazy demogogic speech on justice reform and then think about him as DA.

Here’s my column on Spitzer epitomizing what is wrong with Sacramento.

Here’s a blog about Spitzer’s union attachments.

And one about a bizarre case he prosecuted in OC.


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  1. Steve Frank
    Steve Frank 2 September, 2010, 17:51

    The first time he was in the DA’s office, before he was an elected official, did he take some leaves of absence? If so, why? Maybe the answer is here?

    Reply this comment
  2. John Seiler
    John Seiler 2 September, 2010, 22:14

    Steve reported years ago on Spitzer’s selling out, while on the O.C. Board of Supervisors, on the pension spiking law. If O.C. goes bankrupt — again — blame Spitzer first.

    Reply this comment
  3. Holden Balzac
    Holden Balzac 7 September, 2010, 09:56

    Spitzer scares you and T-Rack doesn’t? Or — gasp — Schroeder?!? Please name a more disfunctional, ass-covering governmental entity in Orange County than the D.A.’s office? There’s no question but that Todd Spitzer is a media hound and is as ambitious as the day is long. I’m not even going to argue one way or another about his qualifications or lack thereof to be D.A. But your post leaves a lot to be desired in the way of research and balance. First of all, Spitzer is undoubtedly not waiving confidentiality as a tactical ploy, but read the appellate court opinion on what T-Rack did to Mike Jacobs. T-Rack & Co. are fully versed in the arts of dirty tricks. Hell, if I were in Spitzer’s spot, I’d use anything I could to my advantage, because you damn well know that T-Rack is going to come at him with guns blazing. Second, before jumping on Spitzer for playing the martyr, maybe you should ask the question why a relatively minor complaint about Spitzer asking questions about an obscure guardianship case suddenly became a fireable offense? God knows, there are Deputy D.A.s who have done far worse, far more frequently and not only survived, but thrived. So, what’s the motivation? Get Spitzer out of the D.A.s office just so T-Rack can run again? Or is T-Rack going to try to pull the old switcheroo on the eve of the election to put his toady Schroeder in as “interim” D.A. so she can run as the incumbent? But, hey, don’t let me get in your way as you run with T-Rack’s prefered spin. God forbid you actually start using your brain rather than just your tape recorder.

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