Todd Spitzer's Latest Flip-Flop

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Todd Spitzer
Five months ago, an angry Todd Spitzer took control of a public employees' local union hall in Santa Ana; called print, radio and television reporters to a press conference; and made a historic announcement. 

Spitzer--a former prosecutor, county supervisor and Republican state assemblyman--claimed that a cancer was destroying the county's criminal-justice system and that malignancy, he said, had a name: District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, a fellow Republican. 

Spitzer asserted that under Rackauckas' watch, innocent people are knowingly sent to prison and that the DA's campaign contributors or pals are secretly rewarded with lucrative, no-bid contracts or, in other cases, allowed to run sinister enterprises without fear of prosecution.

"The corruption in [the DA's office] stinks, and it's got to stop," Spitzer said. "From the ninth floor down [Rackauckas' executive team occupies the 10th floor of the DA's Santa Ana headquarters], people are tired of the way Susan, Mike and Tony play politics."

Susan and Mike would be Susan and Mike Schroeder, the DA's longtime closest allies. Susan serves as Rackauckas' chief of staff and public-affairs counsel, and Mike is a Santa Ana chiropractic-insurance-company king and bigwig in California Republican Party politics. The couple's enemies compare Susan to Cruella De Vil and Mike to Machiavellian industrialist Lex Luthor.

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Cruella De Vil
​To save residents from Rackauckas-Schroeder corruption, Spitzer announced that day, he would challenge the DA in the next election. He didn't say he was thinking about entering that campaign. He didn't say he was 90 percent sure he'd run. He stated without equivocation that he was a candidate for the county's top prosecutor spot in 2014.

Frank Mickadeit of Orange County Register lore was in the room with me when Spitzer made his declaration. In fact, both of us fled Spitzer's press conference when he began haranguing us for being Rackauckas shills, which isn't just ridiculous--I dare say the worst media coverage the DA has received has been under my byline--but also hypocritical. Spitzer will always have the knee-jerk support of the anti-Schroeder crowd, but I'm getting a severe case of whiplash watching him flip-flop on Rackauckas' corruption. 

Please recall this timeline: In 2004, Spitzer says the DA is evil and corrupt and he will challenge him. In 2005, Spitzer changes his mind about running. In 2008, Spitzer says Rackauckas isn't just great, but also his "mentor" and accepts a top prosecutor slot in the DA's office when he faces term limits in the state Assembly. In 2009, Spitzer continues to publicly hail the DA as a wonderful, honest man and holds regular dining meetings with Mike Schroeder to discuss political strategy. In 2010--after the filing deadline passes for the next DA term--Rackauckas announces he's tired of Spitzer's immaturity, ego and antics. Next, we are sitting in the press conference where Spitzer says Rackauckas is evil and must be removed from office, a job he volunteers to accept. 

Yet something drastic happened in Spitzer's noggin between this month and last October. He announced he is running for an open seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. He didn't un-announce his DA campaign. It was as if he were pretending his earlier decision hadn't happened. 

No worries. The Columbo of OC journalism entered the scene, scoring a recent Spitzer interview. While smoking "Caribbean" cigars, the men discussed the supervisors' race. The resulting Mickadeit column outlined why Spitzer thinks he deserves the seat more than the other announced candidate, Chuck DeVore

(Insert the loud, screeching sound of a Hummer breaking to a sudden halt on wet asphalt to avoid crushing elementary-school kids in a crosswalk.)

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Mickadeit

Frank, why didn't you press Todd to explain his latest Rackauckas flip-flop? Can he now accept the idea that evil runs the DA's office? Perhaps Todd did explain, and with all that smoke swirling around Frank just forgot to put that detail in his column.

To resolve this mystery, I contacted Spitzer, who seems to be on speed dial with several, softball-pitching local journalists, none of them at the Weekly. He said he was open to talk. I then asked him these two simple questions:

"Given Frank's column, I'd like you to answer this: If, as you've said, Rackauckas and the Schroeders are dirty, why would you forgo that challenge for another office? Is that a disservice to OC residents who expect honest government, especially in the DA's office?"

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Spitzer is never mum. Ask about the weather, and you'll get a five-minute answer. But in this case, he's silent. Those questions have been pending for more than 36 hours.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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Janey
Janey

Spitzer's flip flopping clown. Chuck DeVore is consistent, smart and principled. Enough said.

Jeff
Jeff

Can you say, "party machine"? It's a sad but true fact that Schroeder runs the republican machine in this county and you either fall into line or fall out of favor.

Vern Nelson
Vern Nelson

I'm not understanding the confusion, am I missing something?

I've always understood - since around September - that Todd was planning to run for Supervisor in 2012, and then for DA in 2014.

I'm just not seeing the contradiction, the flip-flop, or the sudden screeching brakes of a Hummer on wet asphalt as it approaches an elementary school crosswalk full of children. But I do hope everybody is okay.

Dswanson1962
Dswanson1962

Vern you didn't pay attention the recent Mickadeit column where Spitzer proclaimed he is fully on board to run for Supervisor and will not run for DA in 2014. He said he would spend his full 1.2 million in the bank for the Supervisor race and stay out of the DA's race months after announcing his crusade to take out the "corrupt" District Attorney.

Jublesballs
Jublesballs

The Schroeders (Cruella De Vil and Godzilla) need to be removed from all political activity and positions. The Republican Party in OC needs a colon cleansing. T-Rack is a puppet to the corruptive politicians and businessmen in OC, the State and the Nation. The Toyota Lawsuit is another way to fill his private pockets and those who created the stupid idea at the OC taxpayers expense. Annuity Funds is the Term used for such pocket filling. The up and coming political corruption leaders need to go with the colon cleansing, from the OC Central Committee through to every private District; Sanitation, Water, and Cities. We have Republican Party Groups with corrupt leaders, when they support and suggest the public to elect corrupt persons then these Groups should have the light shown on them as well, more colon cleansing product please! Chuck DeVore is a puppet to the Schroeders who made sure he won the Assembly Seat, where he spoke loud and accomplished nil. Remember, he is the big proponent of Nuclear Power, REMEMBER CHUCKIE? The Bad Boy/Girl Republican party and corrupt Businessmen, all mentioned above and more, Want Chuckie becasue they can continue their CORRUPTION! The people of Orange County need to WAKE UP and clean the entire slate. Frank Mickadeit HAS affiliated himself with the corrupt, he states he is 'friends' with the bad boys and girls. I wonder who is paying Franks Tuition at Chapman College? Interesting that Frank is 'Interning' at T-Racks ex-wife Law Firm! The same law firm that Supervisor Shawn Nelson came from AND the same law firm that represented Denis Bilodeau with his Misdemeanor case of stealing campaign signs. What a tangled web of corruption and the press is failing to show the web. These electeds cannot accomplish all this corruption alone, and even with corrupt businessmen. They have to have government employees who are keeping their mouths shut and not fulfilling their responsibility to all of us citizens either. How many water tests have the results changed? How many air quality tests have their results changed? How many companies putting contaminants in our water and soil are having their results changed? Why are all the NEW Elected Judges from the DA's Office and usually are not challenged by private lawyers? Interesting don't you think? That is just it, no one is standing up to the corruption, eventually all of this has to rise, just like a volcano, and start to spew out. Hopefully this is now happening and we are going to see one big clean up in this corrupt county. The Federal Prisons will have to add some wings to their buildings to handle the up and coming inmates from Orange County and the State of California. For every person who knows of a crime and they don't speak up? Then they are part of the crime, they are aiding and abetting the criminal activity they know of. We need someone other than Chuck DeVore and Todd Spitzer to run for OC Supervisor. We need someone outside of the political arena, we need a retired Baby Boomer to step up and give back to the community in which they have lived. The same for the DA position, we need someone outside of this internal ring of fire.

Dswanson1962
Dswanson1962

The black helicopters must be really circling close these days. Put your tinfoil hat back on, take an asprin and it will all be okay.

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The Minuteman Project
The Minuteman Project

Enough already of the baseless "propaganda" proliferated by manipulating media maniacs (so-called journalists) about infighting in the Republican Party!:)

We get enough of that tripe from Frank Mickadeit's tactless and untalented attempt at journalism. Now, there's a dirty journalist for ya'...you know, like a bribe taking politician, a drug dealing cop, or a pedophile member of the clergy or elementary school system.

Poor Frank. I think his wheels are coming off. Hmmmm....I wonder if the Democrats are paying him and other second-rate writers to bogusly paint Republicans in a false light. But then, stupid is as stupid does. If the shoe fits...........

When journalists deliberately lie they lose their credibility, their professionalism, the respect of their readership, and the public trust.

Cheers, :)

Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project(a responsible and accountable former newspaper reporter...an extremely rare commodity)

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

did you strain your arm patting yourself on the back like that Mr Gilchrist?

Something smells like cigars
Something smells like cigars

With the cancer of the DA's office, it is a shame that Spitzer is flip flopping. I'm sure there was pressure applied and Mickadeit once again gets to appear the hero for landing an interview for his buddies at the top. He's still hoping for a DA job when he finishes law school.

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