Democrat Greg Diamond Plans Challenge To DA Tony Rackauckas

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Diamond for DA
Greg Diamond--a ranking member of the Orange County Democratic Party, a progressive activist as well as a civil lawyer trained at Columbia University--announced this week that he plans to challenge Tony Rackauckas' Republican campaign for a fifth term as district attorney.

You may recall we've had our spats with Diamond in the past, but there's good reason to applaud his move: It's embarrassing that in a conservative-tilting county with a population larger than about 20 U.S. states, voters wouldn't otherwise have a ballot choice.

Anti-Rackauckas citizens had long hoped that Todd Spitzer would run, but he's sitting on the Board of Supervisors and made behind-the-scene promises to fellow Republicans that he won't challenge the incumbent.

In making his announcement, Diamond explained his motivation: "I can't stand that no one is running against Tony Rackauckas--so I'll do it."

He added, "I desperately want to vote against [Rackauckas] myself, but that requires another name be on the ballot. Someone needs to make the case for better government. I'm qualified, and I'm humble enough not to take on a high-profile murder/manslaughter trial [the Kelly Thomas case] myself when I'm supervising an office full of highly qualified deputy DAs are available to do it."

Diamond--who is married with five stepchildren--is seeking campaign contributions to help him pay the $30,000 needed to get named on the ballot and says he requires the funds by March 7.

Rackauckas, 71, hasn't faced a challenge since 2002 and recently enjoyed a unanimous endorsement by members of the Orange County Republican Party even though he attempted in 2012 to aid the campaign of liberal Democrat Larry Agran in Irvine.

I've previously described the DA's public speaking style as "swinging wildly between wooden and stiff."

A more feisty Diamond--who specializes in employment law, regularly writes for Orange Juice Blog, aligns himself with Occupy Wall Street causes and served as co-chair of Jerry Brown's 2010 campaign for governor in OC--is among those who see the DA's administration as tainted.

"Win or lose, I'll make an aggressive case against corruption--that alone will help to shake things up in OC," wrote Diamond, who unsuccessfully attempted to defeat state Senator Bob Huff in the last election. "I'm eager to begin."

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Photo by R. Scott Moxley
DA Tony Rackauckas addresses reporters
This week, Rackauckas--a former homicide prosecutor and county judge who says he enjoys strong support throughout the county--reported raising more than $419,000 during a Balboa Bay Club party for his re-election effort.

You can't be surprised that the incumbent has endorsements from fellow Republicans like Dana Rohrabacher, Shawn Nelson, Janet Nguyen, Pat Bates and Scott Baugh.

What's interesting is that Rackauckas' campaign issued a press release after Diamond's announcement and declared they also have secured endorsements from prominent Orange County Democrats like Lou Correa, Frank Barbaro and Tom Daly.

Wayne Johnson, the DA's campaign consultant in Sacramento, declared, "I can say with certainty that Rackauckas couldn't be in a stronger position as he approaches his re-election."

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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12 comments
fixithair
fixithair

TRUTH. The whole truth and nothing but the truth is what we need to look closely at when considering re-electing Mr. Tony Rackauckas. He has a history of good and not so good (as do we all), but lately I suggest his competency for good judgment is in question. Perhaps for the sake of Mr. Rackauckas we should NOT re-elect him.

There is a time for all good men to step aside and let another attorney that has shown himself capable to take over. I think that time has come. I have a fondness for sports but even I would consider it cruel to put an old horse that was once a grand champion on a race track. I’m not calling Mr. Rackauckas an old hag just that there are better choices to be had (ie. Mr. Greg Diamond).

I submit a possible reason Tony had no opponents in the past is because of the respect his colleagues have for the man (not a bad thing). In sports time demands retirement like that of Michael Jorden to whom many hated to see leave the basketball COURT. I’m sure that can also be true of the OCDA that has held his position for so long. Think about it…even our county supervisors have to leave their seats after a couple of terms. Tony’s had a good long run.

Now about competency and sound judgment. Tony went after violating the constitutional rights of citizens that have been through the grinder of probation and parole from going into parks, beaches and harbors. This was a massive waist of both staff time and money. He could make a better impact by supporting educational measures than punitive ones. Either his knowledge of the law is lacking or the understanding of it’s real purpose and function. Either way as a DA he should know better.

Another example: Why would the DA. take a murder case recently to which he flopped? Although he is an attorney and can do such but as DA isn’t his position more that of a leader and administrator? It would be like having our sheriff standing on the corner giving out parking tickets. Can she do it? Yes, would she be as proficient as her staff that does it every day? Probably not. Again we need a DA that exercises good judgment. TRUTH

carlashworth
carlashworth

a choice between bad and worse, from prior posts by Mr. Diamond, he and his intellectual equal, Rackauckas, have great difficulty finding incidents of police brutality, abuse of civil rights by the police. Diamond was an apologist for the Fullerton PD when this police force beat a homeless  malnourished man to death. That man's name was Kelly Thomas and the police department was Fullerton PD.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

For his entire tenure as District Attorney of Orange County, CA, Tony Rackauckas' law enforcement community has been blatantly committing criminal acts - from harassment and intimidation to attempted murder. Using gang member type criminals to terrorize American residents in the County. The incarceration of Mike Carona only served to create the false impression that there was police accountability in this County. It only served the interests of his office and not the interests of the people of Orange County. That there would no official challenger to this man is disgraceful.

Orange County, CA is heading the way of Arizona - good luck with the wealth deflation.

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

Groan.  Every incompetent aspiring "leader" has a line like this:


"I'm humble enough not to take on __task requiring experience___ myself when I'm supervising an office full of highly qualified _insert skill here__are available to do it."


You know how that will work out.


What the hell does an Occupy Wall Street supporter stand for anyway?  Some huge vague collection of grievances by an eclectic conglomeration of groups who would oppress each other if any one of them had power? Does he support the Hezbollah OWS more than the LBGT OWS, the Communist OWS more than the anarchist OWS? Total government control or chaos? Blame the Jewish moneylenders? Global warming in a snowstorm? Feed the poor but ban productive GM grains? Would he prosecute OWS heathens who shit on OC Sheriff cars or break bank windows, or is that just an expression of legitimate beefs against the man and evil corporations that charge interest to borrowers?


Guys like this should stay in employment law, where he can do the important work of protecting waitresses with nose rings from their bosses' who ban nose rings, or protecting vegan cashiers from having to ring up people who buy meat.

Don Gotti
Don Gotti

If people had any brains, they wouldn't be supporting demoncrats and RINOs. #libertarians

Brennan King Cane
Brennan King Cane

If the Democrat party had any brains, they would be nurturing and supporting the next generation.

CCCB
CCCB

Hi, Greg.

It's very admirable that you are taking a stand like this.  Unfortunately, you lack the criminal prosecution experience necessary to effectively perform the job.

I'm hoping that a qualified candidate will make a stand and run against T-Rack.  This is a similar situation to years past when a clearly incompetent and morally compromised Mike Corona was repeatedly re-elected by the sheep-like and unaware voters of this county.  My distaste for Corona was so strong that I held my nose and campaigned and voted for Bill Hunt---a guy I really didn't like anyway but who had the best chance to win against Corona.

This is kind of a similar situation.  I won't have to hold my nose quite as strongly, but a vote for you is a vote against T-Rack, so when the time comes I'll probably have your campaign signs in my yard and on my truck.

T-Rack has a history of making prosecutorial decisions based upon politics, and politically motivated prosecutions or refusals to prosecute by the county's District Attorney are unacceptable and morally reprehensible.  The facts of each case should drive prosecution decisions, not politics and the concern over how these decisions might affect a future election.

There is a large contingent of law enforcement in this county, myself among them, who can't stand T-Rack and the way he runs his office.  This distaste existed long before Kelly Thomas died.  The politically motivated filing of charges against ANYONE should be of great concern to EVERYONE.

I have every confidence that if Greg were elected he would make fact-driven prosecutorial decisions and do what he felt was the right thing to do without regard for the politics of it all.  Unfortunately, he simply lacks the necessary experience to win the election and effectively run the office.  But, again, a vote for Greg is a vote against T-Rack.  So I will make my protest vote for Greg and encourage others to do so as well.

But I'm still hoping a qualified candidate will file and run.

Cold Chillin' Cops Balls

loudchapina
loudchapina

Let the games begin!  This will be fun to see.

NoBullshit
NoBullshit

I'm not a fan of TRack but I'll vote for him if the only thing this guy can say is he can't stand seeing an unopposed race.  Democrats in OC have the same problem Republicans have at the national level, they don't have any worthy candidates.  So it'll be TRack for OCDA and President Biden next year.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Given the general theme of my diatribes at the Anaheim city council podium, I doubt that a lemming like automatic police apologist would go out of his way to shake my hand as I walked away from the podium once. But it would be useful to hear Mr. Diamonds position on this topic. We already know the current DA's attitude.

Priceless
Priceless

@CCCB   A cushy tax-paid pension for life, and the ability to summon twice the position's salary overnight from well-connected contributors, is what T-Rack gets from that "experience"- The mishandled Thomas Case,  the taxpayer - funded windmill-tilting support of the unconstitutional "No pervs in Parks" law, and "3 Monkeys" rubber stamp of Cop /Jail killings (Hear,See,Speak No Evil) is what it gets the other 99% of OC residents. OUR "experience" begs the question what good THAT "experience" is doing US?

hitman_martinelli
hitman_martinelli

@NoBullshit, Just the fact someone with a pulse is running against T-Fuck? He has my vote!

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