Field of Monsters: Brett Murdock emerges as the only Human Being in the DA race.


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Two monsters and a man: Spitzer, Rackauckas, Murdoch.

First let’s make it clear that what we’ve been saying for years is still true: Tony Rackauckas is just about as awful a District Attorney as could be: a lazy, incompetent, crony-loving, grudge-holding, shortcut-taking PATHOLOGICAL LIAR, with no respect for the law and no sense of what you or I would call justice.  Evidence of all of this collects week by week and never stops.

Example, I was gonna write last week about his double face-plant on Gang Injunctions in Placentia (although there are two good articles already) but more desmadre just kept coming down the pike – from Tony AND his front-running challenger Todd Spitzer.  Still, this needs a few paragraphs at least to keep up with the record of T-Rack injustice, incompetence and demagoguery:

Gang Injunctions are like crack cocaine for police departments and prosecutors – cheap, easy, addictive, and destructive to the whole community.  “Wide net” or “overreach” aren’t strong enough terms – Gang Injunctions are like bringing in a case of dynamite to catch a couple of roaches. 

To make the case that a neighborhood is dangerous enough to need this liberty-killing “tool,” a crooked/lazy DA like Rackauckas will name off dozens of young, always Latino people as known menaces and gang associates; but whenever these young Latinos have the knowledge and organizational assistance (as they did in Orange 2009 with Yvonne Elizondo or Placentia recently with Gaby Hernandez) they get the charges laughed out of court.  (Think of how you can fight off a shark by kicking it hard in the snout, because they are so unused to any kind of resistance.) 

The unfortunate neighborhoods that do end up locked into a Gang Injunction, facing a grim present and future of youth criminalization and abridged liberty, are the ones who don’t know how to fight back, sometimes because of immigration worries and language barriers.

In Tony Rackauckas’ perfect world our county would be wallpapered with Gang Injunctions, but it’s starting to look like his grand plan is going aground, after all the time and money he wasted not making them stick in Orange and Placentia.  We know he wasted at least $4 million of our taxpayer money losing in Orange, and we’re still waiting to find out how much he wasted in Placentia.  But still the shameless politician and his henchwoman Susan Kang Schroeder find these faceplants worth bragging about on the campaign trail, presenting them as great success stories to a credulous and fearful voting public.

Well, we do know that DA candidate Brett Murdock opposes Gang Injunctions for all the right reasons, because he said so at the DA Forum held a couple of weeks ago at Santa Ana College.  We don’t know Todd Spitzer‘s position because, like Rackauckas, he didn’t deign to appear at the forum – despite all our phone calls and texts, he never responded one way or the other.  And he USED to take my calls. 

But he DID find it worth texting back to me, ONLY to make sure I saw and propagated another recent embarrassment – Tony’s blaming his whole Snitch Scandal / Dekraii loss on petty personal grievances against Tony on the part of Judge Goethals.  Watch this, it is so pathetic (and Todd should be glad I uploaded it to YouTube so normal people can see it.)

This’ll do as a textbook example of PROJECTION from the tiny mind of a tiny-hearted politician.  Tony accepts no responsibility for all his flouting of the law, lying and obsessive short cuts, and pins the blame on a personal grudge the Judge supposedly has against him, because that’s something TONY would do and can understand. 

Supposedly Judge Goethals is just bitter that his son didn’t get a job with Tony at some point, and also the Judge allegedly hangs out with liberals some of whom oppose the death penalty, that’s gotta be part of it too.  Anything but “Tony fucked up again.”

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Well, after all this you may be surprised to learn that…

Spitzer is worse than Rackauckas.

I’m not sure how R. Scott Moxley can honestly write the following, blithely presenting Todd as the lesser of two evils:

“Spitzer’s worst offense is that he is a hard-charging boss, nitpicker and relentless micro-manager who doesn’t like proselytizers interrupting him while eating lunch at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos… Hmmm . . . Who would you want as your DA? An unrepentant, lying cheater or an often-obnoxious, news-camera hog?”

All I can think is that Scott has not been paying much attention to Todd lately.  Well, those of us fighting for justice and housing for OC’s homeless HAVE been watching Todd closely for a while now, and find him to be a much more dangerous monster than lazy, dishonest Tony.

Let’s start with the worst and most recent example.  Todd’s colleagues on the Board of Supervisors, trying to comply with Judge David O. Carter’s orders to find places for our homeless people to stay, and also following a longstanding agreement among the supervisors that each of the five districts should do their share on this problem, proposed temporary “tent cities” of homeless people on county-owned property in Irvine and Laguna Niguel.  Todd promptly raced down to Council meetings in both towns, riling up the concerned residents to fight against the Board’s plan, and scaring the hell out of them with lies about SEX OFFENDERS and violent drug abusers overrunning and “destroying their communities.”

Listen to the poison for yourselves here:  You’ll hear him mention the phrase “SEX OFFENDERS” five times.  Bear in mind that

  1. NO sex offenders will be placed in Irvine or Laguna tent cities; they will instead be placed in a “separate location where they can be monitored,”
  2. there was a grand total of ONE sex offender in all the 697 homeless people moved from the riverbed; and
  3. there are a grand total of THREE sex offenders in the hundreds staying at Santa Ana’s Courtyard shelter.

Spitzer’s shameful demagoguery sure had its intended effect:  250 terrified Irvine residents protested yesterday against the proposed Great Park shelter.  Todd had gone too far for even his generally useless colleagues.  Board Chairman Do quite pungently told the Voice, “The experience that we went through with the 750 residents so far from the [Santa Ana] riverbed in terms of minimal impact on neighborhoods shows that a lot of Irvine’s complaints are crying wolf and fear mongering by Spitzer…”  And Supervisor Nelson observed: “You can’t be shooting up in a county facility, you can’t have sex offenders. None of those things are true.  I’m just saddened that the demagoguery has been allowed to get this out of hand… [Todd] is just trying to inflame people because he’s losing in the polls, and he’s trying to be DA.”

But let me BOLD this next paragraph, because it’s that important:

There have already been instances of hate crimes and vigilante violence against our homeless community.  There is sure to be more.   And when there is, it will be to a large degree due to Todd Spitzer’s lying demagoguery, on KFI and everywhere else he can find a mike.  Such a man, who carelessly and dishonestly endangers such a large group of powerless people, can NEVER be allowed to be a district attorney.

Three more things – First, Todd’s relationship to the TRUTH, which seems a lot like President Trump’s:  that is, whatever feels useful to him at the moment becomes his truth.  Does he go home each night and say to himself, “Damn, I lied a lot today, I hope not too many people get hurt?”  Who knows?  We don’t know.

We’ve lost count of the times he’s claimed to be “Shocked!  Shocked!” each time he discovers the hundreds of millions of unspent dollars the Board has “chipmunked away” for the homeless.  A couple days ago he blamed his ignorance on unnamed “staff” hiding the funding from him and his colleagues.  Staff’s dog ate Todd’s homework.  Well, “staff” ain’t taking this lying down, and will be speaking up for themselves tomorrow morning.

We ALL know that the Voice of OC has been ringing this bell (of the unspent funds) for almost three years.  And we also all know that Spitzer reads the Voice – the moment anything irritates his thin skin, he pops up on the comments section.  This strained relationship of his to the truth, it’s a real problem, it’s maybe even worse than Tony’s.

Two – Moxley makes light of the Wahoo’s incident, and he shouldn’t.  It was a lot more than “doesn’t like proselytizers interrupting him.”  He went to his car, got a gun and handcuffs, and citizens-arrested the poor guy, on the excuse that he allegedly looked at a table knife the wrong way.  This was a bizarre incident, but meanwhile we’re trying to find clues to the character of the guy we’re considering making our top law-enforcement officer.  And subsequent events combine with this one to paint a disturbing picture.

He apparently thought he was protecting the Wahoo’s diners from a Christian who looked at a table knife.  And he apparently thinks he’s protecting South County citizens from dangerous homeless by exaggerating their danger a hundredfold.  We’re seeing the outlines of a weird psychosis, a crazy sort of Knight in Shining Armor Complex which should disqualify anybody from such a position of power as Todd is seeking.

Finally, there’s no reason to think, just because Todd’s criticisms of Tony are legitimate, that he would do anything differently or better, when you remember this:  He was perfectly happy working with and for Tony and Susan UNTIL they suddenly fired him for being Todd – for losing his temper with a public servant that he didn’t realize was Tony’s main squeeze at the time.  THEN AND ONLY THEN did all Tony’s and Susan’s actions become the epitome of corruption.  Lèse-majesté de Todd was their true offense.

So, here’s the plan, people.  In June, all Democrats, independents, and Republicans who care about justice and the rule of law should vote for Brett Murdock – maybe that will work.  But if we end up stuck with King Kong vs. Godzilla Tony vs. Todd in November, we should all support Tony.

And why?  If for no other reason, the motherfucker will die first.

Vern out.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.