Spitzer on OC Hate Crimes and Campaign Residency Fraud: Weekend Open Thread.


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Vern here, and now that I’ve expressed at length my outrage (including to Todd) over Todd Spitzer’s record on the homeless and especially how he speaks about them in public … I’m back to agreeing with my colleagues Greg and Ryan that putting an end to Rackauckas’ reign of injustice, corruption and cronyism is priority #1, whatever Todd’s imperfections.  That makes this pretty much a pro-Todd blog, apart from Zenger and the troublesome Fingal.

Also it was good to see both Todd’s Democratic primary rival Brett Murdoch come out in Todd’s support, as well as Todd’s longtime bitter BOS sparring partner Shawn Nelson, both seeing Rackauckas as the FAR, FAR greater evil.

Todd will be speaking at Los Amigos this Wednesday morning – October 3, 8am, at Anaheim’s Jagerhaus!   Come and ask him whatever you want!  He needs the votes of us Democrats, liberals, independents, progressives, minorities.  With his permission we’re reprinting a couple of his better recent press releases:

Lax Prosecutorial Discretion and Inaction by Rackauckas
Leads to 3-Year Spike in Hate Crime.

ORANGE COUNTY – September 26 – Tony Rackauckas’ lax efforts to prosecute hate crime has led to a three-year soar in hate crime and race related incidents in Orange County according to a report released Tuesday by the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Disturbingly, Rackauckas has the lowest hate crime filing rate in Southern California because he waited until the height of election season before pursuing hate crime prosecutions more vigorously.

Todd Spitzer said, “Once again Tony Rackauckas has delayed justice for victims and now innocent people are being targeted because hate crime has been left unchecked in Orange County. It’s too little to late – voters will see right through his sudden action right before the November election.”

He continued, “As District Attorney I will focus on keeping all forms of crime down so that victims get the justice they deserve and Orange County families feel safe.”

ICYMI ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER:
THE OCDA SHOULD PURSUE JUSTICE, NOT JUST HIGH CONVICTION RATES

Damaged statute at Temple Chua Bao Quang, Santa Ana, August 22. One woman was arrested and authorities are looking for more suspects for vandalism to seven temples in Santa Ana and Garden Grove. (Photo Jeff Gritchen)

The recent vandalism of a veteran’s wall and the desecration of Buddhist temple statutes are a stain on our community and the perpetrators must face justice – but not just 90 days before an election.

The record on hate crime prosecutions in Orange County is deplorable and dangerous. It threatens some of our most vulnerable people by giving impunity to violent bigots. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has only filed charges in 57 percent of these cases during the past 13 years because he is more concerned with trying to boost his conviction rate statistics rather than seeking justice. In the remaining 43 percent of the cases, Rackauckas has dropped hate crime enhancements referred by police so that he is able to obtain an 80 percent conviction rate.

San Diego County achieves a similar conviction rate for hate crimes but takes on the tough cases and sends a message that no one is beyond the law.  

The role of the District Attorney is to seek justice for victims, not to run a public relations campaign.  “Rackauckas cares more about showcasing a high conviction rate than he does in seeking justice for hate crime victims.”

Meanwhile, hate crimes have surged by 70 percent according to the Orange County Human Relations Commission.[1] Interestingly, Rackauckas’ counterparts in Los Angeles County file 70 percent of their hate crime cases, and San Diego and San Bernardino counties file more than 80 percent of hate crimes referred by police.[2]

Rackauckas is cherry-picking cases while our neighboring counties are pursuing violent criminals with the full force of the law.

Shayan Mazroei, RIP

Notably, Iranian American college student Shayan Mazroei, 22, was stabbed to death by a known white supremacist gang member on Sept. 6, 2015 in Laguna Niguel. Suspect Craig Tanber had recently been released from prison where he served time for another murder as an accomplice to a fellow gang member.

Tanber had a light sentence on his first murder because the District Attorney offered a plea bargain of manslaughter following a mistrial in lieu of opting for a second trial and pursuing justice.

Not surprisingly, Tanber killed again because of the Rackauckas plea bargain when he should have still been in prison. This time, his accomplice was girlfriend Elizabeth Thornburg. She was heard by witnesses yelling racial slurs at Mazroei and spitting on him outside a bar. When Mazroei spit back all bets were off. Tanber, after being filled in by Thornburg about the incident, stabbed Mazroei in the neck. All of this was captured on video.

For three years, Mazroei’s parents and supporters protested the lack of justice—no hate crime against Tanber and no criminal charges against Thornburg. Eventually, the negative press caught Rackauckas’ attention and he decided to file charges against Thornburg only for being the get-away driver and not for an aider and abettor of murder– two days before the three-year statute of limitations expired. For years the family suffered from the unknowing.

Tanber will stand trial later next year, but Rackauckas has refused to add a hate crime enhancement. Instead, the family was told to do so would simply “complicate” a straight-forward murder charge that was recorded on video.

Make no mistake, Shayan Mazroei was stabbed to death because he was Iranian American – a fact known to Tanber and Thornburg because of Mazroei’s Persian-inspired tattoo on his forearm that read “eshgh,” which translates to ‘love’ and his outward appearance. The hateful slurs lodged by Thornburg were the clear motive for the slaying.

Disturbingly, in the past decade, there have been 52 reported hate crimes located at schools and colleges in Orange County and another 10 at parks and playgrounds – many of them violent and targeting innocent children.

The DA should be aggressive about prosecuting hate crime to send a strong message that this has no place in Orange County. But Rackauckas cares more about showcasing a high conviction rate than he does in seeking justice for hate crime victims.

Orange County residents deserve protection against hate and need to know that such violence will be vigorously and speedily prosecuted always. Not just around election time.

[Vern: Yes, I DID snark back at Todd, that the homeless are another group who experience hate crimes, and that his rhetoric makes that more likely and probably more common.  He took that under advisement.]

[1] OC Human Relations, 2016 OC Hate Crime Report
[2] Attorney General of California’s Open Justice Portal, “Hate Crime Prosecution Data,” 2004-2017 

AND

Spitzer Announces Priority to Eliminate Campaign Residency Fraud

“Aw… Todd thought of us!” Paulette Marshall Chaffee, Mimi Walters, Harry Sidhu, Lorri Galloway, Michelle Steel, Linda “Ackerwoman” Ackerman, Jose Solorio, Steven Choi, Joe Kerr, Vincent Sarmiento, and “Doctor” Kimberly Ho of (not) Westminster.

With So Many Cities Heading Toward District Driven Elections, Spitzer Vows To Protect Integrity Of Elections

Orange County August 15 –Today, Orange County District Attorney candidate Todd Spitzer announced an additional policy priority to crack down on politicians who abuse the district voting laws by creating phony addresses in order to run for office.

Supervisor Spitzer stated, “Our elections must be protected. As so many cities in Orange County begin having district based voting it is critical that their candidates and representatives are in fact from the district.”

Spitzer continued, “We have seen up and down the state far too many abuses of local elected officials faking their residency in order to run for office. This is wrong and will end on my watch as DA.”

“The point of district based representation is to ensure every community is represented, equally. We must protect that system to ensure the diversity of our elected representation is protected and honors the will of the people,” said Spitzer.

“For far too long Tony Rackauckas has turned a blind eye to this growing abuse,” continued Spitzer. “With the advent of new municipal voting districts in many cities, this problem is only going to get worse, if not, dealt with,” Spitzer added.


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"Admin" is just editor Vern Nelson or associate editor Greg Diamond sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.