District Attorney: Rackauckas Raises $200K; Spitzer Banks $277K

spitzer rackauckas feat AB

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas raised nearly $200,000 between January and June of this year. His challenger, 3rd District Supervisor Todd Spitzer, raised even more: $277,734.

Rackauckas spent $61,081, including payments to several slate card vendors; her ended June with cash-on-hand of $200,531. It’s the first significant fundraising the five-term incumbent has done since the first half of 2016.

Spitzer spent $71,376, leaving him a healthy cash balance of $1,284,287. Spitzer has had a $1 million-plus in his bank account for nearly 10 years.

Rackauckas doesn’t need to match of exceed Spitzer in fundraising – something he cannot do, in any case.  Rackauckas has the pearl of great price in this race, which is the incumbency and the ballot title of “District Attorney.” Spitzer is banking on his spending advantage and hoping the negative media like coverage of the jail house snitch scandal will gain political traction. There’s little indication that voters are offended by using criminals to prosecute other criminals.

Spitzer’s challenge is to convince a majority of voters not only to kick out the incumbent district attorney, but that they should trust Spitzer with the immense powers of that job. The infamous Wahoo’s incident presents a significant hurdle to closing that deal. According to documents the Voice of OC sued the county to acquire, Spitzer believes he would have been justified in using deadly force against the Christian man who attempted to evangelize him on Good Friday at the popular Mexican eatery.

The homelessness crisis also cuts against the three-term supervisor. According to a recent Probolsky & Associates poll, Orange County voters ranked homelessness as the number one issue facing the county.   76% agreed it is a problem, and 18.7% said it is the top issue – numbers that cut across demographic and political boundaries. County government is the actor that voters consider most responsible for addressing homelessness.

Spitzer virtually willed the Kraemer homeless shelter into being, but his approach to homelessness alternates between Gandhi and Elliot Ness. In 2015, he cast it as a humanitarian crisis. At a community meeting several weeks ago, he claimed he always viewed it primarily as a public safety issue.

OC voters don’t see jail house snitches, nor do they see the 100-bed (soon to be 200-bed) Kraemer shelter. They do see the massive homeless encampments, and see that they are getting bigger.


  1. I think there is one thing missing from your analyses: party identification and party politics.

    Also, a brief explanation of the Supervisor’s fundraising prowess might be fruitful.

    Thank you.

    P.S. I don’t think any reasonable person would object to mining convicted criminals for information so as to prosecute related crimes. As with much else, the devil is in the detail. I agree with you that this particular scandal, as currently understood, will be of no help to the Supervisor. Without getting into whether or not his advocacy on the issue is sincere, it might even suggest he is weak on crime.

  2. Focus on transients over criminal street gangs is a HUGE mistake. Cutoff illegal narcotics to the encampmemts by shutting down AVLS distribution from Tijuana to Berry Ave / Guinida Lane to riverbed and bring in substance abuse patrols to enforce existing laws. Transients will disperse with upcoming inclement weather if illegal dumping and other illegal activities are addressed by law enforcement at the riverbed. Don’t miss this window of opportunity or stop complaining and accept what you are allowing.

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