OK

I'm running for District Attorney in Orange County, California, against Tony Rackauckas.  

(UPDATE: As some have wisely suggested, I should introduce myself to people who don't know me: in real life, my name is Greg Diamond.  I'm the North Vice Chair for the Democrats of North Orange County (for which I do not speak); a plaintiff's employment attorney and government accountability attorney; Managing Editor of the Orange Juice Blog out here; and involved in advising several progressive non-profits in my county.)

Here is my -- bare bones, for now, but the contribution link works -- campaign website.  Money raised over the next six hours will probably determine what I do.

Rackauckas is probably best known outside of Southern California for his decision to personally prosecute the case against two police officers involved in the killing of non-violent, schizophrenic, and homeless Kelly Thomas in July 2011.  He lost that case miserably -- and some local residents assert, given that he had never before brought a case against police brutality in our county during any of his four terms, and only brought this one (based on a flawed theory) because Thomas's dying screams were recorded and frequently replayed as part of a surveillance videotape -- without much regret.

The worst thing about District Attorney Rackauckas is that that is not even nearly the worst thing about him.  Orange County is saturated with corruption; he's the guy who has been supposed to stand it the way of it -- and he doesn't.  He stands for passing unconstitutional ordinances that cater to the worst impulses of the public.

Essentially, he fails to scare the people whom he should scare -- and he scares people whom he shouldn't.

In a county that desperately needs to watchdog capable of warding off corruption, that first problem is a political tragedy.  That second problem is a social tragedy.

District Attorney Rackauckas scares the parents of minority youth in Santa Ana and Anaheim who have to worry about their children being shot to death with impunity.  And in a county of three million people that has just been ordered to implement mandatory issuance of concealed carry permits, the ease with which police and private citizens can claim fear that the person they just shot dead was armed is about to grow.  We need a DA who can keep Orange County from becoming like Florida.

I have to make a decision today about whether I'll be able to run a full-fledged campaign, a "half-fledged" campaign (no $30,000 ballot statement, but being on the ballot and able to bring my message to the people), or an inexpensive but likely ineffectual write-in campaign.

I just got into the race less that two weeks ago, when it became clear that an expected candidate whom I would have preferred to the incumbent would not likely run.  (That man, a Republican County Supervisor,  also had his own set of problems, but he would at least be attentive to public corruption.)  That's why the website is bare bones.  The end of candidate filing is always a busy time for me as a County Party Vice Chair; I've had to put other people's needs above my own.  That's why I'm coming to you, late in the game, for your support.

If you want more information about the Kelly Thomas trial and reactions to it, here are some resources:

Awaiting the verdict

Immediate aftermath

Powerful essay by a friend at a blog that I manage

Thoughtful and incisive commentary by a former police detective

My own photo essay of the weekend protest rally

For discussion of the DA's race, see here, here, here, here, and -- this morning -- here.

The contribution link, again, is here: http://democracy.com/....  You can decide what sort of campaign I'll run.

Originally posted to Doane Spills on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 09:11 AM PST.

Also republished by California politics.

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