Sunday Commentary: Spitzer Losing Endorsements, but Reisig Has Stuck with Him So Far

(Photo by Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Orange County, CA – The fallout from revelations about Orange County DA Todd Spitzer’s comments about Black men during death penalty discussions have been severe.  So far, three fellow DAs have pulled their endorsements and now the NAACP is calling for his “immediate resignation.”

The revelations came out this past week that DA Spitzer, in discussing whether to charge the death penalty in a case where a Black man allegedly killed his white girlfriend, said “he knows many black people who get themselves out of their bad circumstances and bad situations by only dating ‘white women.’” He also said that, while in college, he “knew for sure that this black student did so on purpose to get himself out of these bad circumstances and situations.”

Pulling their endorsements were San Diego DA Summer Stephan, Riverside DA Michael Hestrin and Alameda DA Nancy O’Malley, all considered traditional conservative DAs.  Stephan and Hestrin are up for reelection this year, while O’Malley has announced she will not seek another term.

In the meantime, Inyo County DA Tom Hardy is listed as an endorser, but the Orange County Watch reports that Hardy told them he never endorsed.

Hardy told OC Watch, “Thanks for asking, but I hadn’t ever endorsed him. If I am on some list, it must be a mistake. I better email his campaign. Thanks for the heads up.”

Among the DAs still listed as supporting Spitzer is Yolo County’s Jeff Reisig.

Rick Callender, President of the California State Conference of the NAACP, told OC Watch that the organization is calling for the “immediate resignation” of Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.

According to the OC Watch, Callender said Spitzer’s behavior “disqualifies him from being an elected official at any level.” He also said that the statements reeked of “Jim Crow views” and reflected “disgusting and atrociously racist beliefs” that “no member of modern civilized society would support or even condone.”

Riverside’s DA Michael Hestrin is one of the more conservative DAs in the state.

“The news of the comments and actions of Mr. Spitzer was shocking, disappointing and in the end inexcusable,” Hestrin said in a statement provided by his campaign manager, Tobin Holmes as reported by the Orange County Register. “Regardless of the good work Mr. Spitzer and his office have done in the past, I cannot in good conscience support his future candidacy.  Residents of Orange County, and all of California’s counties, deserve leaders who appeal to our better angels rather than past divides. It is for these reasons that I must retract my endorsement of Mr. Spitzer in his re-election campaign.”

In response, Spitzer has told the media that he will continue to support Stephan and Hestrin, “It’s unfortunate to see people react based on misrepresentations or lack of information altogether. Nonetheless, these prosecutors are my colleagues and I would never let them or their communities suffer against the Soros funded and woke candidates who are trying to throw them out of office.”

He added, “The exact same thing is happening in Orange County and I will not let it happen. This is all part of a radical movement across America that will destroy our country if we don’t stop it, and I wish Mike and Summer the best as we all fight to take back our communities.”

The mother of the homicide victim on Saturday blasted Spitzer as well.

Jamon Buggs is accused of killing Wendi Miller and Darren Partch, the latter a former pro hockey player, who were both shot in the head in Newport Beach in April 2019.

Brenda Partch, mother of Darren Partch, told the media on Saturday that she was under the impression that the DA would seek the death penalty but was informed that they were seeking life without parole instead.

Attorney Rick Welsh, representing the family, said on her behalf, “This is just another trauma that’s been visited upon her by the office.  The family was not consulted by the office and had no voice in any of the decisions.”

Many believe that the decision to not seek the death penalty was an effort by the DA to keep disclosure of the comments from coming forward.  A memo from the Newport Beach police detective accused DA Spitzer of attempting to “cover up” the allegations and failing to inform the victim’s family.

In Parch’s view, Spitzer’s decision was “simply to protect himself from having his own racist comments released publicly,” Welsh said.

Pete Hardin, running against Spitzer for the office, also weighed in on Saturday.

“Weighing race while deciding whether a Black man should be executed isn’t justice, it’s a perversion of the oath of office,” said Hardin.  “His supporters don’t want to co-sign on racism so they’re taking a stand and pulling their endorsement.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. David Greenwald

    Telling OC Watch that he “cannot condone DA Spitzer’s comments,” Amador County District Attorney Todd Riebe is the fourth elected official to withdraw their endorsement of Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer as fallout from racist statement scandal continued to grow through the weekend.

    “I withdraw my endorsement,” DA Riebe told OC Watch.

    Still no announcement from Reisig.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Sounds like Reisig has finally crossed a line for you, and that you’ll no longer support him.

      Have you told him that? He might reconsider if he knew of your dissatisfaction.

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