By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
"Why would the DA help craft a campaign message against Agran, and then do a robocall for Agran?" a prominent OC Republican asked me.
GOP activists arrived at an answer: Rackauckas and Agran have a mutual buddy, Republican political consultant Arnold Forde.
Accurate or not, it is now conventional wisdom in GOP circles that Agran made his most Machiavellian move to insure Rackauckas would never seriously dig into Irvine shenanigans by hiring Forde when his political machine took control of the federally abandoned, multibillion-dollar El Toro base.
It's true that any competent investigation of Agran would surely probe the activities of Forde, who grabbed more than half a decade of a $120,000-per-month, no-bid contract that included no meaningful daily, weekly, monthly or annual benchmarks.
Rackauckas and Forde have been pals for 30 years.
Susan Kang Schroeder, the DA's chief of staff, said any belief that Rackauckas was involved in a pro-Agran plot is unfounded speculation. She also said that while the DA provided a quote for the mailer, he never physically saw the piece until after it was distributed to voters.
But Choi, the man who finally topped Agran, isn't happy about what he sees as a betrayal. On election night, he also confronted Rackauckas about the robocalls. It wasn't pretty.
In what was the next Irvine mayor's first act of leadership, he suggested this to the DA: "Why don't you go party with the Democrats?"
Rackauckas is a man who despises catfights. He'd rather be fishing. Perhaps he now regrets getting involved with Agran. Maybe he doesn't.
A question remains: Is there anyone in law enforcement—even a Democrat—who is brave enough to hold accountable Agran's shady political machine that unnecessarily drained more than $200 million in taxpayer funds from city coffers?
California Attorney General Kamala Harris? Hello?
This column appeared in print as "Robo Cop: DA Tony Rackauckas' election-eve robocall for Democrat Larry Agran angers Orange County Republicans."