UPDATE NO. 2, MARCH 20, 8:30 A.M.: As mentioned in the first update, Tony Rackauckas will not attend the PreventingAbuse Conference in Santa Ana today and tomorrow. But the words of Orange County's district attorney will be there, in the form of a letter to be read that follows after the jump ...
UPDATE NO. 1, MARCH 19, 9:47 A.M.: Please disregard the hypothetical clash between Tony Rackauckas and Todd Spitzer proposed in the original post below, because Orange County's district attorney won't attend the conference both were booked to speak at after all. Rackauckas cancelled his appearance in a letter sent Tuesday to the Preventing Abuse Foundation's founder, according to Roxi Fyad, the OCDA spokeswoman.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 19, 10:03 A.M.: Oh, to be a fly on the wall at the PreventingAbuse Conference happening Friday and Saturday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Santa Ana. In this instance, it's not because of all the vital information to be gleaned from pastors, victims and law enforcement types addressing human trafficking, child abduction, pornography, Internet dangers and drug cartels. No, we're thinking instead of the death stare down that could ensue between invited speakers Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and county Supervisor Todd Spitzer, the former prosecutor T-Rack fired.
Due to a lack of an agenda from the PreventingAbuse Conference organizers, I cannot confirm whether Spitzer and Rackauckas will even be there the same days, at the same time or whether they will be shuttled in and out and away from one another through the use of portable black curtains, burly security guards and buzzing walkie-talkies.
But a girl can dream, can't she?
Rackauckas has explained he lured Spitzer, a former state assemblyman, to the DA's office to groom him to take over the powerful law enforcement agency but fired his assistant in August 2010 because he learned that Spitzer wasn't mature enough for the job. Spitzer has called his would-be mentor "unethical" and once told a radio interviewer, "The man hasn't kept his word to his ex-wives, the public or me."
So, yes, this PreventingAbuse Conference could have an unscheduled fireworks show.
By the by, why this conference, oh why?
"The United States is a center for human trafficking, child exploitation and drug cartels," says Tony Nassif, the founder and president of the Toluca Lake-based Preventing Abuse Foundation. "Our nation, families and children are in great danger."
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Besides Rackauckas and Spitzer, who is an adviser to Marsy's Law for All, the organization formed after the 2008 passage of California's Victims' Bill of Rights Act, speakers at the conference include: Annie Lobert, who went from being a Las Vegas prostitute to founding the Christian ministry Hookers for Jesus that aims to get girls out of the life; Bazzel Baz, who uses his training as a former CIA intelligence officer to search for missing children; Noreen Gosch, who helped found the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and Tim Winter of the Parents Television Council, which was founded by a conservative Catholic who once worked as presidential candidate Pat Buchanan's finance director and famously piled on CBS for Janet Jackson's costume malfunction in the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.
Most of the conference at the hotel at 201 E. MacArthur Blvd., Santa Ana, is open to the public but there are programs each day that are only for pastors or law enforcement. To find out more about attending, call (323) 851-3872 or visit preventingabuse.org.