Law enforcement here has a history of demonizing the victims of hate crimes, especially those who are gay. But though Scott Steiner is an Orange County deputy district attorney, and a conservative one at that, he breaks the callous stereotype. During his stint as head of the hate-crimes unit in the DA's office, Steiner vigorously pursued degenerate bigots who targeted minorities for violence, no matter the minority.
Do you recall the Cal State Fullerton student who assaulted two young ladies because he thought they were lesbians? Remember the, um, gentleman who attacked a wheel-chair bound black man while calling him a "nigger" in Costa Mesa? How about the white supremacist who yelled racial slurs, and then attacked a black Dave & Buster's security guard at the Irvine Spectrum?
In such cases, I've observed that Steiner (pictured with his wife and daughter) has comforted victims, made the abusers face justice--and, impressively, sometimes did so while facing judges who didn't want to enforce California's hate-crimes statute.
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Now, Steiner--tested in more than 60 trials in a variety of prosecution units, including gangs--tells me that he will run to replace retiring Judge Margaret Anderson. He plans to formally announce his candidacy in June, a year before the 2010 election.
Those who've already endorsed him included his boss, DA Tony Rackauckas; Republican Congressman Ed Royce; Democratic State Senator Lou Correa; America's Most Wanted host John Walsh; and, I'd imagine, his dad, ex-county supervisor Bill Steiner.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly