|For Immediate Release
January 10, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 292-2718 Cell
Oath of Office Ceremony
Remarks by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Thank you, Judge Carter, for honoring us with your presence today. Judge Carter is one of my oldest and dearest friends from when I was a deputy in this office. We shared an office together, exchanged trial strategies, took each others’ hand-off trials, before I followed him to the bench. Thankfully, he has promised never to show the pictures of me wearing wide collared jackets, bell bottomed, plaid pants and big glasses and committing all the horrible fashion felonies of the 1970s. If fashion felonies are strikes, I could be doing 25 years to life.
I want to recognize my family. Please help me welcome: my Mother Mary, My sister Teresa, My sister and brother-in-law Mary Anne and Roger Keyfauver, My son Matt, with his children Nick and Alexis, his wife Mona and her sister Sonia.
Thank you, Chief Paul Walters and the Santa Ana Police Department for providing the services of the Honor Guard. They help us be proud to be Americans.
Thank you, Collene and Lou, for honoring us with your presence and taking the time out of your busy schedules. I have known Collene and Gary Campbell for over 20 years. Lou has been a good friend since we met on the campaign trail for my first term. They have been among my strongest and earliest supporters. They have always stood by me and have supported every crime bill that I have proposed. Their presence here shows that fighting crime and seeking justice is not a Republican or a Democratic issue, but a goal we can all rally around, crossing the boundaries of party lines.
I wanted to recognize Mike Harrah for allowing us to have this event in this beautiful venue. It has been suggested to me that some of you came tonight just to check this place out …
But I know your real reason for attending is that you came here tonight to enjoy the smooth, dazzling oratory skills that I have become so famous for in the last eight years as District Attorney. I want to share some of the glowing press reviews. The OC Weekly’s Moxley says that I “swing wildly between wooden and stiff” with “a personality reserved for an undertaker,” while the Orange County Register calls me “inscrutable.” I have no idea why they would find me not easy to understand, mysterious. And T-Rack, I kind of like that one – a large, macho animal … or is Mickadeit suggesting that I am stiff as a dinosaur? Or is he making fun of my age? And the LA Times – well I better not repeat the things they call me in good company, especially in front of my mother.
Theodore Roosevelt was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s distant cousin and mentor. TR stood at FDR’s wedding to Eleanor who was TR’s niece. Both overcame serious physical ailments to achieve greatness. Both were Harvard graduates and Columbia Law School dropouts. TR, of course, was a Republican, while FDR was a Democrat. TR called for the Square Deal and FDR started the New Deal. Together these men served the country for a total of 20 years as President and imparted wisdom to us that remains as relevant today as when the words were uttered.
I may not always know what to say, or say it in the most eloquent way. But you can be sure that everything I say comes from the heart. Tonight, I will borrow from these two great communicators to convey my goals for the next four years, starting with what FDR said: “Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”
I am honored and humbled to the People of Orange County to begin my third term as District Attorney. I must admit to you that this campaign was my favorite. So many of you who are here tonight worked hard on my campaign. But I must point out a few who went above and beyond the call of duty.
First would be my campaign chairman, Mike Schroeder. He worked the entire campaign without pay as a volunteer. Luckily, he “fixed it” for me so I only had to go through one round of the Orange County Republican Party endorsement process, while running unopposed … really, he is worth every penny I have paid him throughout the campaign.
I must acknowledge Senator Dick Ackerman who was a fiercely loyal advocate for me during my campaign. I would like to also thank Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce, Assemblyman Van Tran, Scott Baugh, Bill Steiner among many on the Republican side. Of course on the Democratic side, I wanted to thank Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Senator Lou Correa, Senator Joe Dunn, and Assemblyman Tom Umberg. I also received tremendous law enforcement support from my colleagues Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, and the many police chiefs including my friend Paul Walters. Sheriff Mike Carona never wavered in his support of me and I am proud to be his law enforcement partner. I can’t forget the numerous leaders from the Hispanic, Vietnamese and Korean communities who gave me guidance and support.
Many assistant district attorneys and district attorney investigators volunteered countless hours to my campaign, but special mention should go to Don Blankenship, Mike Major, Bill Feccia, Jim Tanizaki, Joe D’Agostino, Scott Steiner, Steve Baric, and Todd Hart.
As FDR said, “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.”
Eight years ago, I was elected to Office to change how justice would be administered in Orange County. Orange County was at a delicate crossroad in forging our road map for the future.