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Archive for February, 2013

When is a deal not a deal?

Posted by Thomas Gordon on February 28, 2013

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With time running out, President Barack Obama has ramped up the fear tactics on the impending sequester. Massive teacher layoffs, planes falling from the sky’s, massive releases of hardened criminals from prisons and other impending doom as both Barack Obama and his spokespeople would have us believe.

The agreed to spending cuts are only $44 billion out of a total Federal budget of $3.6 billion. That’s still an increase in spending over last years Federal budget of $3.5 billion.

The White House Office of Management & Budget claims the sequester will slice $2 million out of the $20 million budget belonging to the National Drug Intelligence Center. Sounds scary until we dig deeper and find out that program was closed in 2012. Their duties have been absorbed by the DEA and they only requested $8 million of the former $20 million budget to run the same programs.

And despite Barack Obama claiming otherwise, the whole idea of spending cuts were his idea as part of the deal to raise taxes and increase the debt limit back in August 2012. He has been quoted repeatedly as saying we needed a balanced approach of “revenue increases” and spending cuts.

Republicans met Barack Obama half way on tax increases and Barack Obama signed off on agreed too spending cuts.

This President has no one to blame but himself.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Orange Countys Most Read Political Blog Calling It Quits

Posted by Chris Emami on February 28, 2013

In what comes as quite a shock I learned yesterday that the Friends For Fullerton’s Future Blog is calling it quits after 5 years of blogging. Although I didn’t always agree with the methods they used to get their point across nobody can deny the lasting footprint that they leave behind in Fullerton.

Fullerton

In a final post yesterday it was announced by Tony Bushala that they would be wrapping things up for now, but leaving the blog up as a testament to what they have accomplished over the years. This announcement comes less than a year after Red County announced that they would be closing their doors. The number of right leaning blogs in Orange County has shrunk quite a bit since 2006 which is surprising considering the demographics in Orange County.

Fullerton’s Future will forever be best known for the way that they covered the horrific death of Kelly Thomas and the investigative reporting they did into the culture of the Fullerton PD. Whether you agree with the position that they took on it or not, they wrote some thought-provoking stuff on their site.

Tony Bushala sites some impressive stats in his farewell post on the numbers that his blog was able to put up.

FFFF Blog Facts:

Comments: 129,369
Blog posts: 2,213
Words in posts: 1,127,793
Words in comments: 6,785,287
Visitors: 2,006,335
Page views: 4,072,711
YouTube video views: 2,290,228

I hope that one day our blog can reach the numbers that Fullerton’s Future has put up since their creation back in November 2008. Best wishes go out to all of those from Fullerton’s Future on all of their future endeavours. I have a sneaking suspicion though that they will be back at some point in the future.

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

The Munger Games: Bob Huff and Connie Conway – No Criticism of Munger For You!

Posted by OC Insider on February 28, 2013

This weekend, delegates to the California Republican Party Convention will travel to Sacramento will vote on a new Chairman, Vice Chairman and several other important CRP board positions. Since the current Chairman, Tom Del Beccaro, has announced he will not be running for re-election, former legislator Jim Brulte has stepped up to take the Chairman position in what can easily be described as the CRP’s lowest point in a generation. Senator Brulte has only drawn the token opposition of a very late entrant into that race and it appears Mr. Brulte has all but locked up the position. We wish him well in what will be a difficult job.

The real drama is surrounding the continued and expanding influence of Silicon Valley billionaire and Santa Clara County Republican Central Committee Chairman Charles Munger, Jr. As readers of this blog post know, Mr. Munger spent millions of dollars in last year’s election. Some of it was to support Proposition 32 and oppose Proposition 30. Unfortunately Prop. 32 failed and Prop. 30 passed.

Also unfortunately, Mr. Munger attempted to oust Assemblyman Allan Mansoor by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Allan’s June 2012 Republican opponent Leslie Daigle of Newport Beach. Thankfully that effort failed but Mr. Munger continued forward by spending more hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fall campaign in Republican v. Republican races. It is too bad he could not have spent even a little of that money to help Republicans in Republican v. Democrat races so that the State Senate and Assembly might not be in the complete control of Democrats for the next legislative session. The Chris Norby Assembly race comes to mind.

Recently, State Senate Republican leader Bob Huff and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway sent out a letter / e-mail to CRP Delegates defending Charles Munger and criticizing those who criticize Mr. Munger. It is noted that during the run up to the race between Allan Mansoor and Mr. Daigle, Mr. Huff and Ms. Conway did little or nothing to help Allan beat off this obvious challenge to a sitting Assemblyman that could have resulted in a Democrat running in the fall runoff against a non-incumbent weaker Republican Daigle for that seat. A pause here to give mega kudos to Orange County OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (and hundreds of volunteers) who pulled out all stops in support of Assemblyman Mansoor!

A web site/blog called The Munger Games, which appears to be one of the objects of Mr. Huff’s and Ms. Conway’s wrath, responded to their letter by pointing out they’re defending a man who wasted resources attacking a sitting Assemblyman while being a sitting Chairman of another county’s Republican Central Committee. The blog also pointed out that debates and criticism are important to the political process and the voters of Allan Mansoor’s district certainly expressed their views by reelecting Allan by such a wide margin that Ms. Daigle did not even make it into the “top two” runoff – the new system brought to you by Proposition 14 – again courtesy of Charles Munger, a very big supporter financially of Prop. 14.

Bottom line: The Munger Games blog site asks some very, very important and legitimate questions Senate Republican leader Bob Huff and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway should answer. Whether or not they agreed with Mr. Munger’s attempt to unseat a sitting Assemblyman at the risk of placing that safe Republican seat in play for the Democrats? If the resources Allan had to raise to fend off that challenge and the resources Mr. Munger used for that race and the R v. R races he spent money on in the fall could have been better spent holding onto Republican seats? Where were they during that June primary battle while Allan was fighting for his political life? Why are you attacking those who are asking these important questions? Why are you attacking those who engage in an honest debate by bringing up these issues?

This blog post writer would like to know the answers to those questions too. Senator Huff what is your response to those questions? Assemblywoman Conway?

Posted in 29th Senate District, 65th Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, California, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Moorlach Update – Governor

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 26, 2013

This commentary on the Governor’s race came over the wire over the weekend from Supervisor John Moorlach, who reprinted the NBC News reprint of the OC Register story, which credited OC Political for writing about “speculation that Moorlach was looking at a run for governor” in 2014…

MOORLACH UPDATE — Governor — February 23, 2013

After my wife and I had our first child thirty years ago, the question we would hear most often was “are you going to have another?”  With term limits, it’s déjà vu all over again, with the question now being, “what are you doing next?”  I just did not have an answer.  Serving a third term made the most sense, but that was blocked by three of my colleagues.  So, following the exhortation of Jim Collins in his book Built to Last:  Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (with thanks to John Pearson’s book Mastering the Management Buckets), I decided to consider a small twist on the pursuing of a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).

At the age of 57 I have accomplished a series of large goals.  I have enjoyed the private sector for more than eighteen years and served as a managing partner of a wonderful Certified Public Accounting firm office for ten of those years.  I served as an elected County Treasurer-Tax Collector for twelve years, turning around a department that had been an international embarrassment.  I am now concluding eight years as a County Supervisor, which provides an incredible breadth of exposure to services provided by the state and Federal governments to the local level.  In between, I have visited all 58 counties of the state of California with my wife and three children, photographing nearly all of the 1,100 California State Historical Landmarks.  I have hiked to the peaks of every mountain range you can see here in the immediate area and traversed throughout the Sierras, including summiting Mt. Whitney a couple of times.  I served on the California Sesquicentennial efforts with Huell Howser and other wonderful historians, finding myself again traveling all around the state (on my own dime) in this attempt to commemorate California’s 150th anniversary as a state.  Most importantly, I have a story.  My political career started because I stepped into the forum to decry the irresponsible investing practices of Robert L. Citron with taxpayer dollars.  The rest is history and is well documented in a long list of books and publications, including my LOOK BACKS.  Having been through a Chapter 9 bankruptcy turnaround, I know the drill.  I have been publicly outspoken on municipal fiscal and investment management for some twenty years or more.  As you can see from the last LOOK BACK below, I have been addressing the public employee defined benefit pension plan crisis for more than ten years!  I love California, I love it’s history, and I would love to participate in turning its dismal financial condition around.

With this collective forty years of post-high school experiences, and the encouragement from many friends and supporters, the idea of considering a Big Hairy Audacious Goal is in front of me.  It’s fun to ponder an idea that was never on my radar screen when my journey began.  With that, NBCNews.com picked up the OC Register’s electronic article on my current decision process.  I’m just laying things out for you as it relates to this very recent consideration of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  I’m not campaigning or asking you to do anything at this time.  Just know that I am on a listening tour on what may be my Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, or Plan D.  Proverbs 11:14 states that “in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”  Accordingly, I’m calling as many individuals as time permits to ask for their counsel.   It is nice to have options.  It is great to have friends.  It is amazingly wonderful to have a supportive wife and three great adult children (and son-in-law).  Having a new granddaughter certainly provides the necessary perspective on life in general.  My family has allowed me to risk and sacrifice in the past and they continue to allow me to dream big dreams.  And for that I will be eternally grateful.  In the meantime, I am fully focused on my current position, which commands more than 100 percent of my attention.

Santa Ana, CA on

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Supervisor Moorlach exploring run for governor

The Republican says he’s ‘calling some key people’ and having fun, but is ‘very realistic’ about his chances.

By ANDREW GALVIN

County Supervisor John Moorlach confirmed this week that he considering a run for governor in 2014.

Moorlach, a Republican who was the county’s elected treasurer-tax collector for 12 years before winning election to the Board of Supervisors in 2006, stressed he hasn’t decided whether to run for governor but has been “calling some key people here and in Sacramento” and so far, “no one’s telling me ‘no.'”

Moorlach will be termed out from his Board of Supervisors seat next year. Last year,Moorlach failed to persuade his board colleagues to seek voter approval of a measure that would have extended the term limit for supervisors from two consecutive four-year terms to three. Moorlach had hoped to run for a third term in 2014, saying the complexity of the job made experience valuable.

With that possibility gone, Moorlach said he gets a lot of people asking “What are you doing next?” Some suggested he run for governor, which he said he laughed off at first. But after hearing it for “the umpteenth time, and it’s getting past joking, then why don’t you go ahead and look at it?” he said Thursday.

“I’m just exploring and listening and asking questions and actually having a lot of fun,” he said.

Moorlach describes himself as “very realistic” about the chances of any Republican candidate in a state where Democrats hold a big advantage in voter registrations.

“We all know if (Gov.) Jerry Brown re-runs it’s going to be a very difficult thing to do,” he said. “But it seems Jerry would be fun to debate in that case in the fall of 2014.”

Tim Donnelly, a Republican assemblyman from San Bernardino County, also has said he’s exploring a run for governor. Moorlach met briefly with Donnelly during a recent working visit to Sacramento and shared that he, too, is considering a run.

In November, after Donnelly said he was forming an exploratory committee to run for governor, the Lincoln Club of Orange County, an influential Republican group, issued a statement denouncing Donnelly’s views on immigration. Donnelly, a former Minuteman Project leader with Tea Party ties, tried unsuccessfully to qualify a ballot measure to repeal the California Dream Act, which allows undocumented immigrants to get state-funded college aid.

“We cannot support Republicans who continually target immigrants, who are members of our community, as scapegoats for their own political advantage,” said the statement by Robert Loewen, the Lincoln Club’s president.

Moorlach, who emigrated as a child with his parents from the Netherlands to Orange County, said it’s not time yet to discuss his views on issues such as immigration, as that would imply he’s made up his mind to run. However, he said, “I prefer some of the proposals that have been proffered by the Lincoln Club and Sen. Marco Rubio.”

Last year, the Lincoln Club adopted a policy statement on immigration reform that would allow undocumented immigrants to transition to guest-worker status and a pathway to legal residency, not citizenship.

Moorlach said it will be a month or two before he makes up his mind whether to run for governor. If he does decide to go for it, the next step would be to form a campaign committee and “try to raise some significant dollars.”

The blog OC Political earlier this week reported on speculation that Moorlach was looking at a run for governor.

Separately, the Board of Supervisors has narrowed its search for a new county executive officer. The CEO is the highest non-elected post in county government, overseeing 17,000 employees.

After Voice of OC reported this week, citing unidentified sources, that the supervisors were in negotiations with Santa Barbara County CEO Chandra Waller for the job, Waller notified her bosses on Santa Barbara’s Board of Supervisors that she was indeed in discussions with Orange County.

Orange County’s last CEO, Tom Mauk, resigned in August over his handling of sexual-abuse allegations against former OC Public Works executive Carlos Bustamante.

Bustamante has pleaded not guilty to 12 felony counts. A preliminary hearing in his case is scheduled for April.

Contact the writer: agalvin@ocregister.com

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County Supervisor John Moorlach, pictured here in a January meeting, says he is considering seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2014.

PAUL BERSEBACH, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS

February 21

2008

Less than a month after being reassured by PFM Asset Management of San Francisco that the Treasurer’s investment portfolio was fine (see MOORLACH UPDATE — OC Register — January 29, 2013), and that my concerns may have been unwarranted, contradictory news is received.  Christian Berthelsen of the LA Times covers it in O.C. investments lose market value as fund nears default – The investment in England-based Whistlejacket is a small portion of Orange County’s overall portfolio, but the once-bankrupt county remains gun-shy about financial risk.”  For more than thirteen years Merrill Lynch was the broker dealer scorned by the County.  Add to the list one Standard Chartered Plc. of London, England, for fiscal imprudence and inflicting losses based on greed and unprofessionalism.  Five years later and I still have a visceral reaction when I hear the name of Standard Chartered.

Orange County’s latest investments in complex financial deals took a turn for the worse Wednesday when a fund in which the county placed $80 million neared default after a major U.K. bank aborted plans for a bailout.

County officials said they expect the fund to miss a principal and interest payment to another investor today.

That, in turn, would drive down the market value of Orange County’s holdings.

County treasury officials said they were in the process of writing down the value of the holdings but did not yet know by how much.

Still, they said they would hang onto the notes in the belief they will ultimately recover the county’s investment in full, rather than lose money in a fire sale.

The fund, a $7.15-billion structured investment vehicle named Whistlejacket and backed by London-based Standard Chartered Plc., was forced into receivership last week and had its credit rating slashed.

The O.C. treasurer’s office sent a memo to county officials Wednesday assuring them it would be able to meet the near-term cash needs of investors in the county portfolio, noting the troubled investments are held in a longer-term fund.

The treasury invests the cash balances of the county and many local school districts.

The investment in Whistlejacket is a small portion of Orange County’s overall $7-billion portfolio. But the county is still feeling the effects of its 1994 bankruptcy and remains gun-shy about financial risk.

The county has invested nearly $850 million in structured investment vehicles, or 14% of its portfolio.

Officials have been nervously watching since Treasurer Chriss Street disclosed in December that $460 million of the county’s holdings in such investments faced a potential credit rating downgrade.

In December, as concern grew about the structured investment vehicles and Street fought off an effort to strip him of investment powers, the treasurer assured board members and the public that the county’s SIV holdings were “safe, strong and sturdy.”

Asked if he stood by those comments Wednesday, Street said: “I made those comments based on the information available at the time.

“The markets are very fluid and there is unprecedented turmoil in the credit markets.”

Standard Chartered said Whistlejacket’s finances had been hurt by the tightening credit markets, limiting its ability to issue short-term debt. In a Jan. 31 statement, the bank said it was working on a cash infusion to shore up Whistlejacket’s liquidity, but last week it was forced into receivership as the market value of the fund’s assets continued to decline.

On Wednesday the bank issued another statement saying it was “disappointed” that it was unable to complete a bailout, citing the difficulty of doing so under receivership.

Deloitte & Touche, the consulting and accounting giant appointed to oversee Whistlejacket’s receivership, told investors earlier this week that it would temporarily suspend interest and principal payments while it sorts out the fund’s finances. Whistlejacket failed to make a payment due Feb. 15. It will fall into default today if it does not make the payment.

Street said he was surprised by Standard’s decision to abandon the bailout effort, because other banks have stepped in to shore up their SIVs, and he said that as recently as Monday he was told the rescue was in the works. He stood by the decision to hold the investments and said he is seeking a seat on Whistlejacket’s creditors’ committee.

“Quite frankly, I’m starting to feel that Standard Chartered actively misled investors,” he said.

None of the county’s other SIV holdings have been downgraded. One, in which the county invested $50 million, is scheduled to come to maturity today, and officials said they expect to receive the payment with no problems.

Orange County purchased two medium-term notes in Whistlejacket in January and July 2007 totaling $80 million, both of which mature in January 2009. The county has received $2.2 million in interest payments thus far, and was scheduled to receive another $3.3 million in interest payments beginning in April.

Supervisor John Moorlach, the former county treasurer who is now chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, said there was little the county could do at the moment other than monitor the situation. “All we can do at this point is wait for further updates,” he said. “I’m certainly not inclined to sell it at a major discount.”

Brianna Bailey of the Daily Pilot provided the details of one action I was taking to address the Standard Chartered crisis.  It was mentioned in her “The Political Landscape” column,“O.C. reaches out to U.K.”  Regretfully, our friends on the other side of the pond were unable to provide much assistance.  They did assist in a telephone conference with Chartered Standard, where they clearly stated they were happy to have the OC take the loss as they were not interested in taking it themselves.

The troubled state of one of the county’s investments prompted Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Moorlach to contact the British Consulate after he met Prince Andrew last week at a local luncheon.

Orange County has $80 million invested in the United Kingdom Channel Islands-based Whistlejacket Capital Ltd.

Whistlejacket is a structured investment vehicle that could default this week after the fund failed to repay maturing debt, according to Standard & Poor’s. The fund’s U.K. roots prompted Moorlach to call his new British friends this week and ask, “Hey, can you help us out,” he said.

Moorlach is unsure what the consulate could do, but he said it couldn’t hurt to ask.

“This could become an international concern,” Moorlach said.

The chairman met Prince Andrew when the two were seated together during a luncheon at the Orange County Hilton last week. The prince visited Costa Mesa to strengthen business ties between the U.K. and Orange County.

Structured investment vehicles are used to purchase assets through short-term borrowing. Whistlejacket would be the sixth SIV to fail to repay its debt in recent months, according to Bloomberg Business News.

Moorlach said Wednesday the fund’s underlying assets had deteriorated to such a level the county would probably try to salvage as much as it could of its principal investment.

“Getting anything less than 100% back is probably going to have an impact in the county,” he said.

Ron Campbell of the OC Register covered the story in “Company in which O.C. has invested $80 million faces default – Treasurer says county should recover full investment in British company.”  Here are the closing paragraphs:

Orange County owns two Whistlejacket SIVs, a $30 million issue purchased in January 2007, and maturing on Jan. 25, 2009, and a $50 million issue purchased last July and maturing on Jan. 26, 2009.

Supervisor John Moorlach, Street’s predecessor as treasurer and now his leading critic, said he was anxious about Whistlejacket.

“Now the question is, if we hold on until January are we going to get 100 percent of our principal? 99 (percent)? 95 (percent)?” Moorlach asked.

SIVs hold baskets of assets such as mortgages, credit card debts and student loans.

Institutional investors such as Orange County provide capital to buy assets. They are promised their money back with interest in two to three years and are supposed to be paid back before anyone else.

SIVs typically leverage their initial assets by several times to buy more assets. They finance this with a series of two- to three-month loans.

But the worldwide credit crunch, which began last summer with the collapse of the Orange County subprime lending industry, has nearly dried up the loan market for SIVs.

The county began investing in SIVs at least seven years ago underthen-Treasurer Moorlach. Street nearly tripled the county’s SIV portfolio after taking office in December 2006.

Currently the county holds $837 million in SIVs. Together they comprise about 14 percent of the county’s $6 billion investment pool.

One $50 million issue by Sigma Finance matures Thursday. Street said he expects Sigma to pay in full on time. About half the remaining SIVs mature later this year and the rest in stages through September 2009.

Daily Pilot “The Bell Curve” columnist Joseph N. Bell, promoted my upcoming speaking event with the Airport Working Group (AWG), with his piece “Time to speak up about JWA.” I am providing his column in full.  As a gentle reminder, the JWA “improvements” were a remodeling, not an expansion, to handle the current capacity that had been agreed to.   I have enjoyed my collaboration with AWG over these past six years and aim to continue our great working relationship.

 

Two weeks ago, Newport Beach Mayor Ed Selich told a Speak-Up Newport audience about the goals he sees as priorities in his new job as the city’s chief executive.

The following week, Newport Beach City Manager Homer Bludau sent a newsletter to all local citizens describing the projects that will receive the attention of city officials in the immediate months ahead.

These two events had one striking element in common.

Neither stressed the urgent need by the city and its residents to address the actions, already underway, that set the stage for expanding John Wayne Airport.

This is rather like the city officials of New Orleans debating which streets to repair while a hurricane is just offshore.

If you think this parallel is excessive, come and sit in my patio some morning and late afternoon.

Then multiply what you hear by the number of new gates and added passengers already agreed on under the current caps. Then introduce the “x” factor, the pressure that is certain to be brought to bear to trash the caps on flights and passengers that will expire in 2015.

If you’re one of the people under the JWA flight pattern who is tearing down an old home to build a new one or adding new rooms to old ones or just sitting on a patio like mine trying to talk and be heard over the roar of engines, you should be very uneasy. New and drastic threats to the magnificently evolved atmosphere in which we live are underway right now with little or no awareness among those of us who will be most affected.

For example, under the Airport Improvement Program, almost $600 million will be spent to expand John Wayne Airport. This expansion — which is euphemistically called “improvement” — will include a new multi-level terminal of 250,000 square feet, six new bridged aircraft gates and two new parking structures with some 3,500 spaces.

Design work for the new terminal and parking structures is already underway, along with preliminary construction work. Completion is estimated for 2011, four years before the current cap on JWA flights expires.

These numbers are signposts that point directly to the eventual downgrading of our neighborhoods, our Back Bay and beaches, and our quality of life. They need to be recognized and dealt with now. That can only happen with a sense of urgency that requires holding the line at JWA to dominate any set of goals for this community.

Such urgency is hard to find in Newport-Mesa these days. True, the Airport Working Group is fighting the good fight, as it has for several decades.

The members of Air Fare have planted their flag on no further concessions. The City Council calls it a priority to “minimize the adverse impacts of John Wayne Airport through the implementation of the city’s airport policy.”

But all of this has an air of business as usual, the sort of attitude that allowed the commercial airport at El Toro to slip away from us. Joint meetings are held on a quarterly basis. Meetings of corridor cities take place every other month to “explore mechanisms for formalizing the coalition.”

Consultants with “technical expertise” are sought. Partnership with Costa Mesa is exploring transportation to other airports. Business as usual.

I asked Selich why limiting airport expansion didn’t dominate the list of goals in his speech, and he said he could hardly cover it all in a 15-minute speech and so he chose to “focus on development issues” with the implied understanding from his audience that there was, indeed, an unspoken sense of urgency about JWA.

“We’ve got a cap right now,” he said. “We’ve got to build on that. It’s too early to start negotiating a new settlement.”

It isn’t too early. It may even be too late. Go take a look at the construction sites for the new and better JWA.

It’s time for the residents of this community who have their quality of life on the line to get involved. To impress on the business as usual proponents — from the county supervisors on down to local officials and including this newspaper — that the time has come to rev it up several notches. To put to use some of the muscle that comes with public outrage. And, for starters, to attend the Feb. 26 annual meeting of the Airport Working Group.

Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach will be the featured speaker at that meeting. He’ll provide plenty of ammunition for marching orders to those who attend.

His intent, as well as that of the AWG, is to put the information out straight and clear. The rest is up to us to flex the muscle. Our greatest enemy is complacency, which had a lot to do with getting us into this fix.

The people who would destroy our environment by nibbling us to death with gradually increasing caps won’t negotiate with us unless we keep their feet to the fire. So let’s do it. And for starters, don’t forget that AWG meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Balboa Yacht Club, 1801 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach.

February 22

2008

The first domino was about to fall and J. M. Brown and Sarah Rohrs of the San Jose Mercury News provided the news in “Vallejo bankruptcy could have far-reaching impact.” Because it portended what would eventually occur, I’m providing the piece in full.

If Vallejo becomes one of the first California cities to file for bankruptcy, the negative effects could be far-reaching, but also may leave the city with a fresh start, experts said Thursday.

If it takes this route, Vallejo would still need to keep its doors open and provide municipal services, though employees may be asked to stay home if there’s nothing in the coffers to pay them.

“The city would still be there and would still have to provide services for residents. With the city you can’t just disappear,” said Orange County Supervisor John M.W. Moorlach, an expert on bankruptcy since his own county took this route in 1994.

Through Chapter 9 protection, a federal bankruptcy judge would sort through the city’s finances, labor and other contracts, and then work out a fiscal plan to move forward.

The situation is different than that of the Vallejo City Unified School District which plunged into a deep fiscal hole in 2004, and secured a $60 million state bail-out loan.

City officials have warned that declaring bankruptcy will not print money, or generate any revenues.

Vallejo’s potential bankruptcy would not be California’s first municipality filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Orange County filed for bankruptcy in 1994 after a series of bad investments. And Desert Hot Springs, a town of 20,000, sought Chapter 9 protection several years ago after a crushing court judgment on an environmental matter, said Marc Levinson, Vallejo’s bankruptcy attorney.

Experts say Vallejo’s case undoubtedly will raise speculation about municipal bonds that cities use to fund facility improvements and other activities because the once-certain guarantee of profitability will suddenly look poisonous to investors.

Bankruptcy is certain to spark fresh debate about the cost of unfunded employee benefits, and the impacts on bond holders.

As of December, the city had accrued a $135 million liability for the present value of retiree benefits earned by active and retired employees earned. Further, there is a $6 million added cost as current employees continue to vest and earn future benefits, the city said.

“If bond holders are hurt by a bankruptcy, then future lenders will probably put constraints on elected officials’ ability to make promises while in office that must be paid after they leave,” said CPA Marcia Fritz, vice president and treasurer for California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, which advocates for pension reform.

“It’s almost a relief that it’s finally coming to this in Vallejo because it will be an example of what happens when you’ve got a lot of people with their fingers in the cookie jar,” she said. “I saw this coming years ago.”

While some experts argue that bankruptcy can leave a city in better financial shape, others argue that it will hurt Vallejo’s future credit rating and place the city’s future in the hands of a federal bankruptcy judge.

The Vallejo school district is nervously keeping an eye on the city’s fiscal emergency. District spokesman Jason Hodge said the crisis might cause the city to withdraw funding for campus police officers, and after-school programs.

The Chapter 9 process, which Vallejo has budgeted $1 million to pursue, could last for years until repayment plans are OK’d.

Experts agree one thing is certain. If the city cannot pay its employees because the general fund is dry — which is predicted to happen by April — City Manager Joe Tanner must instruct all employees to stay home.

“They can’t come to work,” said Levinson, Vallejo’s bankruptcy attorney. “You can’t ask for credit or to extend your credit if you know you can’t repay the debt. It’s not only common sense, it’s the law.”

Alan Davis, attorney for the police and fire unions whose leaders are negotiating with the city to erase an immediate $10 million shortfall, declined comment. The unions represent employees whose salaries total 80 percent of Vallejo’s general fund.

The unions argue they have deferred salary increases and benefits for years while the city has failed to raise enough money to pay them.

For nearly two years, city and union officials have been haggling behind closed doors — then in arbitration — over cuts in salary and disputed staffing levels.

Nearly two-dozen police and firefighters retired last week or are expected to retire in coming days at a cost of at least $4 million in accrued sick and vacation time. The city is locked into contracts with the unions for two more years.

“Once granted, collectively bargained retirement promises can’t be reversed, no matter how outrageous, and no matter how much citizens scream when they find out,” Fritz said. “Bankruptcy may be the only way for Vallejo to legally break these promises and get control of its finances.”

City bankruptcy attorney Levinson said he would rather see Vallejo reach compromises with the unions than file bankruptcy. That’s a decision the City Council could consider Tuesday when it weighs an emergency fiscal plan calling for citywide layoffs.

Interim Fire Chief Russ Sherman agrees, saying, “It’s a nightmare situation — something that everyone has worked long and hard to try to prevent. I’m still holding out optimism that we can get to some sort of agreement to avoid bankruptcy because there would be no winners.”

But Arthur J. Spector, the former chief bankruptcy judge of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, said bankruptcy may indeed make winners out of those who seek it.

In an interview Thursday, Spector, now a bankruptcy attorney in Florida, said any entity having a hard time getting credit because of crushing debt will only have a harder time the longer it waits to receive protection from creditors. Bankruptcy may eventually lead to a fresh, or at least fresher, start, he said.

“If you can’t can you get credit today, tell me how bankruptcy would hurt your credit?” he said.

Orange County Supervisor Moorlach said Vallejo’s problem is that it’s spending more than it’s taken in each year, and it’s “creating obligations it never could afford and never should have made.”

Vallejo’s situation could be a forecast of what faces other municipalities which have agreed to “unsustainable employee and pension agreements,” he added.

While rare, other cities and municipal districts nationwide have felt similar pressures of dropping revenues and increasing expenses enough to file for bankruptcy or publicly consider it, like New York City.

Bridgeport, Conn., a city of 140,000, shocked the investment world in 1991 when it filed for Chapter 9 protection due to a $17 million deficit on its $300 million budget. Bridgeport faced $220 million in general obligation debt.

Based on Chapter 9 provisions, a city’s creditor separates into committees of unsecured creditors, like employees and contract services, and secured creditors with collateral-based debt, like bondholders. The city would then work to reach payment plans.

“Unsecured creditors don’t have to be paid,” Fritz said. “Anyone doing business with the city of Vallejo, like the garbage company, will be the first to get hit. Payments due them are not going to be paid right away.”

A judge would rule on any payment agreements based on a city’s financial ability and other factors, then oversee litigation if a city can’t reach a deal with creditors. But a judge won’t typically scour a city’s books to see if it could draw money that it isn’t already.

“A judge won’t throw out creative solutions,” Levinson said. “It’s really up to the players to come up with the deal. You continue to try to achieve peace rather than going to war. War is expensive.”

As the city works out deals, investment specialists are going to have a harder time selling municipal bonds, especially in California due to the state’s $14 billion budget shortfall.

“Outside investors are getting spooked by our fiscal imbalance,” Fritz said. “Once the city goes down in Vallejo, you’re going to see bond prices dropping like flies. A whole specter of bonds will get hit by one bad apple — it happens all the time on Wall Street.”

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, California | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

OC Register Confirms Moorlach Exploring Run For Governor

Posted by Chris Emami on February 23, 2013

 

Andrew Galvin of the Orange County Register has confirmed that John Moorlach is exploring a run for Governor. Thank you to the OC Register for crediting OC Political with the scoop. We broke the story here at OC Political last week after learning that Moorlach was exploring a run.

Only Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (AD 33) has officially announced that he is running for this seat and Moorlach would easily advance to the run-off against Jerry Brown if Donnelly is the only other major Republican running.

After browsing through some campaign finance information on the CA Secretary of State website I learned that Donnelly is struggling with his fundraising. According to the most recent campaign finance reports Donnelly received one check for $1,000 into his main campaign committee and appears to have exceeded this number with $1,190 in expenditures although I couldn’t figure out what he spent it on.  His Assembly account does not look much better in terms of having the cash necessary to run for Governor.

Moorlach on the other hand has more money sitting in his OC Supervisorial campaign committee with over $10,000 sitting there. This amount of money is not what is needed for a Gubernatorial campaign, but it shows that he has a head start on Donnelly.

The one wild card in this is the rumor of Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (AD 76) jumping into the race. If Chavez does jump into this race it will change the dynamic leaving him the clear favorite. I do not have any indication of how realistic a Chavez candidacy is at this point.

We will keep you posted as more information becomes readily available.

Posted in California | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Eric Woolery: Realignment could bring county shortfalls

Posted by Chris Emami on February 21, 2013

The Orange County Register ran an editorial sent in by Eric Woolery who used to serve on the Orange County Board of Education. He also sent a copy of the editorial and I wanted to take a moment to post it here as it was a very interesting read.

Realignment could bring county shortfalls

Beware of the state bearing gifts. The fiscal cliff in California could be a whole lot steeper for counties if they fail to plan for Gov. Jerry Brown’s realignment of both criminal justice and social services.

If you follow the money, public safety realignment – which requires counties to bear more of the burden of housing criminals – is only 34 percent of the realignment funding. The real financial cliffhanger is the other 66 percent that eliminates most of the state’s responsibility for health and human services by transferring that responsibility to counties. While medical professionals and social workers may welcome the demise of state agencies, from a fiscal point of view, this could be the “gift” that pushes California counties over the fiscal cliff.

Gov. Jerry Brown gestures to a stack of reports on California prisons as he discuss his call for federal judges to return control of California prison to the state during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013.

Under previous state realignment in 1991, counties only had to provide maintenance of existing programs. With the 2012 realignment, counties now own the programs from housing criminals to providing funding for all health and social service programs.

Granted, ownership of these programs gives the county some local control; however, many of the health and human services programs, like medical and mental health services, are federally funded and come with federal mandates. These mandates leave the counties with very little room for innovation in program content and cost savings. Using the current rate of inflation to factor in cost increases, health and social services could add about $3.1 million to the county’s budget each year. Unfortunately, the rate of inflation on medical services tends to be higher than the overall rate of inflation. These programs could grow exponentially, and the shortfall would be the county’s to bear. Add to this the growth in the number of people who need these services and you have the potential for major fiscal problem for counties.

Proposition 30 added money for these programs but that revenue source may not be there if the economy goes back into recession. Then there is the potential for new federal mandates. National tragedies like the Sandy Hook shootings often spawn new federal mental health requirements and services that will need to be paid for by the counties.

Under Prop. 30, the state covers 50 percent of any new federal mandates, which is some protection for counties. But what about the timing of the state payments? Currently the state is obligated to pay for the increased costs for state mandates under SB90. Each year, counties submit their claims after the fiscal year is over only to have the claim paid many years later and only after the state has challenged and in some cases reduced the claim. That would leave the county on the hook for 100 percent of the cost today with the promise of, at best, 50 percent reimbursement down the road.

This means counties need to be ready for the fiscal challenges brought on by health and human services program realignment. There is potential here to make these services better and more efficient, but the time to plan and streamline is now, else the county could find itself over the fiscal cliff.

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Moorlach Update

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 16, 2013

This came across the wire from the office of Supervisor John Moorlach on Friday:

MOORLACH UPDATE — Marilyn Monroe — February 15, 2013

The annual Newport Beach Mayor’s Dinner, hosted by Speak Up Newport, is a fun tradition.  Many years ago, I even had the privilege of speaking at one of the dinners.  My beautiful guest, Marilyn Monroe, and I had a wonderful time.  OC Register columnist Barbara Venezia was in attendance and provides her annual take on the event in the piece below.

BONUS:  Supervisor Janet Nguyen had her second child last evening.  Congratulations go to Janet, her husband Tom, their son Tommy, and their new son, Timothy.

Mayor’s Dinner is a haven for schmoozers, politicians

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By BARBARA VENEZIA
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
bvontv@earthlink.net

The 32nd annual Newport Beach Mayor’s Dinner at the Marriott in Fashion Island is an event with the panache you’d expect in this city.

Produced by Speak Up Newport, the event’s co-chairs were board members George Schroeder, Kathy Harrison and Jo Vandervort.

The sold-out crowd of about 450 included a mix of current and former politicians and political insiders (and those who wish they were), as well as business folks who depend on them to survive.

The evening started with a cocktail reception – a schmoozer’s dream come true.

Over the years I’ve learned there’s an art to schmoozing.

Smile no matter what, even if you’re talking to someone who, on a good day, you wouldn’t spit on if they were on fire.

And when you’re “working the room,” keep conversations short, and gracefully transition from one person or group to another in less than 10 minutes.

The goal is to see and be seen by as many as possible.

Throughout the evening, gossip flows like wine or whine – whichever the case maybe.

As I moved through the cocktail reception, the political rumor mill was in full swing.

I heard whispers that former Newport Councilman Steve Rosansky might pursue the open County Clerk Recorder position.

Is Supervisor John Moorlach thinking about running for state office once his term’s up?

I ran into Moorlach, but didn’t ask him about the gossip.

Instead, I was more interested in his wife’s Trina’s new look. She had a very blond Marilyn Monroe vibe going on.

She said the color was actually a mistake, but one she now likes.

I thought she looked great.

Sharyn Buffa confided that she’d looked at last year’s dinner photos online to make sure she wouldn’t wear the same thing. Turns out she was planning to, so she changed.

When her husband. Peter, who was also emcee for the night, recounted the story in his opening monologue to the entire room, she looked a bit surprised at his over-sharing.

The Mayor’s Dinner always makes for some strange table mates, but all is fair in love and politics – especially in Newport.

So it wasn’t surprising to see retired Newport Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Richard Luehrs sitting at Visit Newport Beach’s Gary Sherwin’s table.

Sherwin’s newly revamped Newport Beach & Co. pretty much made the chamber obsolete.

When I asked Luehrs about the black eye he was sporting, he said he’d had a go-round with a reporter.

I never did get the truth, but whenever I’ve had a black eye recently it’s been from a Botox injection. Just saying.

It’s always a well-kept secret whom Speak Up Newport will honor with its SUNshine award each year.

I was thrilled when former state Sen. Marian Bergeson took the stage and revealed this year’s winner was her good friend Evelyn Hart.

Hart is a former Newport city councilwoman and mayor, and was the driving force behind getting the Oasis Senior Center built.

It was a magical moment. Hart accepted the award with grace and humor and bounded off the stage.

Of course the main event of the night was Newport Mayor Keith Curry’s speech.

Seated right next to Curry was Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh.

As Curry took the stage I could see Baugh smiling broadly.

Curry’s speech was well-rehearsed and well executed. However, as he spoke, I felt like he was auditioning for a part.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Curry had higher political aspirations. It’s a logical next step for this two-time mayor.

In his speech Curry praised Newport’s new Civic Center, talked about how the increased dock fees would help the harbor, and expressed pride that there are millions in reserve in city coffers.

He also spoke about revitalizing the city’s NBTV channel – something former Mayor Nancy Gardner talked about at great length in her speech last year.

But NBTV went nowhere under Gardner, though not for her lack of trying.

City staff was less than enthusiastic about this project whenever I talked to them about in the past.

If Curry can find a way to take NBTV out of their realm, then he’s got a chance.

He also acknowledged Moorlach for his negotiations regarding John Wayne Airport and holding the curfew in place.

Though no one would go on record, the buzz during the cocktail reception was that the 10.8 million passenger caps per year will most likely move more toward 12 million with the new agreement.

Drunken gossip – or truth?

You never know at the Mayor’s Dinner.

Between schmoozing, smiles and back stabbing – I mean back slapping – there’s a fine line. But always a heck of a good time.

FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS

February 16

1993

Jim Gressinger, Publisher and William Lobdell, Editor, announced the Daily Pilot’s 1993 Editorial Advisory Board.  Twenty years later and many of the members are still with us and continue to be active in the community.  Here is a portion of the preamble and the list, in alphabetical order:

                These are among the most involved and influential leaders in our community.  As you can see, the board is comprised of a wide variety of interests and diverse concerns.  We know that they will be exceptional representatives of the community to the newspaper.

                We are very proud that they are all committed to helping us create the most relevant, useful and compelling community newspaper possible.

                The board will meet formally four times a year and will critique the newspaper, provide newsworthy story ideas and be available as a background resource on breaking stories.

               Roy Alvarado – Latinos Costa Mesa

               Lucy Burroughs – Community Activist

               Tim Celek – Pastor, Calvary Church, Newport-Mesa

               Bill Cote – President, Cote Realty

               John Crean –  Entrepreneur, philanthropist

               Jim Dale – Restaurateur

               Jim DeBoom – Trustee, Newport-Mesa Unified School District

               Werner Escher – South Coast Plaza

               Ed Fawcett – Executive Director, Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce

               Judy Frutig – Freelance Journalist

               Janice Fuchs – General manager, Fashion Island

               David Grant – President, Orange Coast College

               Bill Hamilton – Restaurateur, The Cannery

               Maria Hedges – Community Activist

               LaDonna Kienitz– City Librarian, Newport Beach Public Library

               Lucille Kuehn – Newport Beach Library board member

               Richard Luehrs – Executive Director, Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce

               Karen McGlinn, Executive Director, SOS

               Maxine Montgomery – Vice President-Mgr. Prudential California Realty

               Linda Mook – Teacher, Corona del Mar High School

               John Moorlach – Businessman, GOP activist

               Tom Redwitz, Vice President Land Development, The Irvine Company

               Paul Salata, Businessman

               Marie Schock – Businesswoman

               Nancy Skinner – Environmentalist

               Dave Snowden – Police Chief, Costa Mesa

Disclaimer:  You have been added to my MOORLACH UPDATE communication e-mail tree.  In lieu of a weekly newsletter, you will receive occasional media updates, some with commentary to explain the situation, whenever I appear in the media (unless it is a duplication of a previous story). 

I have two thoughts for you to consider:  (1) my office does not usually issue press releases to get into the newspapers (only in rare cases); and (2) I do not write the articles, opinions or letters to the editor. 

This message should appear at the bottom of every e-mail you receive.  If these e-mails should stop arriving in your mail box, it will be because your address has changed and you did not provide a new one.  If you do not wish to receive these e-mails, then please e-mail back and request to unsubscribe.

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Posted in Orange County Board of Supervisors, 2nd Supervisorial District | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Supervisor Janet Nguyen to Run for State Senate with Support of the Senate’s Republican Leaders

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 16, 2013

This came across the wire from the Janet Nguyen for State Senate campaign yesterday:

Supervisor Janet Nguyen to Run for State Senate with Support of the Senate’s Republican Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 15, 2013

GARDEN GROVE, CA — Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen today announced that she will be a candidate for State Senate in the new 34th district and that she had already secured the support of the Senate’s Republican leaders, including Senate Minority leader Bob Huff and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ted Gaines. Nguyen currently represents 60% of the 34th district as a County Supervisor.

“The people of our area work hard to build a better life for themselves and their children,” said Nguyen. “They care about our schools, the local economy and the safety of their neighborhoods. They want and deserve results and care little about the partisan debate in Sacramento.”

Nguyen said that her priorities for the district are to make sure local schools are fully funded, give tax and regulatory relief to small businesses, increase public safety and make sure that seniors maintain access to quality health care. She says the state legislature needs to reduce waste, control spending and concentrate on growing the economy and bringing jobs back to the state.

“Janet Nguyen is a public servant who works tirelessly for the people of her district. She will be a great addition to the State Senate and I am pleased to endorse her,” said Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff.

“Last year, California voters chose to raise taxes. Now we need more responsible representatives in Sacramento who will use those new funds wisely, balance the state budget and not keep coming back to hard working Californians looking for more,” said Nguyen.

State Senator Mimi Walters called Nguyen the ideal candidate for the 34th district. “Janet knows what it takes to run and win tough campaigns because she has done it time and time again. She is a tenacious campaigner and a dedicated public servant,” said Walters.

The 34th district contains the heart of Orange County and all of the area known as Little Saigon. Over 90% of the registered voters in the district live in Orange County, with the remainder in Long Beach.

Janet Nguyen was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in February, 2007. In doing so, she became the first Asian-American and the first Vietnamese-American to serve on the Board of Supervisors, and the youngest Supervisor ever to be elected in Orange County. In 2008, Nguyen was honored by Latino OC 100 for her contributions to the Latino community. Janet previously served on the Garden Grove City Council and as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Janet, her husband and children live in Garden Grove.

During her tenure as a County Supervisor, the County has maintained a balanced budget every year while also being able to set aside money into the reserve. The County of Orange restructured its Retirement Medical and Pensions Programs, resulting in savings of $992 million to the County’s unfunded liability.

As part of an effort to reclaim local neighborhoods from the control of gangs, Janet joined the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement agencies to obtain a permanent gang injunction against local criminal street gangs.

# # #

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Chairman Campbell Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Future Bank Bailouts

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 15, 2013

This came across the wire from the office of Congressman John Campbell earlier this week:

Chairman Campbell Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Future Bank Bailouts

The Systemic Risk Mitigation Act Guarantees Taxpayer Protection from Financial Institutions Deemed “Too Big to Fail”

Washington – Tomorrow, Representative John Campbell, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, will introduce the Systemic Risk Mitigation Act, a bill to eliminate this nation’s “Too Big to Fail” problem. Currently, certain financial institutions, by nature of their size, scope and interconnectivity, are deemed “Too Big to Fail” as their potential insolvency would result in systemic economic collapse. Therefore, these institutions carry the implicit guarantee of massive, taxpayer-funded bailouts in the event of catastrophic failure. As a comprehensive reform measure, the Systemic Risk Mitigation Act would clearly articulate the lines between private sector risk and the taxpayer by means of significantly ratcheting up capital requirements for large financial institutions.

Upon introducing the Systemic Risk Mitigation Act, Chairman Campbell explained,“The ‘Too Big to Fail’ problem has not been fixed and remains a serious threat to our future prosperity. We don’t want to be like Europe. The more concentrated our banking sector is, the less stable it is and the more subject to systemic risk it becomes. This legislation solves that problem by disconnecting the American taxpayer from the implicit guarantee currently perpetuating a system built on future bailouts.  It will build a wall of private capital between the banking sector and the American taxpayer. It will make our banking system more transparent, accountable, competitive, and stable.

The Systemic Risk Mitigation Act would set up a comprehensive regulatory structure requiring financial institutions to hold a second layer of capital for the purpose of minimizing the extent to which their failure would precipitate broader market and economic turmoil. Under this new structure, large financial institutions will be required to hold substantially more capital. In the event of a failure, investors will be explicitly denied any “bailout” and would only be repaid after all other systemically important and secured debts are satisfied.

Under this legislation, the Federal Reserve, in its role as a regulator of large financial institutions, would be required to monitor markets for signs of diminished confidence in an institution’s ability to satisfy claims by investors.  Should a financial institution become undercapitalized, the Federal Reserve would be empowered to intervene in order to notify the institution of the deficiency, conduct stress tests, and oversee the implementation of remediation plans. In the event that an institution is unable to raise sufficient capital, TheSystemic Risk Mitigation Act would place it into receivership.

Importantly, this legislation gives financial institutions, not policymakers, the final decision on how they will decide to structure themselves.The Systemic Risk Mitigation Act does not force a financial institution to break itself up, but does require that it operate in a manner that is safe, accountable, and independent of any reliance on the U.S. taxpayer.

“Congress must address the ‘Too Big to Fail’ problem,” stressed Chairman Campbell. “The goal of my legislation is not to harm U.S. banks, but to make them safer, more secure, and much more stable. In this way, consumer confidence will also be boosted. Banking is a business centered on confidence, and increased confidence is in the best interest of both the industry and the economy.”

The Systemic Risk Mitigation Act has been referred to the Committee on Financial Services.

Posted in 45th Congressional District | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Orange County Supervisor Exploring Run For Governor

Posted by Chris Emami on February 13, 2013

Last night I became aware of a developing story out of Sacramento with Orange County ties. It appears that Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach is currently exploring a run for Governor of California, He has been rumored to be up in Sacramento within the last week looking into what kind of support that he would get if he were to jump into the race. Currently the only candidate that has officially announced for the post is Assemblyman Tim Donnelly. In my opinion Moorlach would be an infinitely better choice for Republicans than Donnelly.

Moorlach got his start in Orange County politics by losing in a race against Bob Citron for the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector position in 1994. After the County went bankrupt in December 1994 Moorlach was appointed to the position after three months by the County Board of Supervisors. He served for 11 years as the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector before making a run for Supervisor (2nd District succeeding Jim Silva) in 2006 and defeating Stanton Councilmember David Shawver.

Supervisor Moorlach has a more extensive biography up on his Supervisorial website:

The Honorable John M. W. Moorlach, C.P.A., is the Second District Supervisor on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, representing the cities of Costa Mesa, Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Stanton, and a portion of Buena Park and Fountain Valley.

Supervisor Moorlach currently serves on several boards, commissions, and committees, including: the Orange County Transportation Authority, the Orange County Vector Control District, the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission, the Orange County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (Chairman), the Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, the Orange County Ending Homelessness Commission (Chairman), the Newport Bay Watershed Executive Committee (Chairman), the Children and Families Commission of Orange County (alternate), the National Association of Counties, the Orange County Council of Governments (alternate), the Southern California Association of Governments (alternate), the Southern California Regional Airport Authority, the Southern California Water Committee, the South Orange County Watershed Management Area Executive Committee, and the California State Association of Counties Board of Directors, including its Executive Committee and the Urban Counties Caucus (representing the most populated counties in California).

Prior to being elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2006, he served as the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector for nearly twelve years. Supervisor Moorlach has the distinction of having predicted the largest local government investment portfolio loss and the second largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. He has been a voice on major fiscal issues facing the county, state, and the nation. He is a noted and respected long-time advocate for public employee pension reform and serves on the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility Advisory Board.

Prior to serving as Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Moorlach was Vice President of Balser, Horowitz, Frank & Wakeling, an Accountancy Corporation, and was the administrative partner of its Costa Mesa office. He served on numerous nonprofit and industry related boards during his eighteen years in public practice and was a frequent writer and speaker on financially related topics.

Moorlach is a California history enthusiast and served as Vice President of the Gold Discovery to Statehood California (1848-1850) Sesquicentennial Foundation Board. He has photographed nearly all of the State’s historical landmarks, a program under the auspices of the State Historical Resources Commission. Consequently, he has visited every county in the state, some on numerous occasions, and has enjoyed multiple drives on Highway One, from San Diego County to Crescent City and beyond.

Moorlach graduated from California State University in Long Beach in 1977 and passed the C.P.A. exam in 1978. He completed his studies for the Certified Financial Planner designation in 1987. He earned a Certificate in Public Finance from the University of Delaware, Division of Continuing Education in 1995, the Certificate of Achievement in Public Plan Policy (CAPPP) in Employee Pensions in 1999 and the Trustees Masters Program in 2003 through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the New Supervisors Training Institute in 2007 from California State University in Sacramento in cooperation with their Center for California Studies.

As far as I can tell, no other news agency or blog has run anything on this, but hopefully over the coming weeks some more information will become available.

Posted in California, Orange County Board of Supervisors, 2nd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , | 18 Comments »

 
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