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Don Wagner Continues His Negativity and False Allegations Against Moorlach

Posted by Walter Myers III on March 9, 2015

Wagner Hit Piece on MoorlachSportscaster Heywood Broun coined the well-known phrase, “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” I believe this also applies to the “sport” (or rather blood sport) of politics. I have always supported Assemblyman Don Wagner, and saw him as a noble man of high character. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing that man in his campaign for State Senate, but the opposite. I don’t know if it is his campaign advisers that are goading him into an attempt to destroy the excellent character of his opponent John Moorlach, but even if that is the case, Wagner is accepting that advice and acting on it. He is conducting a vicious, public employee union fueled campaign in a number of ways that I won’t detail here, but what I do want to address is his latest charge (per the clickable graphic to the left) that Moorlach supports amnesty for illegal immigrants based on an Orange County Register article dated February 22, 2013 (note the date on the document is February 24, 2013, but that only reflects the difference between digital vs. print dates). Presumably, Wagner is referring to the following excerpt from the article:

“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.”

Note that the article clearly states the Lincoln Club policy Moorlach supports promotes a pathway to legal residency, and not citizenship. As a board member of the Lincoln Club and a proud contributor to the Lincoln Club immigration policy statement, I can affirm our position is that illegal immigrants are not entitled to citizenship because they broke the law coming to this country and should not be rewarded for conscious and willful lawbreaking, regardless of the reasons. However, our policy statement does extend some grace to those who have immigrated illegally and have been here for a long period of time, but only after our borders are secured so we won’t have the same problem in the future. The worst part of this subterfuge by Wagner is that a number of members of the Lincoln Club have had extensive conversations with Wagner on the Lincoln Club immigration policy during and after its crafting, which he himself has said he supports. He has told me himself that he supports it and he stated the same when speaking at a recent Lincoln Club meeting. So to use an article against Moorlach that doesn’t even support his baseless charge, and to then say that Moorlach supports amnesty based on the same policy that he supports himself, there is most definitely the smell of desperation in his campaign.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, this communication in favor of Wagner that is purportedly from the Conservative Republicans of California, Orange County, is actually not sanctioned by this group. I have learned conclusively that Wagner’s campaign produced this piece, so Wagner is wholly responsible for sending out a hit piece with false charges under the banner of a conservative political group with the express intent to deceive the public. So personally, I am done with Don Wagner, and believe me it does hurt me to say this. Wagner is the perfect example of what happens to well-intentioned people who go to Sacramento, and once they get a taste of power they begin to lust after it, and will do anything to keep it. All of the conservative principles he says that he espouses, those of character, dignity, and truthfulness, have gone by the wayside because being a State Senator trumps all of the values that he promised to cling to while in public service. It truly is a sad day in Orange County that Wagner has resorted to such tricks over a political seat. As the Bible says, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?

27 Responses to “Don Wagner Continues His Negativity and False Allegations Against Moorlach”

  1. Allen Wilson said

    Is this a race for Congress? The reason I ask because issue of immigration and amnesty is a federal matter not a state matter. The mailer from the CRC only instills fear.

  2. Dave Flynn said

    Allen Wilson, while that may be true, you certainly must admit that at the state level and even at many municipal levels, immigration policies are being implemented regardless of the Federal position. Thus, the stance of State Legislators and candidates for state level office on immigration and citizenship are of importance.

  3. *This whole attack scene against Moorlach has us completely confused. They bury our good pal Webster Guillory and now they seem to want to do the same thing to Pappa John
    Moorlach. We guess when the Godfather asks you to resign……….you just have to nod and leave for your plantation in Virginia.

  4. Matthew Cunningham said

    Walt: Conservative Republicans of California did, in fact, endorse Don Wagner for state Senate.

    It’s disingenuous to make the Wagner campaign villain here. Moorlach campaign mailers contain pretty egregious untruths and distortions about Don Wagner.

    If this sort of campaigning is going to cause you to be “done” with Wagner, then consistency would require you to be done with all three candidates and either abstain or write in another person’s name.

    • Walter Myers III said

      Matthew, I’m aware of that. But they did not authorize the hit piece. And if Moorlach is doing the same, of which I’m not aware, my response would be the same. This dirty politicking needs to end, and you should want the same thing. It’s not worth it.

    • Walter Myers III said

      And also, as I wrote before, Wagner started slinging mud from the very beginning.

      • Matthew Cunningham said

        Walter: the negativity was simultaneous. I live in the district and I’ve been getting the mail. The Moorlach campaign is sending out mail saying Wagner is “owned by special interests,” that he trades votes for campaign contributions, that he’s the “public employee union candidate” – none of which is true. John himself pretty much accused Don of illegally coordinating with IE committees.

        My point is it is unfair to single out Wagner when the Moorlach campaign isn’t exactly playing by Marquess of Queensbury rules. This is a contest between two conservatives who would have virtually indistringuishable records in the state Senate. The most germane question is which one will do more – as the incumbent representing a safe, wealthy and Republican state Senate district — will do more to elect more Republicans to office and build the party.

        • Walter Myers III said

          I live in the district as well. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing about this. And Don is allowing public employee unions to influence him. So that is fair game. And I don’t agree that Moorlach’s retorts have sunk to the level of Wagner. So we will have to agree to disagree.

          It is clear you support Wagner by your last sentence. Ostensibly, your argument is that Wagner is the equivalent of Moorlach and I don’t agree with that argument that they are interchangeable like a bucket of widgets. In what way will Wagner “do more to elect more Republicans to office and build the party”? Wagner can do that from the very seat he is sitting in now. And Moorlach can do that if he enters the Senate, particularly with his background as a CPA.

          • Matthew Cunningham said

            “And Don is allowing public employee unions to influence him.”

            Can you substantiate that? Examples?

            “It is clear you support Wagner by your last sentence.”

            I think it is telling that you’re conceding Don Wagner would be more effective at electing Republicans around the state (and yes, I am voting for Don Wagner. Not AGAINST John Moorlach, but FOR Wagner).

            I’m not arguing that Wagner and Moorlach are equivalent in every way. But in terms of political philosophy, there’s little if any difference – and that will translate into nearly identical voting records when it comes to legislation. If you disagree with me, please point out a significant issue in the state legislature on which you think they would vote differently?

            A top priority of a Republican legislator from a safe seat in Orange County should be electing more Republicans to the legislature. That means taking advantage of safe-seat status to raise money to a) hold competitive seats and b) capture marginal seats held by Democrats. That means being in leadership. That means recruiting good candidates. That means raising money. Lots of it. That means being the active type who forces Democrats to cast votes that can be used against them in the next election.

            Don Wagner has a track record of working hard to help other candidates. He has raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to other GOP legislative candidates. Late in last years general election, Catherine Baker’s campaign needed $50,000 to complete her mail program in order to take what has been a Democratic Assembly seat. Wagner transferred $50,000 from his campaign to hers – knowing full well he would be running for state Senate in a couple of months and could certainly have used the money. That is the kind of leadership this party needs.

            John Moorlach has many great qualities and strengths as a man and as a conservative Republican. However, fundraising – either for himself for others — has never been one of them. That’s not a knock on John. That’s just who he is. I have great respect for CPAs, but I have yet to hear a credible argument as to how having one CPA in the legislature is going to put the CA GOP back on the road to relevance.

            Could Don Wagner “do that from the very seat he is sitting in now”? Sure. But that’s not the situation before us. We have to decide which man will hold this Senate seat for the next 10-12 years? Which one is able to realize the FULL leadership and party building potential of this seat? I believe the answer is electing Don Wagner.

            • Matthew Cunningham said

              Could Don Wagner “do that from the very seat he is sitting in now”? Sure.

              Let me qualify that by saying “Sure – for the next 20 months. Remember, he is termed out in 2016.

            • Walter Myers III said

              I’m not conceding anything. I’m for Moorlach. You are for Wagner. That’s fine and you are welcome to make the case for Wagner here. Everything you are saying here I have already heard from Wagner directly myself. As I stated, I believe Moorlach is the better candidate for the Senate, and let me be clear that the fact that Don terms out in 2016 is something I am aware of, but his terming out is not in my calculus. This race is about two candidates and I’m supporting who I feel is the better candidate. Had Don not caved in to the unions, and had he not started out from the gate with a highly negative email about Moorlach to me (and others), I might look at this differently. His behavior in this campaign has not been exemplary. So there is a real dichotomy in terms of how he is conducting himself now as opposed to his record of magnanimous gestures helping others. Has it not occurred to you that perhaps the reason he was doing those magnanimous things was not reflective of his character, but reflective of someone who did what was the best political move based on what his advisers were telling him to do? I’m not saying it is the case. What I’m saying is that I expect his behavior to be consistent across the board. I expected a campaign that focused on the issues and didn’t from the very beginning accuse his opponent of being a lifetime politico. If Don wins this Senate seat, then ten years from now he will be exactly what he accuses Moorlach of being. So it appears to me he is pretty desperate to win this, and it is desperation that someone who supposedly has so many positive things going for him would feel that the primary thrust of his campaign is making false and vicious statements about his opponent instead of simply telling us why we should be voting for him. This campaign has shown me the real Don Wagner, the person who will do or say anything to stay in office. I’m sorry, the office simply isn’t worth forfeiting his soul, as I have stated.

              • Matthew Cunningham said

                “Had Don not caved in to the unions…

                Walt, that is twice you have claimed Don Wagner is in the pocket of the unions, without substantiating your charges. You can see how that is an odd thing to do given your umbrage at the Wagner campaign’s negative mail.

                “Has it not occurred to you that perhaps the reason he was doing those magnanimous things was not reflective of his character, but reflective of someone who did what was the best political move based on what his advisers were telling him to do? I’m not saying it is the case.”

                It has not, because there is not reason to believe that is the case. Some legislators raise money and then hoard it for their own use. Others are team players who raise it and then give it away to other candidates in competitive seats in order to make the team bigger. Legislators like Don Wagner and Travis Allen fall into the latter category.

                And for goodness sake – neither candidate is “forfeiting their soul.” This is a political campaign. When they begin, we all wish the campaigns will be positive, etc. And it never happens. It’s the nature of the beast, Walt. The shots came from both campaign at the same time. The “Don Wagner started it” narrative simply doesn’t hold up. One can’t condemn the Wagner campaign while absolving the Moorlach campaign and be consistent.

                • Walter Myers III said

                  Matthew, as I stated from the outset, I’m NOT addressing any other issue here other than the misrepresentations about the Lincoln Club policy. Others have provided that information and I am not going to revisit it here.

                  As I said, I’m not saying it was the case, and it’s fine if you accept that campaigns are dirty. It is great that Don is helping other candidates out, but that is what I would expect any Assemblyman to do. This is about character that should be displayed in all situations, not just some. So I don’t accept your premise, and I’m not going to continue to argue it because not all campaigns stoop to this level, which is my point. I expect campaigns to say negative things if warranted and the charge can be substantiated. Don hasn’t done that and the hit piece he sent out is one more item that demonstrates my point. And I don’t agree that Moorlach has responded with equal viciousness. So I am being consistent. As I said, Don’s campaign has been dirty from the beginning, and perhaps you’re the type who doesn’t care about how you win, but that you win. That’s fine also, and tells us something about you. Now I am done with this back and forth with you. You know my position. I know yours, and I have heard each and every talking point you have made before.

                  • Matthew Cunningham said

                    “And I don’t agree that Moorlach has responded with equal viciousness. So I am being consistent.

                    Walt: No, you’re not being consistent. I don’t know how else say it. Do you really, honestly believe Don Wagner trades votes for campaign contributions? Yes or no? Because the Moorlach campaign is saying in mail that he does.

                    Do you really, honestly believe Don Wagner is “owned by the special interests”? Yes or no? Because the Moorlach campaign is saying in mail that he does.

                    Do you really, honestly believe Don Wagner met with these IE campaigns to plan and coordinate their campaigns? Yes or no? Because John Moorlach himself has alleged that publicly.

                    Do you agree that calling someone corrupt and a lawbreaker qualifies as “vicious”? Yes or no?

                    Both campaigns have have websites attacking each other. TheRealMoorlachRecord.com attacks John. UnionDon.com attacks Don.

                    The Wagner campaign registered TheRealMoorlachRecord.com domain on March 8, 2015. The Moorlach campaign registered UnionDon.com more than a month earlier, on February 3, 2015 (just a few days after your post bemoaning a mild dig at Moorlach from Wagner). That is nearly two weeks before vote-by-mail ballots were sent out. Obviously, the Moorlach campaign had decided very early on to wage a negative campaign against Wagner falsely painting him as some kind of union toady. It’s pretty clear the robes of martyrdom you are trying to drape over the Moorlach campaign don’t fit very well.

                    “…perhaps you’re the type who doesn’t care about how you win, but that you win. That’s fine also, and tells us something about you.”

                    Walt, you have created a straw man of what you think (wrongly) I believe, and then impugn my integrity for a belief I do not hold. I have questioned your opinions and your conclusions, Walt, but I have not questioned your sincerity or integrity. It’s a shame you felt the need to do that to me.

        • *Matthew, pure insider bawlderdash…….we just missed today. But Wagner has been putting out hit pieces on Moorlach every day for two weeks, plus Robo Calls from seven different luminaries of the Republican Establishment. Moorlach has responded with ONE RoboCall and two hitback pieces. Hardly a tit for tat response call.

          • Matthew Cunningham said

            Ron Winship: where did I say it was “tit-for-tat”? Moorlach has sent out fewer hit pieces because he has a lot less money to send out mail. You’re trying to turn that necessity into a virtue.

            And enough with this “Republican Establishment” balderdash. I doubt you or others who carelessly toss that term out as a pejorative could even come up with a informed definition of what that is in Orange County. Both candidates have plenty of “Establishment” supporters.

            • *”Long ago…..and far away……”said George Lucas. Sorry partner, but we have been there and done that. You sound a lot like J. Edgar Hoover – “There is no organized crime in this
              country!”. The recent surge in lie by the numbers has become Republican endemic. The only thing keeping you guys in the game at all are people like Duncan Hunter, Jr., Bill McCollum, John Shadegg, Dan Burton, Bob Livingston, Bill Frist, Dick Armey and a few more left over from the Dinosaur Era when Republicans actually had ethics and common sense. Our current crop of American Legend Heroes have apparently all sold out to the highest bidder. Now it doesn’t matter what someone does for a living to us….but don’t insult by telling us that there is no “Establishment Cabal” 25 Establishment Republican Endorsements for one of two equal candidates (as you say)….hardly happens in a vacuum. .

        • Greg Diamond said

          I agree with Matt that Wagner has not been bought by the public employee unions.

          He only puts himself up for rental — or maybe in some cases a lease.

  5. Jack Wu said

    When did politics turn into a kitten fight? And when did all of you become pansies about it.

    Contested political races have ALWAYS been full of lies and false accusations.

    In 1978 Former State Senator Marian Bergeson’s opponent in her Assembly race claimed that Bergeson had a prostitution record in Texas…and guess what? She didn’t!!! I don’t think the sky fell on that one.

    • Walter Myers III said

      Jack, I don’t think anyone expects this to be a “kitten fight.” But I will never accept what political campaigns have become. I’m tired of these scorched earth campaigns, and I’m going to say something about them when I see them.

    • Greg Diamond said

      Jack Wu: Are you condoning the sort of thing that happened to Bergeson as something that you should either put up with or else you’re a “pansy”?

      Don’t worry, it’s not like there’s some Democrat reading this post and taking notes while singing “Are You Going to San Francisco.” I’m only humming it.

      • Mike Bench said

        Don’t worry Greg, there should be dog catchers race for you to lose soon.
        In the meantime spare us your opinionated expertise. It is rarely correct.

  6. thinkoc said

    Wagner has had all this time in the Assembly to move positive issues forward, where has he been? Has he done anything to return Orange County’s tax base back to us from Sacramento? Nope, OC is still a donor County. If according to Cunningham, the mark of a leader is to help other Republicans get elected, what has he done? Backed Lucille Kring against true conservative Tom Tait. Kring got beat by Democrat Lorri Galloway, who ran NO CAMPAIGN. Now Wagner wants Harry Sidhu to take his seat if he wins. What Wagner is doing ALIENATES voters, when I speak to people in Anaheim they point to GOP leaders like Wagner, Murray, Kring, Sidhu, and say, “if that is what it means to be Republican, I want nothing to do with you people.” By the way, not only did Wagner’s buddy Kring get completely pounded at the polls, it cost about 2 million dollars to rescue Murray’s seat, an incumbent who should have been a lock, but instead compromised her own integrity until she was ruled INELIGIBLE for consideration for GOP endorsement, for having union money in her own coffers. Welcome to Don Wagner’s idea of “helping other Republicans get elected.”

    In Anaheim we have seen Don Wagner back every recent crony capitalist deal, including use of public resources to pressure a water district out of a profitable, job-creating land use in order to ensure Pringle’s car-lot owning client got another shot at below market offers for the land. Wagner has stuck his nose into local city policy that benefits the small insider’s club, and hey, what do you know-they ALSO donate right on back to HIM.

    Meanwhile, Matt Cunningham tars Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait as being in bed with the unions and the extreme left, because while he took NO money or endorsements from them, nor was union money spent on IE’s for Tait, they happened to agree on “by district” elections, a choice supported by every precinct in Anaheim when the Council majority was finally forced to let us vote on the matter. Cunningham claims Tait is in bed with unions for agreeing with them on one popular bi-partisan issue, but Wagner gets a free pass when taking union money and scoring union IE’s.

    And according to Cunningham, connections to public employee unions make one evil, unless of course it is Fire and Police, then suddenly they are the heroes, and let’s be sure to get those photos of Murray and Kring on his blog with the cops, extra points if you can get dog Bruno in there! Forget that public safety unions eat more of government budgets than any other General Fund expenditure, while digging in their heels on even the most minimal oversight or accountability, they are given some special dispensation that pretends they are NOT public employee unions.

    Matt, Don Wagner began the mud slinging, because he is taking campaign advice from people who think just like you, people who can ONLY mud sling, that is what you offer people when you have nothing positive to say about your own side. Had Wagner accomplished anything in the Assembly he could run on his record. Instead he has to take down his opponent by misrepresenting Moorlach’s record, and it is a systematic, consistent playbook the entire Pringle crowd has bought into in every race lately. Voters have become disgusted with the constant lies, they see through it, and the very biggest down side is they are not only voting against the candidates dropping slime in their mailboxes (or the blogosphere) they are leaving the GOP in droves to become DTS voters.

    Matt, you, Wagner, the whole cabal of crony capitalism, need to understand the harm you are doing to the economy of north Orange County and the harm being done to the Republican party when the public sees how resources are funneled to special interests by the same “Republican” leaders who then bash anyone who stands up to them.

    Cynthia Ward, Anaheim

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