MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — First Two Weeks — December 14,2013

During my tenure as a County Supervisor, I have communicated with interested individuals by providing media updates in real time. I do it in lieu of a newsletter.

I cannot forward articles that are campaign-related from my Supervisorial computer. So this is the first in what should be a series in a fun campaign for Congress.

I wanted to do an official announcement on Monday, December 10th at my first fundraiser. The "kick off" invitation was posted by a blogger, which generated interest from reporters. Norberto Santana, Jr., of the Voice of OC was willing to wait a week to post the news after he contacted me last Monday.

Tuesday morning, while I was traveling to Washington, D.C., on county-related business, I received a text from Martin Wisckol of the OC Register. It said he was going to do a story whether I called him back or not. I called him during my layover, but he was not going to hold the story until the following Monday. His story is the first one below.

Hugh Hewitt also called and invited me to appear on his national radio program after I landed in D.C. Congressman John Campbell announced that he was not rerunning on the Hugh Hewitt Show and I had the honor of announcing my campaign on the same program the evening of December 3rd from a quiet cubby at the Ronald Reagan Airport.

I also contacted Jon Fleischman and e-mailed him a response to his invitation for me to provide a "Why I Am Running" submission. He printed it on Wednesday (see http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2013/12/04/moorlach-why-im-running-for-congress/). I also e-mailed the OC Register and they printed a similar-type submission on Thursday, which is the third piece below.

The Daily Pilot also called and they published a piece on Wednesday in the Pilot and on Thursday in the Huntington Beach Independent. It’s the second piece below.

There was another announcement last week and it included mentions of me in the articles. The beginning of the HB Independent piece is provided below and the OC Register column by Barbara Venezia is too. They are the fourth and fifth pieces below, but they are abbreviated.

Between these simple maneuvers, it seems like most people that I am meeting with are aware that my candidacy is a go.

By the following Monday, Martin Wisckol’s column provided an encouraging analysis on how the candidates stand up if the vote were to take place today. It clearly states that my candidacy has a strong chance of prevailing. The snipes are already starting from one of the campaigns, so get ready for some of this in the press. But, they wouldn’t attack if they weren’t very worried. And, that is great news, too. It’s the last piece below.

December 4

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Supervisor Moorlach gets congressional campaign in gear

Republican field to replace retiring Rep. John Campbell grows to 4.

By MARTIN WISCKOL

County Supervisor John Moorlach, who sounded advance warning of the county’s 1994 bankruptcy, is officially joining the race to replace retiring Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine, bringing the field of candidates to four.

In early July, Moorlach announced plans to run. But while the three other candidates – all Republicans – have been busy raising money and meeting with constituents, Moorlach has largely spent his free time attending to other matters, including time with his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter before their recent move to Milwaukee.

Moorlach finally opened a congressional campaign account on Nov. 23, filed a statement of candidacy on Nov. 26, and is holding a fundraiser at The Winery in Tustin on Monday, when he plans to make an official announcement of his candidacy. Among his first tasks will be catching up with the fundraising of his competitors.

“I don’t know if I need to match them dollar for dollar, but I need to raise enough to have a significant direct-mail campaign,” Moorlach said. He said Tuesday that he plans to do polling with the hope of verifying his belief that he has the most name recognition of the four candidates.

Already in full campaign mode for the race are state Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Irvine; Laguna Hills investor Pat Maciariello; and retired Marine Col. Greg Raths of Mission Viejo. Through the reporting period ending Sept. 30, Walters had raised $444,500, with no loans. Maciariello had raised $427,500 including a loan of $200,000 of his own money. Raths had raised $90,600, $68,600 of it in loans.

At stake is the 45th Congressional District, which extends from Anaheim Hills to Mission Viejo. Although Moorlach is a Costa Mesa resident who lives outside the congressional district and whose supervisorial district doesn’t overlap with the congressional district boundaries, he has maintained a relatively high profile since gaining attention during the bankruptcy.

District residency is not a requirement to run for Congress.

All four candidates portray themselves as fiscal conservatives, and policy issues distinguishing them have yet to emerge. Among Moorlach’s key issues is pension reform, and he was scheduled to meet in Washington today with House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp in support of a pension reform measure sponsored by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana. Also expected to be on hand in support of the bill is Nick Berardino, head of the Orange County Employees Association.

Republicans have a 15-percentage point advantage in voter registration in the 45th Congressional District. No Democratic candidates have emerged so far in the race.

Staff writer David Hood contributed to this story.

Contact the writer: mwisckol

Moorlach to run for Congress

County supervisor, who faces term limits in January 2015, wants seat held by retiring John Campbell.

By Bradley Zint

Supervisor John Moorlach announced Wednesday that he… (File photo )

Supervisor John Moorlach, who gained political recognition in 1994 when he raised concerns about the vulnerability of Orange County’s investment pool during his campaign for county treasurer, announced Wednesday that he plans to run for Congress.

The county declared bankruptcy in December of that year.

The former county treasurer-tax collector said he will seek the 45th Congressional District seat being vacated next year by U.S. Rep. John Campbell (R-Irvine), who plans to retire.

Moorlach, a Republican, first hinted at his candidacy in July after ruling out a run for governor against incumbent Jerry Brown. He will be termed-out of the five-member Board of Supervisors in January 2015.

Moorlach filed his statement of candidacy Nov. 26, according to the Federal Election Commission.

"I’m really concerned about the amount of debt this country has," Moorlach said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. "I’m concerned about the size of the annual budget deficit. I think this country has overextended itself, and we’ve got to start turning that around. I want to bring my financial skill set to the equation."

Moorlach, a Costa Mesa resident, doesn’t live in the 45th District, but federal law does not prohibit him from running to represent that territory, which includes Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and portions of Anaheim and Orange. His campaign office is in Tustin.

He doesn’t think his residency will be a deterrent.

"I believe I have excellent name ID," Moorlach said, "and I’ve got a track record that people can look at for the last 20 years that’s been very pro-taxpayer and very pro-fiscal stewardship, and I think that’s very necessary in D.C."

As a supervisor, Moorlach represents District 2, which includes Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. He was first elected in 2006.

Moorlach joins a field of three other Republicans vying for the seat: 37th District state Sen. Mimi Walters of Laguna Niguel; Marine veteran and former commercial airline pilot Greg Raths of Mission Viejo; and businessman Pat Maciariello of Laguna Hills.

As of yet, there are no Democrats in the race.

Last month, state Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) officially announced his run for Moorlach’s seat. State Board of Equalization Vice Chairman Michelle Steel, Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio and Coast Community College District trustee Jim Moreno are also running for the 2nd District seat.

Campbell was first elected in 2005 to the 48th Congressional District. In 2012, the 48th was redrawn, and Campbell ran for the 45th, where he won the seat against former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang.

December 5

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Why I’m running for Congress

By JOHN MOORLACH

Elections are job interview conclusions, where every registered voter has an opportunity to select the individuals they are most comfortable with to represent them. As a candidate, I appreciate your taking the time to become acquainted with me.

I am running for the 45th Congressional District seat in the United States House of Representatives because I believe three things. The first is that I have built a strong and lengthy resume that displays a history of wanting to detect and correct poor governmental fiscal stewardship. The second is that this nation is heading in the wrong direction – with government broke at nearly every level. And, third, and most importantly, I believe that there are a sufficient number of voters in the District who believe that I can make a difference in Washington, D.C., and want to see me there to use my proven skill sets to improve our country.

Leaders from Orange County cities that touch the 405 freeway listen to county Supervisor John Moorlach express concerns about toll lanes at a community meeting in October.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

I grew up in Orange County, after moving here in 1960. I graduated from Western High School in 1973 and California State University, Long Beach, in 1977. My Bachelor of Science had an emphasis in accounting. I earned my Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner licenses and enjoyed an 18-year career with a large, local accountancy firm, with the last 10 years as a partner/owner. I have signed both sides of a paycheck.

In 1994, I was motivated to challenge Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert Citron. I warned that the leveraged investment strategy utilized by Citron, who was managing some $21 billion, would implode if interest rates rose.

Although I was marginalized and ignored by all five supervisors, the voters did give me nearly 40 percent of the vote. My concerns materialized when $1.67 billion in losses were incurred, with the County of Orange becoming the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history (a record that stood for 17 years), based on the issues and concerns that I had clearly expressed as a candidate.

The following March, I was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to replace Citron, who resigned in disgrace, and had the privilege of restoring the integrity of the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office and assisting the County in exiting Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection within 18 months.

Over the last dozen years I have been a nationally recognized critic of public employee defined benefit pension plan abuse. After the 2004 Board of Supervisors voted for a pension formula enhancement of more than 50 percent, retroactive to the date of hire, for the majority of the county’s employees, it motivated me to run for County Supervisor in 2006, carrying nearly 70 percent of the vote. Over the last seven years as a County Supervisor, I have pursued numerous benefit reforms.

Orange County has a population larger than 40 percent of this nation’s states. It has a $5.5 billion annual budget. I have a strong working knowledge of the County of Orange and its various governmental agencies, including having served as Treasurer for all of the school districts. I have served on many agency boards, including the Orange County Transportation Authority and CalOptima, which both have annual budgets in excess of $1 billion.

I know and love the state of California and have visited nearly all of its state historical landmarks. I serve on the Board and Executive Committee of the California State Association of Counties and am the current chair of the Urban County Caucus. I have successfully submitted numerous pieces of state legislation over the past 18 years.

During these past seven years the nation has experienced the Great Recession and I have participated in down-sizing county government. I believe a similar initiative has to be pursued at the national level. As a nation we can, and must, do better.

Public service has been an exciting and challenging growth experience. As an elected official, I have been transparent and accessible. I have been accurate in warning taxpayers of impending fiscal crises. I have been active and accomplished at addressing matters that involve protecting the public purse. And I have a statewide and national reputation of carefully watching and protecting your tax dollars. That is why I believe I am an excellent applicant for the honor of serving as Orange County’s newest member to its Congressional delegation and deserving of your support and vote.

John Moorlach is running for the 45th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives.

BANKRUPTCY

"Our bankruptcy was a little different from Detroit’s," John Moorlach, who took over as O.C.’s treasurer during the bankruptcy and played a key role in the county’s financial recovery, told The Bond Buyer. "Detroit’s is the issue of spending a little more than you make every year, while Orange County was like a hedge fund implosion. Our big focus was trying to address those losses, and deal with all the schools and cities [that lost money] in the investment pool and get the rest of it from litigation. That was our approach to our plan of adjust- ment, and it was key to getting the deals done."

Mayor Curry to run for Assembly

Allan Mansoor currently holds the seat, but he is eyeing a position on the county Board of Supervisors.

By Jill Cowan

Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry confirmed Wednesday that he plans to run for state Assembly in 2014.

"It was a spontaneous decision," he said. "My wife and I were having dinner [last weekend] and she said, ‘You ought to do it. The timing is good.’"

Curry, a Republican, wants to represent the 74th District, a recently redrawn swath that encompasses all or parts of Newport, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach. Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) currently occupies the seat but is running for the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Mansoor, a former Costa Mesa mayor, would vacate his Assembly seat if he is elected to succeed 2nd District Supervisor John Moorlach, who will be termed out in January 2015. Moorlach announced Wednesday that he is running for Congress.

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Newport Beach mayor to run for empty state Assembly seat

Keith Curry says he could be the voice of reason in Sacramento.

By Barbara Venezia

The 2014 political season is shaping up to be an interesting one, especially now that Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry has thrown his hat in the ring to run for the 74th Assembly District.

I called Curry on Wednesday after a little birdie told me he was about to announce his plans to run for the seat Allan Mansoor will be vacating as he runs for Orange County supervisor in 2014.

Curry confirmed he was going to make the announcement today at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

When he retired in 2011, he formed the Center for Public Policy at Concordia University, where he also teaches a graduate course.

He said his experience at Concordia prompted him to look at the bigger picture.

“We have a lot of issues in California – the budget, taxes, Prop. 13 – so I’ve had a lot of time to think about problems in California,” he said.

He used to say he didn’t want to go to Sacramento. He said he now sees an opportunity to make a difference.

Curry said he can be a voice of reason in the predominantly Democratic state Assembly, as his skill set is bringing people together.

“On my board at Concordia right now I have John Moorlach and Nick Berardino,” he said.

Though these two are politically on opposite ends of the spectrum, Curry said they’ve been able to meet on common ground for the university.

December 9

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Handicapping the race to replace Rep. Campbell

Moorlach may have a tenuous lead in the 45th Congressional District race.

By MARTIN WISCKOL
COLUMNIST
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

County Supervisor John Moorlach’s entry into the 45th Congressional District race, which he plans to announce officially Monday, immediately catapults him to the front of the four-Republican field, according to two veteran election watchers.

The question is whether he can stay there, particularly given state Sen. Mimi Walters’ big head start in organizing and fundraising. Walters launched her campaign the same June day that the incumbent, Rep. John Campbell, unexpectedly announced he’d retire at the end of his current term.

“Local city council members and county supervisors generally have better name ID than state legislators because the media reports more on local officials,” said Los Angeles-based consultant Harvey Englander. “Moorlach is going to have a big advantage in name ID coming in. And he’s thought of as the person who saw the county’s bankruptcy coming.

“Mimi Walters will spend her first $300,000 trying to catch up with Moorlach’s name ID. John is not a great fundraiser, but he’s been very creative in getting earned media.”

(“Earned media” are news stories and columns such as this one, as opposed to “paid media” where campaigns purchase ad space.)

Allan Hoffenblum, whose Target Book handicaps California races, agreed with Englander but wasn’t ready to count chickens.

“Right now, John is No. 1 and Mimi is No. 2, but that’s why you have consultants and spend lots of money,” Hoffenblum said.

And Scott Lay, whose Around the Capitol website closely tracks congressional and California legislative races, is altogether unimpressed by Moorlach’s name ID.

“Mimi has to be seen as the favorite,” Lay said. “She has the advantage of several months of organizing, including significant endorsement gathering, as well as being the lone woman in the race. Beyond her personal wealth, she will likely have an insurmountable fundraising advantage in the race.”

Through the reporting period ending Sept. 30, Walters had raised $444,500. I’m guessing she hasn’t kept up that pace, but if so it would mean $740,000 by now, six months before the primary and 11 months before the general election.

Also in the race and worth keeping an eye on are political newcomers Pat Maciariello ($427,000 through September including a loan of $200,000 of his own dough) and Greg Raths, who’s not raised as much money but appears to be spending more time meeting voters than the others.

Hoffenblum thought that Maciariello “might have a chance if the voters are in a surly mood and want somebody who’s not been in office for years.”

Young Guns

Maciariello has also drawn attention from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which named both him and Walters among 36 congressional candidates nationwide “On the Radar” of its Young Guns program. That means they’ve met organizational and fundraising benchmarks, and are now eligible to advance to “Contender” status.

But given Moorlach’s and Rath’s similarly conservative politics, they too could get added to the list if they raise enough money. And because Democrats lag 15 points behind in voter registration in the district – which extends from Anaheim Hills to Mission Viejo – its hard to imagine the NRCC actually spending money in the race.

“It’s not going to be a campaign of new ideas,” Englander said. “It will be a campaign of who’s the most conservative.”

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