MOORLACH UPDATE — Financial Reporting — April 12, 2015

My wife was the office manager for a health professional when we met. Shortly after we were married, she would go on to leave that practice and be the office manager for another closer to our home.

My wife did not handle her first pregnancy well, suffering from morning sickness constantly. I had to call the Doctor every morning and ask for another day off for her. Finally, one morning I just told him that it would be best if she resigned. We then decided that I would be the sole bread winner and that Trina would be a stay-at-home-Mom. This is a decision we have never regretted.

After being appointed to serve as the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector on March 17, 1995, I had to be subject to reporting requirements as an elected official (Form 700). Consequently, my wife and I had to make more decisions. The first one we made was to move our investments into mutual funds and into retirement accounts, thus exempting them from public reporting. We also declined significantly participating in business partnerships and investments, as they would be exposed to public scrutiny.

The second policy was to not accept taking gifts. I am hoping to continue this policy in Sacramento. However, I am invited to a number of receptions while in town every week. There is a value for the portion of the food and beverages that are attributed to guests. So, I can either skip the events, go and not eat or drink, or pay for the privilege of attending. The fun life continues.

All of this is to explain the piece below in the OC Register. Which brings me to the third policy decision. I decided not to supplement my income by utilizing my two licenses (CPA and CFP), in order to fully focus on my elected positions. I did make one exception, serving as an executor for a friend’s estate, as I was asked to do this during my pre-public life days.

BONUS: Now that I’m adjusting to the new job, let me share that I have received more than 50 resumes from wonderful individuals wishing to work for me in one of my two offices. I am pleased to announce that I have concluded the hiring of the five professional staff members who will be assisting me in Sacramento. More on this in a future UPDATE. I hope to complete the hiring process for the District Office soon.

Monday afternoon’s Senate Session will include a discussion on one of the two statutes in Washington, D.C., representing the State of California. For a couple of fun Session photos of me, go to http://senate.ca.gov/ and see my adjournment of the Reverend Robert Shuller and a brief interaction with Senator Sharon Runner.

For many years, California was represented by Father Junipero Serra and Thomas Starr King, the famous orator renowned for keeping California united with the north in the slavery debates (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Starr_King). His statue was recently replaced by President Ronald Reagan’s.

The discussion will be to replace Father Serra with Astronaut Sally Ride. My position is that I want to keep Father Serra. If you want to install contemporary individuals to represent California, then switch out Reagan.

The Spanish influence on California is part of California’s DNA. Look at the number of city and county names inspired by Roman Catholic saints. In Orange County alone we have Santa Ana, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. Other Spanish influences can be seen in city names like Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Laguna Niguel, et al.

We send fourth graders to Sacramento, another great Spanish name. We have them build and visit our missions. Removing Father Serra, who founded the San Diego Mission in 1776, is like removing a founding father in the perspective of our nation’s history.

I understand the sensitivities that our tribal communities have regarding Father Serra’s interaction with native Americans, but that doesn’t change the fact that Junipero Serra’s footprint in California is among the most influential in our history. And the treatment of native Americans is a sad chapter of history that impacts most, if not all, of our 50 states.

As for California State Historical Landmarks in Orange County, I would recommend that you enjoy Number 200, San Juan Capistrano Mission. Here’s what the plaque reads:

"Founded in 1776 by Padre Junipero Serra, the seventh in the chain of twenty-one missions established in Alta California to Christianize and civilize the indians. Stone church destroyed in 1812 earthquake. Expropriated during Mexican rule. Returned to Catholic church in 1865 by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln."

Or the Landmark nearest to my home, Number 227, Diego Sepulveda Adobe, which reads:

"This home of early Spanish Californians, erected in the 1820’s, once served as an ‘estancia’ or station for mission herdsmen. It was dedicated in 1963 for public use by the Segerstrom family and restored by the city of Costa Mesa. It is jointly maintained and operated by the Costa Mesa Parks Department and the Costa Mesa Historical Society."

This should be a fun discussion on the Senate Floor.

OC Register Logo

How do county supervisors make their money?

By MEGHANN M. CUNIFF

Orange County’s supervisors in some cases live in expensive homes and enjoy lucrative investments, such as pharmaceuticals, tractor manufacturing and oil and gas production. Some of them also earn high salaries operating law firms, investment agencies and, in one case, a company that makes markable party cups, recently submitted documents show.

Members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors are required to disclose their economic interests upon taking office and annually until they leave.

Todd Spitzer and Shawn Nelson recently filed their annual statements, giving the first updated and complete picture of the supervisors’ outlying interests since the board’s newest members, Lisa Bartlett, Andrew Do and Michelle Steele, took office.

The economic filings show a diverse array of interests that continue to earn supervisors money even after they set up their offices at the Hall of Administration, where their salary is $145,000 annually with a $9,180 car allowance, and their health and retirement benefits are the best in the county.

Spitzer and Nelson each reported earning more than $100,000 from their law firms in 2014. They weren’t the only supervisors making money on the side: Former supervisor Pat Bates reported income between $10,001 and $100,000 from her husband’s architecture and land-planning firm in Laguna Hills, as well as their property management company. She also reported that same income from stocks she sold through American Express and Ameriprise Financial. She invests in eight other stocks, according to the documents, including Abbott Labs and Bank of American to Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Citigroup Inc. and Northwest Natural Gas.

Former supervisor Janet Nguyen also earned money through a public relations firm she owns in Garden Grove, but not nearly as much as Bates, Spitzer or Nelson: she reported an income of $1,001 to $10,000 and an additional $10,001 and $100,000 from a rental property she owns in Pennsylvania. Former supervisor John Moorlach, who joins Bates and Nguyen in the state Senate after a special election March 17, reported no earnings.

Moorlach, Bates and Nguyen filed the documents as they left office. Their replacements bring an equally vast array of interests to the board, particularly Michelle Steel, a former member of the Board of Equalization who is married to Shawn Steel, the California Republican Party’s national committeeman.

Steel reported holding interest royalty in eight oil and gas production companies, most of which earned her up to $10,000. She also reported income of more than $1 million from her husband’s law firm in Seal Beach.

Do reported a salary of less than $100,000 though the Irvine law firm Fitzgerald Yap and Kreditor, where he’s been a lawyer since 2012.

Bartlett reported less than $100,000 in income through her Dana Point real estate company, Blue Water Realty & Investments. She also is part owner of the Aliso Viejo company Etch-It Party, which sells party cups that are easy to mark your name on. She reported an income of less than $499 from it for 2013.

Neither Bartlett nor Nguyen reported owning property in their name, while Do owns two homes, one in Westminster that he bought last year and another in Santa Ana that he’s owned since 2002.

Nelson owns two homes in Santa Ana, both worth more than $1 million and both through which he earned between $10,001 and $100,000 by renting last year.

Along with his income from his law firm, Nelson reported earning less than $100,000 from SoCo Holdings Inc, which is owned by his law partner, Greg Rizio, and operates the Continental Room Bar and Night Club in Fullerton. Nelson also invests in Allergran, Hondo, Intel and John Deere.

Spitzer reported earning between $1,001 and $10,000 from a home he owns in Big Bear Lake that he rents to short-term vacationers. In addition to investments in Microsoft and Intel as well as the health care product company Covideo PLC SHS, Spitzer earned between $10,001 and $100,000 from an ongoing consulting contract with Centrarus Financial in Anaheim, which pays him for work related to social media and succession planning initiatives.

He reported similar earnings for his spot on the board of directors for Strategic Realty Trust in San Mateo. He also earned between $500 and $1000 from Work Comp Central for news and education regarding workers compensation issues, as well as Nicholas Holdings, Inc., in Aliso Viejo, which is Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Nicholas’ holding company. Spitzer is a legal affairs director for Marsy’s Law, a victim’s rights law named for Nicholas’ sister, who was murdered in 1983.

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach.

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