MOORLACH UPDATE — OCBJ — November 30, 2009

Rick Reiff quotes from my November 6, MOORLACH UPDATE – Business Week, in his weekly column. 


D.C. in OC as Pols Come Calling; Curious Case of Pang, Irvines


Orange County Business Journal Staff

OC Supe and former county Treasurer John Moorlach, on giant state pension fund CalPers being under siege for its investment losses and practices: “One of the biggest ironies is that CalPers always lectured some publicly traded company on how it could better manage itself. Oops.” Steve Forbes, interviewed by Matt Welch in Reason magazine: “California’s at the edge of a cliff. They can’t print money. IOUs are not quite the same as legal tender” …


I just want to notify you that the Look Backs for December will be quite heavy; in more ways than one.  I can’t catalog all of the clippings that mention me in the news.  But, I have tried to “scrapbook” the clippings when I can.  Trust me, I have boxes yet to catalog.  Which should be a fun project during my retirement years.

Why am I doing the Look Backs?  For my kids.  They were busy growing up while Dad was experiencing a very visible new career.  This provides me an opportunity to show them what was happening while they were focusing on school.  It also gives me a way of catching up my son-in-law, who did not grow up in the OC, about what his wife (his daughter) experienced during her formative years.

Decembers were busy media months in 1994, 1999 and 2004.  For 1999 and 2004, a significant amount of media was devoted in reflecting on 1994.  This is the other main reason for doing the Look Backs.  This is my way of observing one of the most monumental events in Orange County history.  The Orange County bankruptcy filing was so large in scope.  It was not only national, but it was international.  It consumed the front pages of our local dailies more days in a row than any other single topic since World War II.  Call this upcoming month’s series the “Fifteenth Anniversary Special.”

I will only be providing the print media clippings that I have available.  I am not going to mention the numerous radio and television shows that I was on.  My December of 1994 was overtaken by the bankruptcy.  For instance, Mr. Citron made his announcement on Thursday, December 1.  The next day, Friday, the County’s offices were closed (a since suspended bi-weekly policy).  My firm’s office was inundated with media requests because I was available.  It didn’t slow down much the rest of that month.  It detrimentally impacted my accounting practice.

However, December of 1999 had its own story that found me dealing with an issue that included editorial support from the local dailies, including the LA Times.  This battle is worth reflecting on, as well.

There is so much material, in fact, that you may be receiving an e-mail a day.  It will read “Look Back” in the title if there is no specific regular clipping for that day.  So, if the history is not your thing, you can delete it without having to open it.

I love this County!  It is an honor to have a leadership role and to bring many years of experience to the job.  Trust me when I say that I take no glee in sharing some of these clippings.  It’s very emotional for me to go down memory lane.  If you were involved in some aspect of this history, it may be too emotional for you, too.  I would not blame you for deleting them without opening them.

Have a wonderful Christmas season.  And, as you prepare for the new year, may the reflections give you some ideas for the resolutions you need to identify for yourself as you ponder the upcoming new coming year.

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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. 

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