This LOOK BACK is fun because I was mentioned in the press on March 10th every five years, starting with 1990.


March 10


Just to show you how far back my public involvement with the OC Fair goes, the Daily Pilot’s Bob Van Eyken covered this topic:  “Local Republican Assembly opposes wagering at fair.”  Here is the Reader’s Digest version:

                A group of local conservative Republicans unanimously condemned a proposal to build an off-track horse race betting parlor at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

                “Gambling is just not a prudent investment,” said John Moorlach, president of the 43-member Costa Mesa Republican Assembly, after the branch of the statewide California Republican Assembly rejected the proposal Thursday.

                “As a CPA, I’ve seen too many cases where gambling has been destructive to families, particularly when there’s a compulsive person involved.  It can just wreck your finances,” Moorlach said.

                The idea of a satellite betting outlet at the fairgrounds has been discussed for more than a year.  State law now prohibits off-track betting at the Orange County Fairgrounds, but permits it at other county fair locations.

                [Fair spokeswoman Jill] Lloyd announced Thursday that state Assemblyman Gil Ferguson had agreed to carry a bill for the Fair Board that would open the door to off-track betting at the fairgrounds.

                But Ferguson, R – Newport Beach, said Friday that he might withdraw his support for the bill if it became clear there was widespread opposition to the proposal in Costa Mesa.

                [Ferguson] said he was surprised that the Costa Mesa Republican Assembly, which usually staunchly favors private enterprise, had come out against the satellite wagering site.

                One point in Thursday’s resolution reads, however, that “gambling is non-productive and contrary to the principles of free enterprise.”

                Moorlach said he was also surprised at Ferguson.

                “I consider Gil a good friend, and I would personally like to know why he has adopted this measure.”

The OC Register picked up the story, too, in “OC Fair finds help and opponents in effort to get off-track betting,” by Jeffrey Miller.  (We were successful, eventually, in our efforts—with the assistance of Assemblyman Gil Ferguson.)

The Costa Mesa Republican Assembly, which includes council members Ed Glasgow and Sandy Genis, unanimously passed a resolution Thursday night condemning state-sponsored gambling as an assault on family values and the free-enterprise system.  The City Council will vote on a similar resolution March 19.

“There’s a real strong sentiment in the community groups I’m involved with against off-track betting,” said John Moorlach, president of the Costa Mesa Republican Assembly.  Gambling, he said, is a non-productive activity that can destroy families and should not be encouraged by the state.


For many years I referred to the Orange County Business Council as the Orange County Bureaucratic Council.  They had endorsed Citron during the campaign in their earlier iteration of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.   They popped up again in an OC Register article by Ronald Campbell and Marc Lifsher in “Tax appeal cases resume,” which had “Other Developments” near its conclusion.

                In addition, the Orange County Business Council said supervisors should open the selection process for county treasurer to any interested candidates.  Supervisors had been close to appointing John Moorlach, the accountant who challenged former treasurer Robert L. Citron in last year’s election and questioned his investment practices.

The OC Register also had a Letter to the Editor based on an old yarn, titled “A tale of Orange County.”

                This is a story about the Orange County bankruptcy and four people named Everybody (Orange County Board of Supervisors), Somebody (Ernie Schneider), Anybody (Steve Lewis), and Nobody (John Moorlach).

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Everybody got angry about that because it was Somebody’s job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

John Magdziak

Mission Viejo


The OC Register printed my “The Orange Grove” submission, titled “150 golden years – California will celebrate a glorious sesquicentennial on Sept. 9.”  It gave me a chance to promote the 150 anniversary of California’s admission into the Union.  At the time I was serving as the Vice President of the California Sesquicentennial Foundation.  This commitment is a story in itself.  I had a chance to promote some books and authors and encourage learning more about and appreciating California as September 9th drew nearer.  Here a couple of selected paragraphs, including the conclusion.

California has become an icon of culture around the world.  It’s “California Dreamin’.”  It’s a mindset.  It’s a destination.  It’s a trend-setter.  It’s the movie, music and media Mecca.  It’s the weather.  It’s the opportunity.  “California” reverberates in everyone’s minds as the center of the world.  Move over New York City, California is the leading edge.

Too many of us have not visited the Gold Country, driven over the Golden Gate Bridge, or stepped into Yosemite National Forest.  Visit these places.

From the beaches, to the mountains, to the deserts, from the Mexican to the Oregon border and from the top of Mt. Whitney to the depths of Death Valley, California has so much to offer.  Its history is not perfect, but it is glorious.  From mountain men, to Forty-Niners, to high-tech entrepreneurs, our economy continues to be the marvel of the world.  California still has numerous “gold” fields yet to be uncovered.


The Daily Pilot’s “The Political Landscape” column by Alicia Robinson had some fun errors.  Only ten years after the bankruptcy filing, memories and facts started to fade.  No harm, no fowl.

                Moorlach has been treasurer for eight years, after predicting the troubles that led to the county’s 2004 bankruptcy.

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