MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Star Wars Day — May 4, 2014

I learned something new today. May 4th is, according to Wikipedia, "considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise’s films series, books and culture. The date was chosen as ‘May the 4th’ due to its sounding similar to the series’ phrase ‘May the Force be with you’ in which fans commonly say ‘May the fourth be with you.’"

A few articles came out this week on various races. In yesterday’s Daily Pilot I am reported as endorsing Assemblyman Allan Mansoor for my seat and OC Register columnist Barbara Venezia provides an update on the "Feet to the Fire" Forum. On May 2nd, the OC Register endorsed Michelle Steel for my seat. The pieces are provided in that order below.

Due to my being, until recently, an announced candidate for Congress in the 45th District, I decided to stay neutral on other races. But, I’m providing a Voter’s Guide in segments with these UPDATES.


For the Federal Congressional races I have made no endorsements, other than to recommend that you vote for the Republican candidate. For the 45th, I would vote for Greg Raths.


For the State Senate and Assembly races, I have also made no endorsements and recommend that you vote for the Republican candidates.


Former OC Register Editorial Columnist Steven Greenhut and I had a running joke. It seemed that every time he endorsed a candidate or ballot measure, he would be on the losing end on election night. I’m hoping that the OC Register’s track record continues. I did not come to the same conclusions that their editorial staff came to.

I believe having a long-time Los Angeles resident serving as an Orange County Supervisor is offensive. (Maybe having a phony residence is wearing a little thin on me, with a rental in the District and a large home somewhere else). I moved into the Second District in July of 1960 and my folks still live in the home they purchased in 1964. I’m proud to have more than five decades of history with the District.

One of my rare endorsements this election cycle is for Allan Mansoor. He was a Councilman and the Mayor of Costa Mesa before serving the 74th Assembly District in Sacramento. He is a former employee of the County of Orange and is intimate with its structure and functions. He has been a longtime stalwart on pension reform and paycheck protection. I could go on, but I’ll close with the opening theme: Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, "May the fourth be with you."

Moorlach endorses Mansoor

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa), who is running for Orange County supervisor, has been endorsed by the man he is vying to replace.

Supervisor John Moorlach, who represents the board’s 2nd District, will be termed out next year.

"Allan Mansoor pretty much grew up in this district," Moorlach, a longtime county official who lives in Costa Mesa, said in a statement. "He has a solid understanding of local issues and wouldn’t have much of a learning curve. He could hit the ground running."

Mansoor debated his opponents — state Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel, Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno and Huntington Beach councilman Joe Carchio — earlier this week at the most recent Feet to the Fire forum.


Harkey endorsement a sticky issue at forum


A compelling issue emerged from Monday’s Feet to the Fire forum, where 2nd District supervisor candidates were grilled by a media panel.

The candidates who took the stage for the seventh edition of Feet to the Fire Forum at the Costa Mesa Community Center were Democrat Jim Moreno, governing board member, Coast Community College District; and Republicans Allan R Mansoor, California Assemblyman 74th District; Joe Carchio, Huntington Beach councilman/retired business owner and Michelle Steel, Board of Equalization member. They are vying to replace termed-out Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach.

As moderator of the panel, I jumped in with a question that hit a chord with audience members and filled my inbox the next day.

I asked Steel why she chose to endorse Assemblywoman Diane Harkey to replace her as a member of the State Board of Equalization – since Harkey’s husband, Dan, and his Aliso Viejo company, Point Center Financial Inc., was found guilty in a multimillion dollar fraud case last year, resulting in some losing their life savings.

As my grandma used to say, you’re judged by the company you keep.

At the Feet to the Fire forum two weeks ago, where the 74th District Assembly candidates were on stage, one of those investors who had lost everything, spoke to me about her plight and how offended she was that Harkey was running for a seat that dealt with taxpayers’ money.

Monday night, Steel defended her endorsement, saying in essence that Harkey had been cleared legally, had no involvement in her husband’s business, and investors take a risk anytime they invest.

And that might be so, but this answer didn’t sit right with me or the folks I heard from the next day.

If my husband had a part in devastating so many lives, I couldn’t ask voters to trust me with their money.

I’d be working in some capacity to help the victims – but hey, that’s just me.

And I don’t buy the argument that a husband’s actions don’t have blowback on the spouse. Apparently I’m not alone in my thinking.

OC Register’s Martin Wisckol wrote on April 18 about how Harkey’s campaign for the state Board of Equalization is now being sued by an investor seeking payment of a $1.6 million judgment against her husband’s bankrupt investment company.

“The marital community estate is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse,” reads the complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court on April 7,” Wisckol reported.

The article went on to say, “Harkey’s campaign consultant brushed aside the civil suit as a ploy to hurt the candidate’s bid for office.”

Political spin.

At the forum, I also asked Carchio and Mansoor why they endorsed Harkey. Both said they hadn’t.

Was I wrong? I knew I’d seen their names somewhere in relationship to her endorsement, but at that moment couldn’t remember the details, so I let it go.

But the next day I checked Harkey’s website, and sure enough both their names were on her endorsement page. I emailed the link to Mansoor, and he wrote back saying he’d endorsed her a long time ago, but later when he opposed her Republican Party endorsement, he thought she dropped his endorsement.

“Future emails from her did not list my name as an endorsement as far as I know,” wrote Mansoor.

Mansoor’s chief of staff, Chad Morgan, said Harkey probably hasn’t updated her site. But the fact remains Mansoor did endorse her – not exactly what he led us to believe the night of the forum.

When I called Carchio about it, he said he might have endorsed her, but didn’t remember and apologized for misspeaking at the forum. Knowing Harkey for years, Carchio said he didn’t follow the case closely. However, he did feel it was an issue of ethics and said I’d raised a good point.

He told me he called her Tuesday and asked that his name be removed from her endorsement list on her site.

The forum’s media panel included Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis, the Orange County Register’s Current columnist Jack Wu, Editor-In Chief of the Voice of OC Norberto Santana Jr. and Alicia Lopez, Daily Pilot.


Editorial: Michelle Steel for supervisor

In the race to replace outgoing supervisor John Moorlach, there is a cast of capable, and familiar, local faces for voters to choose from. But of all the choices, this editorial board found Michelle Steel to best represent the interests of the voters, and she therefore has our endorsement.

The Steels’ recent move to the county gave us pause, as we worried she would be unversed in the needs of her constituents. But Ms. Steel told us that although she and her husband may be new to living in the county, she has been representing the area on the Board of Equalization since 2007.

She further belied our concern by giving us a city-by-city list of issues that proved she had been doing her homework in the district. In all, Ms. Steel offered a reasonable and sensible vision for the district that gave us confidence in her credentials as an advocate for the taxpayers of the county and in having the best interests of her constituents.

Ms. Steel, who likely has a long political career ahead of her, told us she is not a career politician. And that is good, because it is important to remember that the district seat is not a stepping stone, but a full-time job all its own.

While her opponents, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio and Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno, all offered reasonable policy prescriptions, they couldn’t match Ms. Steel’s vision for the district or county.

This has been sent from my personal/campaign e-mail account.