MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Missed the Mark — March 2, 2015

The OC Register did a little fact checking and discovered that my opponent missed the mark.

It makes one wonder, why has he resorted to doing and saying anything to get elected? Is he that far behind in the field surveys and polls?

The article below debunks some of the nonsense. I get the impression that most voters will see through the desperation. But, if they don’t, they are making an important decision based on these false accusations. That is tragic.

There is one item that the column missed. My opponent first claimed that I was making over $100,000 a year in pension benefits. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Now he claims that I make nearly $100,000 a year. This is still a stretch.

Think about it, if I were receiving an annual benefit of more than $100,000, why would I bother running for this Senate seat?

Now his hit pieces claim that I voted to give myself a nearly $100,000 taxpayer-funded pension. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

He claims that the pension is totally taxpayer funded. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Just like my management counterparts, I made significant contributions.

I have addressed the matter of the pension in past UPDATES, for two examples see MOORLACH UPDATE — Pensions — June 22, 2010 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Pension Withholding — October 19, 2013. As a manager of the County, I tried to opt out. When that option was foreclosed, I treated my involvement in the plan just like any other manager, and did not need a ballot measure to tell me to do the right thing.

Fortunately, the column addresses the fact that I did not double my vacation time. My lament is that I had very little time to even take vacations these past eight years. But, I’ll let the piece below take care of the rest.

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Some attacks by Don Wagner on John Moorlach miss mark in Senate race

State Senate candidate Don Wagner readily acknowledged earlier this month that opponent and fellow Republican John Moorlach’s name was better known in the district. But he pointed to his significantly bigger campaign purse to offset that.

“I have more of an ability to communicate with voters,” said Wagner, currently an assemblyman.

Judging from the flow of mailers and TV ads so far, Wagner is using that advantage as the March 17 special election date approaches and returned mail ballots stack up at the elections office.

The attacks from the Wagner side make it clear that he’s trying to turn the name ID of Moorlach – a former county supervisor and treasurer – into a negative. But a close look reveals these attacks sometimes distort the facts.

Here’s are a few of the attacks that could be considered misleading, as quoted from Wagner mailers.

Claim: Moorlach voted to … double his vacation time.”

Analysis: County elected officials don’t receive vacation time, according to county spokeswoman Jean Pasco. The 2007 vote referred to by Wagner’s campaign to support the claim was in fact an adjustment to the amount of sick leave and vacation some county employees could cash out annually, but did not apply to elected officials such as Moorlach.

Elected officials can basically take all the vacation they want: State law says they can’t be dismissed for not showing up unless they go at least three months without making an appearance.

Claim: Moorlach voted to give $4 million in taxpayer money to an illegal immigrant accused of child molestation rather than fight in court.”

Analysis: The statement is true as far as it goes. The recipient of the $4 million, Fernando Ramirez, was brutally beaten by inmates while in custody at the Orange County jail, leaving him with the intellect of a 4-year-old child and unable to walk without assistance. Ramirez was first charged with child molestation, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of nonsexual battery.

The $4-million settlement was agreed to by supervisors in 2009 on the advice of county lawyers, who felt that it could cost much more in penalties and legal costs to fight the case in court.

Claim: Former county Tax Collector Moorlach voted to raise taxes/fees 150 times.”

Analysis: For those who make a distinction, taxes – such as those levied on incomes, purchases and real estate – cast a broad net and are used to fund a vast variety of programs and services. But most of the county’s thousands of fees are designed to charge the user of a particular service to help cover the cost of that service.

For instance, building permit fees are intended to cover the cost of processing the permits. Animal license fees are designed to offset the county’s costs associated with dealing with pets.

By this definition, Moorlach never voted to raise taxes. He defends his votes to raise fees, arguing that they helped protect taxpayers because the particular users of a program are charged rather than using funds generated by all taxpayers.

Claim:Moorlach spent nearly $200,000 in taxpayer money refurnishing his office.”

Analysis: This is true. Two other supervisors at the time, Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, did renovations of a similar scale at the same time. Both were elected to the state Senate last year. If Moorlach follows suit, maybe those renovations were a charm.

Contact the writer: mwisckol

This e-mail was sent by the Moorlach for Senate campaign (