MOORLACH UPDATE — Working With the Governor-Elect — November 8, 2018

One of the more amazing aspects of Tuesday’s General Election results is the number of Republicans rioting in the streets upset that Gavin Newsom will be the next California Governor.

I jest, of course. Republicans are not the ones that react this way. There. I got that off of my chest.

Looking at the local election results, please note that Orange County is still Orange County. It voted against Prop 1, while the rest of the state’s voters approved even more debt. And the OC voted for Props 5 and 6, while the rest of the state wanted more taxes (with many complaining that the rent is to damn high). Orange County also voted for the Republican statewide candidates. Orange County is still Orange County.

What did we observe? Diane Harkey, who won in the OC, failed in her run to succeed Congressman Darrell Issa. She raised $1.7 million, only to face $17 million thrown at her opponent from around the nation. The joys of having so many liberal billionaires, like Michael Bloomberg, playing in our local campaigns. Expect more of this in future election cycles, now that they are emboldened.

The voters have spoken. Accordingly, I welcome our new Governor and extend an offer to work together on many critical areas facing the state of California in my submission to The Sacramento Bee. It will be in print tomorrow morning. It is also in the San Luis Obispo Tribune and is the first piece below. And, the Canada Free Press provides Katy Grimes’ election perspectives in the second piece below.


Gov.-elect Newsom, let’s work together, starting with housing the homeless


Special to The Sacramento Bee


Congratulations to Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom. I look forward to working with you on solving the state’s most pressing problems. These include our state’s sorry fiscal condition, massive debt foisted upon our children and grandchildren and ending the boondoggle of all boondoggles, the high-speed train that improperly uses cap-and-trade funds, while doing nothing of substance to reduce California’s carbon footprint.

You’ve been opposed to high-speed rail from time to time, but now you’ll be responsible for signing the budget that does or does not continue a multi-billion-dollar black hole. It’s time to redirect this misspending for other urgent needs.

Let’s start with addressing homelessness. Even before I became an elected official a quarter-century ago, I worked diligently to help those who could not find shelter. This issue is so close to my heart that upon my 2015 special election to the state Senate, I chose to be sworn in at the Orange County Rescue Mission in Tustin.

We both could rattle off previous bills on homelessness and some of the underlying issues most prevalent with mentally ill people in California. Yet the state has only taken small steps toward removing the barriers so the least among us can actually afford a place to live.

One of my recent legislative efforts came in a bill that I co-authored with state Sen. Kevin de Leon. Senate Bill 1206, the No Place Like Home Act, became Proposition 2, which voters approved on Tuesday. It authorizes the state to borrow as much as $2 billion against the state income tax on millionaires to build housing for homeless mentally ill individuals.

I also helped move forward the bipartisan Assembly Bill 488, which creates a long-needed Orange County Housing Finance Trust to fund the planning and construction of homeless housing. Orange County generates the second most personal income taxes among California’s counties, but also has to deal with a large mentally ill homeless population.

Looking forward to 2019, there is much more to be done. You have called for building 3.5 million new homes by 2025, a herculean task. But that certainly is possible in a state that once built the State Water Project and the world’s best public universities.

You are quoted as being proud of outraging activists by cutting welfare for single homeless adults and applying those funds to housing services while San Francisco mayor. Good for you.

Now I suggest an even bigger “Nixon goes to China” opportunity to move the dial on housing construction – reform the California Environmental Quality Act. Designed to protect the environment, CEQA instead has become a bureaucratic monstrosity and NIMBY tool that greatly increases the time and cost of building housing of any kind.

When the will is there, CEQA has been magically modified to expedite construction for sports stadiums and arenas, including exemption bills this fall for the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Clippers. I did not vote for those bills because I oppose CEQA favoritism.

What’s good for millionaire players and billionaire owners should be good for the middle class and the homeless. But Gov. Jerry Brown did little on CEQA reform as he presided over the worst housing situation in generations.

Gov.-elect Newsom, let’s push for substantive CEQA reform stop the expensive and unnecessary high-speed rail fiasco, address the state’s debt and care for the least among us.

John Moorlach, a Costa Mesa Republican, represents the 37th District in the state Senate. He can be contacted at Senator.moorlach.

California Blue Wave: Will it Lead to Insolvency Faster?

There is only so much we faithful, native Californians can take. How much beautiful weather is worth this leftist insanity, and/or before this leftism turns into liberty crushing authoritarianism? Just sayin…

Katy Grimes image

By Katy Grimes

The midterm elections have turned out as most observers expected, nationally, statewide, and in Sacramento. By historical standards, nationally, the Democrats underperformed and lost a number of high-profile races. There was no Blue Wave—more like a blue ripple.

However, California is another story, remaining as blue as can be, and headed right into insolvency. In the contest for governor, California voters chose Democratic politician Gavin Newsom over Republican businessman John Cox, who is not a politician.

California goes ‘Full Nuthouse’ as my friend Leslie Eastman reports at Legal Insurrection. In addition to electing Newsom, Eastman points out voters rejected a repeal of the gas tax, and says, “a majority of Californians are thrilled that Sacramento will squander more of their money.”

A friend pointed out “California is a state where everyone bitches about how poor they are and how they need rent control, and yet constantly vote to raise their taxes every chance they get. The voters of this state have never seen a tax increase or bond measure they didn’t love.”


Californians also re-elected long-time incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, rejecting Democratic State Senator Kevin de Leon (Los Angeles). Dumb and dumber was the choice there.

There were some surprises as well. California Democrats flipped three Republican districts: Rep. Steve Knight, (CA-25th District) lost to Democrat Katie Hill, Republican Diane Harkey lost Rep.Darrell Issa’s 49th District to Democrat Mike Levin, and Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher lost his race in the 48th District to Democrat Harley Rouda.

In statewide races, it appears Marshall Tuck has beat Assemblyman Tony Thurmond in the race for Schools Superintendent. Tuck is a real reformer. “Tuck made a name for himself in Los Angeles turning around high-poverty, low-performing charter schools before then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recruited him to improve schools within the conventional public school system,” the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board said in their endorsement of Tuck. “Marshall Tuck is the clearest and most emphatic voice for reform in the field.”

Democrat State Senator Ricardo Lara and Steve Poizner appear in a near tie for Insurance Commissioner.

California’s Legislative Democrats appear poised to regain their super majority in the state Senate and retain the super majority in the Assembly.

Democrat Assemblywoman Anna Caballero beat Republican Rob Poythress in the race to succeed outgoing Republican Sen. Anthony Cannella in the Central Valley 12th Senate District.

Incumbent Republican State Senator Andy Vidak surprisingly lost his reelection against Democrat Melissa Hurtado in Senate District 14.

“Picking up both seats would give Democrats 28 seats in the Senate and restore the super majority they lost in June when voters recalled Josh Newman of Fullerton, reported.

The ballot initiatives were another surprise. Proposition 3, the water bond, was thankfully defeated. “With millions of dollars of unspent water bond money from 2006 and 2014 water bonds, why is there yet another a water bond on today’s June Primary ballot, and another on the November ballot?” I wrote in June 2018.

Proposition 5 was defeated, which would have allowed homeowners age 55 and older to sell their current homes, purchase a replacement property anywhere in the state and transfer the property tax assessment from the home they sold to the home they bought. The opposition lied and claimed that the state would have lost millions of dollars if Prop. 5 passed. Not so—Prop. 5 would have encouraged empty-nesters to sell their large family homes and downsize without being penalized. And it would have meant more money with the sale to the new owners.

Proposition 6, the gas tax repeal was also defeated—California’s high gas taxes and high car registration fees will remain. Sadly. Prop. 6 would have also amended the state constitution to require voter approval of all future increases in fuel and vehicle taxes or fees.

Proposition 8, which would have authorized State Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Clinics, was defeated. Thankfully.

Proposition 10, repeal of Costa-Hawkins, was defeated. Prop. 10 would have allowed state government to regulate rent, and would actually have created an even worse housing shortage in California.

Sacramento’s Measure U sales tax increase, a slush fund for greedy politicians, was passed by voters, despite that Sacramento city revenues are more than $120 million up from 2010, and up 16 percent in just the past two years.

Measure U doubles the 2012 half-cent sales tax increase and makes it permanent, raising Sacramento’s sales tax to 8.75 percent.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg and most of the members of City Council can’t or won’t be honest about their gross spending and particular taste for other people’s money. Despite promising to spend the Measure U tax increase money wisely, the additional $50 million will likely go straight to unfunded city pensions, which are expected to increase by $60 million a year and are projected to hit $129 million by 2022-23.

What is needed is spending discipline rather than continuing to pick the pockets of the taxpayers and business owners.

Buried at the end of the SacBee article on Measure U’s passage, is this little gem:

“Even with Measure U’s passage, the city’s budget is still projected to be in the red. The city deficit is estimated to be $7.6 million in fiscal year 2019-2020 and $28 million in 2022-23, according to the city budget. If Measure U had failed, the city’s deficit was projected to grow to $47.3 million in fiscal year 2019-2020, and to $80 million in 2022-23.”

Will California’s Blue Wave lead to insolvency faster?

Costa Mesa Republican Sen. John Moorlach’s fiscal report, “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School Districts, Colleges & Universities” finds 2/3 of California’s 944 School Districts bleed red ink. That report follows his March 2018 reports on the state’s 482 cities that found 2/3 of them in the red; of 58 counties, 55 suffered deficits and only three enjoyed positive balance sheets. His May 2018 report on the 50 U.S. states found only nine were financially healthy, with California ranked among the worst, in 42nd place.

There is only so much we faithful, native Californians can take. How much beautiful weather is worth this leftist insanity, and/or before this leftism turns into liberty crushing authoritarianism? Just sayin…


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MOORLACH UPDATE — Session Closing Days — August 31, 2018

I decided to share my research on California’s colleges Thursday afternoon in a debate on the Senate Floor regarding Senate Bill 320.

I shared that the University of California system has an unrestricted net position (UNP) of a negative $19 billion. I also mentioned that the Governor’s budget mentioned UC also has an unfunded retiree medical of another $19 billion. This means the June 30, 2018, audited financial statements for UC, thanks to new Government Accounting Standards Board requirements, will show a negative $38 billion UNP (see MOORLACH UPDATE — UC, CCC and CSU — May 11, 2018).

I also mentioned that the negative UNP for the California State University system was just under $4 billion (not including the Other Post Employment Benefit, or OPEB, for retiree medical).

The California Community Colleges, cumulatively, are at a deficit $5.5 billion, not including retiree medical.

So, why increase their insurance premiums and ancillary costs for off-site medical clinics? Why keep putting financial mandates on our state’s college campuses?

Surely, the UC Board of Regents is under too much pressure to raise tuition. Consequently, these college systems will undoubtedly be coming to Sacramento for additional funding. And they should, because it was the Capitol that imposed on their cash flows. After all, nothing comes for free. And when the supposed donated funding stops, you know who will be left holding the tab. The Sacramento Bee provides its take in the piece below.

Should California public colleges prescribe abortion pills? The choice is up to Jerry Brown

By Taryn Luna and Bryan Anderson

Gov. Jerry Brown will decide if women attending California public universities should have access to abortion pills at campus health centers.

Women can typically receive the medication, a two-pill dosage of mifepristone and misoprostol, from a doctor up to nine or 10 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual cycle. The pills can be taken at home and health care organizations say the effect is similar to a heavy menstrual period, causing bleeding and cramps.

Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, introduced Senate Bill 320 to provide students with greater access to care for early pregnancy termination without seeking transportation or missing classes to receive safe reproductive health services.

The Senate approved the bill Thursday with a 26 to 13 vote. The Assembly signed off Wednesday, 52-25.

“A woman should always have the right to decide when she incorporates a family into her life,” Leyva said.

Anti-abortion rights activists, including the California Catholic Conference, condemn the proposal as discriminatory against students and health care workers who do not support abortion. Opponents argue that the availability of abortion pills on campus would reduce the effort and thought women put into a decision to have an abortion. They say it would leave women to suffer the effects of the medication alone in their dorm rooms without care.

Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, said he is worried the University of California cannot afford to implement the bill.

“We’ve got to stop putting more financial pressure on our system,” Moorlach said.

But Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D- Santa Barbara, said it will cost nothing because the program is privately funded.

“If we want to talk about the issue, this isn’t about the money because it’s not going to cost the state a dime,” Jackson said.

The proposal, which Leyva initially unveiled last year, mandates that all schools in the California State University and University of California systems offer abortion medication, which would be an optional service for private and community colleges.

The latest iteration of the proposal would allot $200,000 in private grant money to each student health center to cover the costs of implementing the program and $200,000 to each university system.

UC and CSU have not taken positions on the bill.


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MOORLACH UPDATE — August Bill Blitz — August 3, 2018

The month of August has arrived. August is the last month of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. Accordingly, I will be voting on what seems to be an easy one-thousand bills between Monday and August 31st. Consequently, you may see me referenced in articles like The Sacramento Bee piece below when I break from the customary herd and vote for certain bills.

Two thoughts. The first is that I did sneak in some family time during the summer break. My father and mother have not had the chance to visit me while in Sacramento. So, my wife and I drove them up and nearly gave them the full tour. The lights were being replaced, so with massive scaffolding where our desks usually are, I couldn’t bring them onto the Senate Floor.


The second thought is the bill discussed below. The author, Sen. Nancy Skinner, visited with me and explained her bill and requested my vote. I asked her a number of questions about my concerns and she responded to each one with my satisfaction. Serving many years in prison or jail for being with certain individuals at the wrong place and time is not necessarily a fair stiff-sentencing opportunity. It is certainly a reminder that we must teach our children to pick their friends properly. But, suffering for the illegal actions committed by someone else deserves another look. That is why I voted for SB 1437.


He’s in jail for a murder he didn’t witness. A California bill might set him free.



Neko Wilson says he got cold feet that day nine years ago. He was 27, and had originally gone to Kerman, a city in Fresno County, to case a marijuana grow house with a few other people. He says he backed out when his partners decided to rob the house and circled the block instead, trying and failing to contact the group.

Later, he found out that one man in the group killed the couple in the house. Court documents say Wilson had not entered the house or even left his car. But two weeks later, officers from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office arrested him and charged him with two counts of murder. The officers used the felony murder rule, a California law that says people can be held criminally liable for murder if a death occurs during a felony, like a burglary or robbery, even if the person wasn’t present.

Now California lawmakers appear poised to change the decades-old law, and Wilson, who has spent nine years in Fresno County Jail awaiting trial, may soon have the chance to walk free.

Senate Bill 1437, introduced by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, passed the Senate in May with support from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. It would limit the application of the felony murder rule by stating that a person can be convicted of murder only if he or she “was the actual killer” or “aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, solicited, requested, or assisted the actual killer” or “was a major participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference to human life.”

Skinner said that the felony murder doctrine disproportionately affects vulnerable groups.

“The law is not fairly applied,” she said. “If it were universally applied to any and every person that was in or around a crime that resulted in a homicide, then many more people would have been charged with felony murder and the statute would have been changed a long time ago. What we see from data is that it’s young people, low-income people and people of color who are black and brown that are more often charged with felony murder.”

A recent survey of 1,000 prisoners conducted by the bill’s supporters concluded that the felony murder rule disproportionately affected women and young people. Of the women convicted of first degree murder under the felony murder rule, 72 percent were not the perpetrators of the homicide, according to the survey.

Skinner’s proposed change would be retroactive, allowing those imprisoned to seek new hearings by proving their actions did not fall into the new definition of the law. Prosecutors would have to prove otherwise, or allow re-sentencing.

Supporters estimate that between 400 and 800 people are serving sentences for felony murder and could apply for re-sentencing.

The bill, which is pending in the Assembly, easily gained the support from majority Democrats in the Senate. Two conservative Republican senators, Joel Anderson of San Diego and John Moorlach of Costa Mesa, also voted for it.

Anderson says the bill merely assigns blame to the correct people. Murderers and shoplifters committed different crimes and therefore should be punished differently, he said.

“This bill sets out to separate the two, to give real justice to those who weren’t active participants in the murder of another,” Sen. Anderson said on the Senate floor.

The bill still faces intense opposition from prosecutors and police organizations, who say it allows people who have committed crimes leading to a death to potentially go free without accepting responsibility for the death.

“A robbery that results in a death is worse than one that doesn’t,” said Cory Salzillo, the legislative director for the California State Sheriffs Association. “…There is a culpability that should attach when a person participates in a crime and a homicide is the result of that crime.”

Victim advocacy groups also argued that the bill’s language was too broad, providing no difference in treatment between violent felonies and nonviolent felonies.

Nina Salarno, the president of Crime Victims United, said that although the group supports some changes, the bill went too far to reduce sentencing for felons.

“The difference between serious and violent felonies and other felonies is a huge issue,” Salarno said. “You’re treating a home invasion in the same way as a felony car theft with nobody involved. There’s a huge distinct difference between robbing a car in a parking lot with nobody in it and a home invasion. If you’re an accomplice to a home invasion, you should bear responsibility for the injury and death of people.”

A legislative analysis estimated it could cost millions for the courts to process the re-sentencing requests, but also stated that shorter sentences could save millions annually. According to state budget estimates, each state prisoner will cost taxpayers more than $80,000 this year. Prosecutors have noted that many people are serving time under the law because of plea bargains, which will leave few or no court records to reference during the re-sentencing process.

The felony murder rule has been debated for decades. In 1983, the liberal-dominated California Supreme Court urged the Legislature to abolish the rule, writing in People v. Dillon that it “anachronistically resurrects from a bygone age a `barbaric’ concept.”

Jacque Wilson, Neko Wilson’s brother and a public defender in San Francisco, said that the bill is Neko Wilson’s chance to reunite with his family.

“He hasn’t seen his daughter in nine years,” Jacque Wilson said. “She was three and now she’s 12. It’s another tool of mass incarceration that is devastating poor families and people of color. It’s ripping families apart.”


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MOORLACH UPDATE — Perspectives On Liberal Agendas — July 9, 2018

A recent Sacramento Bee editorial submission really set off reporter, columnist, and author Katy Grimes and gave her the opportunity to really let loose; and I mean really. You can find the instigation of Ms. Grimes’s rebuttal at

This is not the first time Ms. Grimes has expressed her opinion about the job Governor Brown has done (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Devastating Legacy — October 11, 2017).

Her latest rendition is found in the Canada Free Press, and it is the first piece below.

The second piece is not an editorial, per se, but a truncation of my interview with the world famous Larry O’Connor. Larry is an old friend and he is the most listened to radio talk show host in Washington, D.C. He is also a frequent guest on The Ingraham Angle Show on FOX. He substituted for Doug McIntyre this morning and I was invited on KABC 790 AM to discuss the recent ruling by Federal Judge Mendez on California’s status as a sanctuary state.

I opined that former California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon used the election of President Donald Trump as a bully pulpit in 2017 to generate media attention for his planned run for U.S. Senate. However, an unexpected thing happened on his way to D.C., Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced she was rerunning for yet another term. In her mid-80s, who would have guessed?

Consequently, I see the hiring of former United States Attorney General Eric Holder and the numerous legislative and legal activities that resulted last year, as a way for the then-President Pro Tem to garner better statewide name recognition. It was classic showmanship and grandstanding and I gave him high marks for the strategy. But, it came at considerable taxpayer expense and the jeopardizing of public safety for California’s residents.

The brief synopsis of my interview is provided by KABC 790 AM in the second piece below.


Governor Brown’s aberrant style of leadership has been as maniacal as a third-World dictator, and his legacy is a complete and total failure, tainted by frequent lunatic ravings.

Jerry Brown’s California: Socialist, Climate-Conscious Open Borders Utopia

By Katy Grimes

Food or Fish, Liberty or Oppression, Victim or Fighter? We Californians have many decisions to make about our future, thanks to our maniacal third-World wanna-be dictator-Governor Jerry Brown—a childless Marxist, who cares only about himself. Brown has never lived a life that calls upon one to sacrifice for the benefit of one’s own family and children. And it shows.

The narcissistic manic Gov. Jerry Brown, California’s four-term Democratic Governor is mostly responsible for the decline of the state. The once-golden state is now a socialist, climate-conscious utopia with open borders. This has occurred, cheered-on and virtually uncriticized by California’s mainstream media—almost as if the media is state-run.

Brown, who wants to outlaw private ownership of automobiles, supports universal single-payer health care, and issues in-state “visas” for illegal aliens, hates the Californians who have “little green lawns,” are climate deniers, and “freeloaders.” California is a cesspool and Jerry Brown offers  absolution to criminals through hundreds of pardons and commutations.

Narcissists have several telltale diversion tactics they use to escape responsibility:

Intimidate/Blame. Accuse/Project. Argue/Exhaust. Deny/Rewrite. Divert/Attack. Fear/Avoid.

We’ve witnessed California’s ludicrous Governor Jerry Brown use all of these tactics to divert responsibility for the demise of the once great Golden State. Yet California is a glaring example of radical leftist policies to avoid, and in far too many places resembles a third-world banana republic. In 2017, Brown said the world needs ‘brain washing’ on climate change. Sounding indeed brainwashed, Brown said, “The problem…is us. It’s our whole way of life. It’s our comfort…It’s the greed. It’s the indulgence. It’s the pattern. And it’s the inertia.”

California has one of the worst failing education systems in the country, the highest income taxes, highest gas tax, highest poverty in the nation, a billion dollar budget deficit, the state pension system is underfunded by $1 trillion, and violent crime is on the rise. But we now have transgender bathrooms, and a new law that says knowingly transmitting HIV to a partner will no longer be a felony offense.

According to Republican State Senator John Moorlach, a CPA, many of California’s 482 cities are in financial distress, facing a tipping point to insolvency mainly due to unfunded pension liabilities. Moorlach says:

Those are the facts. Yet a recent op-ed by Bonnie Castillo, the Executive Director of the radicalized California Nurses Union, summed up what she says is wrong with California. Only she claims “these glaring needs are a testament to the worst inequality in the United States since the Great Depression,” ignoring that it is the Democrat Party’s own socialistic policies which gave us:

  • a major affordable housing and homelessness crisis;
  • a lack of jobs that pay a living wage;
  • a health care system that leaves behind millions of Californians because they have no health coverage or because they have exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for health insurance;
  • escalating public college and university tuition that limits educational opportunity or leaves students weighted down with debt for decades.

Her solution? More and higher taxes. “Legislators should continue to require the wealthiest among us to contribute to the societal common good,” Castillo said. She also took a shot at Proposition 13, which cut property taxes down to 1 percent and limited the growth rate of future assessments to 2 percent. Even with Proposition 13, California is ranked 17th out of all 50 states in property taxes, according to

High Taxes = Outbound Migration By Millionaires

Ms. Castillo’s and Jerry Brown’s socialistic attacks on the wealthy have so dramatically impacted California, that according to new research from Stanford University and members of the California Franchise Tax Board, California lost an estimated 138 high income individuals due to the passage of the Proposition 30—a tax hike pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown and approved by voters in 2012, reported. Prop. 30 retroactively raised taxes on the state’s highest earners to 13.3%, leaving California top-earners with the highest state income tax rate in the country. It also hiked the tax rate on income between $300,000 and $500,000 by 2%, while raising the tax rate on income over $500,000 by 3%.

“How viable are millionaire taxes when lower-tax states are a short distance away?” the study asks. “Can states sustain these new millionaire taxes without suffering out- migration of top tax payers? How attached are millionaires to the places where they currently earn their income?”

Water Lies

Droughts are nature’s fault; they are naturally occurring. Water shortages are the fault of government officials, and California’s water shortages fall squarely on Jerry Brown. The state of California hasn’t significantly invested in water storage since the 1970s when Jerry Brown was governor the first time around. “This is an era of limits and we all had better get used to it,” Brown said upon being elected governor in 1975, embracing the “small is beautiful” way of thinking. Since then, California’s population has doubled, as have environmental demands. And, more than fifty-percent of the state’s water resources are allowed to flow out the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.

Rather than build the desperately needed infrastructure projects to collect and store water during the wet years, Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law a new water conservation act that will limit each citizen to just 50 gallons per person per day by 2050. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Governor Brown “signed two bills, SB 606 by Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and AB 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), that require cities, water districts, and large agricultural water districts to set strict annual water budgets, potentially facing fines of $1,000 per day if they don’t meet them, and $10,000 a day during drought emergencies, Daily Wire reported.

The truth is that 50 percent of California’s water goes toward environmental purposes. Of the rest of the water, only about 10 percent goes to “urban” uses for homes and businesses, and 40 percent is used by agriculture. A full 50 percent of the water is used for environmental purposes.

Democrat lawmakers and federal environmental regulators have authorized more than 81 billion gallons of water to flow out to the ocean, instead of being used for human consumption. This is environmental extremism at its worst, and it is killing California agriculture.

More than 80,000 acres of farmland could be back into production, if only farmers and ranchers had the 81 billion gallons of water running off into the ocean.

In 2015, when California’s 5-year drought was still in full force, Gov. Brown’s hand-picked appointees at the State Water Resources Control Board  ordered the release of massive amounts of water from the New Melones Reservoir and Lake Tulloch, to save a dozen fish. This occurred at the same time Brown was threatening to fine residents who water “their little green lawns,” and for lingering in the shower too long.

So while the governor and his environmentalist water gatekeepers were going to empty reservoirs to save a few fish, farmers have been deprived of water.

“Friday, the board’s regulators released their plan to disrupt a century of California water law and demand twice as much water flow down the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers in a purported effort to save salmon,” Mike Dunbar wrote in the Modesto Bee over the weekend. “This is a water grab, pure and simple. And we must fight it, not just talk about it.”

“This declaration of economic war is not just about water. It’s a war over our homes, our jobs and our children.”

California is home to one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients. California is home to the most residents living below the poverty line in the country. And now with our politicians’ disregard for federal immigration laws, more than a quarter of the 38 million Californians were not even born in the United States.

California’s Oligarchs

“Why would a labor union, for example, support open borders?” Ed Ring wrote in a recent op ed. “Don’t they understand that if you continue to import low-skilled workers, wages will remain low? But maybe these labor organizations don’t want things to improve for California’s low income communities. Maybe the worse things get, the more members they’ll recruit, the more resentment they’ll exploit, the more agitators will join their army. Maybe this is just about power.”

Governor Brown’s aberrant style of leadership has been as maniacal as a third-World dictator, and his legacy is a complete and total failure, tainted by frequent lunatic ravings.

Brown says humankind would face dire straits if his climate change policies are not fulfilled. “Maybe not in my life, I’ll be dead…Most of you people, when I look out here, a lot of you people are going to be alive,” Brown said  at a legislative hearing one year ago extending his cap and trade legislation for another decade, despite no evidence of air quality improvements. “And you’re going to be alive in a horrible situation. You’re going to see mass migrations, vector diseases, forest fires, Southern California burning up. That’s real guys. That’s what the scientists of the world are saying.”

“I’m not here for some cockamamie legacy that people talk about,” Brown  added. “This isn’t for me. I’m going to be dead. It’s for you. It’s for you and it’s damn real.”

Katy Grimes is an investigative journalist, Senior Correspondent with the Flash Report, ReaganBabe, and Senior Media Fellow with Energy and Environmental Institute. A longtime political analyst, she has written for The Sacramento Union, The Washington Examiner,, The Pacific Research Institute’s CalWatchdog, The San Francisco Examiner, The Business Journal, E&E Legal, The Sacramento Bee, Legal Insurrection, Canada Free Press, and Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette, and can be heard regularly on many talk radio shows each week.


OC GOP Senator: Kevin de León pushed sanctuary state movement for personal ambition

By Sandy Wells


California’s “sanctuary state” laws survived a legal challenge by the Trump administration last week after a federal judge declined to block state measures aimed at confounding cooperation with Washington’s crackdown on illegal immigration. However, Judge John Mendez of U.S. District Court in Sacramento diluted his ruling with an injunction that bars California officials from imposing fines of up to $10,000 on employers who grant immigration officials access to a private workplace or to employment records.

John Moorlach, Republican State Senator from Orange County, says the statewide sanctuary movement has been driven by the political aspirations of former State Senate President pro tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

“So he uses last year – 2017 – and his reaction to Donald Trump being elected – he uses it as a bully pulpit to start hammering on Donald Trump. Almost every week we had a new resolution on the senate floor on some component. I think he saw it as an opportunity to start building his campaign for U.S. Senate.”

But he says de León’s gambit has not paid off.

“Now where is he in the polls? He’s just about nowhere.”

John Moorlach was a guest on McIntyre in the Morning.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Joint Author Details — July 7, 2018

Now that the California Legislature has started its summer break, it seems the media attention of late has been focused in the Opinion pages. This is true of my last UPDATE (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Watching Our Votes — July 4, 2018).

In the first editorial below, The Sacramento Bee has a piece about SB 1004 on its website by former Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown. I enjoyed working with Ms. Brown and built a good relationship with her while she was in Sacramento, during my first half-term. Because of my affection for Ms. Brown, allow me to provide more detail than normal and to share two themes that have been evolving recently in my life.

The first is building relationships with members across the aisle (see MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 521 — November 12, 2015). On occasion, I will coauthor a bill introduced by a Democratic Legislator. This year I upped the game and Joint Authored two bills with Democratic Senators.

Senate Bill 1206, the No Place Like Home Act of 2018 was introduced by Senator, and former President Pro Tem, Kevin De Leon and myself (see It was recently replaced by Assembly Bill 1827, a budget trailer bill, due to the urgency of needing to get this measure on the November ballot (see For more background on this proposal, see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1273 and MCO Tax — February 27, 2016.

You will see this effort as Proposition 2 on the November General Election ballot. You know that I usually oppose general obligation bonds, but this proposed bond has an existing revenue stream to pay the principal and interest. I would call this technique hypothecating or securitizing an income stream to get the principal up front in order to begin constructing or investing in a project immediately.

The revenue source is the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), created by voter approval through Proposition 63 of 2004. It is also known as the millionaires tax, so the revenues should be reliable as long as wealthy residents are willing to pay for the great weather. I say this, as there are signs that high net worth individuals have been leaving the state since the passage of Gov. Brown’s income tax increase resulting from the successful passage of Proposition 30 in 2012. This was a proposition that I opposed (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Costa Mesa Voter’s Guide — October 6, 2012 ).

The MHSA revenues helped me to find funding to implement Laura’s Law in Orange County through the passage of SB 585 (Steinberg). It also helped me to change state law to provide more crisis stabilization unit beds to assist our public safety officials when they encounter an individual facing a mental health crisis (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Mentally Ill Inmates — June 11, 2016).

Appreciating this strategy, I was an early supporter of the No Place Like Home effort by Sen. De Leon, which uses a small percentage of MHSA revenues to repay the bondholders. The proceeds will be used to construct or refurbish immediate housing for the mentally ill homeless population.

This year I also joint authored Senate Bill 1004 with Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco (see This bill focuses on prevention and early intervention, as mental illness is showing up in impacted children as early as age 14. The sooner it is diagnosed, the better the opportunity to implement appropriate strategies. A great example would be CHOC’s pediatric psychology efforts, a new treasure in my District, which I mentioned in my May 1st UPDATE (see

Why do I provide so much detail? Because the MHSA is rather vague and has confused counties to such a degree that they have accumulated nearly $2.5 billion in unspent funds.

Consequently, providing some clarity in this area would be helpful. Which brings me to the second theme. I have found myself focusing on the topic of mental illness. It started while I was a County Supervisor in trying to understand and implement Laura’s Law (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Laura’s Law Journey — August 11, 2014).

This evolution has found me joining the Mental Health Caucus and being appointed this year to the Senate Select Committee on Mental Health. I remind everyone that I was a business major, not a pre-med major. So, this has been an education for me over the past dozen years or so, starting with the killing of Kelly Thomas in Fullerton (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Kelly Thomas Reverberations — January 15, 2014).

With that, I joined Sen. Wiener to provide clarity. SB 1004 seeks to clarify where some of the funding should be prioritized. Former Assemblywoman Brown fears this will impact the share of the pie for the elderly. I believe this fear is unfounded. Instead of opposing the bill, she should work with me and others in the Mental Health Caucus to draft a bill that focuses funding attention for the elderly and even pursues an effort to classify dementia and Alzheimer’s as mental illnesses eligible for MHSA funds.

The second column is in the Press-Enterprise and Daily Breeze and it follows the theme recently presented in MOORLACH UPDATE — Janus Decision — June 28, 2018.

It refers to an effort I pursued last year (see MOORLACH UPDATE — There Ought Not Be A Law — April 23, 2017 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Earning a Living — November 30, 2017). Ironically, the argument that Sen. Morrell received for stopping his efforts was the same one used to kill my bill.

What a tragedy that Assemblyman Low would bow to the pressures of an industry group’s representatives in attendance with their weak opposition argument, but could totally ignore the long line of opponents to his bill, AB 2943, when it recently came before the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which I am Vice Chair. All the more when the number of individuals wishing to testify against his bill was so large that they had to fill the balcony of the Senate’s largest hearing room and the hallways, requiring one and one-half hours to let them all come to the microphone. The ironies continue.


Legislature must not slight seniors in mental health money


Special to The Sacramento Bee

An important measure to expand access to mental health care services in California is going through the Legislature, but it would make it more difficult for counties to serve older adults.

Senate Bill 1004, which was approved by the Assembly Health Committee on June 19, would amend Proposition 63, passed by voters in 2004 to provide funding for county mental health services with a 1 percent tax on annual incomes of more than $1 million.

Sens. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, who introduced SB 1004, appear to be at odds with the needs of older adults because the bill shifts the focus of the Mental Health Services Act primarily to young people.

The bill says that 75 percent of mental illnesses begin by 14 years of age, citing a study showing the relationship between early trauma and life-long problems.

Most of them grew up when mental health problems were less understood, diagnosed or appropriately treated. As a result, many tend to shy away from mental health services. Yet adults between 45 and 64 old are at the highest risk for suicide nationally, and in recent years California’s suicide rate among adults 65 and older has been higher than the national average.

The senior community believes that SB 1004 should also address the mental health needs of seniors as much MHSA money remains unspent. The California Commission on Aging offered amendments stressing that older adults are also at risk of anxiety depression, anxiety, psychological traumas and suicide.

Sadly, the Assembly Health Committee did not consider the amendments. As a result, the Commission on Aging opposes SB 1004 because it would make it more difficult for seniors to secure the mental health services they need.

Cheryl Brown is a member of the California Commission on Aging and former chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care. She can be contacted at cheryl1242.


Will ‘sunset review’ shut the

lights on onerous licensing


By STEVEN GREENHUT | Press-Enterprise

SACRAMENTO — One of my favorite Ronald Reagan quotations illustrates the problem of an ever-growing government: “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this Earth!” In my decades covering public agencies, I can think of only a handful of rollbacks — and they usually ended up perversely expanding government power.

In one recent case, the state Legislature gutted a state tax board, known as the Board of Equalization. But its powers merely were shifted from elected officials to bureaucrats in different agencies — and now California taxpayers are more frequently getting the shaft. That’s how government works.

Last week, a simple bill (sponsored by my employer, the R Street Institute) would have rolled back licensing requirements for only one of the hundreds of trades and professions that require a state license to work. Burdensome education requirements, fees and testing become obstacles for lower-income people to get gainful employment that doesn’t involve flipping burgers. The requirements often have no relevance to public safety, but usually are the result of powerful interest groups that use government to lock up some part of the market.

Last year, Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, introduced a bill that would have eliminated such requirements in a variety of fields, but it was a non-starter given its broad scope. It was referred to multiple committees and dead on arrival. So this year Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, introduced legislation that targeted one particular — and particularly ridiculous — set of licensing rules involving people who want to shampoo, arrange, dress and curl (but not cut) hair for a living.

If you shampoo hair for pay at, say, elderly people’s homes or at a salon — and haven’t spent as much as $19,000 at a barbering and cosmetology school — then you are an outlaw. It’s illegal to do so in California. The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology posts this Frequently Asked Question on its website: “I would like to hire a person for the sole purpose of shampooing or preparing consumers services; can I do this?” The answer: “No, only a licensed barber, cosmetologist or apprentice can wash a consumer’s hair or prepare a consumer for services.”

Did I mention that a shampooer needs 1,500 hours of training, whereas a first responder/emergency medical technician only needs 120 to 150 hours of training? The Morrell bill passed the full Senate with only two “no” votes, but was killed last week in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on a 14-3 vote in spite of the fact that most of us have shampooed our own hair for years without calamity.

The hearing room was packed with students from local cosmetology schools. It should surprise no one that the main beneficiaries of the current rules are the schools that charge hefty tuitions for such training, nor should it be a surprise that the state bureaucracy (the Department of Consumer Affairs) estimated excessive fee-revenue losses if the bill became law. Those estimates are hard to fathom given how unimaginable it is that people currently go through the whole licensing rigmarole and then only use the degree mainly to shampoo and arrange hair.

But government agencies see any kind of minor regulatory rollbacks as a threat to their authority. There’s always that fear of the slippery slope. There’s also an economic term known as “regulatory capture.” It’s typical in all aspects of government for industries that are being regulated to dominate the agencies that do the regulating.

The main argument that the Assembly Business and Professions Committee Chairman Evan Low, D-San Jose, used to oppose the bill is that the issue can be handled in the forthcoming Sunset Review hearings. The Assembly and Senate business and professions committees hold these annual hearings in the fall to “discuss the performance of the boards and make recommendations for improvements,” according to the legislative website. The term “sunset” comes from the legislation, which would sunset the many boards out of existence unless they justify their existence.

This is one of those cool ideas that sounds much better in theory than in reality. Government agencies should indeed have to explain what they do to stay in business. But California’s Sunset Review process rarely leads to the sunset of anything. Senate Bill 999’s opponents note that the review led to legislation last year that eliminated the Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind. That was a welcome development, but the elimination of that pointless board was backed by regulators and the industry itself.

By contrast, SB999 is opposed by the beauty industry and the bureaucracy. Nevertheless, I’ll take legislators at their word and closely watch as they advocate for the end of onerous regulations that benefit business owners at the expense of aspiring low-income workers. Wouldn’t it be great if California’s Legislature turned out to be the exception that proved Reagan’s rule?

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute. He was a Register editorial writer from 1998-2009. Write to him at sgreenhut.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Janus Decision — June 28, 2018

The favorable Janus decision by the United States Supreme Court was announced yesterday. The Daily Journal covers it in the first piece below.

This is very big news. Especially in a state that is run by public employee union officials. One can only hope that it is a game changer and that it provides some appropriate fiscal relief in Sacramento.

Let me expand on this piece. As a result of public employee unions using a significant portion of the dues they collect to campaign for candidates and elected officials who decide on their salary and benefit packages, which is the largest conflict of interest in this industry, most municipalities find themselves in fiscal distress. My recently released Unrestricted Net Deficit Per Capita listings illustrate this tragic conundrum.

The significant amount of campaign “slush fund” cash allows unions as leverage and is extremely intimidating when negotiating with insecure elected officials at the bargaining table . Hopefully, future negotiations will be based on the merits of the proposals and not on the inference that another candidate will be backed to run against those currently in office. And, if the taxpayers are fortunate, maybe some of the fiscal benefit overreaches by the public employee unions of the past can be reversed in order to protect the financial sustainability of their public employers.

The Sacramento Bee provides an electronic piece on the reactions to the ruling in the second piece below. Here is the attachment to my noted Tweet:

The third piece is an electronic editorial in the Daily Breeze by the OC Register. It gives a shout out to my SB 247 (see and MOORLACH UPDATE — Earning a Living — November 30, 2017) .

The fourth piece recognizes my Small Business of the Year recipient for 2018 in the Orange County Breeze. Bruce and Lisa Hughes were two of my Becker CPA Review Course instructors forty years ago. Both have also served with distinction on Orange County committees focused on the County’s fiscal well-being. Congratulations to a couple that have invested heavily over the decades in service to the County of Orange.

Supreme Court decision draws ire of local unions

Workers decry justices’ vote as barrier to benefits, quality work

  • By Anna Schuessler Daily Journal staff

In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision cutting off unions’ ability to collect fees from non-union workers delivered Wednesday, those standing behind local labor unions expressed a mixture of disappointment and renewed energy around their efforts.

By striking down the use of mandatory fees paid by nonmembers of public worker unions toward collective bargaining activities, the court’s ruling marked an end to the collection of agency fees, or fair share fees, used toward the expenses of contract negotiations and grievance handling by public sector unions. Allowed in 22 states including California, the fees are less than union dues and may not be used for political activities. Unions are required to represent all workers whether or not they are union members.

The court’s 5-4 vote in an Illinois case in which a state worker, child support specialist Mark Janus, challenged the agency fees, split the nine justices, five of whom joined Justice Samuel Alito in asserting the fees violate the constitutional First Amendment right of free speech.

“We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern,” wrote Alito in his opinion.

Their decision sparked reactions from workers representing a wide array of unions as well as those shaping policy across the state, some of whom were buoyed and others who were discouraged by the news.

Representing the San Mateo Labor Council as its executive secretary-treasurer, Julie Lind Rupp condemned the decision as counter to the labor movement’s belief that all work has dignity, deserves respect and all workers deserve to be treated accordingly.

“In California, unions have partnered with progressive elected leaders to raise wages and reduce pay inequity, ensure all workers have paid sick days, enact paid family leave, strengthen workplace safety and so much more,” she said in a prepared statement. “Today, we commit to not only sustaining the labor movement, but building and strengthening it so more working people can negotiate a fair deal in return for their hard work.”

But for State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, the decision was not only a win for those workers who have had a portion of their paychecks go to causes they may not support, it was also a source of hope that the hold unions have had on their negotiators might loosen.

Moorlach looked to the change to limit unions from coming close to threatening elected officials at the negotiating table and unwind some of the effects of the “slush fund” they have amassed in Sacramento, which he said has been used to tie up a considerable number of taxpayer dollars.

“That is just unfair and inappropriate, so this should help the unions step up their game to focus on the merits of the deal,” he said.

Having worked at the Palo Alto wastewater treatment plant for some 23 years, Margaret Adkins, Palo Alto chapter chair of Service Employee International Union, Local 521, spoke to the benefits of collective bargaining, which she said enabled workers to adequately provide for their families. Without union representation, workers’ earnings are at the discretion of management, said Adkins, who added that though nobody is forced to pay dues, many opt to because they recognize they are better able to advocate for themselves if they do.

Adkins was not convinced the ruling would diminish the ability of unions to advocate for workers, and said it’s widely recognized that large, powerful industries are behind the push to take away workers’ rights.

“I’m disappointed in the decision but it’s not going to affect us negatively,” she said. “We’re strong, we’re getting stronger and everybody sees this as what it is — as an attack on workers’ rights.”

California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins agreed the decision was the result of a well-funded and nationally orchestrated effort to weaken the ability of workers to convene and speak in a united voice. By overturning precedence set by Abood v. Detroit Board of Education more than 40 years ago, the court’s ruling adopted a radical interpretation of the First Amendment and stands in the way of public teachers providing quality education for their students, said Heins.

“Today’s ruling is an attack on working people that attempts to further rig the economy and that reverses four decades of precedent,” said Heins in a prepared statement. “For educators, this an attempt to weaken our ability to stand up on behalf of our students and on behalf of quality public schools.”

Though Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, was still processing how the decision could play out, he voiced concern about its impact on working people throughout the country.

“I also fully expect California will continue to lead the way on worker rights and workplace protections,” he said in a statement. “Today is a stark reminder of the import of the U.S. Supreme Court on issues of the day and that elections do indeed matter.”

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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Rapid response: Supreme Court’s Janus vs. AFSCME labor union ruling



State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa

“One week from today, we’ll celebrate our nation’s independence from British rule. Today we celebrate our independence from public employee union control over hard-working Americans.”

Sacramento Democrats kill another common sense occupational licensing reform bill

By salrodriguez |
Orange County Register

Editor’s note: Breaking views are thoughts from individual members of the editorial board on today’s headlines.

Democratic politicians like to present themselves as advocates for the poor and working California. In reality, Democrats in Sacramento are too often merely proponents of leveraging bigger government to the benefit of politically advantageous special interest groups to the detriment of poor and working Californians.

Their resistance to occupational licensing reform is a clear example of this tendency.

Occupational licensing is sold to the public as necessary for the protection of the public and the professionalization of industries. In reality, occupational licensing is mostly a scheme by which members of an occupation use government to erect barriers to entry, limit competition and thereby raise costs to consumers.

The Obama White House, Little Hoover Commission and the Trump administration alike have recognized the problems of overextended occupational licensing requirements.

As the Little Hoover Commission warned, licensing requirements punish the poor on at least two levels, “first by imposing significant costs on them should they try to enter a licensed occupation and second by pricing the services provided by licensed professionals out of reach.”

The Archbridge Institute has further noted an association nationwide between growth in occupational licensing and income inequality.

For those naive enough to take the progressive rhetoric of California Democratic politicians at face value, one might think Democrats would be open to reforming policies which punish the poor the most and aggravate income inequality.

Sure enough, the Democratic politicians in Sacramento would rather appease special interest groups than the poor.

On June 26, the Assembly’s Business and Professions committee overwhelmingly rejected a modest proposal to eliminate occupational licensing requirements for shampooing, arranging, dressing, curling, waving, cleansing or beautifying hair.

The bill, SB 999 from Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, was rejected with only 3 votes in favor, 14 opposed. These are the Assembly members who voted against it: Arambula, Bloom, Chiu, Cunningham, Eggman, Gipson, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Low, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Ting.

“I’m just trying to have government work for us not against us and be our servant, not our master,” Morrell appealed to the committee.

In response, this statement from Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, sums up the approach of the Democrats: “I think you bring up some very good points and certainly we don’t want a barrier to entry but … I won’t be supporting your bill …”

The bill faced opposition from the California Labor Federation, which complained that the bill would open up competition, saying “eliminating training requirements not only lowers the bar but floods the market with new, less qualified entrants — directly attacking workers’ bargaining power and almost certainly reducing wages.”

Of course, they intentionally conflated training requirements with occupational licensing. People who wish to make a living in shampooing, arranging, dressing, curling, waving, cleansing or beautifying hair will certainly learn how to do their jobs correctly and effectively, otherwise they wouldn’t get much business.

Predictably, the industry also complained, with the Professional Beauty Association arguing the bill “would be detrimental to the California beauty industry.” No it wouldn’t. They just don’t want competition.

Alas, California remains one of the most licensed states in the country. An Institute for Justice report looking at 102 lower-income occupations nationwide found that California licensed 76 of them, often with more onerous requirements than other states.

It should be noted this isn’t the first time the Democrats killed a licensing reform bill.

Last year, they killed a bill from Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, to repeal licensing requirements for a handful of lower-income jobs. It’s what they do.

While Democratic politicians might continue to fool poor Californians into thinking they’re on their side, the reality is the Democratic establishment cares only about self-preservation. Doing what’s right isn’t of interest to the Democratic establishment, only what is self-serving. It’s no wonder California leads the nation in poverty.

Sal Rodriguez is an editorial writer and columnist for the Southern California News Group. He may be reached at salrodriguez

Senator John Moorlach honored Hughes & Hughes, LLP 2018 California Small Business Association honoree

On June 19, 2018, Senator John Moorlach honored Hughes & Hughes, LLP, a prominent family law firm in Tustin as the 2018 California Small Business Association Honoree for Senate District 37.

Headed by partners Lisa and Bruce Hughes, the firm combines solid experience in complex family law issues with sensitivity to the emotions and feelings of their clients. All firm lawyers and legal aides help guide clients through the legal proceedings quickly to return each client to peace of mind and normalcy. The partners also work to lend legal expertise to successfully improve the laws of the State of California.

In particular, Bruce and Lisa Hughes worked with Senator Moorlach from 2015-16 to pass Senate Bill 1255, which clarified a previous California Supreme Court decision which blurred the date of separation guidelines for dissolving marriages. SB 1255 became the first bill from Senator Moorlach that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, becoming California Family Code Section 70.

Like Senator Moorlach, both Bruce and Lisa are Certified Public Accountants, enabling them to handle the most intricate accounting and financial practices typical to unique circumstances.

From their Orange County base, Hughes & Hughes serves families throughout Southern California.

This article was released by the Office of Senator John Moorlach.

Senator John Moorlach honored Hughes & Hughes, LLP as the 2018 California Small Business Association Honoree. Courtesy photo.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — California Cop Culture — June 19, 2018

If you’ve read my UPDATEs over the years, you know that I have worked diligently and professionally with the major public safety employee union while serving as an Orange County Treasurer and Supervisor. Suing them over the unconstitutionality of the granting of retroactive pension benefits was not an easy exercise to pursue. I would publicly joke that taking on a union where every member carries a firearm was not my idea of a good time. And, they were the only union to spend (waste) serious money against me in my election efforts in 2006 (including raising union dues) and 2015.

I also know that they are so powerful, that insecure candidates always want their endorsement and independent expenditure spending support. That’s what makes them so successful in negotiating their salary and benefit increases. That’s why they refer to many elected officials that they deal with as “bobble heads.” They come in and ask for benefit increases and their winning campaign financed elected officials just nod in agreement. Now you can appreciate this massive conflict of interest and why so many of California’s counties and cities are in fiscal distress.

But, public safety employee unions also protect their own, even the bad apples. They certainly did not appreciate my establishing the Office of Independent Review (OIR), which monitored their conduct, reduced lawsuits generated by abuses in the jails, and helped to improve the culture. It was no surprise to me that the OIR was dismantled shortly after I termed out.

Public safety officials are humans, just like everyone else. They enjoy fear and greed just like the best of us. And, they have no compunction to demand as much as they can get and shame those who would even insinuate that they are overpaid. They also protect their own after some of their members have been caught making inappropriate and sometimes deadly decisions.

When you are powerful, a certain air of superiority and arrogance often sets in. This hubris has gotten rather disturbing with the general public, especially when people are being killed. Some form of push back will start, and this year it is from members in the California Legislature.

So, in a state that is virtually controlled by public employee unions, with a capital city that has a very liberal newspaper, and a legislature that was just recently a super majority of Democrats in both houses, it is extremely rare to see a lead editorial in The Sacramento Bee taking on any public employee union or bargaining unit, let alone those representing public safety officials.

But, with AB 931 (which passed out of Committee this morning) and SB 1421, The Sacramento Bee has done just that in the piece below. And, this Republican agrees with the frustrations (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 1421 and SB 828 — May 31, 2018). It is time to change the police culture in California.

Bad cops have it too easy in California. Here’s how the Legislature can change that


California’s powerful police unions are used to having their way at the Capitol. For decades, they’ve been able to coerce lawmakers into burying almost every bill that would have forced their members to accept even a modicum of additional transparency or public accountability.

But times may be changing.

On Tuesday, the Senate Public Safety Committee will consider a bill from Democratic Assemblymembers Shirley Weber and Kevin McCarty that, among other things, would impose strict new limits on when cops can use deadly force against suspects.

Not long ago, Assembly Bill 931 would have been dismissed before it was drafted. But that was before March, when two Sacramento police officers chased an unarmed black man named Stephon Clark into his grandparents’ backyard and shot him to death.

Swarmed by national media, the protests since have filled the air right outside the Capitol windows. There has been no escaping the connection between Clark and the long and growing list of Americans — disproportionately black and male — who get killed by police every year for crimes large and small, or sometimes for what turns out to be no crime at all.

In California as elsewhere, this issue has gone unaddressed for far too long. A bold stand now for more sensible police use-of-force standards would not only save lives and improve public trust in law enforcement, but would show the public that state lawmakers can assert themselves.

AB 931, pushed by Weber, D-San Diego, and McCarty, D-Sacramento, would require officers to use deadly force only when it’s “necessary” to stop an imminent threat and only when attempts to de-escalate the situation with nonlethal tactics haven’t worked. Right now, an officer can shoot a suspect when he or she considers it “reasonable” to prevent serious injury or death.

Law enforcement lobbyists insist that such a change would be drastic, but similar policies already are being tried by law enforcement agencies across the country. In Seattle, the results have been positive, with fewer officers in danger and fewer civilians killed. Training is essential, of course, and AB 931 would set aside money for that.

Officers who violate the stricter use-of-force standard could be criminally prosecuted if the law is approved — something that, under current state and federal law, rarely happens. Such prosecutions should be rare, but the tool should be available when needed.

The statutory status quo has been increasingly hard to defend for law enforcement, including the California Peace Officers’ Association and California State Sheriffs’ Association, and the public and many lawmakers are losing patience.

For example, earlier this year, lawmakers lashed out at lobbyists for opposing Senate Bill 1421 by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which would force law enforcement agencies to disclose the details of use-of-force investigations and confirmed cases of crimes committed on duty. It short, it would bring the California Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights down to a more reasonable size.

“I think you are completely and utterly out of touch with the realities of how those you are representing are perceived by major segments of California,” said Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles. “And you are not going to be able to lobby your way out of it.”

Even Costa Mesa Republican Sen. John Moorlach said: “This code of silence has gone on a little too long.” He wondered aloud if the former cop who prosecutors believe is the Golden State Killer would have been caught if not for the overly broad Bill of Rights, which is too often used as a shield by bad cops.

SB 1421 cleared the Senate and is scheduled to be heard in Assembly committee later this month. It, along with AB 931, should pass. Police unions have had their way in California for long enough.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — The Joys of Presenting Bills — April 24, 2018

Monday was mixed. SB 1363 passed unanimously on the Senate Floor. SB 1074 was killed in the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on the basis that the price for a gallon is the price for a gallon of gas and the details be damned. And SB 1031, 1032 and SB 1433 were killed in the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee, with SB 1033 held back for more consultation with the Committee Chair and CalPERS. The Sacramento Bee covers it in the first piece below. It also discusses SB 1149, of which I was a proud Co-Author.

SB 1159 went out of Senate Appropriations successfully (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Right to Peaceably Assemble — April 13, 2018). The new Editor for CalMatters, Dan Morain, has some fun with it in the second piece below. Dan was formally with the LA Times and recently resigned from the Sacramento Bee. We go pretty far back.

Dan’s piece brings up an interesting concern. As a C.P.A., am I prohibited from doing something that will encourage more C.P.A.s to run for legislative office? Is it really self-serving? Would any other legislator be able to carry such a bill?

All retired C.P.A.s are required to note that they are “retired” or “inactive” on their stationery. But, attorneys in the Legislature are exempted from the requirement to obtain continuing professional education. Other professional licenses do not require qualifiers. I know that retired military officers do it. If you’ve earned an MBA, you can keep it behind your name for the remainder of your life.

Accordingly, I worked for the last couple of years with the California State Board of Accountancy for a reasonable solution. They recommended that instead of doing something administratively, that I introduce a bill. The Board supported the language we proposed for SB 1159. I did have a potential author, a former staffer for Congressman Brad Sherman, but he resigned from the Assembly recently. Consequently, I decided to move forward and let the cards fall where they may.

For entertainment value, the most recent edition of Inside OC finds host Rick Reiff rattling my cage on a number of current issues. It’s the third link below.

Last week I voted “No” on SB 832 (Portantino) and SB 951 (Mitchell). When I was interviewed by the OC Register‘s Editorial Board about my candidacy for State Senator in 2015, I provided the following position (see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — OC Register Endorsement — February 15, 2015):

Though the Legislature has often doled out tax credits to preferred industries, such as Hollywood and “green-energy” companies, Mr. Moorlach finds such favoritism distasteful. “I’m not an advocate of special incentives,” he said.

Three years later and I’m still of the same mind. I would prefer to deposit $330 million in one of California’s pension plans or other post employment benefits to reduce the unfunded liabilities. And why give a tax credit to one industry when so many others are trying to make do? Why not a “no better, no worse” approach?

And, worse, while the Capitol is trying to improve the culture, why give tax credits to an industry that brought us Weinstein and Toback? The Los Angeles Business Journal mentions the fun on this topic in the fourth piece below.

The LA Times addresses SB 1206 (De Leon) in the fifth piece below. This bill was introduced by Sen. De Leon and myself and I will be presenting it in the Senate Health Committee tomorrow. We need funding to build immediate housing for the state’s mentally ill homeless population and we need to do it now. This is a new approach on “No Place Like Home.”

Last week, Wednesday, I had one of the more awkward moments while presenting a bill. SB 1325 used an existing “Act” title. Rather than debate the actual policy in my bill, one of my Senate colleagues made it personal and proceeded to impugn my intentions where he actually presumed that I was being a racist toward an Asian Pacific Islander Caucus member, a charge that not only caught me off guard, but was highly inappropriate and regrettable.

I met with both of them the following morning to dispose them of any untoward motives. Ironically, a few minutes after these two discussions, my grandson, Koa, was born. Koa would qualify as a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus.

The presentation is addressed by in the last piece below.

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The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Cost-of-living adjustments for California state worker pensions are safe, for now



Future state workers, your pension cost-of-living adjustments are safe, and you won’t get to choose between a CalPERS pension and a 401(k) plan anytime soon.

Both proposals were shot down on Monday by a Senate committee that rejected a pack of bills aimed at reducing the risk taxpayers face if an economic crisis cripples the state’s public pension funds.

Most of the bills came from Republican Sen. John Moorlach of Costa Mesa and Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda, who argue that the rising cost of public pensions could drive local governments into bankruptcy when the next recession hits.

“We need to right-size the system. We need to restore public trust, because we’re going off a fiscal cliff,” said Glazer, the former Orinda mayor who sponsored the bill that would have allowed state workers to choose to participate in defined contribution 401(k) plan instead of the defined benefit plan offered by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

California’s two largest public pension funds, CalPERS and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, each have about 71 percent of the assets they’d need to pay all of the benefits they owe to public workers and retirees.

They’ve been trying to close the gap between what they have and what they owe by raising the amount of money they charge to public employers and employees, prompting some local governments and school districts to complain that pension costs are “crowding out” resources for other services.

But Glazer and Moorlach could not convince the Senate Public Employee and Retirement Committee that the looming crisis they see is dangerous enough to tinker with pension commitments made by the state and local agencies to millions of people.

Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, countered that she wanted to find ways to encourage more people to join pension programs instead of 401(k) plans. “I just think we need to do everything we can to get our young people into defined-benefit plans,” she said.

The pension overhaul bills the committee rejected were:

Moorlach’s Senate Bill 1032, which would make it easier for local governments to separate from CalPERS without paying the hefty termination fees that CalPERS charges to fund pension obligations for defunct agencies. If an agency quits CalPERS without paying the fees, CalPERS slashes the pensions it provides to the agency’s former workers.

Moorlach’s SB 1031, which would prohibit pension funds from providing cost-of-living adjustments to retirees if the pension fund has less than 80 percent of the assets it would need to pay the benefits it owes. Most retired public employees can receive cost-of-living adjustments of 2 percent each year, but some contracts allow up to 5 percent. Moorlach’s proposal would have applied only to state workers hired after Jan. 1, 2019.

▪ Glazer’s SB 1149, which would have allowed new state workers to opt for a 401(k) plan instead of a pension. The concept is attractive to younger workers who do not intend to be career civil servants. The University of California is offering a similar plan, and 37 percent of new workers are choosing 401(k) plans instead of pensions.

The bills are essentially dead for this legislative session, although they could be revived if enough lawmakers want to bring them back from reconsideration.

A long line of union representatives spoke against each bill. Terry Brennand, a lobbyist for SEIU California, called the Glazer bill a “disaster waiting to happen.”

Ted Toppin, a lobbyist for state scientists and engineers, called the bill to waive CalPERS’ termination fees an opportunity for employers to “stiff” their workers in retirement.

The unions want more time for the pension funds to benefit from recent changes that have employers kicking in more money for retirement plans and to recalibrate from the 2012 law that eliminated especially generous plans that the Legislature offered to public employees during the dot-com boom.


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By Dan Morain

An accountant’s trick


Calling politicians self-serving can be redundant. It can be bipartisan, too.

Sen. John Moorlach, an Orange County Republican, and Congressman Brad Sherman, a San Fernando Valley Democrat, are certified public accountants. Because they haven’t kept up with their continuing education requirements, their licenses are inactive. No big deal. Lots of professionals let their licenses lapse.

So what? In 2009, the Legislature, without a single no vote, approved a measure that says all inactive CPAs must disclose their status on any business communications in which they call themselves CPAs. That includes Moorlach and Sherman.

Unlike other CPAs, however, Moorlach can carry legislation, and he is, to the delight of Sherman.Senate Bill 1159 would exempt any CPA member of the Legislature or Congress from having to disclose that they’re inactive. The bill would affect two people: Moorlach and Sherman. Sherman wrote a letter of support:

“I believe that my colleagues, as well as other interested parties, would more carefully review my letters and documents on tax and budgeting issues if I could sign them as follows: Congressman Brad Sherman, CPA.”

A rich target: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Moorlach’s bill unanimously on Monday. At an earlier hearing, Moorlach seemed somewhat sheepish, calling the bill “a little self-serving.” Sen. Bill Dodd, a Napa Valley Democrat, voted no at that hearing, and made a point that accountants would appreciate: pushing a single bill through the legislative process costs about $10,000.

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Film Credit Clears Committees

By Matthew Blake

Los Angeles — A bill to extend California’s motion picture tax credit program sailed through Assembly and Senate committees last week.

“Clearly we have a lot of work to do – I think there is much more we should do,” said Kansen Chu, a San Jose-based Democrat and chair of the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media committee.

Chu and four other members of the committee all voted on April 18 to approve Assembly Bill 1734, which would lengthen by five years California’s $330-million-a-year film and television tax credit program. The policy is due to sunset at the end of 2019.

Committee members also approved without opposition Assembly Bill 2936, a similar measure to continue the credits.

The California Senate Government and Finance Committee, meanwhile, passed its own tax credit legislation, Senate Bill 951, on April 19 by a 5-1 vote.

Chu expressed concerns the tax credits aren’t doing enough to diversify Hollywood.

Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, a Democrat from eastern L.A. County and sponsor of AB 1734, has said that a final version of the bill could include greater incentives for women and minority filmmakers.

The California legislature passed in 2014 an expansion of the state’s tax credit program for movies and television shows from $100 million a year in credits to $330 million per annum.

The legislation provides television shows relocating to the Golden State and movies that shoot in California with a refund of 20 percent to 25 percent on crew member wages, as well as production and editing costs. The policy applies statewide but has an outsized effect in Los Angeles County, which hosts more than 90 percent of shoots that use the credits.

California differs from other states, such as Georgia and Louisiana, by limiting its credit programs to film crew, without reimbursement for the wages of actors, writers and directors.

The California Chamber of Commerce and various labor unions attended the committee hearing to shower praise on tax credits, stating that they generated billions of dollars in spending including crew wages.

The lone dissenting vote came from Sen. John Moorlach, a Costa Mesa Republican.

“I don’t want to pick winners and losers” among businesses, Moorlach said in an interview. “I want to try and protect tax revenues for my state.”


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With money tied up in court,

California lawmakers try again with

new plan to spend $2 billion on

homeless housing


A measure to spend $2 billion on housing homeless Californians could be on the November statewide ballot.

State Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is pushing the idea to deal with what he said was a “burgeoning humanitarian crisis whose epicenter is here in California.”

De León’s new measure is a do-over for a 2016 plan passed by the Legislature to redirect $2 billion toward building homeless housing from a voter-approved 1% income tax surcharge on millionaires that funds mental health services. A Sacramento attorney sued over that decision, arguing that the move violated constitutional rules on approving loans without a public vote and that lawmakers shouldn’t take money away from mental health treatment. The case remains active in Sacramento Superior Court and it’s unclear when, or if, the state will be able to spend the $2 billion.

De León’s Senate Bill 1206 would put the $2-billion loan on the ballot in November, freeing up the money if voters approve the measure. De León said had he been able to predict the 2016 plan would end up in court, he would have sought a ballot measure at the time.

“We thought this was like apple pie and baseball and puppies,” De León said. “Who would oppose the idea of repurposing the dollars to build immediate housing as a permanent solution for homelessness? Obviously with a crystal ball, had I anticipated the litigation, I would have worked to place it on the ballot.”

De León noted that the 2016 plan had bipartisan supermajority support in the Legislature, something his new bill also will need to get on the ballot. Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) is a coauthor of the plan.

SB 1206 is scheduled for its first hearing in the Legislature on Wednesday.

Should De León’s measure be approved, it will join a crowded list of housing issues before voters in November. Californians will decide on a separate $4-billion bond to help finance new low-income housing and home loans for veterans. De León said he’s not worried those two measures will compete against each other because voters are aware of the scale of the state’s housing problems and the proposed homeless housing bond redirects existing dollars instead of raising taxes.

“Once [voters] know that the impact on their pocketbook is not existent, I’m confident that they’ll join me and my colleague John Moorlach in support of this measure,” De León said.


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California Democratic Senators Newman and Pan Caught Fabricating Racism To Exterminate Civil Rights Bill

Last week California Democratic Senators Josh Newman and Richard Pan fabricated claims of racism to exterminate a civil rights bill, and they got away with it despite their failure to provide any evidence substantiating their allegations. To date, Senators Newman and Pan have not been held accountable for their actions.

The civil rights bill these Democratic Senators exterminated was simple: it would have guaranteed individuals and families the right to self-quarantine in their homes in the event of a pandemic, without fear of being criminalized for simply existing in their natural state (i.e., free of antibiotics or experimental vaccines). Why would anyone want to exterminate a person’s obvious right to simply exist at home in an un-medicated state, especially a perfectly healthy person?

Well, apparently the California Senate Health Committee wants to exterminate such a right.

Background of this Civil Rights Bill: PANDA

The bill in question was a scientifically supported, common sense civil rights safeguard introduced by Republican Senator John Moorlach. It was originally authored and named the Peaceful and Natural Dignity Act (“PANDA”) in the year 2013 by Greg Glaser, JD, for the Pandemic Response Project. Here is the original petition from the year 2013: link.

PANDA was written and named by Glaser before virtually everyone (including Glaser) had ever heard of Senator Pan. This is because the PANDA bill was written 1-year before Senator Pan gained notoriety by introducing California’s mandatory vaccination law SB 277. Recall that Senator Pan capitalized on the 2014 Disneyland measles event to push SB 277 through the California legislature, even though not a single child was injured by those measles, or even by most measles – see here; and further, the measles-containing vaccine has not been scientifically proven to be safer than the measles – see here.

We spoke with Glaser to confirm these details. And indeed, Glaser helped us confirm the obvious: his bill “PANDA” was named before Pan’s SB 277 and it was a reference to the word “pandemic” because it came through the Pandemic Response Project.

Interestingly, when naming the bill in 2013, Glaser chose the panda bear analogy because, in his words, “The panda is a beautiful symbol of both peace and nature, especially given the legal protection pandas enjoy.

As an endangered species they are afforded legal protection to exist in their own natural home habitat. So protecting pandas in their home is a good analogy for also protecting the right of peaceful humans to live naturally in our homes, even if there is a pandemic somewhere among the public outside.”

Moreover, “PANDAS” is also the well-known acronym for the prominent vaccine injury, “Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus”.

Democratic Senators Newman and Pan Fabricate a Race Card to Exterminate Civil Rights

Senator Moorlach who introduced the bill was shocked when Senator Newman claimed on the record that there were racial and offensive undertones to the pneumonic title “PANDA” (Peaceful and Natural Dignity Act). In addition to whispering something to Senator Newman before the event in question, Senator Pan nodded along in agreement with Senator Newman that the bill’s name was a personal affront to Senator Pan.

In the words of Senator Newman: “Where did the acronym PANDA come from? The panda animal would seem to have very little to do with vaccinations, but it does tend to have a racial or ethnic tinge to it; it also includes the first three letters of my colleague’s name, and I could see where one might take offense.” See video at 2:03:40: link.

From the video recording, Senator Moorlach was obviously stunned and speechless at Senator Newman’s allegation. Senator Moorlach said he did not know what to say, because he had never drawn the same pneumonic association that Newman was suggesting was racial. The video also shows the Democratic chair of the Committee refused to let Glaser even speak a word to explain the bill’s name origin (naturally, Glaser would have explained that PANDA was a reference to “pandemic” because it came through the Pandemic Response Project, long before SB 277). It is currently unknown whether the chair of the committee was also collaborating with Newman to intentionally fabricate a racism allegation, especially because he was also involved in the pre-event whispers with Senator Pan.

It is also unknown how much information the other Senators had about PANDA’s name origin. Their complete silence on the video suggests they lacked context or information necessary to know that Newman and Pan’s race card had indeed been fabricated.

The notion of racism here was simply a non-issue, but as no California Senator would ever go on record supporting a civil rights bill that could be perceived or labeled as having a potentially racist title, they obviously all voted no. Perhaps the majority would have voted no anyway on the merits, but we will probably never know.

PANDA: Why It Is Necessary

Glaser says the PANDA bill is necessary to create a civil rights safeguard against current California law that allows authorities to exercise a form of absolute power, by arresting healthy individuals who simply choose to remain un-medicated at home during a pandemic:

The local health officer may take any preventive measure that may be necessary to protect and preserve the public health from any public health hazard during any “state of war emergency,” “state of emergency,” or “local emergency”…. Any person who… refuses or neglects to conform … is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Cal. Health and Safety Code §§101040 and 120275

According to Glaser’s research submitted for the Senate hearing, PANDA was based upon a report by public health scholars at Boston University, in partnership with the ACLU, who found:

“Highly discriminatory and forcible vaccination and quarantine measures adopted in response to outbreaks of the plague and smallpox over the past century have consistently accelerated rather than slowed the spread of disease, while fomenting public distrust and, in some cases, riots…”

Annas, G., Mariner, W., Parmet, W., Pandemic Preparedness: The Need for a Public Health (Not A Law Enforcement/National Security) Approach. American Civil Liberties Union, January 2008.

And the CDC has observed the exact same phenomenon, which was reported in the CDC’s published journal in the year 2013:

During outbreaks of plague and cholera, the fear of discrimination and mandatory quarantine and isolation led the weakest social groups and minorities to escape affected areas and, thus, contribute to spreading the disease farther and faster, as occurred regularly in towns affected by deadly disease outbreaks. [And] in the globalized world, fear, alarm, and panic, augmented by global media, can spread farther and faster and, thus, play a larger role than in the past.

Tognotti, E., Lessons from the History of Quarantine, from Plague to Influenza A, Centers for Diseases Control EID Journal, Volume 19, Number 2—February 2013; DOI: 10.3201/eid1902.120312

Glaser also highlighted during the Senate Hearing that PANDA has a legal precedent in California’s current Tuberculosis control law:

“No examination or inspection shall be required of any person who depends exclusively on prayer for healing in accordance with the teachings of any well recognized religious sect, denomination or organization and claims exemption on that ground, except that the provisions of this code regarding compulsory reporting of communicable diseases and isolation and quarantine shall apply where there is probable cause to suspect that the person is infected with the disease in a communicable stage. Such person shall not be required to submit to any medical treatment, or to go to or be confined in a hospital or other medical institution; provided, he or she can be safely quarantined and/or isolated in his or her own home or other suitable place of his or her choice.” Cal. Health & Safety Code section 121370

Sixty physicians were on record supporting PANDA, along with several PhDs and rights groups. By contrast, the AAP was opposed to the bill. Ultimately, the Senate Health Committee voted no on the bill. But suspiciously, they never even engaged Glaser or Moorlach in dialogue regarding the substantive points raised by the ACLU and CDC Journal findings.

Instead, Senator Pan conducted a unilateral dialogue with a single opposition witness regarding cherry-picked measles cases. Senator Pan did not question the expert witness in support of PANDA, Tina Kimmel, PhD, MPH, who worked for the California Department of Public Health for most of her career, including within the Immunization Branch.

Dr. Kimmel provided testimony that emphasized why mandating vaccination has been proven to be counterproductive to public health goals. Indeed, none of the Senators asked Dr. Kimmel any questions. So on multiple levels, it does not appear that PANDA was given a fair or honest hearing.

If PANDA Had Been Given A Fair Hearing

Let’s consider why this bill – PANDA – is much more effective than mass coercive vaccination in the event of a public health emergency.

Even if we ignore the studies and surveys that show unvaccinated people are statistically healthier than vaccinated people, we cannot ignore the large, time-tested and statistically validated fact that isolation, sanitization and self-quarantine is far and away the most effective method whereby infectious disease transmission is obviated.

Note for example the figure below: it compares smallpox fatality rates in virtually unvaccinated and “unprotected” Leicester versus vaccinated/revaccinated populations in various areas (Japan, London, etc.). What does one see? The smallpox fatality rates are significantly lower in unvaccinated Leicester – a region which utilized the self-quarantine method to preclude infectious disease transmission.

The facts ostensibly demonstrate that mass coercive vaccination is not the most effective method (in fact, evidence indicates it worsens mortality).

Beyond the scientific aspect, coercive vaccination (in public health emergencies) that abrogates civil liberties, constitutional rights, and bioethical principles internationally regarded (bodily autonomy, inviolability, self-determination, etc.) acts to foster distrust of governmental authorities, and actually elicits greater rebellion and associated chaos. These legal concerns from the ACLU and CDC were the primary point that Glaser emphasized during the hearing, while his fellow witness, Dr. Kimmel, focused her testimony on the public health benefits of PANDA.

So, what could possibly be the impetus for opposition to this logical, scientifically/statistically proven method, which sensibly balances public health with respect for civil liberties? Did Big Pharma strike again?

We contacted Glaser after the hearing to obtain his impression of the day’s events. In his own words:

“When Senator Newman challenged the name PANDA as derogatory, I was shocked. I know Senator Moorlach was shocked too. He was just standing there and didn’t know what to say. Obviously racism isn’t something our offices had ever talked about or even considered.

The Committee chair wouldn’t even let me speak to explain the bill’s origins from the word “pandemic”. I found it strange that a surprise, fabricated side-issue could actually derail a very serious civil rights bill. I’m not a political guy, so I didn’t really understand what was happening in that Senate room. All I know is what I saw.

The Senators asked no questions about the ACLU or CDC references that we provided. Perhaps that’s just how these hearings go, but it didn’t seem like an honest hearing to me. From my experience in courtrooms, I can only say that ignoring actual evidence in favor of an unsubstantiated sideshow would never happen in an honest courtroom.

I also observed several other bills on calendar at this Health Committee, and there was an obvious pattern – this Health Committee has taken up the banner of financing the public’s demand for drugs and surgery.

I would say that even appears to be their primary purpose. Natural health and organic living are not discussed or considered among these Senators, let alone respected as the primary means for good health. If mass financing of drugs and surgery is what California health politics has devolved into, I have no interest.

Glaser also advised that he is uncertain where his PANDA bill may go from here. But he did offer a parting insight:

“If you believe that we can trust pharmaceutical companies to inject people only with drugs and toxins that are good for them, then you are neither a historian nor a critical thinker. There is a reason these companies demanded legal immunity from lawsuits – their products are inherently dangerous. And government officials are also immune from lawsuits. So the system inherently lacks accountability, regardless of one’s position on vaccination. Sadly, the political system is ironically dismissing the scientific method to promote a one-size-fits-all experimental pharmacy for the American people. Even vaccine-enthusiasts must admit that mandatory vaccination policies eliminate the continued availability of a control sample – a group of healthy and natural people – who check and balance their assumptions about the science of immunity.”

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

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MOORLACH UPDATE — Caltrans’ Hiring Spree — March 12, 2018

I’m opposed to the gas tax, Senate Bill 1 (2017), for many reasons. Here are the top 4:

1. Caltrans mismanagement
2. Regressive taxation
3. Misdirection of funds to high speed rail
4. Lack of priority for transportation previously exhibited by the Democrats in the state’s annual budgets over the last 14 years

Let’s just deal with Caltrans and its mismanagement. Think high speed rail (although it is not responsible for this agency, it can’t brag that it’s doing better). Therefore, think budget overruns. Think a $6 billion-plus Bay Bridge, which was supposed to cost $1 billion. Think 3,500 architects and engineers too many. Think only 20 cents of every dollar actually going to road repairs. Think a Department Head golfing on your dime. Think an engineer who golfed 56 days without management raising a stink. Think spending $250,000 for software at the height of the recession and then not using it, but falsely telling the Legislature that it was being used. Think road repairs running more than four times the national average; and we don’t have long winter snows on our highways.

I could go on. In fact, I already did in previous UPDATEs. If you need the links, I can provide them. But, it would double the size of this e-mail. So let me give you just one. Think public employee union controlled department (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Blame the Unions — November 9, 2015).

The previous Director for Caltrans, one whom I found totally tone deaf, recently left and was replaced by an insider by the Governor. I am doubtful that a career long bureaucrat is going to turn this agency around.

Today, I reintroduce the idea of outsourcing (for a sample, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Transportation Strategies — August 13, 2015). The Sacramento Bee starts the new spree of mismanagement in the piece below, which is front page, top-of-the-fold, allowing me to be one of the dissenting voices.

It is such a shame that Caltrans is such a bureaucratic mess and that it was not reorganized first. What’s worse, is that the state could easily accommodate more contractors and not have to hire a single, permanent union employee who will immediately increase California’s unfunded pension liabilities that are already massive. If California’s Department of Transportation was one of the best in the nation, then I could, in good conscience, support more road funding. Orange County did it with Measure M. Twice!

BONUS: For the first time in ten years, the State Senate recognized Women of the Year on the Floor this afternoon. Here are the details of my selection, whom I affectionately refer to as “Mom,” as she reminds me so much of my mother and she looks like a twin sister from a different mother. Here are the details:

Woman of the Year 2018

Ruth Tang Ding

During her illustrious career, both as a music teacher and a philanthropist, Ruth Ding has inspired students and members of her community with her organizational expertise and unflagging optimism in all her endeavors. She credits the strong work ethic and vision that her family instilled in her throughout her upbringing for her positive outlook on life, which served as a constant reminder to never take for granted the opportunities that she was afforded.

Ms. Ding received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Arizona State University. Her graduate work was performed at the University of Southern California. She has been an activist and promoter of the arts and Chinese culture in Orange County for over 50 years. She was honored in an article by Jodi Cadenhead of Newport 17 Magazine that celebrated “Champions of the Arts.” She has produced and chaired many ethnic festivals, music, and cultural programs in Southern California.

In addition to her commitments to the arts, Ms. Ding is extremely active in a number of philanthropic community interests. She is the founding president of the Orange County Chinese Cultural Club and Pan Pacific Performing Arts, Inc. She served on the founding board of the Opera Pacific and Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center in Santa Ana, and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. She was also the 2011 Gala Chair for Founder Plus, a support group consisting of founders of the center. These initiatives support education and community programs. Ms. Ding believes deeply in not only supporting the arts but also in instilling pride in younger members of the Chinese American community.

Ms. Ding was also instrumental in founding several major benefit events including the Opera Pacific Opera Ball, the Asian Headdress Ball, The International Music and Dance Festival, the Winter Blossom Ball and AASCSC’s “Winter Gala” which raised $200,000 for vital programs hosted by the Senior Service Center.

Ms. Ding has been honored with numerous leadership, music and service awards in her illustrious career. She has received the “Special Commendation for Service to Orange County Award,” presented by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and she was also made an “Honorary Goodwill Ambassador” by former Secretary of State of California, March Fong Eu in 1990. She is also listed in the “International Who’s Who of Women”, The Dictionary of International Biography, and now the California State Senate Woman of the Year.

Photo courtesy of Senator Cathleen Galgiani

Caltrans is desperate to fill thousands of new jobs



No kidding: It’s a really good time to send a résumé to Caltrans.

California’s transportation department plans to swell its staff by 10 percent over the next five years, adding 2,000 employees to help it execute projects funded by the new gasoline tax. Those positions run the gamut from maintenance to architects and engineers.

It has so many jobs on such a tight time line that the department is trying to cut through some of the state civil service rules that govern who it can promote.

Last week, it tried to wipe out a promotion list for senior engineers that was made up exclusively of internal candidates so it could more quickly hire from a different promotion list that included candidates from outside the organization.

In its request to the State Personnel Board, the department said that it will have a challenging time making a case to expand its headcount if it’s too slow filling its current vacancies.

“To justify these additional position resources it is essential that all departmental resources are filled,” the state Human Resources Department wrote on behalf of Caltrans.

Caltrans didn’t get everything it wanted.

It struck a deal with the Professional Engineers in California Government – the union that represents transportation engineers – that would let the department promote from both sources without throwing away the roster of eligible internal candidates.

The union, the department and the members of the State Personnel Board all stressed that Caltrans has to move fast to take advantage of Senate Bill 1, the law that hikes gas taxes over a decade to fund transportation projects.

“The governor’s directive to get SB 1 dollars out is imperative. We don’t want to disadvantage the department,” State Personnel Board member Richard Costigan said.

Caltrans began escalating its hiring efforts a year ago, first to replace retiring workers and then to prepare for the gas tax funding. The tax and other fees will deliver about $5.2 billion a year for transportation over the next decade.

“SB 1 is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” said Ted Toppin, a lobbyist who represents PECG.

California Republican leaders and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association are campaigning to repeal the gas tax, although their efforts have not yet qualified to reach voters as an initiative.

Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, thinks Caltrans is getting ahead of itself with its hiring spree. He wrote a bill three years ago that would have compelled the department to hire more private sector contractors rather than public employees.

“They need to outsource,” Moorlach said. State budget restrictions forbid Caltrans from outsourcing more than 10 percent of engineering work. “You don’t even know if the tax is going to be permanent until November. These (new employees) will be the ones you lay off, theoretically.”

The construction industry and labor unions last week released a study that argued the new gas tax would have wide-ranging benefits over the next decade, supporting about 68,200 jobs each year. The study by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association said about 14,000 jobs would be in transportation and warehousing, 7,500 in services, 4,300 in retail, and 3,900 in real estate and housing.

To get started on a Caltrans application and learn about the state’s hiring process, go to

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MOORLACH UPDATE — City CAFR Rankings, Vol. 10 — February 27, 2018

Well, here we are, the 50 California cities with the best per capita unrestricted net positions. It is the first piece below.

This was a fun exercise. So, I’ll be doing it every six months, as Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) seem to dribble in at their own pace. Note that for one small city below, Doris, the most current CAFR is from 2013! Get ready for more fun in August.

The three cities from Orange County include two from my District, Irvine (#41) and Tustin (#34), but the winner is Cypress (#33), which was in my Supervisorial District and its Chamber of Commerce recognized me, a former Cypress resident, as their 2014 Man of the Year (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Man of the Year — April 11, 2014). Congratulations!

There’s so much drilling that can be done. For instance, city number 482, Vernon, should consider merging with city number 1, City of Industry. It’s too bad that they are not adjacent.

Five years ago, I did a similar analysis of Orange County’s 34 cities, based on their 2010 CAFRs, less unfunded liabilities (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Atwater — October 1, 2012 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Voice of OC — October 10, 2011). The second piece below is an update of the previous list.

Here are the cities that made the biggest moves down the list (movements of three or less spaces are not included):

Villa Park (9 places)

Seal Beach (8)

Stanton (5)
Laguna Niguel (4)
Lake Forest (4)
La Palma (4)

Here are the cities that moved up the list:

Laguna Beach (15)
Irvine (14)
Tustin (6)
Cypress (5)
Yorba Linda (5)

It would be interesting to know the stories behind each city’s repositioning. Comparisons are always difficult. But, it is a measurement from which management can make decisions. This may be a good thesis assignment for someone pursuing a Masters in Public Administration (MPA).

The one big lament I have about Donald Trump being elected President of the United States is that I did not reposition my personal investment portfolio in order to allocate more into equities. The stock market has gone up like a rocket since November of 2016. I guess he is making American great again.

The LA Times Business section had this to say about Orange County:

LOOKING UP, UP, UP: Thanks to a churning U.S. economy, experts have upgraded their already shining assessment of the Southland–and particularly Orange County. It referred to E. Scott Reckard’s piece, titled “County’s Shining Payroll Picture Gets Brighter Still — Jobs: Humming national economy helped create more employment than foreseen.”

Unfortunately, the date of the issue was April 23, 1999. Four months later, with a dramatically amended SB 400 coming to the Floor at the end of session, voted on in the lateness of night, without serious analysis, the California Legislature approved one of the most horrific fiscal missteps in state history. It would be signed by Governor Davis, to his personal regret (see It allowed for public employee defined benefit pension formula upgrades retroactive to the date of hire. And, it was promoted by a public employee union dominated CalPERS board, relying on internal actuaries and their overly optimistic forecasts.

Shortly thereafter, the investment markets would provide three straight years of negative returns, something not seen in modern history.

In the third piece below, I want to remind Californians that high municipal debts, rising interest rates, and a volatile stock market are warning signs. The cities at the bottom of my list need to wake up and get serious, and soon. For when the next downturn arrives, they will be unable to borrow from lending institutions or from the municipal bond market. It will not be pretty. It’s provided in the third piece below in the electronic version of The Sacramento Bee, including their promo from “The Take.”

Rank City Population UNP UNP Per Year of
(Thousands) Capita CAFR
50 San Pablo 31,053 $41,967 $1,351 2017
49 Montague 1,441 $2,058 $1,428 2017
48 Hawaiian Gardens 14,753 $21,723 $1,472 2016
47 Portola 2,127 $3,150 $1,481 2016
46 Ripon 15,132 $22,515 $1,488 2017
45 Monte Sereno 3,501 $5,223 $1,492 2016
44 Ross 2,543 $3,917 $1,540 2017
43 Los Altos Hills 8,634 $13,378 $1,549 2017
42 Solvang 5,593 $8,799 $1,573 2016
41 Irvine 267,086 $433,617 $1,624 2017
40 CarmelbytheSea 3,842 $6,267 $1,631 2014
39 Westlake Village 8,370 $13,921 $1,663 2016
38 Danville 43,355 $72,257 $1,667 2017
37 La Mirada 49,434 $82,798 $1,675 2017
36 Palm Desert 50,740 $87,092 $1,716 2016
35 Agoura Hills 21,018 $36,600 $1,741 2016
34 Tustin 82,372 $144,443 $1,754 2017
33 Cypress 49,655 $89,651 $1,805 2017
32 Morgan Hill 44,145 $80,663 $1,827 2017
31 Point Arena 452 $827 $1,830 2017
30 Malibu 12,742 $23,870 $1,873 2016
29 Avenal 12,491 $24,358 $1,950 2017
28 Dublin 59,686 $120,464 $2,018 2017
27 Lathrop 23,110 $47,769 $2,067 2017
26 Carlsbad 113,725 $249,816 $2,197 2017
25 Half Moon Bay 12,591 $28,173 $2,238 2017
24 San Juan Bautista 1,856 $4,214 $2,270 2017
23 West Hollywood 35,882 $82,141 $2,289 2016
22 Rolling Hills 1,922 $4,595 $2,391 2016
21 Foster City 33,225 $83,096 $2,501 2017
20 Cerritos 50,039 $131,068 $2,619 2017
19 Bradbury 1,107 $3,196 $2,887 2016
18 La Quinta 40,677 $118,125 $2,904 2017
17 Yountville 2,935 $8,659 $2,950 2017
16 Truckee 15,904 $48,246 $3,034 2017
15 Commerce 13,064 $42,452 $3,250 2017
14 Hidden Hills 1,885 $6,569 $3,485 2017
13 Trinidad 369 $1,354 $3,669 2016
12 Shafter 18,868 $73,581 $3,900 2017
11 Rancho Mirage 18,295 $72,676 $3,972 2016
10 Coronado 24,543 $102,264 $4,167 2017
9 Etna 733 $3,511 $4,790 2014
8 Emeryville 11,854 $65,636 $5,537 2017
7 Dorris 966 $5,469 $5,661 2013
6 Beverly Hills 34,646 $250,974 $7,244 2017
5 Colma 1,506 $17,650 $11,720 2016
4 Indian Wells 5,450 $65,151 $11,954 2017
3 Irwindale 1,423 $23,748 $16,689 2016
2 Sand City 384 $11,396 $29,677 2016
1 Industry 440 $67,314 $152,986 2016
Num City Feb. 2018 2010
1 Cypress 33 6
2 Tustin 34 8
3 Irvine 41 17
4 Laguna Beach 55 19
5 Laguna Niguel 56 1
6 Lake Forest 86 2
7 Dana Point 89 4
8 Laguna Woods 100 11
9 La Palma 104 5
10 Aliso Viejo 107 7
11 Yorba Linda 129 16
12 Villa Park 130 3
13 San Clemente 142 12
14 Stanton 150 9
15 Rancho Santa Margarita 156 13
16 Mission Viejo 171 15
17 Laguna Hills 198 14
18 Seal Beach 201 10
19 San Juan Capistrano 223 18
20 Buena Park 302 22
21 La Habra 315 23
22 Los Alamitos 328 21
23 Garden Grove 330 20
24 Westminster 346 24
25 Placentia 349 26
26 Fountain Valley 362 25
27 Orange 367 28
28 Fullerton 386 27
29 Huntington Beach 422 29
30 Santa Ana 423 30
31 Anaheim 426 33
32 Newport Beach 434 32
33 Brea 438 34
34 Costa Mesa 444 31

California Forum

Sen. John Moorlach: A spike in state liability for retiree health care and recent stock market tremors are red flags that the economy isn’t as healthy as we think. Read more.

Welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter, produced by The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board. Please sign up for it here and tell your friends.


Two red flags that California’s economy isn’t as healthy as we think


Special to The Sacramento Bee

Two recent financial tremors should caution California and its municipalities that they had better get their financial houses in order. The first came from Controller Betty Yee in her update on the state’s retiree health care liabilities.

On January 31, she reported “the state’s cost for retiree health and dental benefits” has grown to $92 billion, up from last year’s $77 billion.

This is only the second year she has issued this report, following the standards issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. But it was a $15 billion increase.

Let’s hope this spike is an anomaly and not a trend.

Yet Yee warned the liability “will be unpredictable and will remain a paramount fiscal challenge over the next three decades.”

This $92 billion becomes the second largest number in the state’s list of outstanding liabilities. Even larger, as Gov. Jerry Brown itemized in his January 10 budget proposal for fiscal year 2018-19, is the $176 billion owed for underfunded pensions.

Add in $3.28 billion for several lesser liabilities, such as loans from special funds, and $19.3 billion for University of California retirees’ health care, and the total comes to $290 billion. This means every man, woman and child in California owes $7,300 to pay this balance off.

The Brown budget proposes paying down only $1.5 billion of that. The rest is left to his successors to tackle.

The second tremor came on Feb. 5 with the massive stock market drop, the beginning of the worst week for investors since 2008.

Turbulence and volatility are now the concern. With some indicators showing inflation rising again, the New York Times reported a week and a half later that “nearly all mainstream economists agree that at some point, higher interest rates and inflation hurt stock prices.”

My purpose here is to simply reiterate that the state and its counties and cities need to get their financial cards in a row. Even if the stock market continues moving up, a $290 billion unfunded liability simply isn’t sustainable. And if the market crashes, and stays crashed, then what?

I’ve been here before. In 1994, I warned that Orange County’s cash investment strategy was unsustainable because of “interest rate risk.” I was running, but lost that June, against longtime county Treasurer-Tax Collector Bob Citron, whose Midas touch with investments seemed to be invincible – until it wasn’t.

When Government Fails: The Orange County Bankruptcy,” published in 1998 by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, recounted what happened. He cited a May 31, 1994 letter I sent to then-Supervisor Tom Riley, warning that the fund had lost $1.2 billion since interest rates started rising in February 1994.

Baldassare explained how I explained Citron’s approach would work “only if there were declining interest rates over several years, which was impossible to predict” – a situation eerily similar to 2018. Riley “dismissed” the warning based on the advice of “financial experts.”

Orange County filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection that December in what then was the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history, with losses totaling $1.6 billion. In addition to Baldassare’s, dozens of books have been written quoting my warnings as a cautionary tale for today’s fiscal stewards.

What people do with their own money is their business. What government officials do with the people’s money is everybody’s business.

Elected officials need to encourage an emphasis on building cash reserves, cutting fluff and focusing on debt management, before their debts define who manages their municipalities.


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