How DARE Moorlach bring up Wagner’s prison-guards-union-funded Hawaii junket?


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I’m not on the mailing list for John Moorlach’s State Senate campaign, OF COURSE!, but someone forwarded me his latest hit piece against his opponent Don Wagner.  Seriously, Mr. Moorlach?  You think that people are going to believe this?

Asm. Don Wagner: Frequent guest of union-sponsored Maui junket

The March 17th primary could quickly become a nasty intra-party feud as Moorlach and his chief rival, Wagner, court the district’s high-propensity GOP voters. An early theme in the race is likely to be Wagner’s ties to labor unions that “pulled out all the stops” to defeat Moorlach in past elections.

In 2012 and 2013, Wagner attended the infamous union-sponsored Maui junket, hosted by the Independent Voter Project. The brainchild of former lawmakers turned lobbyists Steve Peace and Jeff Marston, the Independent Voter Project’s annual Maui bash provides the Capitol’s biggest special interest groups with a legal method of circumventing the state’s gift limits. The event’s organizers say that part of the bill for the luxurious Fairmont Kea Lani, “Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury oceanfront resort,” is paid for by the state’s largest and most powerful labor union, “the correctional officers labor union CCPOA.”

Wagner accepted $2,179.79 in accommodation, meals, and beverages from the Independent Voter Project in 2012, according to his annual financial disclosure form. That made Wagner the odd man out of the Orange County legislative delegation –as the only Orange County legislator, Republican or Democrat, at the union-sponsored conference, according to the Sacramento Bee. Wagner’s office initially refused to confirm his attendance at the 2013 Maui conference.

As a Democrat, as I understand it, I am not supposed to be able to distinguish between public employee unions fighting for better wages and working conditions — ones towards which both Moorlach and Wagner both show hostility — and those, like the Correctional Officers, who just want to see more and more (AND MORE) people put into prison, at huge and unnecessary public expense as well as cost in lives of convicts and their dependents.  (I’m not sure that this applies to Wagner, but as I know that Supervisorial candidate Lou Correa is also a major beneficiary of contributions from the prison guards’ union, I presume that it must.)

That being so, I want to offer Assemblyman Wagner equal time here.  Surely, one would think, the Moorlach’s accusations towards Wagner must be in some way false, because otherwise Wagner was not looking ahead at the possibility of Mimi Walters flying off to stand at (or actually slightly behind) John Boehner’s side, and at the time of the 2013 junket plans to shove former Rep. John Campbell into a trash bin were already well underway.  So, here’s an opportunity for Wagner and his supporters: explain why this Maui junket either didn’t happen, or didn’t happen in the way described, or happened but wasn’t actually bad (perhaps because it led to more brown and/or poor people being cycled through the criminal justice system, or whatever justification they had in mind), or whatever the response is going to be.  Let’s not let The Moorlach get away with this sort of attack un-response-attacked!

I have to admit that I found the last portion of Moorlach’s missive a little confusing.

Orange County’s leading Republican organizations, including the influential Lincoln Club, have urged local candidates to decline financial support from labor unions.

“The Lincoln Club of Orange County believes that the problem of public employee unions and their corrupting influence at all levels of government must be taken so seriously, that the Club will not endorse a candidate who does not sign the following pledge: The undersigned on the date subscribed below will not accept campaign contributions from public employee unions,” the organization stated in its 2012 candidate questionnaire.

Now just a gol-darned second!  The Lincoln Club of Orange County endorsed Kris Murray for Anaheim City Council — and she got PLENTY of money and support from the most conservative sectors of the Labor movement, ones that want ENORMOUS amounts of public resources to go to their members.  So presumably, this must not be the Lincoln Club’s actual position, right?  What’s the Moorlach trying to pull here?  If you’re misrepresenting the Lincoln Club itself, Mr. Moorlach, then you are in deep, deep trouble!  We invite a representative of the Lincoln Club to write us a piece to set THAT portion of the record straight as well!

Honestly, the Moorlach — just how gullible do you think we are?


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)