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September 19, 2007

Comments

Say what?

Misdirection is a form of deception in which the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another.

classic moorlach deception

Say what?

just as a matter of record, would any BOS member be willing to state their exact benefit package?

salary? pension? health care? etc....

total compensation not some half hearted attempt to misdirect

say what?
That information is easily obtained from the County CEO office. You just have to ask in writing.
Paul Lucas

Dear John Moorlach:

Your response to the OCR’s charge of your hypocrisy is nothing short of embarrassing to you and all the registered voters in your district. You blather on and on, attempting to justify the benefits spike you voted yourself in a rather ill conceived attempt to deflect criticism. Did you consult with Professor Marinara on this one? I’m sure the OCGOP is just tickled pink (or blue?) that you are championing benefit increases for the downtrodden-poverty stricken politicians of Orange County. How philanthropic of you.

Just one suggestion: Try to be accurate for once. The County employees you bash in your longwinded diatribe negotiated their benefits with the county. In other words, they obtained increases at the expense of other benefits. The final agreements were then approved and ratified by the BOS. Since you have ZERO EXPERIENCE in these matters, I’m sure you just simply overlooked these facts.

The short version?

These employees negotiated and bargained for their raises.
All you had to do was vote yourself a raise. Sweet.

Love,

John

8AF

Moorlach's tome is nothing short of bovine scatology.

He waxes on and on about the benefits he doesn't get. Then ends with the usual angst about defined benefit programs. Which in itself is problematic given the facts about DB plans in many private sector companies.

A 2006 WSJ article stated.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of corporate filings reveals that executive benefits are playing a large and hidden role in the declining health of America's pensions. Among the findings:

Boosted by surging pay and rich formulas, executive pension obligations exceed $1 billion at some companies. Besides GM, they include General Electric Co. (a $3.5 billion liability); AT&T Inc. ($1.8 billion); Exxon Mobil Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. (about $1.3 billion each); and Bank of America Corp. and Pfizer Inc. (about $1.1 billion apiece).

Benefits for executives now account for a significant share of pension obligations in the U.S., an average of 8% at the companies above. Sometimes a company's obligation for a single executive's pension approaches $100 million.

These liabilities are largely hidden, because corporations don't distinguish them from overall pension obligations in their federal financial filings.

As a result, the savings that companies make by curtailing pensions for regular retirees -- which have totaled billions of dollars in recent years -- can mask a rising cost of benefits for executives.

Executive pensions, even when they won't be paid till years from now, drag down earnings today. And they do so in a way that's disproportionate to their size, because they aren't funded with dedicated assets.

One reason executive pensions have grown so large is that they are linked to ballooning overall executive compensation. Companies often design retirement payouts to replace a percentage of what a person earns while active.

But for executives, the percentage of pay replaced is itself higher. Compensation committees often aim for a pension that replaces 60% to 100% of a top executive's compensation. It's 20% to 35% for lower-level employees.

What is says is that execs (aka Moorlach and others) believe they are entitled to usurious benefit plans where they have never contributed to the levels of those lower ranking employees who have contributed since their original date of employment.

His tome is as stated a misdirection to justify an action that is clearly self serving. Having discussed his lawsuit with several attorney colleagues, it is what is known in legalese technical terms as "a dog with fleas." I can only hope those in the Lincoln Club and others who believe in this moronic quest will come to their senses and recognize this waste of taxpayer funds (already experienced in San Diego who had to pay it and the defendants legal fees) as the posturing of a self aggrandizing elected who could care less about the taxpayer (as shown in his vote to raise his own benefits) and is only concerned about his own political future irrespective of the costs to the taxpayer.

Reggie

Where is Greenhut he complains about the unions getting a good deal where is his opinion on the big boys who get to vote for their own raises and benefits. Moorlach needs to go he is costing the taxpayers money.

Red Machine

8AF: Unfortunately your WSJ article cites CORPORATE filings, in which governments are not included, and therefore government executives (like Moorlach) are not. Stick with apples to apples and try not to let your rage against anything anti-union cloud your logic. I believe you take hypocrisy to a whole new level when you call a $2,740 increase "usurious", yet approximately 2,000 deputies got a $100 million+ gift in June 2002 (That's about $50,000 a head), courtesy of a back room deal between the dynamic duo, Sue Paul and Bob MacLeod.

John: How much vacation time do you have accrued that you plan to cash out when you leave your post as a deputy? If you consider a $2,740 increase to a defined contribution account a "pension spike" then I'm curious what you call your retroactive pension spike of 2002? With 12 years as the County treasurer and years of service on the Orange County REtirement System, Moorlach clearly has "zero experience in this matters." What bargaining experience do you have other than sitting at the trough while the gravy train keeps rolling? Why should we pay deputies higher wages when they just transfer part of it to pay Wayne Quint over $170,000 a year (this is about $35,000 more than what each Supervisor makes). I wonder how much of a "pension spike" those deputies that were watching the Dodgers game instead of stopping a jail murder are going to receive?

8AF

Hey Red Machine. The whooshing sound you hear is the point passing by you so fast you didn't get it.

I liked this post by OC Dem over on the Orange Punch blog.

Where’s your outrage over this action by the Supervisors being done in closed session away from the public scrutiny you demand of others. Moorlach has stated he wants to send further employee benefits to a public vote. Why didn’t he lead by example and do that action with the benefits he voted to give himself?

Is there an engineer out there who can invent an ironometer? Our fortunes wait to be made just on the actions of Moorlach and writings of one Steven Greenhut.

FYI RM. One of my attorney friends read Moorlach's CoS presentation and pointed out to me the proof offered by Mainero truncates the CA Constitution in order to substantiate his claim. That will get the case laughed out of court by any judge with any sense of the law in short order leaving us to pay the bill. Mainero claims to be a law school dean. If that is the case I know I will never hire an attorney educated at his law school. Or the Dean of the Chapman Law School who got up in front of the BoS several weeks ago to voice his support of this bogus case. If they are teaching their students to truncate the law, the clients of those alums are in deep trouble way before they get to court.

And once again I think the point should be asked that Moorlach and Greenhut want to demand of other groups. Where was the input from the public? Why isn't the public being asked to vote on this issue before it can go forward in what will surely be a waste of taxpayer funds?

Red Machine

8AF,

By the way you write, it doesn't sound like you could get into any law school. Moreover, in your response you don't even attempt to answer any the points I raised, which I take as even more evidence of your weak intellect. So, forgive me if I don't blindly trust the your opinion or that of "one of your attorney friends" over the opinions of preeminent constitutional scholars and lawyers. Stick to donuts and traffic tickets and leave the nuanced legal and policy discussions to those who can form complete sentences and logically coherent arguments. Whoosh!

Say what?

What they make

Here is the annual compensation received by each member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors:

Base salary: $137,321

Benefits: $59,000

Car ($765/month): $9,180

OCTA stipend: $6,000

SUBTOTAL: $211,501

Stipends for other agency boards supervisors might sit on:

Toll road: $8,640

Sanitation district: $4,080

Fire Authority: $3,600

LAFCO: $1,200

Sources: Orange County Human Relations, Orange County Auditor-Controller, AAA, American Petroleum Institute, Orange County Transportation Authority, Transportation Corridor Agencies, Orange County Sanitation District Board, Orange County Fire Authority, Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission,Peggy Lowe OCR

8AF

So, forgive me if I don't blindly trust the your opinion or that of "one of your attorney friends" over the opinions of preeminent constitutional scholars and lawyers.

Okay RM. I didn't respond to your points because they were also a deflection of Moorlach's hypocrisy. You want to take the words of two preeminent constitutional scholars.

Here is the presentation of Moorlach's preeminent scholar as presented last July.

Article XI, Section 10: “[A] local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a public officer, public employee, or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract has been entered into and performed in whole or in part …”


But what does the CA Constitution really say?

Article XI, Section 10:(a) A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a public officer, public employee, or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract has been entered into and performed in whole or in part, or pay a claim under an agreement made without authority of law.

Pay close attention to the bolded part. That is what was sent to me by my "attorney friends" who practice law. And who coincidentally laughed at this presentation as being either sloppy or designed to be prejudicial. Local governments (i.e. the BoS) have the authority of law to make this agreement. I doubt this is the only part of the case that is incorrect in its legal summations. In a parallel universe where you might reside I guess it is okay to parse the law to suit your own purposes. But the world the rest of us live in have to abide by the law as it is written in its totality.

As far as my academic credentials. Your comment is a borderline personal attack that is really pretty funny. For the record I have an MBA from one of the best business schools in the country that happens to be located in Illinois. I'll let you figure out which one. At this point in my life it really doesn't matter. No one cares about my alma mater at this point in my life. You want to believe I wasn't capable of attending law school so be it. I on the other hand might be a little careful in paying for a service from someone educated under the tutelage of those you are entrusting.

Red Machine

8AF:You and your attorney friend should be smart enough to figure out that this lawsuit will challenge the constitutionality of the legislation that granted 1937 Act Counties the authority to provide retroactive pension benefits WITHOUT the employees paying for it. If you had read the legal presentation more closely you might have picked up on that. I would also note the language of the Constitution; it reads: "OR pay a claim under an agreement made without authority of law" not AND. Therefore if ANY of violations stipulated occur then it is unconstitutional. I should have guessed you got an MBA, your posts are loaded with jargon and malapropisms. Consider for a second that you might be in over your head on this one.

8AF

RM,

My attorney friends graduated from law schools far more prestigious than Whittier or Chapman. They recognize the purpose is to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation that granted 1937 Act Counties the authority to provide retroactive pension benefits WITHOUT the employees paying for it. They are practitioners of the law. You know. People who get paid by clients. Not professors who are paid by a university or a government entity. I'll take their word over anything I've seen from the Moorlach camp.

Their comments were that this has already been tried in the past and has lost. This isn't new ground Moorlach is covering.

I do like your putdowns at the end. One knows an individual's argument or point has no merit when it dissolves into a personal attack. Like yours. Like I said earlier. No one cares about my educational background or alma mater other than those who are still trying to prove their value. My clients only want to know what results I can deliver. One day you might know what that means. From the sounds of it, you have a long way to go.

The one in over his head is Moorlach. He's letting the taxpayers pay for a fool's errand. Don't believe me? As the San Diego City Council how well this tactic worked from them.

redperegrine

8AF & RM, you both write pretty well, which is a rare talent these days. I suspect you both do alright.

I think RM is right on the basis of that sentence you are arguing about. There is clearly an intent to provide severability. Mainero omitted the "or" clause simply because it wasn't relevant to his point.

ricco

actually if you break down Article XI, Section 10 you will see :

A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a public officer - without authority of law.

and

A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a -public employee - without authority of law.

and

A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a - contractor after service has been rendered - without authority of law.

and

A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a - contract has been entered into and performed in whole or in part - without authority of law.

and

A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a - pay a claim under an agreement made - without authority of law.


what's so hard to understand? to be allowed to pay addtional monies always requires auority of law, which they had when the orignal bill was passed.....

redperegrine

Respectfully disagree, ricco. The sentence has two "ors" the latter preceded by a comma. The last part has to do with paying claims - not extra allowances which is what the first part of the sentence refers to. I think this would comport to usage of standard English although a semi-colon would have been a better way to separate the clauses.

ricco

if you research the use of "or" and "," in legal documents you might be surprised to the legal definition of a sentence.

how would you interpret the following

doe 1, doe 2, doe 3 and doe 4 will share equally in the estate of...

vs.

doe 1, doe2, doe3, and doe 4 will share equally in the estate of...

?

judicial interpretation states the comma separate 1, 2, 3&4 in the first example for a sharing of 1 gets 33.1/3%, 2 gets 33.1/3% and 3&4 "share" 33.1/3% or about 16 1/6% each.

while 1,2,3,4 in the second one share at 25% each.

just so with Article XI, Section 10 the commas and the "or" separate the identified individuals, so as to not allow anyone to be missed in the interpretation of who can paid and how.


Article XI, Section 10:(a) A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a public officer, public employee, or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract has been entered into and performed in whole or in part, or pay a claim under an agreement made without authority of law.

What the law is saying is "A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance " to " identified person(s), contract(s), claim(s)" without authority of law.

You must use the complete sentence, you cannot just pick a part of it to enforce, and ignore the rest. Government contracts are continually revised and additional monies spent, with the "full authority of law" by making an adjustment to the existing contract and having it approved by the governing body. How can they pay back pay when a contract is not approved on time? How many times have employees worked under a older contract until the new one is approved and then paid 'back pay"? How does the " extra compensation " get paid for work already done?

Does the governing body always have to approve it? no , they can disagree with the change and deny it. What was the purpose the Article? to be sure that a local goverment does not "grant " monies "without authority of law" .....why does everyone have such a problem understanding a simple sentance.... maybe written english has gone the way of the DODO.............

8AF

RP,

I agree with you completely. While RM would like to believe there might be an Achille's heel being put forth by Moorlach, something tells me those who drafted and passed the legislation didn't do it in a vacuum. I'm willing to wager their was significant legal input during the legislative process.

redperegrine

No, you agree with ricco.

To me the issue hangs upon whether intent of the language is to address two distinct classes of objects or only one.

Chris Prevatt

Back to the point of Moorlach's response to the charge of hypocrisy.

At no point did the Board, in particular Supervisor Moorlach, address the fact that they were spiking their own 401(a) pension benefits. The discussion on the agenda item focused entirely on the MOU's between the County and the Orange County Employee's Association.

This was classic misdirection on the part of the Board. Combine a bunch of items together and then focus the discussion on only one aspect of the matters being approved.

The actions of Moorlach on this matter exhibit a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that he does not really possess. That is the very definition of HYPROCISY.

butch vanartsdalen

While of course the hypocracy is stunning, and you are correct in looking at the construction of the statute, there is also Cal Supreme case law supporting the cops. This aint close. I have practiced law in this county for nearly 30 years. Very simple legal research reveals huge exceptions to the theories of state con law cited by Moorlach--- I am stunned that guys as smart as these lincoln club folks don't see this yet. The DA tried to tell them, the independant counsel tried, the public has tried...hmmmm...This has turned into a huge embarasment for Moorlach and the sup's who ignorantly follow.

JB

I thought it was interesting that Mr. Moorlach said they weren't making their 8% 401(a)increase retroactive. Even though that is true, his pension (Defined Benefit of 2.7% at 55) was made retroactive at the same time the OCEA members were made retro in 2005. Does Mr. Moorlach contribute anything to his pension or the retroactive part? I believe the County contributes all of the contributions just as they do for the Safety Members! Anyone above an ML1 (those in management) has their contributions picked up by the County. Mr. Moorlach is an E1. Moreover, he could, because he's an elected official, opt out of the Employees defined pension plan if he wanted to.

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