PBS So Cal Broadcasts Reiff Interview on Voice of OC

This week on PBS So Cal, Inside OC is broadcasting a profile on Voice of OC and Publisher Norberto Santana Jr.

Orange County’s main broadcaster, Rick Reiff, sat down with Santana to talk about the development of Voice of OC and local investigative journalism.

Recently, the New York Times lamented the lack of investigative reporting across the nation and pointed to non-profit journalism as an outlet that is gaining steam.

Inside OC has joined a Voice of OC partner media initiative where local political content will be shared across both platforms. This week, the Foothills Sentry community newspaper in Orange also joined the Voice of OC partner media program.

The episode about Voice of OC runs this week on PBS So Cal’s main channel and across it’s two other digital channels, PBS SoCal Plus and PBS So Cal World all week long.

Inside OC also recently interviewed Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez about her U.S. Senate run and State Senator John Moorlach about his time in Sacramento.

Reiff hosted Sanchez, who took direct aim at Kamala Harris, saying the senate race will come down to the two of them and that she, Sanchez, will prevail by appealing to Latino voters and to southern Californians, who she said will make up two-thirds of the general electorate.

“If you’re a Southerner and are tired of the North running the business, then you’re going to be voting for me,” Sanchez said.

She voiced sympathy for the plight of the drought-stricken Central Valley and said she supports development of new water sources, a key difference between her and Harris.

“We can’t stop taking showers forever,” she said. “People down here are going to do what they can to conserve, but the reality is that in order to grow the economy of California, we need water.”

She also touted her Washington experience, saying Harris has none, and her reputation for being able to work with Republicans.

Sanchez said a Harris supporter was responsible for disseminating the video of her making a “war cry” gesture while speaking to a caucus of Native Americans, prompting criticism of, and an apology from, Sanchez.

“Look at the record. I have been 100 percent on self-determination for the Native American people. She (Harris) has really gone after them on their sovereignty issues.”

Sanchez, a member of both the Homeland Security Committee and Armed Services Committee, also said the country has made great strides in protecting itself against another terrorist attack.

Speaking just days before the Paris bombings and later the San Bernardino attacks, she described the country as being 95 percent safe. Getting to 100 percent, she said, would require “an incredible amount of money that we don’t have and a stripping of all of our rights as Americans.”

Reiff also writes that Moorlach — the oft-confrontational former county supervisor is surprising many in Sacramento by making friends among Democrats, sometimes casting votes that go against his party’s line.

In his interview earlier this month, Reiff highlights that Moorlach was the lone Republican voting for a bill that allows a person taking a blood test to check a box to also be tested for HIV, as well as a bill that requires officers to record the race of anyone they pull over. Moorlach said members of the legislative black caucus surrounded him to thank him for the latter vote. “You’re not perceived as this staunch conservative “no on everything” — which we have seen happen, and it just doesn’t work.”

But Moorlach tells Reiff he’s not compromising on fundamental issues, nor did he expect to win over Democrats on such issues.

Moorlach, a longtime critic of public employee unions during his county years, has continued that stance,. “Public employee unions really run the state. We call them the ‘B’ Team — they’ve been there, they’ll be there when I’m there and they’ll be there when I’m gone.” He said the biggest challenge facing the state is its crushing debtload — a $117 billion “structural deficit” and even bigger unfunded employee pension and medical liabilities. He said the state’s options are to try to raise taxes, get serious about cutting expenses, capitalize on low interest rates to restructure debt, sell assets or, he added with a chuckle, look at “Who can we sue?”

Moorlach also discussed his on-going calls for reforms at Caltrans: “They are an easy target, aren’t they? … We’ve got the highest car tax, the highest gas tax and the worst roads.”

  • KenCoop

    Moorlach is concerned about unfunded pension liabilities. How much of the unfunded liability from OCERS is because of the pension they are paying him?

    • Jacki Livingston

      Moorlach is concerned about Moorlach. Always has been, always will be.

  • Paul Lucas


  • LFOldTimer

    Voice of OC provides an invaluable service to the public. Norberto hired some very qualified investigative journalists. Rarely do I see any mistakes in the articles, regarding content, grammar or spelling. I am always tremendously impressed. And the content of the articles expose the underbelly of County government that you would NEVER find in the Register or other mainstream publications. Norberto was a superstar when he wrote for the Register. And when he hung out his own shingle he made it a raging success. The man is a class act. My hat comes off for him.
    Sanchez said that she will prevail by appealing to Latino voters. Imagine if a politician said they he or she would prevail by appealing to white voters. They’d be run out of town on a rail. Sanchez has no chance against Kamala. She’s wasting her money. And I’m no fan of Kamala’s.
    I like Moorlach. The fact that he will break ranks and vote with the democrats on certain issue raises his credibility in my eyes. And he didn’t flip-flop on his anti-public union stance. That would have been easy to do in Sacramento where the public unions owns most of his colleagues. Moorlach has a mind of his own. And we should applaud that characteristic in any politician. Love him or hate him you gotta give Moorlach credit. He’s not a cookie cutter politician.

    • Jacki Livingston

      You might not be such a fan of old Johnnie, if you knew what I know. In 2008, I wrote to him, giving him information, documents and proof that nursing homes in the OC were not just abusing patients, but also embezzling from them and from the taxpayers. I showed him the proof, and a pending lawsuit against the worst offenders, a chain of nursing homes. People were being killed, dying from the neglect and abuse. I showed him that SSA was not just ignoring this abuse, but that they were doing things that helped the nursing homes cheat the taxpayers and the patients. Moorlach did NOTHING. No, wait, I take that back…he turned over the letter to the same officials doing the crimes, and thus began a seven year campaign to destroy my career. Thus, dozens of elderly and disabled people lost everything, including the funds to be buried. Their children lost out. But Moorlach, Nguyen and the others got rich off the misery and homicide of the very residents that they were sworn to protect. And don’t let Johnnie fool you, he took from the unions. He used them to his advantage. I can prove it, and I have the documents. So, yeah, hero worshipping Moorlach might be a tad unfounded. But, to be fair, Kamala and Loretta ignored the situation, too. But Moorlach was right here. It was his JOB. He failed the most vulnerable citizens when they needed him most. There or only two possible explanations. One is that he didn’t give a crap because they didn’t vote. The other is that he, like his comrades, was on the take. Neither one speaks well to his character, does it?

  • Jacki Livingston

    Moorlach and Sanchez? Are they going to follow up with reruns of “Dumb and Dumber”?