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.”