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To see and be seen with a winner

The Political Landscape

June 08, 2006|By Alicia Robinson

The election night party at Orange County Treasurer John Moorlach's campaign headquarters was the place to be Tuesday ? at least for the GOP. Moorlach won the 2nd District county supervisor's seat in Tuesday's primary, and a bevy of his fellow Republicans came to congratulate him.

It was like a who's who of Newport-Mesa, with an unusually short council meeting allowing Costa Mesa City Councilman Eric Bever and Mayor Allan Mansoor to show up and schmooze. Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry and candidate Jack Wu were there, and county treasurer candidate Chriss Street and campaign consultant Brett Barbre sported limited edition Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirts that were made especially for Newport's centennial this year.

Although beer and wine were offered, Moorlach stuck with his alcohol-free vice: Snapple iced tea. He said he used to drink coffee, but he gave it up and switched to the fruit juice his wife always brought on family vacations. He doesn't like soda or beer, but he can't turn down Snapple peach iced tea.

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"I'm a Snapple-oholic," he said.

FREQUENT POLITICIAN MILES

Huntington Beach Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and his staff were the second-biggest spenders on travel out of the California delegation's 66 members, according to a recent study of a five-and-a-half year period.

The study covering congressional travel from January 2000 to July 2005 was released Monday by the Center for Public Integrity, American Public Media and Northwestern University's Medill News Service. The study's authors cautioned that the data may not be complete because congressional offices do not necessarily disclose all trips.

During the period studied, Rohrabacher and staffers took an estimated 41 trips that cost about $250,000. Compared with other California representatives, that was second only to Bakersfield Rep. Bill Thomas, whose office took 246 trips worth at least $387,000.

The trips studied were paid for privately by corporations, nonprofit groups and others who in some cases may be "buying access to elected officials or their advisors," according to the study.

Despite his high ranking in his own state, Rohrabacher didn't make the list of members whose travel cost at least $350,000. The top traveler was Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, with an estimated $500,000 spent on trips.

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