More bad news for Carona

Mario Rodriguez, the president of the Latino Coalition Foundation, and a former vice chairman of the California Republican Party, announced on Tuesday that he is switching his support from Carona to his main opponent, Lt. Bill Hunt. Wow!

Rodriguez is also known for heading President Bush’s Western regional campaign in 2004. He is a local businessman and he is very active in Latino community and business issues in Southern California. He is also a reserve deputy for Carona, and a longtime supporter of the incumbent Sheriff. You have to wonder when Carona will be pulling his reserve badge…

While Carona’s campaign spokesman, Michael Schroeder, himself a former chairman of the California Republican Party, dismissed the defection and claimed that Rodriguez is not well-known, in truth Rodriguez is very well known in Republican circles, and the move is yet another embarrassment for Carona. Schroeder went on to say that Carona is endorsed by every Republican member of the state legislature, and other local officials. So what? That means nothing – basically the wagons are circling Carona, but the vultures are also circling overhead.

Rodriguez claims that he has grown weary of the scandals surrounding Carona. I agree! How can the guy find time to be the Sheriff when he is facing so many accusations, including charges of sexual harassment?

The story was reported in today’s L.A. Times, available online at,1,4452053.story?coll=la-editions-orange. KFWB-AM Newsradio 980 is also reporting the story, which is more bad news for Carona.

You have to wonder if Rodriguez made this decision in part as a reaction to Carona’s move to have his jailhouse deputies ask the immigration status of the probable felons that are apprehended. Of course no one at the Times or at KFWB is asking that question, but it should be asked of a guy who is a prominent Republican Latino leader.

About Art Pedroza