Why did so many O.C. politicians endorse Carona…when they knew better?

Now that everyone can at last acknowledge that Sheriff Mike Carona is a very bad man, one has to ponder why so few Republicans stood up against him last year when his PR flack, Jon Fleischman, and his consigliere, Mike Schroeder, were conspiring to get the OC GOP endorsement for their man.

While I have had my differences with OC GOP Central Committee member Tim  Whitacre was one of the few Central Committee members who stood up against Carona. As did I. There were others, but not as many as you would have expected.

I used to be a big fan of O.C. Supervisor Chris Norby and O.C. Treasurer John Moorlach. But they both endorsed Carona, and they would not listen to reason. Matt Harper was a longtime Y.R. who had done a lot of good things for the GOP, but he wouldn’t listen to reason either as he too endorsed Carona. He now works for O.C. Supervisor Janet Nguyen. One hopes he has learned from this bitter episode.

There were many other Republicans whom I previously had thought to be paragons of virtue who jumped on the Carona bandwagon. Amongst them were Westminster Councilman Kermit Marsh; Congressman Ed Royce; Assemblyman Todd Spitzer; then-Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher; Mission Viejo Councilman John Paul Ledesma; Westminster Councilwoman Margie Rice; and Garden Grove Mayor Bill Dalton, who as a former cop should have known better.

And then there were Republicans on the list of Carona endorsers who I always suspected were corrupt, greedy or otherwise compromised. Amongst them Assemblyman Van Tran, whose wife was previously indicted; Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle; OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh; Congressman Gary Miller; former OC GOP Chairman Tom Fuentes; Fullerton Mayor Pro-Tem Don Bankhead; and Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea.

You can see a long list of O.C. politicians who endorsed Carona at this link. You will find a few Democrats there too. State Senator Lou Correa, whom I otherwise admire, also endorsed Carona. He did so, as far as I know, in exchange for a gun and a reserve deputy badge. He did so even though Carona started an ICE program at the county jail. I hope it was worth it Lou.

Tom Daly, the O.C. Clerk/Recorder, is another prominent Democrat who endorsed Carona. God only knows why he did it. But Daly wants to one day replace Norby on the O.C. Board of Supervisors. Well, folks ought to wonder about his judgment now.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who himself is enveloped in corruption, also endorsed Carona. Well, here is another reason for Pulido’s fellow Democrats to NOT endorse him when he runs for reelection next year.

It should be noted that Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters, also a Democrat, also endorsed Carona. Walters once lost to Carona in tough campaign for Sheriff. Walters of all people should have known Carona was a crook.

So why did all these people endorse Carona? Could they possibly not have known how bad a guy Carona was? I find that incredible. The O.C. Weekly (R. Scott Moxley) and the L.A. Times beat on Carona regularly – and they deserve accolades for their excellent reportage. This blog also beat up Carona a lot, but our readership back then was not what it is today.

But Carona’s henchmen, Fleischman and Schroeder, knew how to appeal to politician’s inner greedy pigs and they did so very well. And the Red-faced County/OC Blog, which back then was the major blog in town, praised Carona endlessly and ignored negative stories about him. Now that blog is pretending to be surprised about the collapse of the Carona empire. Don’t believe that B.S. for a second!

The bottom line is that when it mattered, many O.C. politicians, including almost the entire OC GOP machine, jumped on board the Carona express. This is one of the reasons I eventually quit the OC GOP Central Committee and said goodbye to the Republican Party altogether.

After the Holocaust, what remained of the Jewish people embraced the mantra, “Never forget.” While the collapse of the Carona empire does not approach the wickedness of Adolf Hitler, I do think that the admonishment to “Never forget,” is appropriate. I for one will NEVER FORGET who endorsed Carona. Even though they KNEW better. Nor should you.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.