Lou Correa leads Orange County his way

I ran into State Senator Lou Correa the other day while attending a groundbreaking ceremony at the Logan Barrio.  We had a chance to chat for a few minutes and he reminded me that he was the only Latino legislator to oppose the tax increase proposed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Senate President Don Perata.

Kudos to Senator Correa for sticking to his guns – he is perhaps the only Legislator in Sacramento who can be trusted to do the right thing, special interests and partisans be damned.

Correa also told me that he is opposing Prop. 8.  I wasn’t happy when we found out a few weeks ago that Correa accepted a campaign donation from Howard Ahmanson, the rightwinger who is bankrolling Prop. 8.  Clearly Ahmanson’s money didn’t buy Correa’s vote.

However, Correa is supporting Prop. 4, the ballot measure that establishes parental notification if a minor daughter has, or wants to have, an abortion.  This position pits Correa against Planned Parenthood, the powerful non-profit organization that is opposing Prop 4.  But the O.C. Register recently came out in favor of Prop. 4, so Correa is in good company.

Correa truly stand out compared to other local Latino legislators.  Assemblyman Jose Solorio is working to reelect Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who is anything but a progressive.  Solorio is even backing SAUSD School Board candidate Rob Richardson, a Republican allied with the dreadful Rosie Avila.  You will never see Correa do something like that!

And Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez just doesn’t get involved in many local affairs.  She does a good job in Congress, but that’s about it.  When it comes to leadership, Correa trumps her, hands down.  We saw that in fact a year ago when Correa held a town hall meeting regarding the fatally flawed Santa Ana Renaissance Plan.  The City of Santa Ana shelved that plan shortly thereafter to repair it.

If only more of the local Democrats in central Orange County were like Lou Correa.  Instead we are stuck with a pantry full of dreadful Pulido hacks.  How very sad.  What a missed opportunity for the Democratic Party of Orange County!

I am reminded that the DPOC did not do much for Correa the first time he ran for the Assembly, against Republican Jim Morrissey.  Correa barely lost.  Two years later he finished Morrissey off.

Correa doesn’t shrink from tough battles.  He had his hands full with Republican Lynn Daucher in 2006.  He beat her even though she had the help of Assemblyman Van Tran and his “Trannies.”  There has been some noise that she will take on Correa again in 2010.  Bring it on!  If anything Correa will win by an even bigger margin two years hence.

The real question is where does Correa go from here?  I could see him running for Congress if Sanchez ever gets tired of serving in the House of Representatives.  And he might be the only Orange County legislator who could run for a statewide office and expect to win.

In the year of the maverick, Correa stands alone as an example to his party of what can be done when a politician gives a damn about the people he serves.

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"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.