Hey Perata! You knew who you were getting in Lou

Lou CorreaFar more interesting to me than the ongoing pouting of Assemblyman Todd Spitzer over his recent move to smaller quarters at the hand of Speaker Nunez, is the ongoing spanking that Speaker Pro-Tempore Don Perata keeps dishing out to Orange County State Senator Lou Correa.

For those who may have forgotten, Don hand picked Lou to run as “his guy” to replace termed out Senator Joe Dunn.  He had his friends bankroll an IE campaign to trash Correa’s opponent Assemblyman Tom Umberg in the primary and late in the game to help Correa eek out a victory against former Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher in the general.

There were early signs for Perata that Lou was his own guy.  Most notably was his six years in the Assembly where Lou bucked Assembly leadership to vote the way he felt his district wanted him to vote.  I may not have always agreed with how Lou voted while in the Assembly, but you’ve gotta respect a guy who will stand up and do what he thinks is best no matter the consequences.

There were further signs of problems between Don and Lou before the November 2006 election.  After all the work and money spent by Perata and his ‘friends’ the backing that Lou needed to defeat Daucher can very late in the game.  Party and campaign insiders were panicked that the rift might cost the Orange County Democrats their only seat in the Senate.  With his leadership potentially on the line if he lost the seat, eventually Perata pulled together the suppport to help Lou out.

It seems that Perata cannot get it through his thick head that, like it or not, Lou Correa has his own mind and his vote is not for sale to Perata, at any price.  First Perata fails to permit Correa to hire staff so that he can function as a Senator, then he locks Lou out of his office after he attends a fundraiser for moderate Democrats in the Assembly, then on Friday Perata pulls Correa off of his assignment to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

You’ve gotta hand it to Lou though, he is unflappable in the face of Perata’s childish fits. Unlike Assemblyman Spitzer’s continuous whine about retaliation, Lou had this to say about Perata’s most recent action to the Register’s Brian Joseph:

“My vote is my vote and I don’t compromise that. … The pro tem gets to chose who to put or not put on committees.”

When Lou was locked out of his office earlier this year, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore offered his space for Lou to make some calls until he could get access to his own diggs. 

I wonder, with the annual budget fight coming up in the Senate, how long will it take for Republican Senate Leader Ackerman to invite Lou to caucus with the Republicans?

  11 comments for “Hey Perata! You knew who you were getting in Lou

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    May 19, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    At least Lou isn’t whining, crying and carrying on like Spitzer is…

  2. O please Dan
    May 19, 2007 at 1:56 pm


    Get a grip. Lou can’t get all his Democrat colleagues to back him in his fight with Perata like Spitzer can. Mike Villines rallied the entire Republican caucus to back Spitzer and present him with a set of boxing gloves. Villines made Spitzer his point man on law enforcement. The Reps delivered 31 Assembly votes because of Villines knowing the right person to put in charge of an issue. Correa voted no when Perata could not muster enough votes in the Senate on the first several go arounds in the vote on the same prison reform package.

    The Reps are laughing at the Dems. You insight into Sacramento is pretty dim.

  3. Steven Greenhut
    May 19, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Dan is right. Todd is making a big deal out of being in The Doghouse. He should pick one — being a martyr or complaining about the new office space, rather than doing both. Lou is handling his punishment with class. Actually, punishment by the leadership is no doubt helping his image in the district. He is staking out a rather principled and independent image. Good for him.

  4. May 19, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Well, I’m glad that Lou is handling Don Perata’s temper tantrums with such class. I may not agree with him when he occasionally votes against Democratic bills, but I know that Lou was not elected to serve Don Perata… He was elected to serve the voters of Orange County. I’m glad that Lou is handling this madness so well. I really don’t know how he does it.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    May 19, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    For Oh PLease…last time I checked, the Republicans were stll in the minority.

    Lou gets locked out of his office and gets bumped off a committee and handles it with class. And you’re proud that all the Republicans got together to march in lock step in suport of Spitzer. Isn’t that special?

    I appreciate the fact that Lous doesn’t need to check in with the party to kow where he stands.

  6. Publius
    May 20, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Senator Correa has had an independent streak since first being elected to the Assembly back in 1998. I believe an earlier Speaker (Villaraigosa?) replaced him on a committee for ONE DAY in order to get the vote result he wanted. Lou knows the district and has never pretended to be anything but a moderate, much to the chagrin of the local Democratic establishment.

  7. May 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Kudos to Correa! I am very impressed by his independence. He has earned my support.

  8. Roxxi
    May 20, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    This is quite amusing to hear the “progressive” Dems praising Lou after previously showing disgust with him, compared to your hero, Tom Umberg. Why the turn-around, my friends? Is it due to you realizing that you are stuck with him for the next seven years?

  9. May 20, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    The praise for Lou is that he is handling his “punishment” like a man unlike Spitzer who is still sulking in his closet. The hit is on Perata, because the moron knew what he was getting and shouldn’t be so petty.

  10. Northcountystorm
    May 20, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    I haven’t heard any of the local Democratic establishment express angst about Lou since his primary win over Umberg. Those that backed Umberg got over it and are supportive. it’s the LA-Bay Area Dems that seem to want to call the tune for the OC. And those that backed Lou still back him.

    As Publius notes, Lou has been a moderate since he was first elected to the Assembly. He told Perata as much when Perata asked him to run against Umberg. Perata knew what he was getting and now is trying to crack down on Lou. I can see removing him temporarily to get a bill passed but if its a permanent removal it shows no class on perata’s part.

  11. just...asking
    May 21, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Not that he needs it, but Lou has my support!

    If more members of both houses would focus on doing what is right instead of what either party tells them to do, Sacramento would again be a place of leadership.

    Lou has always been upfront where he stands, whether or not it agree’s with party or leadership.

    If Reps were so angry about Todds little office, why didn’t they protest when Villnes had Nunez send one of his misbehaving minions to the same office previously?

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