Far 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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â Party and campaign insiders were panicked that the rift might cost the Orange County Democrats their only seat in the Senate.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â
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?