Who’s afraid of Joe Dunn?

The possibility that former Senator Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) might run for Orange County First District Supervisor has made many Democrats in Orange County happy; in some cases, me in particular, ecstatic. But that feeling may not to apply to everyone.

In addition to Republicans, who are understandably nervous about the prospect of Joe Dunn running, it looks like some high profile Dems are getting nervous as well. That nervousness was the topic of discussion at the Drinking Liberally gathering at Memphis in Santa Ana on Thursday night.

Over the past several weeks Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Senator Lou Correa have been telling political activists and labor leaders that they might not support Senator Dunn for Supervisor. 

Since they have not indicated support for any other possible and/or eligible candidate, it is suspected that their motives may be purely based upon political self-interest.

So why wouldn’t Sanchez and Correa want to support Joe Dunn for Supervisor?

It is widely known in political circles that Congresswoman Sanchez would like to seek state-wide elected office in either 2010 or 2012. It is possible that Sanchez and Correa have allied in hopes that Correa secures the party nomination to fill her Congressional seat should she move on. They may fear that if Dunn is a sitting Supervisor that he might run for that seat and simply do not want to take the chance that he would be in a strong position to do so.

If true, the implications of such possible political calculations are clear; Sanchez and Correa would rather have conservative Republican representing the First District than someone who represents the needs of all the people of that district. If true, it would be disappointing that they are willing to place their personal political aspirations ahead of the needs of the people they represent.

While the Republicans have Van Tran and Trung Nguyen playing political games in the First District, I hope the Democrats are not stuck with Sanchez and Correa playing the same games. Whatever the case, I hope the voters are wise enough to support Joe Dunn for First District Supervisor if he chooses to run.

  16 comments for “Who’s afraid of Joe Dunn?

  1. Point of Information
    December 3, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Chris, did you inquire from Loretta’s office, a response to your accusation? I have this weird feeling your completely off in your assumption to this post, but your disdain for Loretta is pretty clear.

  2. December 3, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Did you guys slam Miguel Pulido last year when he endorsed Republican Santa Ana Councilman Carlos “Space Commander” Bustamante? Al Amezcua endorsed Bustamante too. So did most of, if not all of, Pulido’s cabal.

    Janet Nguyen is doing a great job as our Supervisor. I think that Lou and Loretta can see that, even though some partisans cannot.

    Joe Dunn should run for the Santa Ana Council – where he could TAKE OUT the Space Commander and thereby make the Council all-Democrat. That race would be a slam dunk for Dunn.

    If Dunn runs against Janet, he is only going to lose, just like your last great white hope, Tom Umberg, did.

    Why are you so anxious to remove a minority woman from a non-partisan office? This is why your party is having a hard time with the Vietnamese voters! They will be backing Janet, big time! If Dunn runs, you can figure that these voters will work against you henceforth. That almost cost Lou his last election.

    BTW, your party chairman endorsed Republican MIke Carona last year, even though there was a moderate (Ralph Martin) in that race!. Did you slam him? Tom Daly endorsed Carona too! And many in your party endorsed Chriss Street.

    You cannot have it both ways Chris. Why attack Lou and Loretta while you give free passes to your white politicians when they endorse Republicans? It makes you look anti-Latino, even if you are not.

  3. December 3, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Good grief Point!

    This is a political blog. I wrote about political conversations that occurred in public and suggested possible reasons for the information discussed in those conversations. I think the two words “if true” clearly identified what was speculation.

    I took several days to consider whether I wanted to post my comments. I am certain the conversations I mentioned occurred. I hope the information I heard regarding the content was wrong. I would not however be too surprised if the info was dead on target.

  4. December 3, 2007 at 3:48 pm


    The universe does not revolve around Pulido. When a democrat endorses in a race where only Republicans are running, they are entitled to their opinions.

    My point is simply that Sanchez was instramental in Correa abandoning the seat and neither of them stepped up to help find a suitable candidate to run to fill the vacancy. If they are indeed whispering that they might not support a strong candidate without offering up a suitable replacement then I see that as political calculation for their own benefit.

    Thats what it looks like to me. If it isn’t as it looks, I’ll be thrilled.

    I look at how Janet has voted and I find no reason to personally support her reelection. You talk about Carona and then ignore her position on that issue. You bring up Street but ignore how she voted on the issue.

    Get real Art. One minute you call us nothing more than the liberal version of Red County for not criticizing Democratic electeds, then you bitch when we do.

  5. Flaming Cat Democrat
    December 3, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    “Point of Information” write: “Chris, did you inquire from Loretta’s office, a response to your accusation? I have this weird feeling your completely off in your assumption to this post, but your disdain for Loretta is pretty clear.”

    Disdain for Loretta? Why would you say that and not say disdain for Lou Correa? I have read Chris’ post over and over, and I can’t see anything said about Loretta that is not said about Lou. So is Chris being disdainful toward Lou and Loretta, is Chris being disdainful toward neither, or is “Point of Information” really just anonymous political blogging by Loretta’s people?

    Considering the options, my guess is “Point of Information” is Loretta planted or Loretta cover. This post is obviously NOT disdainful, neither toward Loretta nor Lou. Disdain is scornful, disrespectful. The post is neither.

    Since no one with any level of objectivity could construe Chris’ post as disdainful, let alone disdainful only towards Loretta (and not Lou), one is compelled to conclude the writer has some more than passing connection to Loretta. Trying to discredit Chris by even calling his post “disdainful” is classic political hide the ball, distracting from the accuracy of the post by attacking the writer.

    Is Loretta’s office going to get on the phone and respond to an inquiry from a Liberal blog regarding whether Loretta would support a candidacy that has yet to be announced? SURE . . . that’s likely.

    Speculation as to whether Dunn runs is so widespread, it would be sheer ignorance to question whether Loretta (or Lou) are discussing their support (or lack thereof) of potential candidates with a wide variety of groups, including (and especially with) political activists and Labor leaders. Further, no names have been floated around as a democratic candidate for the next supervisory race, with the exception of Claudia Alvarez, who no one takes seriously anyway, and certainly no one wants. Alvarez is banking on Santa Ana Measure D to extend term limits, as she is a two-time loser at larger office goals, and has alienated just about everyone. If she has to run again in Santa Ana she might even lose, as her name recognition is high but negative, and her bankrolling dried up. Neither Lou nor Loretta have floated any potential candidates out, and certainly there are no heavyweight contenders other than Dunn on the democratic side. And the democratic party can only win a place on the OC Board of Supervisors in the first district.

    Loretta has always been “what do I get out of it” with all of her endorsements and campaign activities. Like her or dislike her, if you know her, you know she is a “Me First” politician. Even if you do not know her, you know that about her. Everything Chris writes about Loretta’s future goals are generally well known in political circles.

    If Loretta would not get behind a Dunn campaign, she herself will prove Chris right. Dunn is the only credible candidate from the democratic side – If Chris is right, look for Loretta to do something re. Lou has always hated Dunn, so look for Lou to stay out of it out of spite as well as political self-interest. Lou has never met Dunn’s numbers in anything – approval rating, margins of victory, you name it, Dunn has outshone him – for good reason. Lou is a classic triangulator – standing for nothing but re-election and money donations. Unlike Lou, Dunn is principle based – you never have to question where his vote is, because he votes his principles. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that he gets support far beyond democratic party lines, despite his “liberal” voting record. That is why Dunn beat his republican opponent for re-election by well over a 20 point margin – something that is still talked about with admiration by republican politicos – because principles do count for something with voters. No one can credibly argue that Dunn would be the one to beat if he does get in – the question is whether he will. Look for that to resolve soon, as the window for candidates jumping into the ring is beginning to close. If Chris is right, look for Loretta to do some heavy pandering to the Vietnamese community, and pandering to women’s groups as well. She can’t support a republican, so look for her to prop up a sacrificial lamb candidate with no real political experience. Ultimately, I think Loretta would come around to support a Dunn campaign, because she is not stupid, but she sure would look it to a lot of people if she didn’t support Dunn.

    But don’t expect her acolytes – like “Point of Information” – to get it.

  6. Northcountystorm
    December 4, 2007 at 1:42 am

    It’s often difficult to follow Art’s reasoning but this one is harder then most. He claims Chris is giving “free passes ” to (here comes the race card)”your white politicians who endorse Republicans.”

    Hello Art! Chris is concerned with Democrats endorsing Republicans when there is a Democrat in the race. he’s not the free pass kind of guy when a Dem is involved but the OCEA backs Republicans as well as Democrats and where no Democrats run then people do what they think best.

    You bag on Barbaro and Daly for endorsing Carona but there was no Democrat in the race. Martin was a Republican. There was no Democrat in Street’s race either. Barbaro has supported–and unlike you–has given considerable money to Latino Democrats running for office. You just don’t seem to like them but they are still latino. As for Pulido and Amezcua, there has been plenty of bagging on them for endorsing Bustamante but people tend to move on unless they are obsessed.

    But we do know that Art Pedroza opposed now Councilwoman Michelle Martinez by backing Republican (and white) Evangeline “Tim Rush has a right to go after anything that will make that a better street” Gawronski. Art is the last person who should complain about others endorsements and the last to play the race card. It’s an old, stale card and there aren’t alot of folks carrying around white-liberal guilt who buy into it anymore.

    Chris–Loretta and Lou were p.o’d during the last 1st S.D. race because labor and the DPOC got behind Umberg and then, almost as an after thought, consulted the two highest elected Democrats in the area with what amounted to a fait acompli. Now it appears that the same scenario might repeat. I don’t think its unreasonable for them to be upset and I don’t think you are suggesting that they should necessarily fall into line behind someone at this stage of the game with whom they have issues.

    I do think that Loretta and Lou have a responsibility as elected Democrats in partisan positions to help elect a Democrat in the 1st S.D. And if they have issues with Dunn they either need to work them out with Dunn or come up with a viable Democrat. I know some armchair bloggers can’t seem to get this but putting a Republican in the 1st S.D. points a dagger into Lou’s and Loretta’s seats. Janet would be primed to run for either seat and would have a free ride to do it. And for Solorio, he is going to want to run for Lou’s seat if Lou goes for the congressional seat. Having Janet in the 1st S.D. creates a powerful opponent. So none of the 3 should want to see Janet re-elected.

    Does anyone know if Joe Dunn is committed to run in this seat? And if he is, has he picked up the phone and tried to call Loretta or Lou?

    You mention Loretta or Lou, but my little birds tell me that Jose Solorio is also unhappy with a Dunn candidacy and has let people know this. So this is not just about Loretta and Lou.

    Sounds like Frank needs to try and earn a Nobel Peace prize by getting these folks together.

    A final thought: there is some talk that Joe has no interest in County issues and is only thinking about the 1st S.D. as a holding seat until loretta’s congressional seat opens up. This information is greeted not surprisingly by Lou–and people who are concerned with County issues–with something less then enthusiasm. here’s a modest proposal: if Joe is serious about being a supervisor, make a pledge that he will serve out his 4 year term and send a written endorsement of Correa as Loretta’s replacement if she moves up. That might do it Chris.

  7. Flaming Cat Democrat
    December 4, 2007 at 8:18 am


    Interesting take: “A final thought: there is some talk that Joe has no interest in County issues and is only thinking about the 1st S.D. as a holding seat until loretta’s congressional seat opens up.This information is greeted not surprisingly by Lou–and people who are concerned with County issues–with something less then enthusiasm.here’s a modest proposal: if Joe is serious about being a supervisor, make a pledge that he will serve out his 4 year term and send a written endorsement of Correa as Loretta’s replacement if she moves up. That might do it Chris.”

    Who are you, Lou? One of his staffers? You seem to have quite a memory, until it comes to inconvenient little truths like that fact Lou Correa used the County Supervisor seat as a place holder waiting for Dunn’s senate seat to open up. Correa also promised to serve out his full supervisory term, but he was lying to the voters and all in political circles knew it -he wanted Dunn’s former Senate seat.

    You also write: “I know some armchair bloggers can’t seem to get this but putting a Republican in the 1st S.D. points a dagger into Lou’s and Loretta’s seats. Janet would be primed to run for either seat and would have a free ride to do it.” Of course – but it was Lou abandoning the seat (and violating his promise to serve a full term) that opened up the seat to republican hold, and facilitated Janet’s election. Also, do not forget that Lou had no credible democratic candidate to run for the seat he was abandoning, so it is rather disingenuous of you to now state that “putting a Republican in the 1st S.D. points a dagger into Lou’s and Loretta’s seats”. That was Lou’s fault and Lou’s doing. Lou doesn’t care about the democratic party – he would be a republican if it would get hi elected, but that wasn’t going to happen to a Latino in OC when he was shooting for election. His voting record is that of a republican anyway – he does not support any party events, he does nothing for the party. and only is involved with events when he is trying to get something he wants.

    By the way, Solorio did the same thing, as did Alvarez when running for Lou’s seat. Promised to fulfill their full terms, and then months later annnounced candidacies for a different office.

    Correa, Alvarez, and Solorio, as well as Sanchez, are just trying to keep down a far more talented “non-latino” guy. That is depressing – and hypocritical.

  8. just...asking?
    December 4, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Didn’t Joe and Loretta share office space? Didn’t Joe and Loretta’s office staff work very closely on regional issues? I received invitations to events which were supported by both Joe and Loretta. Can someone tell me how and why this supposed political battle begin?

    Lou never intended to complete his term as supe. He was looking for endorsements shortly after his 1st dist election. I don’t have a problem with that, but he did leave the dist democrats high and dry. The party never really supported or worked well with Lou. Even as an assemblymember he couldn’t get any love during endorsement meetings, so nobody should expect him to bend over backwards for the central committee.

    That said, Lou like Joe connects very well with people. When you go to events and see real people, not big donors, hugging and thanking these two for the help their offices provided to the community it is very touching. To me that is what being a Democrat is all about, not handouts, but access to fair and equal representation. The shade of their skin should be of no consequence!

    Sólo preguntas?

  9. Northcountystorm
    December 4, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    flaming cat democrat—

    No, I’m not Lou nor am I on Lou’s staff. But after reading your comments I have to admit the following multiple choice test as to who you were came to mind:

    a) Joe Dunn(quickly discounted–Joe’s got too much class and intelligence to make these comments which will only exacerbate difficulties for him if he does run).

    b) A former Dunn leg staffer. Maybe, but you’ve done so much damage–and you probably have no clue as to how much–that you couldn’t be someone that at least has his best interests at heart.

    c) An ideological cold warrior who would like to kick Lou and possibly even Loretta out of the Little Tent Democratic Party. Could be.

    d) A Republican plant, stirring the pot. Gotta be.

    I’ve heard both sides of the decision Lou made to run for the Senate. I did not support him in the primary so I think, unlike yourself, I have an ability to look at it objectively. Had Umberg been a stronger candidate, Lou would not have run in the primary. Perata and Loretta would not have done the full court press to get him to run. Most objective observers will tell you that had Lou not won the primary, we’d be talking about Senator Lyn Daucher right now.

    But my point, which you obviously lost, in bringing up the suggestion for Joe to endorse Lou, is if Joe really wants to run for supervisor, you’d think he would want and need Loretta and Lou’s and Jose’s support.

    And please don’t go there about Lou “abandoning the 1st S.D.” People move up the food chain and sometimes their Party loses the seat the incumbent left.
    Somehow I don’t think you would be beating up Tom Umberg who left the 69th Assembly District seat which he had one more term remaining in order to run a quixotic race for Attorney General. The result in the 69th AD? Democrat Mike Metzler lost to Republican Jim Morrisey. And while Joe was running for a variety of statewide offices in 2006 due to term limits, he was still the Democratic State Senator for a district that saw a significant Democratic voter registration edge wiped out. Lots of people responsible there but we didn’t nominate Joe in the primary to neglect the political infrastructure of his district.

    Your dissing of Loretta and Lou and Jose are typical of a number of predominately anglo Democrats who rarely if ever gave any support to either Lou or Loretta yet expected them to toe the line, especially when it came time to endorse candidates.

    I think Joe could be a great supervisor if he is committed to serving. He can raise money, he is intelligent and a gifted orator. he has compassion for the poor and a willingness to challenge, which being on the 1-4 end of many votes he would need. But he is never going to get elected if he or his campaign continue on the self-destructive train of thought that flows through your comments .

  10. Anonymous
    December 4, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Flaming Cat Democrat = Former Joe Dunn staffer or head of his fan club. It is well documented that Joe’s former staff and loyalists depise Lou Correa with an absolute passion and believes Joe Dunn the only worthy Democrat in Orange County.

  11. December 4, 2007 at 8:18 pm


    Yes, Martin was, like Carona, a Republican, but he was a MODERATE. Carona is allied with the ultra right wing of the OC GOP. You know that.

    As for Street, why didn’t your boys just STAY OUT of that race? That would have been the sensible solution.

    Yes, last year I did not endorse Michele. But you omitted the fact that last year I was a GOP activist. I recruited a slate of GOP council candidates in Santa Ana. Ironically, they lost, but they also took out Pulido’s hacks – which allowed Michele to prevail in her ward.

    I won’t apologize for what I did as a Republican. I have since opened my eyes and now, as you know, I think ill of all parties.

    The answer to the Dunn dilemma is for him to run for Ward 3 in Santa Ana and take out the last Republican, Carlos “Space Commander” Bustamante.

  12. December 4, 2007 at 9:33 pm


    For the record, my comments on this and other blogs are mine and are not meant in any way to represent the positions of the Orange County Employee’s Association.

  13. Northcountystorm
    December 5, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Art- Still don’t get it do you? The 1st S.D. is a Dem v. Rep race. The treasurers and Sheriffs race were Rep v Rep race. Big difference to Dems and Reps even though it may not be to a DTS. You’re entitled to your view but don’t be surprised when Dems or Reps don’t take your opinion seriously in this situation. When it comes to a race where there are no Democrats, the Dems allow people a free choice. Sorry thats a hard one for you to accept.

    By the way, Janet is supported by many of the “ultra right wing” of the Republican Party that Carona had in his corner but somehow you give her a hall pass on that. And Dems are supposed to give her a hall pass on her anti-union positions and her support of Republicans over Democrats in partisan races? Not to mention positioning her to run for the Correa or Sanchez seats. Please don’t insult our intelligence.

    A thought on Carona: maybe some of the Democrats who endorsed Carona followed the advice of respected latino activist Amin David who endorsed Carona when he first ran . After all, he supported Nativo Lopez and John Palacio. As for me, I supported Paul Walters. As for Art Pedroza, isn’t it true that you supported Carona the first time he ran? How about some full disclosure?

    As for the Santa Ana elections, you say you helped take out Pulido’s hacks, but i thought according to you everyone but janet on the council was a Pulido hack. So how does that make your record look? And the only non-hack was someone you tried to defeat.
    People have to live with their past records and you certainly want to hang peoples past endorsements on them. So you have to live with supporting the likes of Bob Dornan, Lupe Moreno, Van Tran, Rosie Avila and other most wanted candidates. You may have had a Paul on the road to Damascus experience(congratulations) but , again, excuse us if we take your admonishments with a proverbial grain of salt.

  14. Northcountystorm
    December 5, 2007 at 6:58 am


    I did not mean to suggest that your post reflected OCEA’s positions. I apologize if thats the way it came across.

  15. The Facts
    December 5, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Chris Prevatt,

    You left out the third part of this trifecta. Jose Solorio! Solorio is in on this little plan too, yet you gave him a free pass. Why? I think we can all guess why and the answer will lead to the actual mastermind behind this rebellion against Joe Dunn. The mastermind is not Lou, Loretta or Jose. No one would ever expect this person to be the mastermind, but he is a genius, and now Joe Dunn has somehow found himself on this person’s bad side. God help him!

  16. December 5, 2007 at 11:53 pm


    I never said I did not support Carona the first time. But ask anyone who knew me back then…I turned on Carona very quickly once I figured out what a piece of crap he was.

    Carona fooled us all the first time…but if he fooled anyone after that then they were big fools indeed.

    I am not sure what to make of your last statements. When I was a Republican activist I was damn good at what I did. I am now hated by the OC GOP establishment. But I am probably hated by the DPOC leaders too. I take no prisoners. Just look at the awful Democrats on the Santa Ana City Council. Michele Martinez is the only decent one.

    I won’t apologize for my past. The one thing I have always done is work very hard to advance what I believe in. I have set aside partisan hackery. Now I am working hard to elect politicians who actually give a damn about the people. Those are few and far between, sad to say.

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