There are lots of hiking trails throughout Orange County where it’s entirely possible to get lost. If you’re hiking alone, and your cell has no signal or your battery is dead and you want to be found, do this. In a quiet voice, say: “I support Lou Correa for Congress.” Dozens of Joe Dunn supporters will instantly find you to tell you you’re wrong and will want to have “an honest discussion about voting records” while insulting you for supporting Correa coupled with questioning your Democratic Party purity or Progressivism.
Over the weekend, Benny Diaz, the president of Orange County LULAC, posted his personal endorsement of Lou Correa in Congress in CD-46. The endorsement was all about Correa and didn’t reference any of his opponents. Here’s what he wrote:
My friends, I will love you to support my friend Lou Correa for US 46th Congressional District. He is really a hard working individual like you and I, a proud American, a truly community service person. He is going to fight to his bones to help pass an immigration reform that is just. He is going to work for the veterans and will help our county to procure federal funds for our social programs. If you are a proud Latino that believe in getting an immigration reform, he is our man, if you want to have a true community fighter for the veterans, homeless and so for lets vote for Lou Correa, do not be afraid or intimidate, we need Latino representation in Washington, someone like Loretta Sanchez.
Almost immediately, surrogates of the Joe Dunn for Congress campaign and Dunn supporters went after Benny for his support. It got ugly. It got personal. Benny deleted several offensive posts; others nabbed some screen grabs and here’s a few of them:
Diaz’s endorsement of Correa over the weekend was something Diaz did independently. There’s been a line of thought suggesting the Correa campaign is shaking the apple tree to extract endorsements with the primary a week away, but that’s simply not the case. It’s about Correa supporters letting their friends know who they are voting for via social media. And it’s also “I’ve had enough from you Dunn people, I’m backing Lou.” I only wish I grabbed more screen shots.
The day after Benny posted his endorsement, he posted this:
Last night i experienced a political bulling: i felt being intimidated by people i always considered close and good friends for supporting a political candidate. It is ok that they support their candidate I respect them. But do not call me a friend please if you do not respect my position. I spoke with Jose moreno, whom i admire, We are friends for many years. Even though we disagree in this issue, he was cordial and respecfull of my views.
Feel free if you do not like my positions or views to delete me, please do it. I will always respect your views but if you disagree with me send me a message or call me.
I’ve always said this race between Dunn and Correa is going to be a costly one. It’s an election pitting friends against friends and, sadly, many friendships are not going to survive it. There will be hard feelings moving forward and if it’s Correa and Dunn as the top two moving on to November, these bad feelings are going to spill over and affect other races.
In the case of comments made by Karen Ridley of California Teacher’s Association, her post calling on School Board members who support Correa to not seek her union’s endorsement is absolutely a threat. In response, Santa Ana activist Claudio Gallegos posted this on Facebook:
Here is a list of School Board Members who have endorsed only Lou Correa for Congress:
Santa Ana USD President John Palacio
Santa Ana USD Clerk Valerie Amezcua
…Santa Ana USD Member Jose Hernandez
Anaheim UHSD President Annemarie Randle-Trejo
Anaheim CSD Member Ryan Anthony Ruelas
Anaheim CSD Member Bob Gardner
Westminster SD Member Jamison Power
Huntington Beach UHSD Board Member and longtime progressive icon Bonnie Castrey
All have a strong record of supporting Public Education and are strong progressives. For some to suggest they should be removed from office because they don’t support their chosen candidate for office is irresponsible and wrong. #teamlou #loucorreaforcongress
Greg Diamond has a post about this weekend’s social media explosion over at the Orange Juice blog, in which he further denigrates business Democrats and moderates in the party; and there’s a cut and paste of various companies and organizations that have made contributions to the Correa campaign that’s supposed to sully Correa’s candidacy somehow because some of them are funding IEs against Dunn and IEs promoting Correa.
What Diamond left out of his post are the significant contributions from individuals — voters — who live in the district who are backing Correa for Congress. He also left out that Correa is way ahead of Dunn when it comes to contributions from voters in the district. Even Bao Nguyen has more contributions from voters in the district than Dunn has. Diamond also left out the significant number of lawyers who have given to the Dunn campaign who don’t live in the district.
And grab a seat, Diamond is right when he writes: “The pressure put on people to fall in line has been enormous.” But its pressure being applied by the Dunn campaign and its supporters. The Correa supporters have had enough.
Diaz wrote this to activist Jeff Letourneau: Jeff like Jim (Patone), Carina (Franck-Patone) and Jose (Moreno), you also know me that i speak my mind when come to issues and I always respect your views, I agree in constructive criticism, but never to accept negativism. I never go in your comments in your pages to try to promote that person that i support or attack your candidate Dunn. If you do not like my view please delete me, I will know my friends them. . So please I have the right to delete any commentary, because i created this facebook page. You all know that I always support your endeavors. enough said.
Benny Diaz didn’t deserve the treatment he got over the weekend. And he said it best in this comment to Dunn staffer Carina Franck-Patone after this exchange: