Thursday, September 08, 2016

What Does It Mean To Be A Blue Dog Running For Congress In California In 2016?


The other day, we looked at a list of the sneaky conservative Democrats who applied for endorsements from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the New Dems and the Blue Dogs. Here in a safely blue district in northern Orange County (CA-46)-- including Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Orange, where Obama beat Romney 61-36% and where only 18% of the population is white-- the jungle primary yielded two Democrats, the progressive mayor of Garden Grove, Bao Nguyen (who was endorsed by Blue America), and the very corrupt and very conservative former state legislator Lou Correa. This isn't the kind of district where it makes sense for a Democrat to behave like a Republican. But that's exactly what Correa has done for his entire slimy career.

And in the current race, he slinked off for the Blue Dogs and the New Dems, the two most right-wing "Democratic" groups in Congress, the heart of both congressional corruption and bribery and, of course, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. When Correa lists the organizations that have endorsed him on his website, he's smart and wily enough to not include either the Blue Dogs or the New Dems. A voter would never know Correa long ago sold his soul to Wall Street-- although they could surmise it from his record. (In contrast, Bao is proud to advertise on his own website that he's been endorsed by progressive and clean govenmernt groups like Progressive Democrats of America, the Sierra Club, the Nurses Union, Blue America, DFA and the Mexican American Bar Association PAC.)

Correa is a realtor who took advantage of the mortgage crisis to build up an empire of rental properties all over Orange County-- particularly Anaheim and Santa Ana-- and one of the sleaziest realtor lobbyist groups, the National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund, spent $535,000 on his campaign so far. trying to make sure they would have an ally against consumers and homeowners inside the House Democratic caucus. But corporate special interests is a huge part of the Correa brand, another reason he fits in so well with the New Dems and Blue Dogs.

In a majority Latino district, Correa isn't just keeping it quiet that the joined the New Dems and Blue Dogs, but also that he voted against SB60, which would have made drivers licenses available for all qualified Californians regardless of immigration status. His vote was a complete betrayal of the Hispanic population. Although he's on record of having voted against it, when confronted with the vote he just lies and claims he voted for it. No wonder the Blue Dogs and New Dems love this guy!

Nor is that the only time he voted with the Republicans against working families-- far from it. Although Correa claims when he campaigns that he's committed to affordable higher education, that sure isn't what his record in Sacramento shows. When Assembly Speaker John Perez proposed AB 1500 and 1501, the Middle Class Scholarship Act, to provide scholarships covering 60% of fees and tuition at all California State colleges and universities for families with household incomes of under $150,000, Correa crossed the aisle and voted with the GOP again. Perez took the unusual step of going on the record and singling out Correa for killing the bill "because he wanted a $300 million (tax) carve out [for out-of state corporations including his campaign contributor International Paper]. "Today was an opportunity for the State Senate to join the Assembly in approving tax fairness for California businesses and college opportunity for middle class families. Unfortunately, even though most Senate Democrats supported the Middle Class Scholarship Act, we could not reach agreement with Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) or Senate Republicans that would achieve the two-thirds vote necessary... It is disturbing that Senator Correa and so many Republicans would refuse to stand up for the middle class and instead continue to support a tax giveaway that favors out-of-state companies over our own." In a disturbing pattern that defines Correa's life, he pocketed campaign contributions from International Paper-- which vehemently opposed the bill-- 10 days before he voted against AB 1500, and more loot three weeks after the disgraceful vote.

If killing the Middle Class Scholarship Act wasn't bad enough, Correa also helped kill SB 935 which was an attempt by Democrats in the legislature to raise the minimum wage in 2014. Although 63 of his fellow Democrats were co-sponsors of the bill, he claimed he voted with the Republicans against it because it was too long and he didn't know what it meant. It's almost as though he was already practicing to be a New Dem or Blue Dog!

He also worked with the GOP to restrict women's access to family planning and abortion services and to push the NRA's agenda. Planned Parenthood gave him a big fat ZERO rating and labeled him anti-Choice, the only Senate Democrat who didn't receive a 100% rating in 2009. The DCCC likes this guy; can he really be anti-Choice? You tell me-- this is is record on women's reproductive health in the state legislature:
voted to prohibit state funding of family planning service providers
voted to limit state funding for abortion services
voted to ban ban abortion procedures that he disagrees with (and, no, he's not a doctor)
voted to require parental consent before a minor can access abortion care
voted to force women to look at biased and unscientific information before they can access abortion care
This is how patriarchal Republicans vote on Choice issues, not how Democrats vote. Although it certainly works in real well with the Blue Dogs and the rest of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Ditto on his cozy relationship with the gun nuts in general and the NRA in particular. He's actively supported loopholes to make sure assault-style military weapons would wind up in California neighborhoods. Again, Correa's sick record is not what Orange County Democrats and independents (nor even Republicans) want to protect society from gun massacres.
voted against banning high capacity ammunition magazines and conversion kits (AB 48)
voted against making it illegal to knowingly store loaded firearms that are accessible to minors (AB 231)
voted against extending the waiting period for gun purchases when the background check reveals potential criminal and/or mental health history requiring further investigation to determine eligibility to purchase weapons (AB 500)
voted against requiring registration of homemade guns and assault rifles, AKA “Ghost Guns" (SB 808)
voted against restrictions on ownership of Assault Weapons and .50 Caliber Browning Machine Guns (AB 170)
Correa opposes license requirements for purchase of guns, despite overwhelming public support, even among gun owners and voted against requiring a valid Firearm Safety Certificate in order to purchase a firearm (AB 683)
I bet you could guess he's also an environmental disaster, right? You'd be guessing right. California's League of Conservation Voters says he has the worst environmental record of any Democratic elected official in the state. He always sides with special interests to protect corporate polluters, consistently failed to protect the state's water sources from lead and contamination, and voted against ensuring Californians have a right to clean, safe and affordable water. Even though he joined corrupt Republicans to vote against SB 685, the Human Right to Water Act, in 2012, the bill passed, establishing a right to safe, non-toxic and affordable water for human consumption. But Correa voted to hide the source of vended drinking water, whether that water was from a public or private source, and the county from which the water came. AB 301 would have required water sellers to disclose this information: Lou Correa voted to keep such information hidden from the public. Large corporations have been bottling California's public water supply for years. This water is bottled and sold back to the public at an extreme profit. At the same time, the cost of water to the public is rising, and penalties being imposed for overuse. Swiss based Nestle Company has been bottling millions of gallons a year from San Bernardino's forests under a permit that expired over 25 years ago-- a permit with an annual costs of $525.00. Nestle bottles over 700 million gallons of water a year to sell back to the public at a staggering profit. As the public was ordered to cut back on water during the drought, with significant penalties at risk, corporations like Nestle were bottling California's water to sell back to them.

In 2009, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) scored Correa's environmental voting record at 29%, 53 points below average Senate Democrat average. Correa had the lowest environmental rating of any Democrat. The following year they gave him a 30%, 61 points lower than the average Senate Democrat and the lowest rating of any Sacramento Dem. And the following year... same thing-- a 29% rating, 57 points lower than the average Senate Democrat and the lowest of any Dem in the state. The guy is a catastrophe and it's just repulsive that, for the sake of expediency, the Democratic establishment has embraced this garbage candidate who always, always, always puts corporate profits, tax breaks, and special interests over the needs of his constituents, while collecting special interest and PAC money for his next campaign. Is that the California Democratic Party today? It's certainly what Nancy Pelosi's DCCC has turned into. Steny Hoyer gave him the biggest contribution of any of the Democratic candidates of this cycle, $20,000 so far. Please help elect Bao Nguyen in November, a real progressive Democrat with the record to prove it-- even if no help from an establishment that stinks to high heaven. You'll find Bao by tapping the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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