It’s, like, totally vicious


OK, SO Loretta is all mad at Joe because he’s using money from the club treasury for his boys, who Loretta totally can’t stand, so Loretta and her sister, Linda, get some girls to go after Joe’s boys, but he’s elected to head the club, which makes Loretta go postal and she quits. And then Loretta says Fabian said Joe called her a whore! But now Fabian says he doesn’t remember, and Joe’s all like, “It never happened.”

Sounds like junior high, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s the California congressional delegation. In particular, it’s several Southern California Latino Democrats, hurling charges and countercharges about political money, family, voting improprieties and personality. But it comes down to this: Did Rep. Joe Baca (D-Rialto) call Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana) a “whore”? And if so, why?

The trash talking went public this week when reported that Orange County’s Sanchez had quit the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which the Inland Empire’s Baca chairs. But the bad feelings stretch back a year, when caucus PAC money was being used to boost the political fortunes of Baca’s sons, Joe Jr. and Jeremy. Jeremy needed the money to help his family keep the state Assembly seat being vacated by Joe Jr., who was trying to extend the Baca empire into the state Senate. Both Baca brothers lost, despite the infusion of PAC money, and it may be worth noting that their opponents were women: Gloria Negrete McLeod defeated Joe Jr., and his old seat went not to his brother but to Wilmer Amina Carter.


Sanchez and four other Californians -- including her sister, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Lakewood) -- and an Arizonan quit the PAC over the use of money for family members. But the Sanchez sisters and other female caucus members angry over the PAC money, the Baca family’s dynastic aspirations and the poor treatment of women also complained that the caucus broke its own rules by electing Baca without a secret ballot. Loretta Sanchez said that was the real reason she finally quit.

This week she also claimed that Baca lobbed the W-word at her. Fun as it may be to imagine the two Democrats yelling profanities across the Rotunda, it turns out that Sanchez heard about the “whore” comment secondhand -- from, she implied, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles). Nunez says he remembers no such thing. Baca said it never happened.

Here are some universal truths: Our elected officials should not try to build family dynasties. Female politicians should be treated with as much respect as their male counterparts. Trash talking dirties everyone. And members of Congress should act like adults. Grow up.