Rafu Staff Report

TORRANCE — The campaign for the 66th Assembly District seat has been contentious, with Democrat Al Muratsuchi and Republican Craig Huey trading accusations through their mailers.

Al Muratsuchi greets a volunteer at his campaign headquarters.

Huey characterizes Muratsuchi as a “government bureaucrat,” “defender of special interests” and “career politician who supports raising taxes,” while anti-Huey mailers say he “wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare” and “opposes a woman’s right to choose in all circumstances.”

Muratsuchi’s ethnicity has not been an issue between the two candidates, but apparently some people are targeting him on racial grounds — despite the fact that the district, which includes Gardena, Torrance and Palos Verdes Estates, has a large Japanese American population.

In an interview with The Rafu Shimpo on Thursday, Muratsuchi reported that his campaign headquarters “got calls where I was called a ‘Jap,’ multiple calls. I don’t know if it’s an organized effort or just a prank … On top of that, there was an old lady that yelled out of her car, ‘I’m not voting for that chink!’”

The candidate said he was disturbed by “the fact that there are people like that in the South Bay … This is the first time we’re starting to get some of this racial stuff … I am a little shocked … Folks in the community should know that this is happening right in the South Bay.”

Muratsuchi did not hear the calls himself; most were fielded and transcribed by Eric Guerra, who is working full-time on the campaign.

“I believe in American folks, not Kenyans and Japs. I said Kenyans and Japs,” one caller was quoted as saying. “Kenyans” was an apparent reference to President Obama, whose father was from Kenya.

Guerra reported, “This afternoon I’ve taken five (offensive) calls. One person said, ‘Remember World War II.’ The other ones were very similar. You’d think that it’s something that happens 30-40 years ago.

“I’ve never seen anything like this directly where it’s so visceral. This is just clear hatred and hate speech.”

Guerra, who has started to keep a detailed log of such calls, said that another caller talked about the candidates’ stands on abortion. “They did say, ‘Huey is pro-life. Why does Al want to kill babies? Why is Al a baby-killer?’ Then it was back on to ‘We don’t need Japs like that’ … a long tirade.”

The calls will be reported to the police, Guerra said.

While he is not suggesting that Huey had anything to do with the calls, Muratsuchi said, “My campaign manager talked to their campaign manager. They haven’t had an official statement (condemning the slurs).”

“I’ve been fighting this fight for the last 25 years,” he added. “It makes me so angry that we still have to deal with this kind of crap in this day and age.”


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  1. This is the craziest article I have seen yet…..Why in the world would Mr. Murasatchi or any of his campaign workers waste their time listening to nutty callers? If you invite phone calls you are going to get a certain amount of people who call just to push your buttons!!! And push your buttons they suceeded in doing…..!!! Al, if you ever watch Saturday Night Live…..when they start acting its just make believe…..those are just skits….they arent real newscasts or actual re-enactments of historical events….

  2. Muratsuchi has a screw loose when it comes to race. Here is an example from a news article published in the Orange County Register:

    Muratsuchi “Needs to get a Life”
    RAPNJAP license plate that Judy Ann Petty has had on her 1986 Volvo for 11 years is offensive to Japanese-Americans, the Department of Motor Vehicles ruled Tuesday.

    Sally Reed, DMV director, concurred with an administrative judge’s earlier decision that the plate be revoked. Petty, who can appeal, said she hopes to keep the plate, which spells out her and her husband Robin Arnett Petty’s initials. “We’re going to try whatever we can,” she said.

    “If that means going to the Supreme Court, then fine.”

    The plate became the center of a controversy in May, when a Japanese-American police officer complained about it. The DMV asked the Pettys to remove it, but the couple refused and asked for a hearing. At the August hearing, the Pettys argued that the department had taken political
    correctness too far. They said 54 other cars have plates with “JAP” on them. But the police officer, his attorney and representatives of the Japanese American Citizen League testified that the plate offends them. “Don’t they have anything better to do than try to keep a racial slur on their license plate?” asked league President Albert Muratsuchi , who likened the term to the n-word. “They need to get a life.”

    Muratsuchi claims to be a “prosecutor” when in fact he is a litigator who lost both cases in which he was the attorney of record. In one, he told a state investigator to withhold evidence. In the other, he defended the state in a lawsuit by a prisoner who was denied medical treatment for months resulting in deafness.

    Muratsuchi also made the mistake of accusing his opponent of committing multiple felonies which is a violation of state election law. I guess he didn’t get the memo that he is not entitled to legislative immunity.

    Muratsuchi and his supporters have thus far outspent Craig Huey by more than two to one. Spending over $2 million dollars slandering his opponent has left Muratsuchi lagging by 5% in the vote by mail returns counted thus far. Independent voters don’t like mud-slinging and Muratsuchi isn’t saying anything that Janice Hahn didn’t spend over $3 million saying against Craig Huey last year.

    Craig Huey won the South Bay vote. Independents in the South Bay voted for him 56%-34% in 2011. There is no reason to believe that they won’t vote in similar margins for Craig Huey this year as well.

    Muratsuchi shouldn’t quit his day job.

  3. I received a campaign mailer today from Al Muratsuchi, a Torrance school board member running for Assembly. The front of the color mailer shows the photos of six smiling endorsers, with the headline, “Our Community unites for Al Muratsuchi.”

    The common feature of this community of endorsers? They are all of Asian descent. The endorsers are George Nakano, Ted Lieu, Daniel Inouye, John Chiang, Paul Tanaka, and Judy Chu.

    This mailer was sent to me, a mixed race woman with Asian heritage.

    I was floored. The six Asian faces smiling at me, beseeching me to be part of the “community” by voting for a candidate of Asian descent. Really?!

    Here is the email I sent to Al Muratsuchi regarding his campaign mailer:

    “I don’t appreciate your racist mailer stating “Our Community unites for Al Muratsuchi” showing pictures of all-Asian endorsers of different Asian ethnic groups.

    I am NOT going to vote according to my race, and I hope people don’t do such a thing although I’m sure such behavior appeals to some – those who insist on ghettofication by race or by income. Those who would like to have their own Victim Badge to pull out as a form of perverse identification, further balkanizing the American people and splintering us into special interest groups. NO THANK YOU.

    How would your mailer have looked like if it was all-black endorsers of a black candidate? Hispanic? Woman? I suppose if you saw these examples as racist you would not have okayed your mailer. How clueless, rude and disgusting.”

    I also sent emails to the five active politicians included, with their photos, on the mailer. This mailer is so unacceptable to me. I am just floored by it. This is not what the United States is about. I want to draw attention to this racist politician, Al Muratsuchi, and hope that other politicians refrain from such blatant racist campaign materials in the future.

  4. P.S. to my previous comment. My husband and will vote for you and good luck!

  5. I find this appaling that there are still idiots in our country. Shame shame on them for their stupidity. I would like to get a big broom and sweep them out of here!

    I hope Mr. Muratsuchi reads this because I would just like to say that I am sorry for what these people have done I hope you have a tough attitude and realize they are just plain mean.