Assembly candidate Al Muratsuchi speaks at a rally in front of a Rancho Palos Verdes golf course owned by Donald Trump.
Assembly candidate Al Muratsuchi speaks at a rally in front of a Rancho Palos Verdes golf course owned by Donald Trump.

RANCHO PALOS VERDES — Democratic Assembly candidate Al Muratsuchi held an anti-Donald Trump rally at Founder’s Park, adjacent to the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, on Aug. 24.

Muratsuchi is running in the 66th Assembly District, which includes the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He represented the district for one term before being defeated by Republican David Hadley two years ago.

“We are here to stand up, to dump Trump,” Muratsuchi said. “… We’re not going to stay on the sidelines and let that man become the next president of the United States. We are all standing here to denounce Donald Trump and his mean-spirited campaign.

“Ever since the beginning of this year, I’ve been calling on my opponent … to denounce Donald Trump. As we all know, Trump has been calling all Mexicans criminals, degrading women, mocking the disabled, attacking grieving Gold Star parents, and so much more. And yet my opponent … refuses to denounce Donald Trump.

“Mr. Hadley announced before the primary election that he was still studying the candidates and that he was going to announce his decision in July. Well, months went by … The Republican and Democratic conventions take place, and still nothing … Finally, in the last days of July, we hear that my opponent is going to make an announcement. And what does he do? He still refuses to denounce Donald Trump.

“But he does manage to say that he’s not going to vote for him or for Hillary. Well, what is he going to do? … The South Bay deserves a leader who is not going to stay on the sidelines with his finger in the wind, trying to figure out what to do with this historic election. So I’m here with all of you, standing up to clearly and in no uncertain terms denounce Donald Trump and I am here to support Hillary Rodham Clinton … There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Hillary is the best candidate to lead our country.”

Rep. Ted Lieu, whose district includes Manhattan Beach and parts of Los Angeles, talked about the “existential threat” of a nuclear war under a Trump presidency: “To launch nuclear weapons in America … takes the approval of the national command authority. Sounds really impressive, right? It is two people. It is the president and his or her political appointee, the secretary of defense. So if they say go, missiles launch.

“You can imagine an erratic, crazy president such as Donald Trump doing one-upsmanship, simply launching a nuclear missile just because he can. And all he needs is one other person to agree with him.”

Trump’s proposals, such as mass deportations or building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, can be stopped by the courts or Congress, Lieu continued, but “when Donald Trump … acts as commander-in-chief, there’s literally no checks and balances. He can do whatever he can. And under the War Powers Act in Congress, we can’t even act for 60 days. So essentially you’ve got an unchecked amount of power for a commander-in-chief …

“For any Republican leader not to explicitly disavow him and reject him is shameful … Follow the lead of over 100 Republican national security leaders who have said they reject Donald Trump.”

Other speakers included Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair and California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric Bauman; California Democratic Party Regional Director Sergio Carillo; Palos Verdes Democratic Club President Lynn Bommer; Beach Cities Democratic Club President Bobbi Buescher; West Los Angeles Democratic Club President Cara Robin; Torrance Unified School District teacher Julie Shankle; and Muratsuchi’s campaign manager, Marc Sussman.

In a July 29 op-ed piece published in The Daily Breeze, Hadley wrote, “I am not voting for either Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump. Both have shown themselves unfit for the highest office in the land. Neither reflects the South Bay values that this citizen legislator is trying to bring to Sacramento.

“Trump is a recurring litany of insults, provocation and polarization. To pick just two of many: proclaiming Carly Fiorina unsuitable for the presidency because of her physical appearance, and demanding that a federal judge (born in Indiana) recuse himself from a Trump University lawsuit because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.

“Trump also owes the American public his tax returns before he asks us to consider him for the presidency, but I don’t believe we will ever see them.

“Clinton’s behavior may not make the tabloids, but is arguably even more egregious. She clearly endangered American military and intelligence personnel by failing to safeguard classified emails. My son Jack is a West Point cadet who is majoring in Arabic — the notion that our warriors have been jeopardized by Clinton’s ‘extreme carelessness’ (to quote the FBI) is personally obscene to me.

“Further, the gusher of money flowing between the Clinton Global Foundation, special-interest donors (including many foreign governments), Clinton political allies and the Clintons themselves before, during and after her tenure as secretary of state is incompatible with her duty to advance American interests. Regardless of the consequences, the Clintons have used their political positions and connections to unethically enrich themselves.”

In an Aug. 22 op-ed piece in The Daily Breeze, Muratsuchi elaborated on his reasons for opposing Trump, including the following: “Trump should be unequivocally denounced for his repeated calls to ban all Muslims from entering into the United States. Trump’s call to exclude all people of the Muslim faith during our ongoing war against terrorism is disturbingly similar to what many South Bay residents of Japanese ancestry experienced during World War II … Trump apparently has not learned from this history, and appears ready to repeat another massive violation of our Constitution, this time against Muslim Americans.”

Clinton, on the other hand, stands for “a strong and inclusive America,” Muratsuchi said, adding, “No candidate is perfect, but there should be no doubt that Clinton would be better for our country, and our children’s future, than Trump.”

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