Friday, June 1, 2012

Assembly Candidate Joel Young Plays Race Card, Lies Again

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Embattled Assembly candidate Joel Young is now playing the race card. In a mailer from Young’s campaign that arrived in East Bay mailboxes yesterday, his mother, Carol Draizen, strongly implies that the numerous allegations against him, which range from violence to unethical behavior, are racially motivated. “Raising my African American sons,” Draizen writes, after addressing the allegations of domestic violence against Young, “I witnessed the harm that racial bias could create …”

The only problem for Young, who is black, is that most of the accusations leveled against him are from people of color or from liberal groups with no history of racial bias. For example, his ex-girlfriend Jessica Juarez, who says that Young struck her violently in the face and has the medical records to prove it, is Latina. And Carolyn Thomas-Russell, the executive director of A Safe Place, a domestic violence group, who accused Young of fabricating her endorsement, is black.

Joel Young
  • Joel Young
Then there’s Service Employees International Union, which took the unusual step of revoking its endorsement of Young earlier this year after he used candidates’ confidential questionnaires for political purposes. SEIU is one of the most progressive unions in the country and represents millions of blacks, Latinos, and other people of color.

And then there’s the California League of Conservation Voters, a respected environmental group, and Consumer Attorneys of California, a liberal lawyers’ organization, which are funding mailers, highlighting Young’s many problems. Neither of these groups has ever been accused of racism before.

Carolyn Thomas-Russell
  • Carolyn Thomas-Russell
But Young’s questionable tactics don’t stop there. Another mailer from his campaign this week claims that he “forced AC Transit to adopt a ‘local jobs for local people’" policy and that it resulted in the agency’s decision to end its exclusive contract with a Belgian bus maker and to start buying buses from Gillig of Hayward.

But as we pointed out earlier this week, Young, an AC Transit board member, did not lead the effort within AC Transit to buy local. It was led by AC Transit board member Elsa Ortiz, a Latina who has refused to endorse Young, and instead co-endorsed his opponents, Abel Guillen, a Latino, and Rob Bonta, a Filipino American.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled Carol Draizen's last name.

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