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66th Assembly District Race Heats Up

The close race between Craig Huey and Al Muratsuchi for the newly created 66th Assembly District has turned negative, with harsh words and legal action.

With Republican Craig Huey and Democrat Al Muratsuchi in a neck-and-neck race for the new 66th Assembly District, the candidates have exchanged blows over issues of integrity.

Huey and Muratsuchi were the top-two finishers in the June primary for the Assembly seat, which is considered by many to be one of the few swing districts in the state Assembly and a key pickup for Democrats in their quest for a  supermajority. There is no incumbent.

The campaign took a negative turn in late August, when Huey, a Torrance small-business owner who lives in Rolling Hills Estates, sent out a mailer demanding that Muratsuchi return his contributions from the powerful California Teachers Association after the union opposed a bill that would expedite the removal process for teachers who are sexual predators.

State records indicate that the California Teachers Association, which has endorsed Muratsuchi, donated $15,600 to the Democrat’s campaign—$7,800 in April and another $7,800 in September.

Muratsuchi, a lawyer in the California Attorney General’s Office and a current member of the Torrance Board of Education, wrote in a letter that he would have supported the bill, SB 1530, but would not return the funds contributed by the teachers’ union. He proceeded to attack Huey’s work as CEO of Creative Marketing Solutions, a direct-mail advertising company.

“You made a great deal of that money promoting products that scammed investors, marketed snake-oil remedies to seniors claiming they cure Alzheimers, and promoted Ponzi schemes that stole people’s nest eggs,” Muratsuchi wrote in a public letter dated Sept. 6.

Huey called Muratsuchi’s allegations completely false. At a candidates’ debate and other occasions, Huey demanded Muratsuchi retract his claims.

Muratsuchi’s campaign insists that Huey’s past business dealings are fair game.

“He has a junk-mail company,” said Muratsuchi campaign consultant Mike Shimpock. “His whole business is based on draining people’s pockets.”

Shimpock pointed to Huey’s affiliation with Gero Vita, a company fined more than $30 million by the Federal Trade Commission for selling fake Alzheimer’s and diabetes cures.

Huey strongly denies the allegations, and his attorney, James Sutton, has filed legal paperwork demanding that Muratsuchi’s campaign retract the statements.

“His statements were libelous to my company and caused monetary damage,” said Huey.

Pointing to his more than 1,000 clients and 77 awards, Huey stressed that he never marketed any products that had been sanctioned by the FTC.

On the issue of vitamin cures, Huey said the alternative health market is legitimate and does not deserve to be treated as a scam.

“To say these products are fraudulent is an insult to the entire industry, including Whole Foods and other stores that sell alternative medicine products,” he said.

Shimpock said the Muratsuchi campaign won’t be dissuaded from attacking Huey’s business by threats of legal action.

“This is an intimidation tactic,” he said. “The fact is that the tactics he used in his junk-mail business are not going to work here. He needs to be honest with who he’s worked with and what he’s done.”

For Huey, the legal action will continue regardless of the election results. In addition to suing for monetary damage, he is asking Attorney General Kamala Harris to either fire Muratsuchi or compel him to resign. Huey’s attorney has also filed a complaint against Muratsuchi with the state bar.

As of Oct. 25, the most recent mandatory reporting date for campaign finances, Huey reported having $255,351.06 cash on hand for the final stretch, having spent a total of $976,377.45 between Jan. 1 and Oct. 20. Muratsuchi reported having $371,677.64 cash on hand and spending $1,424,723.18 during the same time period. Both candidates have spent significant amounts of their own money on the campaign, with Huey loaning himself $100,000 and Muratsuchi loaning himself $45,000.

Voters head to the polls on Tuesday.

South Bay Jane November 04, 2012 at 02:19 AM
“He has a junk-mail company,” said Muratsuchi... Well, I get a TON of negative campaign ads from Muratsuchi slamming Craig Huey. Does this count as junk mail?
Charles Nichols November 04, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Muratsuchi has been the attorney of record for only two cases in the California Attorney General's office. He lost both. In one of the two cases Muratsuchi told a state investigator to withhold evidence. The investigator filed a complaint with the AG's office and the California Bar. The AG's office, which was run by Jerry Brown at the time, swept it under the rug. The trial lawyers who control the California Bar concluded that telling someone to withhold evidence is okay. Our current Attorney General, Kamala Harris, is more corrupt than Jerry Brown. She will do nothing to discipline Muratsuchi and neither will the state bar. Fortunately, Republicans are far more enthusiastic than Democrats about this election for state Assembly. 53.6% of Republicans who vote by mail have already cast their ballots compared to just 43.3% of Democrats. If the Republicans who vote at the polls instead of by mail are only half as enthusiastic as their vote by mail counterparts then Craig Huey wins big.
sharon yarber November 04, 2012 at 03:57 AM
A goon!?!?!?!?!?!? Please, Tom. You are an educated and intelligent person (albeit a misguided left wing liberal out of touch with the values that made this country what it was before it lapsed into socialism). Do you REALLY want to refer to Mr. Huey as a GOON? Please elevate your discourse to that which I would expect of you.
Charles Nichols November 04, 2012 at 04:24 AM
A candidate falsely accusing another candidate of multiple felonies is against the law in California. As voters, we can make up pretty much any outrageous claim that we wish. As a candidate, Muratsuchi does not have legislative immunity and is accountable for what he says and puts in his campaign ads. Also, this is Los Angeles County where juries award hundred million dollar judgments. That said, the two and a half million dollars Muratsuchi and his supporters have spent attacking Craig Huey personally does not seem to have paid off. As of this morning, Republican vote by mail ballots returned exceed that of Democrats 53.6% to 43.3%. If the Republicans who vote at the polls are only have as enthusiastic as their neighbors and family members who vote by mail then Tuesday is going to be a very bad day for Albert Muratsuchi.
boomboom November 04, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Tom. You are in the liberal goon category. I'm sure your voting for Obama as well. Another dumb sheep. Willing to vote even for a socialist. That is just un American. your whole party has been taken over by socialist and you don't even see it. Wake up. Look up nobama's history since you probably consider yourself an intellectual. You know... One of logic. Forget it. Liberals are not logical. At all.
Larry Ricketts November 04, 2012 at 04:08 PM
May I add something to this conversation as a long time registered Independent voter? All past business dealings aside, we citizens are looking at who will best represent our interests in this district regarding issues such as the coastline, air quality, traffic congestion and how to keep our public schools viable. When I see any candidate talking about getting rid of air and water related regulations I sense someone who is not thinking in terms of what may be best for us all in th future. Anyone who remembers what the air quality was in the South Bay thirty years ago knows you can't just throw out regulations that have worked so well just because it may cost some companies a few more dollars. It is our health we are talking about.
IAM November 04, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Here is how I sum up the election: If you want another assembly person controlled by the union (picture Ted Lieu here), the inability to discipline/dismiss teachers for lack of results or inappropriate behavior (he's a school board member), a super majority for the Democrats in the State Assembly, meaning nothing can be vetoed (the same disfunction which brought you Obamacare), and another attorney involved in running state politics, Vote Muratsuchi. If you want a businessman, who knows how to balance a budget, create JOBS (four letters Joe), and actually make a profit, Vote Huey.
Dale Smith November 04, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Me too, I think I have got 3 Huey junk mails vs Muratsuchi's 10-12 junk emails. Vote Huey
Charles Nichols November 05, 2012 at 12:31 AM
The candidate you speak of was Nathan Mintz and he lost in the primary. Craig Huey wants to relocate the AES power plant and turn the entire 52 acres into a park. Muratsuchi wants to develop the site. Naturally, the developers support Muratsuchi. Ask yourself which of the two candidates has a better plan coastline plan?
bev November 05, 2012 at 12:47 AM
it seems mr huey is full of huey, ie, himself. to think a man living in this area - let alone running for office to represent it ! - believes women should obey HIS wonts and desires is only less shocking than any woman voting for him would be. why isn't one willing wife enough for these anti choicers?
Charles Nichols November 05, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Trust me Bev, no man wants you. Not even Craig Huey.
Arthur Christopher Schaper November 05, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Brilliant riposte, Lorie! Muratsuchi's mailers are worse than junk: they are fraudulent distractions intended to minimize a man who will represent the voters, not the special interests. Go Craig Go!
Arthur Christopher Schaper November 05, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Mr. Muratsuchi in four phrases: Refuses to sign the "Protect Prop 13" Pledge Refuses to give back the special interest money intimidating our legislators Refuses to stop pounding the table of false allegations (because he has no law or facts of his own to run on) Hides behind RINOs -- Republicans in Name Only -- instead of relying on persuading voters with action. Muratsuchi's mailers have made him a failure. Vote for Huey!
Arthur Christopher Schaper November 05, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Goon: Go on! Hoover: Hard times will be "hoovering" over us if Muratsuchi enters Sacramento as a rubber stamp to the tax and spend agenda of Sacramento strangled by special interests. Huey is no Hoover -- more like "Silent Cal" Coolidge who will put to silence the special interests and give a voice to the voters and lead government to leave us alone.
bev November 05, 2012 at 03:41 AM
you haven't done all that well with hahn either, have you...? you and huey - just not good with strong women. you'll get over it. *L*
Charles Nichols November 05, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Bev, curious that you would equate Albert Muratsuchi with a "strong woman." Is there something you're not telling us? Huey ran against Hahn in a district where the Democrats had an 18 point advantage in registration over Republicans and Craig Huey lost by just 4.8%. This time around he is running in a district where the Democrats have a 5.6% advantage in voter registration and as of 11:00 am this morning, Huey is leading by 4.3 points in the vote by mail ballots returned. Craig Huey has maintained a lead in the 4 point range for the last eight days. Despite the Democrats having a slight advantage in the percentage of voters who have requested a vote by mail ballot - 42.9% to 41.3%, Republicans are voting at a much higher rate -> 57.0% to 45.2% If the margin of Republican voters who vote at the polls is only half of that who have been voting by mail then your liberal Democrat Albert Muratsuchi is going to have a very bad day on Tuesday. P.S., Independent voters in the South Bay overwhelming voted for Craig Huey in 2011. Muratsuchi is rehashing the same lies that Janice Hahn did last year. Had he come up with a whole new set of lies, he might not be trailing so far behind Craig Huey.
Doug Boswell November 05, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Wow. Reading all these comments has certainly opened my eyes. I had no idea there were so many tea party wannabies in my south bay community lashing out so blindly. I can only imagine what terrible circumstances tumbled you around that you have come to see Craig Huey as your white knight. Craig Huey? Really? You poor, poor pitiful things.
Matt November 05, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I've had 5 robo-calls from Craig Huey in the last 5 days. Voting for Al.
bev November 05, 2012 at 04:24 PM
you're reading despite the lines, charles. or short memoried. i was referring to your attempts to oust janice hahn. you weren't successful with that strong woman either.
Jerry Patrick Wood November 05, 2012 at 07:41 PM
If you think things are going swell in California and they just need a "little more of someone else s money to make it happen" then vote for Lawyer Al. After all we are all made up of money and don't need to make any important decisions for ourselves! (SCRSzm)
Matt November 05, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Another robo-call from Huey....that makes 6 calls in 6 days. I'm guessing he'll call again tomorrow afternoon to make it an even week. How annoying can a candidate be?
spoonybard November 06, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I am DONE with Craig Huey's ads plaguing my mail box & telephone. I have no idea who the other guy is, but he didn't send me anything, so my vote is for him. After the elections, I'm going to leave a flaming pile on Craig Huey's door step, so he knows how it feels to have s**t sent to your house that no one wants.
bev November 06, 2012 at 12:53 AM
talk about not believing in man's responsibility for global warming, our careless human excess and waste... whew

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