The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Irvine City Council candidate Todd Gallinger has received a death threat.Â The threat, phoned into Gallinger’s law office, was received by an employee.Â
The threat comes on the heels of a warning issued by City Councilor and campign rival StevenChoi who, without identifying Gallinger by name, warned an Irvine Chamber of Commerce candidate’s forum about the dangers of supporting a candidate with ties to “a dangerous Islamic organization.”
Gallinger lists CAIR, the Council for American Islamic Relations, as a client when he assists Muslims with immigration and citizenship issues.
From the story:
Gallinger said the caller thought he was talking to him but told an employee, “I want to cut off your head just like all the other Muslims deserve.”Â Â
Police spokesman Rick Handfield confirmed Thursday that the department is investigating the alleged threat.
“It’s clear that the person was motivated by the political attacks against me by my opponent,” Gallinger said.
On Thursday, Choi said he was surprised that someone would threaten Gallinger but did not believe it was inspired by his remarks at the Sept. 19 forum. Gallinger earlier that month had been interviewed about his association with the council on a KUCI-FM radio show.
“It’s a ridiculous question,” Choi said when asked if the caller was acting because of his comments. “Am I responsible for someone else making a threat to him? No. This is not my intent at all.”
He said the media had “escalated the problem” by publishing his remarks, which he said were directed at the council and not individual Muslims.
Last month, retired Irvine Police Lt. Patrick A. Rodgers, who is also running for a seat on the council, sent an e-mail to reporters describing himself as “a conservative American red, white and blue thru and thru,” and invited them to investigate Gallinger. Rodgers called his opponent “at best a terrorist group sympathizer.”
And a recent campaign mailer addressed to “Irvine Republicans” accused Gallinger and other Democratic candidates for mayor and City Council of “touting” the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which it described as “a group with terrorist ties.”
Choi, Council member Christina Shea, Council canddiate Patrick Rodgers, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore and Irvine Tattler publisher Stephen Smith have all played a part in fanning the flames of bigotry against Muslim Americans.Â DeVore’s blog post about this incident, first reported here, wrapped up with a fundraising plea for the Team Irvine ticket, using a typical Republican tactic of fear to drum up support for a slate of candidates.Â
Meanwhile,Â TeamIrvine continues to run on a platform of “aren’t the progressives bad for Irvine” in spite of FBI status as the safest city in America, the 4th best place to live in America and one of the 10 greenest cities in America.Â
While Choi absolves himself of any responsibility for the death threat, neither he, nor Shea, Smith, Rodgers or DeVore has condemned this death threat against a rival political.Â I wonder how this bunch would react if it were a death threat against any of them for their extreme right wing beliefs?
For Tattler publisher Smith, who continues to brand Gallinger a carpetbager, in spite of the fact that Gallinger grew up in Irvine and bought a house in Irvine after living briefing in Alsio Viejo, by all means…keep using the carpetbagger label.Â And everytime you do, we’ll post something about your favorite Cougar.