SACRAMENTO — Yes California, our Legislature has passed a budget on time for only the second time in about 25 years. I had a feeling that getting the State Budget passed with a majority only vote might cause some hard feelings. I didn’t think the feelings broken would lead to a fight on the Assembly floor.
Late yesterday afternoon I received a couple tweets from John Myers at KQED Capitol Notes with some pictures of the scuffle. Apparently Assemblyman Furutani got into a bit of a face-off over a remark made by Wagner deriding Italian-Americans. Brian Joseph from the Orange County Register’s Total Buzz has the full story covered Here, Brian writes:
Orange County Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, was involved in a confrontation on the Assembly floor during a today’s budget debate.
Wagner and Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Los Angeles, got in each others faces and had to be separated during a discussion about the redevelopment component of the budget package.
Wagner compared the proposal to a shakedown and made reference to the HBO show “The Sopranos.” Assemblyman Anthony Portantio, D-La Canada Flintridge jumped up and demanded an apology as “a proud Italian Americans”.
Wagner offered a lukewarm apology, saying he’d “apologize to any Italian Americans who are not in the Mafia and engaged in insurance scams.”
Shortly thereafter, when the debate had moved on to another speaker, Furutani went over to Wagner’s desk and got in his face, shouting “Now you’ve stepped in it.” The two jawed angrily at each for a couple of seconds and then Furutani appeared to shove Wagner before they were broken up by other lawmakers.
Here is the video of the incident from the Assembly Floor.
If Wagner thinks dealing with his colleagues in Sacramento is rough, he best avoid his former opponent for his Assembly seat, Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante. There’s an Italian temper if I ever saw one.