Assembly Candidate Accused of Faking Endorsements

A wannabee candidate for the Assembly stands accused of faking endorsements.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, May 9, 2012  |  Updated 2:12 PM PDT
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Assembly Candidate Accused of Faking Endorsements

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You're behind Joel Young's Assembly bid, even if you don't know it.

Look out: Joel Young is running for Assembly, and he's got a lot of support behind him. You might be endorsing him, too -- much to your surprise.

Carolyn Thomas-Russell received such a surprise, when the executive director of A Safe Place, a domestic violence shelter/help group, heard that Young was trumpeting her endorsement of his campaign. That would be news, as neither Thomas-Russell nor A Safe Place ever endorses candidates -- and even if they did, Thomas-Russell never endorsed Young, she told the East Bay Express.

What she did do is listen to a bizarre and lurid tale Young spun of once being a domestic violence victim himself. According to Thomas-Russell, Young once told her about the time when he was attacked by an ex-girlfriend for sleeping with another woman, the newspaper reported. Young says he received a scratch on his torso; the ex-girlfriend received heavy bruising to her face, according to court documents.

Some speculate that Young is attempting to look tight with domestic violence advocates in light of his own domestic violence issues. Young is known as a hothead: he is said to have threatened one of Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan's staffers, according to the newspaper.

Young, an AC Transit Board member, is seeking to replace Sandre Swanson representing the East Bay in Sacramento. Swanson is termed out.

Young's campaign manager maintained that the candidate has Thomas-Russell's support. The domestic violence advocate advised Young on the issues and appeared at a fundraiser last summer, campaign manager Mark Goodwin told the newspaper.

Hogwash, says Thomas-Russell, who says the conversation is turning into "what we do not want — he says, she says — this is becoming petty and a waste of my time," she told the newspaper.
 

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