Jan. 25, 2012 | Assembly candidate Kathy Neal broke the curious silence noticeably cast over the race by Joel Young’s second encounter with allegations of violence in the past year.
Former Oakland port commssioner and current Alameda County Central Commitee member called allegations this week Young threatened and spat at a Oakland City Council aide, a “serious issue.”
“I cannot speak to the truth of these allegations, but I can say that violence of any kind is unacceptable, especially from our elected leaders,” said Neal. “Domestic violence, as has also been alleged, is even more disturbing and grave.”
Young, 34, was accused in March 2011 of striking his then-girlfriend in the face after she found him in bed with another woman. An Alameda County judge dismissed restraining orders against both Young and the accuser, but not before saying he suspected Young harmed the woman, according to court transcripts.
Neal says the issue of domestic violence is not new to her. She was abused in an intimate relationship as a young adult, she said. “I know first hand the psychological scars domestic violence creates. We must hold all perpetrators accountable for their acts of violence against women, even when they are our own elected officials,” she added.
Her campaign Web site also lists the support of Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, who formerly headed the county’s Family Justice Center. Lockyer ran extensive in 2010 on her accomplishments working with victims of domestic violence and crimes against women and children.
Wednesday’s statement from Neal is likely just the beginning of a barrage of attacks on Young’s character in the next few months. While the other challengers for the 18th assembly district have been publicly silent, there is speculation surrogates from the campaigns of Alameda Councilman Rob Bonta and Peralta Community College Trustee Abel Guillen are readying their own responses in coming weeks.
One indication from online campaign sources show Bonta’s campaign will highlight the candidate’s family life featuring glossy images of his wife and two young children in contrast to the far more tawdry and violent images coalescing around Young. That is, if Young’s fundraising ability hasn’t already been impugned by his alleged antics over the past 10 months. Campaign fundraising reports due next week should give the campaigns a more accurate opportunity to reset for the stretch run to the June 5 primary.