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Lawmaker's disparaging remarks about Italians leads to near-brawl on Assembly floor
SFGate: Politics Blog ^ | 6/15/11 | Marisa Lagos, Capitol Insider

Posted on 06/15/2011 9:40:45 PM PDT by SmithL

Accusations of a Sopranos-style shakedown. Two men exchanging words, chest to chest, as others work to pull them apart.

It sounds like a movie, but it was actually the action on the state Assembly floor this afternoon, after Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine angered his colleagues with comments about Italians. Here's what happened:

Wagner was talking about a bill that would eliminate redevelopment agencies and replace them with an alternative program (the alternative would allow cities to retain the economic development program but only if they agreed to give a portion of their money to schools and other programs). After he remarked that lawmakers should not "buy an insurance policy that Tony Soprano is selling us," Italian Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge (Los Angeles County) rose to ask for an apology to Italian-Americans . That's where things went south.

"I will apologize to any Italians who are not in the mafia and engaged in insurance scams," Wagner said to audible boos and other negative reaction from lawmakers.

Then things really went off the rails. . . .

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: donwagner; dysfunctional; goldenstate; legislature; portantino; tonysoprano; wagner; yourtaxdollarsatwork
Methinks Portantino doth protest too much.
1 posted on 06/15/2011 9:40:55 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

Me thinks Wagner is an idiot.

(Note: my great-grandmother was Italian-Swiss. There is a reason the Pope is guarded by those guys! They can be mean.)


2 posted on 06/15/2011 9:50:45 PM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
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To: SmithL

If he said, I will apologize to any chinese americans that do not score high on college entrance exams, are conservative with their money and avoid interest payments would I be upset? No, of course not.

So why should anyone care about some guy making stupid statements. Italian Americans are smart and successful. They should not cower in the face of a stereotype from some stupid man.


3 posted on 06/15/2011 10:09:07 PM PDT by BJungNan (Spend yesterday's money good, today's money ok. Never spend tomorrow's money)
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To: SmithL

If he said, I will apologize to any chinese americans that do not score high on college entrance exams, are conservative with their money and avoid interest payments would I be upset? No, of course not.

So why should anyone care about some guy making stupid statements. Italian Americans are smart and successful. They should not cower in the face of a stereotype from some stupid man.


4 posted on 06/15/2011 10:10:42 PM PDT by BJungNan (Spend yesterday's money good, today's money ok. Never spend tomorrow's money)
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To: SmithL

I think it’s ok to make a reference to Tony Soprano. I think everybody knows that he’s a tv show character who is supposed to be a stereotype that is taken to an extreme because it works in the show. If an Italian is offended because of this, he or she is looking for a reason to take umbrage, for dramatic effect on the Assembly floor, and to take away attention from whatever the underlying point was.


5 posted on 06/15/2011 10:21:18 PM PDT by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: BJungNan

[They should not cower in the face of a stereotype from some stupid man.]

I live in fear of those stereotypes here in Vegas, because they are true.


6 posted on 06/15/2011 10:23:04 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (HARRY: Money Mob & Influence (See my Expose on Reid on amazon.com written by me!))
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To: SmithL

It sounds like he mentioned Tony Soprano because he is in the mafia and involved in insurance scams, not because he is Italians. Which is why he offered to apologize to Italians who are not in the mafia and involved in insurance scams. Liberal loser playing the dago card.


7 posted on 06/15/2011 10:46:34 PM PDT by Defiant (When Democrats lose voters, they manufacture new voters instead of convincing the existing voters.)
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To: SmithL

More stupid liberal tricks. Did the moron Portantino complain about the show The Sopranos?


8 posted on 06/15/2011 11:22:25 PM PDT by TigersEye (Who crashed the markets on 9/15/08 and why?)
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To: SmithL
"...I will apologize to any Italians who are not in the mafia and engaged in insurance scams"

That is too F-ing funny...

9 posted on 06/15/2011 11:31:29 PM PDT by csense
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To: SmithL
"Italian Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge (Los Angeles County) rose to ask for an apology to Italian-Americans."

Another Democrat playing the race card.


10 posted on 06/15/2011 11:36:14 PM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: SmithL
Good for Wagner for refusing to be cowed by the Jackasses.

All Gopers need to start challenging faulty premises, e.g. the phony outrage that any hyphenated-American group is being insulted by a colorful and humorous reference to a fictional criminal.

11 posted on 06/16/2011 12:02:39 AM PDT by rfp1234
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To: SmithL

Ponzi was Italian American. So whenever some Madoff type scamster is accused of a Ponzi scheme, Italian Americans should be offended too? Holy flipping crap.


12 posted on 06/16/2011 12:06:58 AM PDT by rfp1234
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To: SmithL; Ezekiel
"I think what we had here was a failure to communicate!"


13 posted on 06/16/2011 12:32:23 AM PDT by Yehuda (Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
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To: rfp1234

Amusing observation.


14 posted on 06/16/2011 5:08:10 AM PDT by newzjunkey (The Sopranos was great tv its first 2-3 seasons.)
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