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    Oropeza On Richardson Mailer Criticizing Absences Including Period Oropeza Was Battling Cancer: "Unfair, Unkind, Inappropriate To Criticize Somebody For Having Cancer & Needing Treatment"

    (June 23, 2007) -- Responding to a mailer in which the Laura Richardson for Congress committee criticizes State Senator Jenny Oropeza (D., southbay) for Assembly absences from 2000-2006 -- apparently including a period when Oropeza was battling cancer -- Oropeza has told

    "I'm really unhappy that I'm being criticized for having cancer," Sen. Oropeza said following a rally at her Bixby Knolls campaign office. Speaking in a calm, deliberate tone, she added, "I think it's really unfair, unkind and inappropriate to criticize somebody for having cancer and needing treatment."

    The Richardson campaign mailer arrived in mailboxes on June 22, just days before LB-area voters make their initial choice on a successor to the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald...who died of cancer in April.

    The mailer states in part, "Oropeza Chose her Own Interests Over Our Kids By Going Missing for 137 Days" and says, "she was absent for 137 days and missed many critical votes on issues affecting the health and safety of California's children." It cites as its source "CA Legislative attendance records, 2000-06."

    The metholodology for the tally couldn't immediately be determined; Richardson campaign manager Derek Humphrey had no comment on the mailer on June 22.

    In fall 2004, then-Assemblywoman Oropeza underwent seven hours of surgery to remove an inch-thick malignant tumor on her liver, followed by week-long chemotherapy sessions with a final treatment in mid-March 2005, her office said at the time. In mid-April 2005, her office said Assemblywoman Oropeza was declared free of any traces of cancer.

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