(June 25, 2007) -- On Sunday June 24, a number of readers told LBReport.com that they'd received a recorded phone message voiced by Tom Mullins, husband to Congressional candidate/State Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D., southbay), responding to a mailer by Congressional candidate/Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D., Carson-LB) that criticized Oropeza for Assembly absences from 2000-2006...apparently including a period when Oropeza was battling cancer.
LBReport.com requested and received a copy of the message from the Oropeza campaign.
Delivered in a calm tone of voice, it begins with, "My name is Tom Mullins, and my wife, Jenny Oropeza, has been viciously and unfairly attacked by Congressional candidate, Laura Richardson."
Mr. Mullins' message tells the recipient that Richardson sent out a mailing "saying that my wife was absent for a number of days while serving in the State Assembly. What Richardson did not say is that Jenny was fighting cancer when she missed those days. She was undergoing intensive chemotherapy. It was a scary time for both us. Fortunately, Jenny won her fight with cancer and is 100% cancer-free today. But I am outraged that Laura Richardson would attack my wife for missing work when she was fighting for her life. That's just not fair, even in politics, and Laura Richardson should know better."
The Richardson campaign mailer arrived in LB 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.
As previously reported on LBReport.com, the Richardson campaign 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, Sen. Oropeza's office said she declared free of any traces of cancer.