Iran Emerges as Issue in Race for Waxman's Seat

Iran Emerges as Issue in Race for Waxman's Seat

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — With just two weeks left until the June 3 primary elections, Republican candidate Elan Carr and Democrats Wendy Gruel, Ted Lieu and Matt Miller–all vying for outgoing Democratic Representative Henry Waxman’s seat–took turns speaking at a pre-election mixer on a subject that has rarely been brought up on the campaign trail: Iran.

The candidates addressed an audience of approximately 100 members of District 33’s Iranian Jewish community at a private gathering sponsored by 30 Years After, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the participation and leadership of Iranian American Jews in American political, civic and Jewish life, according to its website.

One candidate–perhaps the most prominent, after a slew of celebrity endorsements–was missing: independent Marianne Williamson, who was not extended an invitation to the mixer, according to an undisclosed source.

An email statement issued on behalf of Ms. Williamson to Breitbart News regarding the apparent snub reads “We are very disappointed that Marianne was not invited to that gathering at 30 Years After. She is not only Jewish; she also has a deep commitment to Israel and the Jewish community. There have been rumors to the contrary, we realize. We wish to make it clear that Marianne is a strong supporter of Israel, a proud Jewish woman and a member of the Jewish community.”

Elan Carr, who spoke first of the four, mentioned his Iraqi Jewish heritage and recalled having encountered the ongoing Iran-Iraq conflict when he served in Iraq. Mr. Carr said he saw first-hand how Iranian weaponry took the lives of the people with whom he served. “Nobody knows the mischief of Iran today better than I and nobody understands the dangers that Israel faces from Iran as I do,” he said, “having watched Iran destabilize Iraq and now wreak havoc on Lebanon.”

Ted Lieu spoke of his humble beginnings and recalled having visited Israel with his wife in 2007. Lieu said he is “the only candidate that has a public record on Israel and Iran” and drew attention to the fact that he was a co-author of Assembly Bill 221, which was supported by 30 Years After and “divested California’s pension funds from Iran’s nuclear and energy industries,” Lieu said. “As your member of Congress I will be a severely strong supporter of Israel,” Lieu said, saying that he and Carr “are very similar; we have very similar views” on the issue.

Wendy Greuel mentioned her support for Israel: “I’m proud of my history, not only as an elected official, but as a private citizen [and] standing up for Israel and being there.” She then spoke of women’s rights, which has been a core platform throughout her campaign: “There’s a war on women, a war on LGBT rights, and there’s a lot of things we need to do because women still make .77 cents on the dollar.” Greuel said that while Henry Waxman’s shoes will be difficult to fill, if she’s elected she plans on doing so in high heels.

Last but not least, it was Miller time as former radio talk show host Matt Miller, who is running as a Democrat and has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, said, “I am deeply worried about the Iranian nuclear situation,” and pointed out that while he thinks war should be a last resort, that the sanctions on Iran are the reason why the Iranians have been “forced to the table.” He said he believes that “Israel faces an existential threat” and that “the U.S. might be [getting] played” and “must be vigilant about that” with regard to Iran.

Miller also took a jab at Karl Rove for claiming that Hillary Clinton–who is expected to stage a 2016 presidential run– could have brain damage, following reports that she was hospitalized for a blood clot in her head between her brain and skull after suffering a concussion last year.