Chen Calls Out Royce Campaign After Receiving Racist Voicemails

A spokesman for Royce called Chen's claims of receiving racist voicemails "bogus" and said the incumbent had nothing to do with that if they are real.

Jay Chen, a Democratic challenger for Congress, is calling out incumbent and rival Ed Royce’s campaign for negative ads that Chen says has prompted anti-Asian emails and threatening phone calls in recent weeks.

With the race nearing conclusion Tuesday, the campaign for the Congressional seat in the newly formed 39th district, which includes Diamond Bar and Walnut, has heated up. 

Chen held a press conference Friday to discuss the emails and calls.  The businessman and Hacienda-La Puente Unified school board member said that racist attacks aimed at his campaign have increased since U.S. Rep. Royce, R-Fullerton “began running negative and false ads claiming that Chen’s financial support came from Communist China, and that Chen ‘could not be trusted.’”

“There is no place in Congress or in our community for a representative who campaigns by instigating racism and hate," Chen said in a news release. “The way Royce seeks to win votes by stirring fears of China speak to his true views about the diverse district he seeks to represent.”

One of the mailers Chen appears to be referencing is one in which Royce’s campaign states that $750,000 has been spent on anti-Royce ads and mailers by a Super PAC called America Shining. The political action committee is funded entirely by Shaw Chen, Jay Chen’s brother, according to opensecrets.org. Shaw Chen’s place of residence is listed as Hacienda Heights on the website.  

The Daily Bulletin recently reported that Shaw Chen lives in Hong Kong.  Jay Chen told the newspaper when a movie trailer-like ad depicting Royce as a monster first came out that he did not know about America Shining, which funded the ad, and had no coordination with the group.

Chen, who is Taiwanese American, said after Royce sent out the mailers about his funding coming from China, his campaign received hate-filled voicemails from Royce supporters laced with expletives, threats about physically attacking Chen, and racial slurs for Asians.

The candidate’s Fullerton office also was vandalized last month and signs have been posted around the district asking if Chen is a “closet Commie” and urging residents to “vote for the American.”

"We have to understand that there's still this kind of mentality out there,” Chen said.  “That should motivate more people to come out and vote and get involved in the political process.”

Dave Gilliard, a political consultant and spokesman for the Royce campaign, said he doubts Chen’s claims about the voicemails and threats.

“The whole thing is bogus, “ Gilliard said in a statement. “Chen is just trying to draw attention to his failing campaign. We condemn any racist comments, if in fact they really happened, but considering the underhanded tactics of the Chen campaign and the outright deception involved with the Super PAC America Shining, I would not be surprised to learn that these were self-generated incidents.”

Chen’s campaign said that Gilliard has received scrutiny previously for his involvement in a 1988 campaign where private security guards were hired to intimidate voters in predominately Latino precincts.

Chen said his opponent Royce has spoken publicly against multiculturalism and is a proponent of English-only laws, the kind of divisiveness that a district that is about 29 percent Latino and 30 percent Asian, doesn’t need.

Gilliard said in April that Royce is not against multiculturalism in the U.S. and touted the congressman’s track record of working with ethnic communities.

"He's been very involved with the Vietnamese community, he's been very involved with the Korean community, he's been very involved in the Indian-American community," Gilliard said. "And we don't give up one inch of ground to Jay Chen on any of those. It's sad and telling that he's trying to run a racial campaign here."




Lydia Plunk November 05, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Oh, Please. To allege wrong-doing when you have a vested interest in the outcome should be received with a certain amount of skepticism. Fact. The FEC lists Shaw Chen, who lives in a home county records show as belonging to the men's parents Kelvin K. and Nain L. Chen as donating this year- 15K, 300K and 250K to the San Francisco political action committee America Shining. The Super PAC, is vigorously promoting his brother and neighbor, Ed Chen. Shaw Chen's occupation is listed as an "investment banker" for a firm called Crescent Hyperpark. What does Crescent Hyperpark invest in? Where is it registered to do business? Who are its clients? The lack of transparency when injecting this amount of capital into the American political system is stunning. Almost as stunning as the idea that the candidate is surprised by what Ed Chen must believe is "spare change" to his brother. To think the public swallows that suggests the candidate does not think much of the public intelligence.
A J November 05, 2012 at 04:20 PM
An article with lots of accusations about Royce, but no proof. How does one prove that he is NOT a racist??? Typical liberal campaign tactic - Cry "racism" and see if it helps your campaign.
Trisha Bowler November 05, 2012 at 04:31 PM
This ridiculous claim is absolutely bogus and a lie! It sounds like Chen is desperate and has decided to play the race card (which is so normal for a certain political party to do!!) I know Ed Royce and there isn't anything racist about him and he would be horrified to know that a phone call such as this was being made in his name. Bottom line, Chen doesn't have anything true to claim here against Ed at the last minute so he is making false accusations! Dispicable! VOTE FOR ED ROYCE for Congress! He actually has a record and experience and he is HONEST!!
Allen Park November 05, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I've seen many of Royce's mailers and they are completely racist. And the fellow leaving the racist voicemail is obviously a Royce supporter responding to Royce's anti-Asian mailings. Listen to it yourself: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2012/10/jay_chen_congress_racist_telep.php Royce has taken almost $5 million from special interest pacs, many of whom are entities who do business in China, including mega banks like Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse. By all means, vote for him if you want him to continue to allow Wall Street to walk all over taxpayers!
Allen Park November 05, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Dave Gilliard, Royce's campaign manager, is known for his racist ads. A google search comes up with this article from 2010, when he got raided by the D.A. Very sad that Royce has to resort to these types of campaign tactics to win. "He often designs mailers that cannot be called anything but racist. He has done this for a lot of Orange County Republicans, including Supervisor Janet Nguyen and State Senator Mimi Walters, who is now running for California Treasurer." http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2010/03/riverside-d-a-raids-gop-consultant-dave-gilliards-office/
Trisha Bowler November 05, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Yes, typical! When you have no chance to win or are running way behind then yell RACISM!! I have been to Ed's fundraisers and there are MORE Asians at those event than whites!! They love Ed and they wouldn't if he were racist! That's the bottom line, Park!
Judy Duvall November 05, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Lydia, thank you for exposing the bias of this reported response to what I would call a fabricated incident. I know and respect Ed Royce and he would never authorizie or approve of such a sleezy mission. In fact, his honesty and integrity are known and respected by his staff and his volunteers. I think Mr. Chen should be so honest.
Judy Duvall November 05, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Trisha, you couldn't be more right. This is the oldest tactic the Democrats use. You'd think by now, all of the public would be on to them, but truthfully, there are many, like Allen here that still drink the Kool-Aid.
alan haskvitz November 06, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Sad to see people not understanding such a racist message regardless of political party. It is not who you support, but what whether or not you tolerate such messages from anyone.
Truthy November 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Ed Royce, Bad Choice!
Ray Say November 06, 2012 at 03:53 AM
'Asian Race Card', sounds like a last ditch effort from a desperate candidate to smear his opponent. Americans are sick and tired of 'Race Cards' being pulled by losers
Trisha Bowler November 06, 2012 at 06:00 AM
IF there was such a message sent, the Royce campaign had NOTHING to do with it! My guess it was from a Jay Chen supporter, if there really was such a message, then it's blamed on Royce's people! Dirty tricks at the last minute! We are on to you!! Yes, Ed is the best choice! Experience counts and he has an impeccable record in congress!
Jimbo November 06, 2012 at 06:28 AM
Lydia Plunk commented: "The lack of transparency when injecting this amount of capital into the American political system is stunning." Where have you been? That train left the station awhile ago. We now have the best democracy that money can buy. Wall Street has seen to that.
Jimbo November 06, 2012 at 06:42 AM
AJ rhetorically asked "How does one prove that he is NOT a racist???" Well, a public repudiation and denouncement of those hateful voicemails would be a good start....
Trisha Bowler November 06, 2012 at 07:26 AM
Lydia and Judy, don't you wonder why so many are so ignorant about our system of government? We do NOT have a democracy! Democracies have failed every time it's tried. We are a Representative Republic! Do your research on the subject!
Lydia Plunk November 06, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Politics 101a. Money is a part of politics. As long as its source is immediately transparent, people can judge the merits of the message it carries.. Politics 101 b. Guerilla hit pieces. When we were first a city, there was a political mailer that included get rid of - even though I wasn't an elected official ( a first for California) my name was on the list. Thousands of people could testify. A friend's name was on the list of people wanting to get rid of me. Except he didn't. He had no idea who sent the mailer. A complaint was filed with the FPPC. Phone calls can be traced. If the incident really happened- before running to the press -where's the list of real people with real addresses not connected to the campaign who received and where is the complaint to the legal controlling authorities? To banty accusations against a man who provably worked to make this region more welcoming to the Asian community through his work in normalizing commerce and proposed immigration reform without better evidence is not a mark of maturity. Racism is wrong. Equally wrong is crying wolf.
A J November 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Jimbo - I would call this a condemnation of hateful voicemails: “The whole thing is bogus, “ Gilliard said in a statement. “Chen is just trying to draw attention to his failing campaign. We condemn any racist comments, if in fact they really happened... If a handful of nuts send emails or call Chen ugly names, it's hardly a personal statement about Royce. Let's get it straight - Chen is condemning Royce because "somebody" said terrible things to him on the phone. Therefore Royce and all of his supporters are "racist"??? I don't hold Chen responsible for all of the ridiculous things HIS supporters say.
A J November 06, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I doubt that ANYONE here tolerates hateful messages. The question is WHO left the messages? and why is Royce responsible for any of this? It's a bit condescending to say that people are not "understanding" the message. They understand that Chen's campaign is crying that Royce is a racist, a very very old Liberal strategy that does not work anymore.
Allen Park November 06, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Ed Royce is running a racist campaign meant to stir anti-Asian sentiment. It's obvious in the photos he uses. Obvious in how he now claims that Jay's support comes from "China" while in previous mailers he complained that it came from his brother living "500 feet away." Royce knows Jay's brother is an American so why is he saying the money is from China? He is instigating his supporters to take an angry racist stance, so yes he is responsible.
Allen Park November 06, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Lydia, I hardly see how being named one of the Top Ten in Congress for reducing legal immigration is of benefit to the Asian community: https://www.numbersusa.com/content/nusablog/beckr/february-10-2012/top-10-us-house-reducing-immigration-2011.html
Lydia Plunk November 06, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Dear Mr Park- If you look up the total numbers on immigration- the US is by far the most welcoming nation. Our immigration is pushed by something quite unusual for governments- family reunification. The Congressman's interests has been in increasing the ability of our foreign technical students ability to immigrate. Look up where that enrollment is in college and who is most likely to benefit. Your opinion in these matters may differ than mine- however God bless you in your defense of your friend and your ideas. We are not a strong nation because we agree- but because we can openly disagree.
Judy Duvall November 06, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Trisha, of course you are right. But we obviously learned that our representative form of government, loosely based on the French form of government at the time, must not be taught in schools today. Thank God, I being "old school" still can reason and use common sense. I'm not sure though, that Jimbo is a Chen or Royce fan from his comment as it makes no sense to me at all. Ignorance I think. Jimbo, that's not saying you're stupid, it is saying that you don't understand our form of government.
Jimbo November 06, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Lydia Plunk....Sorry, but I beg to differ. The transgression of "crying wolf" about racism is not on par with the sin of racism itself. Seems pretty clear to me, at least. And it's been my observation that those who are quick to dismiss allegations of racism generally have not experienced and felt the sting of it first-hand.
Jimbo November 06, 2012 at 09:17 PM
And folks, can we please stop mischaracterizing Jay Chen as a "liberal"? I've had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Chen and he is no a liberal. I wish he were, but that's a different matter....


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