In a statement provided over the weekend, David Erlich, a Republican candidate for the California 18th Assembly District, slammed California Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco who was arrested last week on arms trafficking charges, while denouncing those that are trying to tie Erlich's opponent, Rob Bonta, a Democrat from Alameda, to Yee.
Yee was named last week in a 137 page affadavit by an FBI agent that alleged Yee, among other alleged illegal acts, conspired to traffic arms from the Philippines to the United States.
Erlich wrote, "[Leland] Yee has a Constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial, he has a Constitutional right to be judged by 12 of his peers, and all of the other protections against false prosecution our Constitution provides. Now, all I have been hearing is how much of a hypocrite he is, writing gun legislation while conspiring to bring illegal guns from the Philippines into the U.S. I see it differently. A hypocrite is a pro-lifer caught running a abortion clinic. This man [Yee] is a danger to this country and to the Constitution he swore to defend. Yee, while limiting and even stripping me of my right to own firearms legally, was going to smuggle in illegal arms that would have ended up in the hands of criminals on our streets. This is not the act of a hypocrite it is a act of treason! If he is convicted it should be for treason."
Erlich also said that he is aware of a whisper campaign trying to connect his June primary opponent, Rob Bonta, a Filipino American, and the sitting 18th Assembly District representative, to Yee and the Philippines arms deal.
Like Yee, Bonta has been sponsoring legislation that would tighten gun control laws.
"I denounce any allegations made about Rob Bonta based strictly on his Filipino background," Erlich said. "I have been hearing whispering, but to talk publicly about speculation is only a distraction from the real issues. But if there is any evidence that ties him or anybody else to any of the corruption that is being, and going to be, exposed in Sacramento, than it should be investigated. Rob Bonta has nothing to worry about if he is not involved."
He added that he is suspect of any further legislation in Sacramento limiting the use of firearms.
Erlich and Bonta will face-off in the June 3rd primary; Bonta is favored in a district that is heavily weighted Democratic.