Politics make odd couple of Savage & Ed Jew

Embattled Supervisor Ed Jew angered some of his colleagues by casting the lone dissenting vote killing a resolution that would have condemned comments made by a talk radio personality about immigration advocates and then further strained relations by appearing on the conservative radio show a day later.

Jew appeared Wednesday on Michael Savage’s radio show to discuss why he voted against a resolution during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting slamming Savage for recent comments.

The other members of the board had supported the resolution “condemning defamatory language used by Savage against the immigrant community.” The resolution referred to Savage’s July 5 broadcast in which he said that a group of students fasting for immigration policy changes should “fast until they starve to death.”

Jew also used the radio appearance to discuss his own legal problems, with the assistance of his attorney Steven Gruel.

Jew found support in Savage, who characterized the Sunset supervisor as an elected official under attack for acting independently and suggested Jew, who is the only Chinese American on the board, is, himself a target of racism.

Savage’s producer contacted Jew on Wednesday to invite him to do the phone interview, Gruel said.

“I am very upset at Ed Jew and disappointed that he would go on this show,” said Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, who introduced the resolution. “Ed Jew’s got a lot of problems and I don’t think this helps him, but he seems to be oblivious to a lot of things going on around him.”

Jew did not return phone messages asking for comment.

On Monday, Jew will be asked to enter a plea on nine felony counts brought againsthim by the district attorney based on the allegation that he lied about where he lived in order to run for office. He is also being investigated by the FBI for accepting $40,000 in cash from businesses seeking help in obtaining city permits. And City Attorney Dennis Herrera has requested permission from the state attorney general to sue Jew to oust him from office for allegedly violating the City Charter by not living in the district he represents.

Jew told listeners not to “believe what you completely read in the paper because in the last 47 days a mainstream paper” was biased 90 percent of the time and said he didn’t “come out and trounce them” because “they have the freedom of expression.”

Jew also said that his attorneys “have a good case.”

During Wednesday’s interview with Jew, Savage said his comments were in “a sarcastic manner” and not racist. He also said, “This whole thing is being distorted for political reasons.”

Sandoval said it is not a political issue but a “moral issue,” and “if we don’t stop that kind of speech, we’re looking at a very nasty future for the entire immigrant community and not just Latinos.”

The new odd couple

Supervisor Ed Jew appeared on Michael Savage’s radio program Wednesday. Jew raised the ire of many supervisors by failing to vote to condemn recent comments by the conservative talk show host regarding immigration advocates.

Savage on Jew:

» “[The other supervisors] were all ganging up on you and I said, ‘What is really behind all of this? It can’t be a residency thing, it’s that this man is an independent.’”

» “Only one man stood up — I don’t know Mr. Ed Jew. He doesn’t know me — but I was so pleased to see a man who understands the First Amendment.”

» “I think you ought to run for the Mayor’s Office.”

Ed Jew on Savage and Jew’s criminal investigation:

» “I said that for the record, I don’t agree with what Mr. Savage says, but he has a First Amendment right to have his own comment. And I want to basically say that I don’t agree with my wife, and she has her own perspective.”

» “It’s been a pile-on [the investigation] and I just want to keep it at that.”

» “I’m going to continue to do my job as a supervisor.”

jsabatini@examiner.com


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