Incumbent state Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Buena Park) is being put in the Donald Trump light by her challenger’s campaign, which is blasting her “continuing refusal to release her tax returns for public scrutiny.”
Kim defeated then-incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva in 2014, and the Democrat is squaring off against the Republican in a bid to win back the 65th Assembly District seat this November.
“Yesterday marked 100 days since Sharon released five years of her taxes and called on Kim to do the same, under the idea that confidence in government depends on some level of confidence in our leaders,” writes Matt Reilly, Quirk-Silva’s campaign spokesman, in an email last week.
“Like Trump, she has repeatedly refused. For Trump, it likely is about private dealings that paint him in a horrible light. For Kim, who has been in government for the past five tax years, this should be easy—what’s to hide if you work as a congressional aide, do campaign work on the side, or collect an Assembly paycheck?
“More broadly, she and her husband fail to properly disclose their income on their statement of economic interests for several years. If they’re not complying with open government laws, are they failing to comply with federal tax laws, too?”
Kim was an aide to Rep. Ed Royce (R-Brea) before running for Assembly.
Bryan Shroyer, Kim’s campaign manager, characterizes Quirk-Silva’s demand as a political stunt.
“Sharon Quirk-Silva does not want to talk about her record of trying to raise taxes when she was in the Assembly, so she has fabricated a non-issue,” Shroyer says.
“Young Kim’s salary and income is already a matter of public record and her Statement of Economic Interests is filed with the Fair Political Practice Commission. As our assemblywoman, Young has been an advocate of government transparency for all. Trying to state otherwise is just gutter politics that is a turn off to voters.”
This is not the first time a Quirk-Silva campaign tried to portray Kim as a 1 percenter out of touch with average voters in a mostly working-class district. In 2014, her campaign sent mail to constituents that showed a photo of Kim next to the words, “Not One of Us.” An ad with the same words next to a photo of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was used to cast the multi-millionaire as out of touch with average Americans in the 2012 election won by President Barack Obama.
But members of the Kim campaign, the local Asian American community and the California Women’s Leadership Association successfully spun the “Not One of Us” ad as being racially charged, as the Republican is Korean American. In its suit against the city of Fullerton aimed at creating election districts so Asian American residents will be better represented, the ACLU cited the “Not One of Us” ad aimed at Kim as evidence of the need for city council districts.
Whether the Trumpization of Kim will also blow up in Quirk-Silva’s face remains to be seen.