GLENDALE—An orchestrated smear campaign targeting the presumptive front-runner in the April 2 Glendale City Council race has muddied the elections and deviated the public discourse from issues facing the city to mudslinging and accusations.
Sinanyan’s opponents are alleging that he has authored online comments on various platforms such as YouTube. The comments attributed to Sinanyan were generally in response to violent, offensive and racist remarks against Armenians by people aggressively denying the Armenian Genocide.
Evidently, the attack campaign is being spearheaded by sitting City Councilmember Laura Friedman—herself a candidate in the elections—who during Tuesday’s City Council meeting made a motion to schedule discussion to strip Sinanyan of his seat on the Glendale Community Development Block Grant Board Advisory Committee. Friedman’s motion was seconded by fellow councilmember and candidate Ara Najarian. Mayor Frank Quintero voiced support for the discussion, which is slated to take place on March 12.
Sinanyan’s campaign manager, Elen Asatryan, told Asbarez that since the City Council has opted to address the issue during its session, Sinanyan would comment about it on Tuesday at the meeting.
Friedman admitted to the Glendale News Press on Wednesday that she had not done her own research, but rather was relying on a descriptive email about the comments sent to multiple community members.
Friedman did not return numerous calls to Asabrez.
The timing of the attack raises serious concerns, since Sinanyan has served on various commissions in the city for more than five years.
City Counciman Rafi Manoukian pointed out during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the motion to discuss Sinanyan’s removal from the CDBG is taking place as the race is becoming more and more competitive.
“Let me remind everyone that it is campaign season and this particular gentleman is running for a council seat, as are two of my colleagues here. So it’s very odd, that especially during the election, things like this come up. I would prefer leaving it after the election to determine what this is all about,” said Manoukian during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“Election season’s here, I guess. It’s been here for a while, but here we go,” added Manoukian.
The smear campaign has resulted in several high-level officials pulling their support for Sinanyan, who is the top fundraiser in the race. Rep. Adam Schiff and Los Angeles City Councilmen Paul Krekorian and Eric Garcetti, a mayoral candidate, have withfrawn their endorsement for Sinanyan.
The March 12 City Council session promises to be interesting. The question remains as to when these candidates will stop mudslinging and resorting to underhanded tactics and actually begin addressing issues of importance to the residents of Glendale.