Assemblyman Under Fire for ‘Tony Soprano’ Comment

"A state assemblyman from Irvine is under fire from the National Italian-American Foundation for opposing a bill as a Tony Soprano insurance deal, and then apologizing "to all Italians who are not members of the Mafia and engaged in insurance scams,” reports SWRNN.com.

Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine, defended his remarks as a sincere apology, but nearly came to blows with Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena, over the alleged slur. The exchange was telecast on the California Channel and posted on Youtube.

The video showed other Assembly members physically separating the two on the floor of the Assembly last Wednesday.

The leader of the western branch of the National Italian-American Foundation, Jeffrey M. Carpaccio, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the Orange County Republican’s comments were “shocking” and “reinforced a negative generalization about an entire community.”"

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