The wife of 49th Assembly District candidate Matthew Lin won an injunction Wednesday barring Ed Chau's campaign from disseminating any materials imprinted with her social security number. Joy Lin filed a legal complaint Friday after Chau's campaign released four mailers displaying her full name, home address and social security number.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge E. Edward Simpson ordered Chau to appear Nov. 27 regarding the injunction.
The flyers, sent out to voters Oct. 18, featured copies of tax liens dated 1997, along with aerial photos of the couple's home, describing it as a "San Marino mansion with tennis courts and a pool." Chau's campaign also posted an accompanying video on YouTube.
Former California Fair Political Practices Commission general counsel Bob Stern told the Associated Press he had never seen such an attack in his 40 years of experience.
"That's really stretching things, to go after the wife," Stern told the news outlet. "I think it borders on being not in good taste and not being ethical."
Lin spokesperson Miryam Mora said the county canceled the liens in question within 3 months of delivery. The erroneous liens stemmed from the transfer of a hotel property.
Lin lawyer John Chang said he asked the Chau campaign multiple times to stop sending out the flyers and to take down the offending YouTube video. At press time, it appeared the video had been taken down. He also requested they issue a formal apology, but they refused because a mea culpa might reflect negatively on their candidate.
"I was just so surprised, shocked that they wouldn't make amends and issue an apology," Chang said. "We weren't going to file a lawsuit if they apologized."
Chang says he intends to continue with the suit for now.
"We want damages because Joy Lin is undergoing a lot of pressure and a lot of stress," he said. "I really feel for her because God knows who is going to do what and when. Identity theft is one thing that comes to mind immediately, but what about a home invasion robbery? For a women, especially when Dr. Lin's out all the time campaigning, it's terrifying. Her husband's running for office. She's not running for office."
Chau's campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.