SearchIranian-American Tackles Big Brother with Performance Art

Iranian-American Tackles Big Brother with Performance Art ...
ocregister.com 30/10/2016 Politics

Keywords:#American, #Big_Brother, #Farsi, #Iran, #Iranian, #Iranian-American, #Newport, #Newport_Beach, #Ocregister.com, #Orange, #Persian, #Registrar, #Saturday, #September

A campaign sign with Farsi writing reads “Vote for Fred Amer” in Newport Beach.

* * * COURTESY OF FRED AMERI
By LOUIS CASIANO Jr. / STAFF WRITER
A campaign sign found in Newport Beach with words written in Farsi next to City Council candidate Fred Ameri’s name is another “racist” attempt to instill fear and alienate voters, Ameri said.
The red sign was placed on West Coast Highway and Dover Drive and reads “Vote for Fred” written in Farsi, the language spoken in Ameri’s native Iran, and Ameri written in English.
Ameri, who was born Farrokh Ameri in Iran, said the sign was not his and that he only became aware of it when a friend brought it to his attention this week.
“This is an indirect way of saying ‘Look this guy is an Iranian. He’s not one of us,’” he said.
A 19-year resident of the city and former planning commissioner, Ameri said he has used “Fred” for several decades and is widely known by the name.
Several of his campaign workers who distribute fliers to homes were told to keep an eye out for similar signs and remove them, he said. As of Saturday, no other signs with Farsi writing were found.
Ameri is running against attorney Phil Greer and finance commissioner Will O’ Neill to replace Councilman Keith Curry of District 7, who cannot seek reelection because of term limits.
No one has taken responsibility for the sign. O’Neill and Greer have denied having any connection to it.
The issue of Ameri’s Persian heritage has become an issue this election cycle.
In August, Newport Beach resident William Stewart filed a lawsuit against the Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelly and Newport Beach City Clerk Leilani Brown, asking a court to order Ameri to use his birth name instead of his nickname “Fred” on election materials and the ballot.
Bruce Peotter, Stewart’s attorney and brother of Councilman Scott Peotter, argued that state elections code mandate a candidate to use their legal name, saying any other name would mislead voters.
Peotter cited Gov. Jerry Brown, whose birth name is Edmund. which appeared on the ballot.
A judge disagreed in his September ruling, saying Ameri had a right to use a name he is widely associated with and known.
Ameri said the lawsuit and campaign signs are racist ploys to discredit his candidacy.
“They tried to expose my name that I’m just some terrorist Iranian in this country,” Ameri said.
Contact the writer: 714-796-2478 or lcasiano@scng.com

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