Campos Says Husband Being Kicked in the Balls Was Part of Senators’ Coordinated Attack

There are different stories about what led to the Casino Night fight involving the spouse of Assemblywoman Nora Campos. While not everyone agrees about how it started, or who hit who, we can say one thing with certainty:

Nora Campos’ husband, Neil Struthers, definitely got kicked in the junk.

Or maybe we should say the groin.

Or crotch.

Or “in the balls,” as Nora Campos put it in a story by the Mercury News, which has since been updated to note Struthers was merely kicked “below the belt.”

But let’s face facts: Struthers definitely got kicked in the balls.

Perhaps a more important issue is whether Struthers deserved to get kicked in the balls, and whether or not it was a pre-meditated kick in the balls.

According to the man who kicked Struthers in the balls, the answer is: yes, Struthers most certainly did deserve to get kicked in the balls, and, no, it was not planned.

Enrique Arguello, business manager for laborers union Local 270, returned a call requesting comment Wednesday evening and explained his side of the story.

Struthers not only called him a “faggot,” Arguello says, but also nearly punched his wife, which is why Struthers got kicked in the balls. The argument here is that the ball kicking was self-defense.

Let’s start from the beginning.

It was a Friday night at the Fairmont Hotel, and the Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council (SCBTC) was hosting its annual Casino Night. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Struthers was chopping it up with an old high school chum who is also is part of Local 270, Arguello says, and during this time Struthers said he would like to fight Arguello. He apparently said this within earshot of Arguello, who was sitting at a table with his wife. Struthers then approached the table and allegedly made an inappropriate hand gesture—finger in hole stuff—in reference to a picture he saw of Arguello and Omar Torres, an openly gay man who works in the office of Magdalena Carrasco. Struthers wanted to know if the two had a sexual relationship and how it worked, before allegedly calling Arguello a “faggot.”

(Background: Struthers probably isn’t fond of Torres because the latter’s boss, Magdalena Carrasco, defeated Xavier Campos, Struther’s brother-in-law, in a 2014 election rematch. Torres previously worked for Xavier Campos in the 2010 race. The reason for the rematch is Xavier Campos stole the 2010 election by 20 votes thanks to a fraudulent mailer produced by family friend George Shirakawa Jr. Arguello’s union supported Carrasco’s candidacy in 2014, and there’s a belief that Local 270 swayed a vote that led to Struthers’ resignation from the SCBTC. Whew! Got all that?)

Following the homophobic slurs, Arguello says, he and his wife got up to leave, but Struthers wasn’t done.

“When I was walking away he threw the first punch at me,” Arguello says. “He hit me on my shoulder and pulled me from my suit. He told me, ‘Come outside and I’ll kick your ass.’ My wife tried to separate us, standing in front of me. Then he tried to hit me over my wife, and he hit her instead of me.”

And that’s when Arguello kicked Struthers in the balls.

Neil Struthers got kicked in the balls.

Neil Struthers got kicked in the balls.

The Merc’s story includes a police report from May 2, a few days after the April 29 event, in which a man named “Pablo” is blamed for kicking Struthers in the balls. This person is believed to be Pablo Sencion, an executive board-field representative for Local 270.

Arguello said that Sencion may have been part of the scuffle—a lot of people rushed in fast—but he does not believe Sencion was the person who kicked Struthers in the balls. That’s because Arguello admitted he was the one who kicked Struthers in the balls.

“I’m pretty sure he was drunk,” Arguello says. “Even after everyone separated us he threw beer over everyone and my wife. He was holding a Corona in his hand the moment he approached me.”

Struthers provided a statement to the Merc denying he started the fight. He also noted that he planned to sue Arguello for libel and slander. When told this Wednesday evening, Arguello said he is considering his own lawsuit against Struthers.

Arguello also said there were plenty of witnesses who heard Struthers’ comments, inlcuding Jerry Zamora, business manager for the cement masons union Local 400.

A message requesting an interview with Zamora has yet to be returned. Struthers has not responded to multiple calls.

As if this story couldn’t get any stranger, Nora Campos released a YouTube video on Wednesday accusing state Senate President Kevin de León and Senator Jim Beall, who she is challenging in the June primary, of telling Arguello and his “thugs” to beat up her husband.

"Last week, [Arguello] and his gang of supporters violently attacked my husband simply for being married to me," Campos said.

Requests for comment from de León and Beall were not immediately returned.

Reading prepared statements in her Assembly office, Campos goes on to say that two Local 270 “henchmen” were “intercepted” by California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers while en route to break into Campos and Struthers’ home.

She then challenged de León and Beall: “Senators, you will conveniently plead the Fifth today, however, you know very well that Mr. Arguello has a long track record of receiving orders and support from the both of you.”

The wording of that statement is fairly incredible.

In 2013, Nora Campos’ own brother, Xavier, then a sitting San Jose councilman, invoked the Fifth when testifying before a grand jury about the stolen election of 2010.

San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos invoked the Fifth amendment regarding a stolen election in 2010. (File photo)

Former San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos refused to answer the simplest of questions during a 2013 grand jury hearing.

In a statement sent out Thursday afternoon by Local 270, Arguello called Nora Campos’ remarks “not only a distortion of the facts, but completely and intentionally false.”

He added: “This abuse of her elected office is shameful. Like her husband Neil Struthers, Ms. Campos is demonstrating a pattern of threatening and attacking those who do not share their views. She is using the power and connections of her elected office to bully her constituents and to cover up for her husband's misconduct—namely, repeatedly and publicly threatening me with physical harm, publicly insulting me with ethnic and homophobic slurs, and physically assaulting both my wife and me at a public gathering with numerous witnesses present.”

There’s a lot going on here, but one thing is certain: Neil Struthers definitely got kicked in the balls.

Josh Koehn is the managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Koehn.

40 Comments

  1. “…kicked in the balls” was mentioned 13 times in this article. Isn’t that a bit much?

    (The constant references, not the kick…)

    The writer comes across as a juvenile middle school kid, flaunting the fact that he can say things we don’t really need to read. At least, not 13 times.

    I suppose he was giggling when he wrote it.

    • I don’t know if Josh was giggling when he wrote it but I was giggling while I read it.

    • Neil Struthers might have have one ball, or none. The reporter should probe deeper.

    • I agree. Struthers has no balls so reference to him having balls is irreverent. Perhaps he should have run away like his buddy Xavier. Pretty sad when your wife has to defend your lack of manhood. Too funny…..

  2. Assembly member Campos had to realize the irony in her statement. Could she possibly be dense enough to not realize that the mere mention of pleading the fifth would automatically trigger recall for SJ voters to her baby huey brother’s shameful grand jury testimony where he plead the fifth under oath to avoid prosecution for his misdeeds in the Shirakawa mail-gate scandal? What a maroon.

    • She needs to be recalled anyway. A true idiot, was on the council and the same in the state. Why do you think all her aids jump off her sinking ship. Another lying, corrupt poly just sucking up the taxpayers $$$$.

      • Um, Toby. Are you not apprised of the fact that she has fulfilled her term and should she be recalled, the recall would take effect once Ash Karla or whom ever is sworn in to replace Campos?

  3. Homophobic, hitting a woman and racial slurs? Neil hit the bad boy trifecta at the Casino fundraiser. Drunk in public too. Has no one noticed that he has a drinking problem? The guy always reeks of alcohol and has that bloated red faced alcoholic look all the time. What a sad situation for him and his family. Alcoholism is no joke and I hope he gets treatment and intervention for his anger and aggression issues.

  4. Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a profile of Ben Rhodes, a frustrated novelist who now works aa a National Security director. How is Rhodes qualified? Because Rhodes can put together a narrative.

    SJI has, over the past two years, put forward a narrative of “the Campos Clan.” It reads as a libretto for a three penny opera of East San Jose politics with Magdelena Carrasco as the Snow White subject to the whims of the evil Nora and her two woodsman, Xavier and Neill.

    Ok, how about we write a new narrative.

    ON THE WATERFRONT
    arra
    We have the corrupt and violent union boss ENRIQUE.

    Notice that in the two narratives of the incident, it gets juicier with ENRIQUE’s version.

    ONE

    Pablo did the dirty work and Xavier went to get the gun.

    TWO

    ENRIQUE launched the attack on Struthers due to Struthers not only questioning his manhood, but attacking his wife.
    The wife issue was never part of version one. Now when it is provable that PABLO exists, ENRIQUE seeks to accept the blame for chivalry.

    There are three politicians who have received THOUSANDS of dollars from the Laborers in the past ten years.

    CHRIS STAMPOLIS

    270 bankrolled STAMPOLIS loonytoon mayoral campaign in 2010 and has [iaid the notorious strangler over 100 grand for professional services. PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS for college boards and schools that Chris tries to run is the price.

    JIM BEALL who has worked to secure concrete contracts for HIGH SPEED RAIL for out of state cement vendors with contracts with 270.

    MAGDELENA CARRASCO who organizes wirh skill of TED CUZ party caucus groups as well as serving as the poor victim whenever possible begging ex husband KEVIN DELEON to pour money from the Apartment Association for Carrasco campaigns “independent \” of Carrasco who votes against rent control.

    This is a reasonable narrative as the one put forward as SJI.

    • You must have really liked the Times article just as much as you insinuate Josh did because you used a lot of keystrokes to try to re-direct the narrative. But why should you have all the fun?

      The Campos Clan (and it would be more effective to try to use that as “proof” of bias if in Nora’s video she’s not calling union members thugs, henchmen and enforcers. Not really well thought out of a candidate for public office who has always claimed to be a champion of union workers is it?)

      Regardless of what you try to put forth as a bias in SJI’s reporting the fact remains that Shirakawa WAS a crook DID go to JAIL and should have gone to prison but got off easy with a very questionable lenient judge and he did it to benefit Baby Brother Campos and with payoff “donations” from Big Sis Campos.

      Hundreds of thousands of dollars from unions & laborers have gone into political campaigns. Many of it to candidates associated with the Campos and the Campos themselves. Corona King Struthers was the head of the trades who dolled out a huge portion of that money. The re-direct to try to make this one small group of laborers seem shady is a curious step for someone running for office isn’t it? Campos should re-think that since she’s quickly running out of friends (I saw her stalwart Cindy Chavez’s name on Jim Beall’s endorsement page)

      She can only blame herself for people re-hashing her brother’s shameful appearance in court where as a sitting city council member he plead the fifth to avoid prosecution. Shame, shame we STILL know your name!

      She can only blame herself for that ridiculous youtube diatribe. Henchmen intercepted on the way to her house to break in? Really? She’s psychic and knows what folks are going to do while they’re driving around the eastside? People provoked her husband, got him drunk, made him say homophobic & racial slurs, have him take a swing at a public formal fundraising event in front of hundreds of people, had him hit a woman and then throw a drink at the crowd when his “back up” (Baby Huey X who apparently ran away rather than plead the fifth this time) all because he’s married to her? Paranoid much Ms Campos? Neil needs a good AA meeting and apparently Ms Campos needs good psychotherapist who specializes in Paranoid Personality Disorder. They should hurry and get treatment while she’s still in office before her health benefits run out.

      You may not like the articles in SJI or the “slant” they take but it doesn’t change the truth when it is the truth. Who’s playing victim now? Ms Campos’ entire youtube post is how she is being targeted and victimized for being her. Waa waa waa call the wambulance

        • So it was Struthers not Shirakawa that was the real Godfather then he was the head of the trade unions. Now he’s just a drunk.

  5. I’m confused because I thought Nora always put herself up as a champion of Latinos and Latino issues. The first mailer in my box from her campaign points out she helped found the Latino Leadership Alliance so it is pretty disappointing to see and hear her in a video that she put up herself where she tries to tear down the highest elected Latino in the state of California then tears into Union leader Arguello (also Latino) and finally to have her characterize the union members of local 270 (many who are Latino) as thugs, henchmen, a gang and enforcers. What a sad pathetic tearing down of Latinos in the district she wants to represent. Talk about racial profiling! Self hate at its worst. Her brother was a gang specialist with MACSA before he helped bankrupt them so she knows exactly how loaded that language is and she wields it as a weapon at Latino leaders. Sad, sad, sad.

    She needs to grow up and she should have scolded her brother and husband for their bad behavior in public. Isn’t the brother a PR person now? This is his example of handling Public Relations? Who’d hire those guys much less vote for them? Terrible!

  6. Maybe Nora and Neil can double date with Darcie and Mr Green. They sound like they have a lot in common.

  7. The City of San Jose, State of California and all of the low life’s who have weaved their way up the political latter and who have returned to Sacramento Government are a sight to see. The Peter Principal in full run. So what can we do? Nothing and that is the point. Do you notice the steam rolling popularity of Trump? Well it won’t filter down until places like the captured County of Santa Clara gets freed from the likes of Campos, Liccardo, Reed and the rest of the banana republic that low AMERICAN CITIZEN voting rates have produced. I am gleeful with the County’s demise, so here in Zug I sit on my Hillside, playing my guitar, and looking down at the beautiful Lake. You look up as the County and State flood your streets with illegal Mexicans, Chinese and others who clog up your Emergency Rooms, grab your social services and have Fiestas on food stamps. Those of you with bleeding hearts will bleed to death.

  8. The narrative continues and the we hate Nora gang is in full swing. Latino leadership is now something the Beall spinmasters are writing about. Ok. Let us look at lack of leadership of Enrique Arguello. He hired Chris Stampolis and paid him over a hundred grand over a two year period. Stampolis is heard on a tape on the TMZ website strangling a Latina storage clerk. Stampolis, a Beall operative, is banned from visiting Santa Clara schools, because he made a finger gun gesture towards a popular school administrator with a ling record of mentoring Hispanics. Jim Beall receives thousands of dollars from Bloom Energy. Bloom received a fine from the US Department of Labor for paying Mexican workers in Sunnyvale in pesos! Now Arguellio in the Mercury News has submitted a THIRD VERSION of this incident where he claims he would never attack Struthers. But Arguello admitted he did, but now he says he did not. Let us also look at the rejection of the argument that Beall is not connected to Deleon. SACRAMENTO BEE reports that Deleon has managed to lift the ban on state senators accepting money from lobbyists citing the need of JIM BEALL to get more money. It is in the SACRAMENTO BEE. BEALL accepts money from out of state cement contractors angling for the High Speed Rail project, but with a poor record of hiring union workers. ARGUELLO FAILS AGAIN. Local 270 funnels money into hiring Deleon consultant John Shallman, who has a record of opposing Latino candidates. Now we here that Campos accepted thousands in graft. From whom? One spinmaster accuses Struthers of getting drunk. But Arguello writes the incident happened before Struthers got a beer. It jst goes on and on

    • Absolutely none of what you wrote addresses the bad behavior of Mr Struthers or the never-ending stream of missteps of the Campos duo (both criminal and just bad judgement) It seems as if your attempt to change the narrative rests solely on the “what they do is worse than what we do so just look away” type of defense.

      Witnesses saw & heard Mr Struthers drunk and belligerent. Racial slurs, homophobic slurs, aggressive behavior, striking a woman, throwing beer. What does Beall & Stampolis have to do with that???

      Mr Struthers is a known bully (remember HIS Starbucks stalking & aggressive behavior with threats after Baby Brother X got bounced as a sitting council member from the primary? ) We get it, he doesn’t like losing and his family members are coming up short all the way around . Drunk in public and shouting slurs at a fundraising event and then having your wife make a youtube video claiming you are the victim is just sad and pathetic and they can’t blame anyone but themselves for that sort of behavior.

      • NAME OF WITNESS, PLEASE.

        STAMPOLIS, EMPLOYEE OF ARGUELLO, JUDGED ABUSER OF WOMEN BY TWO COURT JUDGEMENTS WITH ACTUAL WITNESS NAMES.

        BEALL, APPEARS WITH ARGUELLO AT MEETINGS/

        ARGUELLO GOT HOW MANY CONTRACTS FOR MEMBERS, WHEN?

        POLICE REPORT FILED ON ACTION?

        • Neil is that you? Or is it Nora? Seemed to have pushed a button there because you went all postal and online shouting. You know it is both hilarious and tragic at how easily the Struthers Campos Clan and their merry band of thieves has self destructed.

          • I actually voted for Carrasco, my loud voice is just a frustration of hateful and silly you are being not being able to cite witnesses or facts.

          • The latino union leadership is corrupt. Do not vote for anyone they back or support.

  9. It was Nora’s own typewritten statement, yet a fourth grader could have read it better than she did. I’ve heard and read often that she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’ve never met her so I have reserved judgment. However, the inept and marginally literate manner in which she read her own statement goes a long way to prove that claim. And she wants to move UP the political ladder?

  10. JMO, a better way to describe Nora would be, “About as bright as a small appliance light bulb.” Are you familiar with the term Anencephaly?

  11. still waiting for the great press conference with yeager and evan low], boostee

  12. What is everyone getting so upset about? We need more of this type of behavior, not less.

    The finer details aren’t particularly important, the matter essentially seems to be that some ignoramus had too much to drink, acted like a jackass, and got smacked around a little for it. It sounds like, from what was described, that Mr. Struthers got what was coming too him and even a little less than he deserved but hopefully learned some manners. (Ernest Hemingway would probably still be proud though). Just because violence isn’t an answer to everything doesn’t mean it isn’t an answer to anything.

    If two grown men wish to settle a difference by fist fighting, they should be handed a pair of boxing gloves and a mouth piece; tables should be cleared back and then let them go a few rounds. It would make for a memorable dinner party, increase interest in attending future such gatherings (like fights at hockey games do) and probably go a long way toward curbing bad, loudmouthed behavior. Legalize testosterone. And just as fire extinguishers are required in public buildings, so too should boxing gloves be required at all political gatherings and Union meetings where alcohol is served.

    The duty then of the respective wives/spouses would be,upon arriving home, to put ice on any bruises and then make the moron sleep on the couch as punishment for causing such an embarrassment. Leave Nora Campos out of it, politically or otherwise. She’s married to the drunken fool; That’s punishment enough.

    As to the homophobic remarks that were supposedly directed toward Mr. Arguello, I hope he is gay. I have always been a fan of “straight-bashing”. It’s not a hate crime but it is damn entertaining when some drunken idiot pops off and gets his yap shut by the person he was seeking to insult.

    • Boxing gloves at union events that serve alcohol. What a great concept! I don’t think Mr Arguello is gay but I bet more than a few eastsiders are secretly cracking up that Struthers uses that as an attack when common thought in the hood is that Baby Brother X is light in the loafers and dating that Mi Pueblo guy.

      • That quiet sound was the lack of outrage by all these posters over the above coimments.

        • Who needs outrage when all you have to do is wait for the election. Baby X had the dubious distinction of being a sitting Council Member who got bounced in the primary and now Notorious Nora will be the sitting Assembly member who gets trounced in the primary by Beall. The Campos Clan seem to be the only ones who don’t know their reign is over. At least we know what Neil is so pissed off about mortgages on Alum Rock Hills spreads gotta be steep as the drive up there. They might have to relocate and actually live in the eastside again.

        • Jack, your severe lack and command of the English language makes your posts unreadable and/or understandable…..

  13. Unions in the South Bay that I ever dealt with are controlled by thugs. With probably ties to crime syndicates. Common for the laborer’s Business Agents to demand overtime pay from members in exchange for preferential treatment bumping them to the top of the out of work list. Also plenty of stories about parties being thrown for members with enough food and booze being bought for the entire membership, despite only a fraction showing up. The rest just “vanishes”…

  14. Wow. Struthers has balls? Now there’s news. The Campos clan of trough feeders should consider getting real jobs and creating wealth. Instead of this masquerade of continuous feeding out of the public trough.
    Xavier, Nora and her husband have been feeding for years. It becomes a way of life. Enough already.
    Keep these corrupt folks out of Public Office. Vote for their opponents.