Which state Assemblywoman’s spouse rumbled at a “Casino Night” last month at the Fairmont Hotel? If you guessed Neil Struthers, spouse of Nora Campos (D-San Jose), step right up and claim your punch in the face. Naughty Neil has a history of getting into chest-bumping matches with political adversaries at Starbucks, but this time he tussled at the annual Vegas-style hoedown for the Santa Clara and San Benito County Counties Building and Construction Trades Council (SCBTC). As former CEO of the organization, which oversees 25 local unions, Struthers apparently hurled a couple slurs at Enrique Arguello, business manager for laborers union Local 270. Arguello’s outfit has been a rogue political force, at times swimming against the South Bay Labor Council current. Local 270 had a hand in Magdalena Carrasco bouncing Xavier Campos—baby bro of Nora—off the San Jose council, and the group also might have swayed a secret vote leading to Struthers’ resignation from the SCBTC. Back to Casino Night. After some mad dogging, Struthers made some hand gestures suggesting Arguello was gay before calling him a “fucking faggot,” according to multiple sources. Struthers also reportedly made a derogatory comment about Arguello being Mexican, perhaps forgetting about his own wife and brother-in-law. It’s not clear who threw the first punch, but Fly confirmed that Arguello kicked Struthers in the crotch. A scrum ensued as Josue Garcia, CEO of the SCBTC, pleaded for calm. Struthers walked away with a few scratches, perhaps because his backup, Xavier, supposedly ran away. When asked why he didn’t have his brother-in-law’s back, Baby X told folks he was getting a weapon from his car. Yeah, because he’s about that life. In a brief call Xavier jumped off the line, never calling back like he promised. Neither Neil nor Nora responded to requests for comment. The timing is especially poor since Nora is running for state Senate in an uphill battle against incumbent Jim Beall.
UPDATE: The Mercury News has a story on its blog that has been updated to include a police report, which was apparently filed by Neil Struthers. The police report notes that another man identified as “Pablo” kicked Struthers in the groin. The Merc’s report also includes a statement from Struthers blaming state Senate president Kevin De León for the entire mess, adding that he intends to sue Enrique Arguello for slander and libel.