Warren Furutani is not taking your s#*t

Skirmish breaks out on California State Assembly floor.

Even without any kind of context, this is an awesome photo. Assemblyman Warren Furutani being restrained on the California State Assembly floor? Badass. Seriously, he looks like he wants to kick somebody's ass. And indeed, there was reportedly some kind of skirmish that went down yesterday: Skirmish breaks out on Assembly floor during budget debate.

It apparently started when Assemblyman Don Wagner of Irvine likened a portion of the Democrats' budget plan, a plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies, to a "Tony Soprano" insurance scheme -- a remark that did not go over well with Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who happens to be Italian American. Here's video of the exchange (at the 2:45 mark):

Words were exchanged, and suddenly Warren Furutani was in the mix too:

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La CaƱada Flintridge) quickly rose to say that "as a proud Italian American, I resent that and I would respectfully ask the commenter to make an apology to Italian Americans in California."'

Wagner retorted, "I will apologize to any Italian Americans who are not in the Mafia and engaged in insurance scams," to audible murmurs and grumbling in the chamber.

Then Wagner rose again. "My apology, if one is needed, is sincere," he said. "My reference is certainly not one that no one in this room gets… I think my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, especially one who seems to be extraordinarily outraged over this for reasons I don't understand -- my reference is not lost on anyone here. This is not an attack on anyone. This bill is a bait and switch."

Moments later, Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena), who is not Italian American, hustled over to confront Wagner and the two had to be separated by colleagues.

It's not clear from the video or the article what Assemblyman Furutani said, or what pushed him over the edge to physically get in Wagner's face, but he is certainly not known as someone to back down from a fight -- especially when it comes to speaking up on behalf of minorities.

More here: Lawmaker's disparaging remarks about Italians leads to near-brawl on Assembly floor.

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