GLENDALE–During a recent interview on Horizon Live’s weekly Community Forum program–State Senator Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena) responded to accusations that he secured funding for a documentary on the Armenian Genocide in order to buy Armenian votes.
The response came to a question by Community Forum host Ara Khachatourian who was referring to statemen’s made by Armenian National Network host Vatche Mangasarian and his guest former City Council candidate Bob Yousefian on ANN’s Dec. 2 edition. During the said program–Yousefian alleged that politicians were garnering funds for films and other projects–in order to secure votes from the Armenian community.
In response–Mangasarian named Schiff as the so-called culprit of this tactic and criticized the senator’s efforts to secure almost $500,000 for the production of a documentary on the Armenian Genocide called "Witnesses."
In his response–Schiff brushed off the allegation saying–"There are some virulent adherents to my opponents campaign who are prepared to say anything and do anything to win this race. And–it’s unfortunate."
Schiff continued by adding that his efforts to challenge the integrity of the University of California for accepting funding to establish a Turkish studies chair–as well as measures to establish a trade office in Armenia and secure funds for the Homenetmen were never criticized.
"These types of criticism happen during campaign season. It’s unfortunate," said Schiff adding that the electorate is familiar with his record and his continued support of Armenian-American concerns.
During his broadcast–Mangasarian attempted to further misguide the public by alleging that Schiff secured the film funding for the ARF. Whereas the funding approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Gray Davis has been earmarked for the Armenian Film Foundation–whose president Dr. J. Michael Hagopian–a Genocide survivor–is hard at work at completing the film.
A segment of "Witnesses" was screened last month–making it eligible for an Academy Award nomination.