Shane Goldmacher reports at National Journal:
A former California state lawmaker said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., threatened his career and his family, questioned his religious faith and accused him of being mentally ill after he told the 40-year incumbent he was endorsing his opponent this November.
Alberto Torrico, the former majority leader of the California Assembly, told National Journal on Tuesday that Stark, 80, exploded in anger when he called to inform him he was backing Stark's Democratic opponent, 31-year old Dublin city councilman Eric Swalwell.
"Probably, for the next five, ten minutes he lit into me. I don't think I said more than three words," said Torrico, a Democrat who said he has supported Stark for the last decade.
After "calling me a turncoat," Torrico said that Stark "questioned my mental health. He asked me if I was well, if I was ill. He said that he was concerned for the safety of my children, that maybe he should send a social worker to my house to check on their safety because I'm clearly ill."
During their conversation, Stark, who is the only openly atheist member of Congress, also questioned Torrico's Christian faith, Torrico said. "He took the opportunity to say he'd come to my house and teach my children about the Christian faith because I couldn't," he said.
"From an atheist, I found it interesting," Torrico added.