I'm none too happy about the recent news out of Orange County. I'm referring to some idiot named Tan Nguyen. Nguyen is the most common Vietnamese last name and this guy is mucking it up for us good hearted Vietnamese folks.
In a nutshell-- Tan Nguyen is a naturalized citizen (born in Vietnam in 1973, arrived in the U.S. as a youngster) running for Congress. He is running as a Republican against Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez in one of O.C.'s most racially diverse districts (the Santa Ana-Garden Grove area). Nguyen is a relative newcomer to politics. In 2004, he ran as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher for the neighboring Huntington Beach-Fountain Valley seat. I don't know what the requirements are for running for Congress, but it's odd that within two years, someone would switch parties and districts. I guess he must want to be a Congressman real bad.
So bad that Nguyen is now being investigated for allegedly sending out thousands of letters to Latinos warning "You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time."
Granted, Nguyen is still being investigated and he's not guilty of anything at this point. But people in his office have been connected to the letters and it's just a matter of whether there is enough evidence to show that Nguyen knew and approved of them. His office and home have been searched, computers and files seized. The GOP, which never threw much might behind Nguyen in the first place, has disowned him and asked him to withdraw. As of yesterday, Nguyen was still in the race and maintaining his innocence.
This bothers me on so many levels. Where to start. Voter intimidation of any kind is plain sick. And the substance of the letter is just wrong, wrong and wrong. As a naturalized American citizen, Nguyen knows that immigrants can vote in certain cases. Then there is the irony that all this is happening in Sanchez's district. It was just ten years ago that Sanchez unseated Robert Dornan, a longtime Republican incumbent. It was ugly. Dornan created a huge fuss, threatening a recount and alleging this and that. Now it's come full circle again, but this time it's ugliness of a different color. The last thing we need is for Vietnamese-Hispanic race relations to go sour. Thanks a lot, sh*thead.