This afternoon (Wednesday) IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m checking the blogs (on my phone, on my break) and I come across this headline on the OC RegisterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Total Buzz Blog: Tan Nguyen is cleared.Ã‚Â I about fell out of my chair, I thought to myself Ã¢â‚¬Å“WTF,Ã¢â‚¬Â how did this happen?Ã‚Â We were all watching this drama last October and it was pretty clear to most of us that there was clearly something inconsistent with Tan NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s explanations that seemed to change daily.
Martin Wisckol reports that he spoke to Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons about the decision to close the case on Tan Nguyen.
Schons said one key in the determination to stemmed from the Spanish word Ã¢â‚¬Å“emigrado.Ã¢â‚¬Â He said that the original draft of the letter Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in English Ã¢â‚¬â€œ warned those in the country illegally and those with green cards that they could face jail or deportation if they voted.
Schons said Ã¢â‚¬Å“those with green cardsÃ¢â‚¬Â was translated into the Spanish Ã¢â‚¬Å“emigrado,Ã¢â‚¬Â which can be interpreted to mean non-citizens with work permits. However, when Ã¢â‚¬Å“emigradoÃ¢â‚¬Â was translated back into English after the letters were mailed, it became Ã¢â‚¬Å“immigrantÃ¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which carries no connotation of being a non-citizen with a work permit.
This really doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make much sense to me. First, Tan Nguyen said he had nothing to do with the letter; then he claimed the letter was put out by one of his campaign workers without his knowledge; then he said that the letter was not translated correctly from the Ã¢â‚¬ËœoriginalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ English version and that the true intent to warn non-citizens that they could not vote got lost in translation. Yeah, that makes sense, case closed.Ã‚Â Here is the original letter in Spanish, and here is the translated letter.
Garden Grove City Council candidate and Commissioner Benny Diaz, who was one of the recipients of that letter isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t buying Tan NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s explanation and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t quite understand why it took the AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office in San Diego so long to finally reach a conclusion, much less, how they reached this one.Ã‚Â In fact he was quite annoyed to learn that the case had been closed.Ã‚Â I talked with Benny tonight and he had this to say;
“The right to vote is fully protected under the XV Amendment of the US constitution. Anybody that uses any intimidation tactics should be prosecuted with the full power of the law. When Mr. Nguyen or anybody else uses the printing materials such as letterhead of an anti-immigrant organization it shows intent to intimidate. How more clear can it be? I feel disappointed that it was LULAC that had to call the State Attorney GeneralÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office to find out the results of the investigations rather than the AG call us. When I spoke with Mr. Schons he said that the case was closed back in February, they really dropped the ball. We are going to ask the US Attorney General to fully investigate this issue.“
- Use a fake letterhead of an anti-immigrant organization instead of his own campaign letterhead?
- Why did they use a fake name at the end of the letter?
- Why was Tan refusing to answer the simplest of questions regarding this letter?
- Why did Tan Nguyen’s story change about 10 times?
While Tan Nguyen is clearly not out of the woods yet, given the federal voting rights investigation that is still ongoing, he has clearly gotten a pass from Attorney General Moon Beam.Ã‚Â
Frank Barbaro, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County commented tonight saying;
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a classic case of wrong without remedy.Ã‚Â Everybody agrees that what Tan Nguyen did was very wrong, and was done with the intent to discourage people from voting.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Democratic Party of Orange County Vice-Chair Rima Nashashibi, who is an American-Palestinian born in Jerusalem, was a bit more blunt;
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The letters were offensive, to me and they were offensive to the legally registered voters who received them.Ã‚Â At the time Tan NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s involvement in this attack on the voting rights of U.S. citizens was revealed, both Democrat and Republican leaders condemned his actions.Ã‚Â Despite the decision of the State Attorney General on this matter, I hope GOP Chairman Scott Baugh will continue to stand by his repudiation of Tan NguyenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s acts of voter intimidation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Tan Nguyen has never apologized for his actions and he needs to be held accountable.Ã‚Â Hopefully, this will occur at the federal level.Ã‚Â Only time will tell.Ã‚Â Tick-tock, tick-tock.