Janet Actually Responds

Last night after waiting several days for a response from Supervisor Janet Nguyen I posted a “satirical” email from her in which I insinuated that she was giving me the middle finger. My use of the middle finger was meant to symbolize her lack of response to my email regarding the Little Saigon protesters. Earlier this morning I was informed by Phil Bacerra via Chris Prevatt that Janet did indeed respond, however she claimed that her email was rejected three times.    
Despite the fact that I have been receiving all the rest of my emails from everyone else I appearently only failed to receive Janet’s. I have no reason to not take her at her word and I promised to post her response in full here on the Liberal OC. Here is Janet’s response:

Dear Sean:

Thank you for your email and questions regarding the First District.

The South Vietnamese Flag has a special place in my heart because my father, uncle and millions in their generation fought to defend it. This flag symbolizes the struggle for freedom and democracy for Vietnamese everywhere. The pain endured and the sacrifice made by countless individuals many of whom perished in their search for self-dignity make more indelible the symbol that the flag stands for. My father fought communism alongside U.S. soldiers. My uncle, an officer in the South Vietnamese Army, was executed after Saigon fell. My brother, Robert, fought in the Operation Iraqi Freedom War to liberate the Iraqi in 2003. My family has always fought to defend democracy and freedom. Having the opportunity to live in United States has given me the opportunity to be able to reach the American Dream, but I will never forget the very real pain that still exists in those of us who are victims of totalitarianism and communism.

As an American I value our First Amendment right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. I support people exercising their freedom of speech in a peaceful and law-abiding way. However, the exercise of free speech should not come at the expense of the rights of others.
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify your comments and misrepresentation of the First District’s Fund 130. Despite your claim that Santa Ana received only $5,000 for Logan Park, I have allocated over $600,000 out of $1 million to Santa Ana in 2007 for parks and recreational projects in the city.
Here are some examples of the projects in Santa Ana:

Santa Ana Zoo – $100,000
Jerome Park – $100,000
Santa Ana YMCA’s soccer field – $100,000
Logan Park – $5,000
Santa Ana Boys & Girls Club (Pio Pico’s summer program) – $10,000

Again, thank you for your email. If you have any other concerns, please feel free to email me or contact my office at (714) 834-3110.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen
Orange County Board of Supervisors

Unlike some in the local blogosphere, whom we all know but will remain nameless, I am man enough to apologize when I post something in error. I am also a man of my word and I have posted Janet’s response unedited and in its entireity here on our blog. While some folks prefer to rely on sensationalism and yellow journalistic tactics, I believe that honesty is the cornerstone of good debate.

In response to what Janet had to say I still believe that she is trying to play both sides of the fence. Unlike Hoa Van Tran who spoke out in defense of Nguoi Viet Daily News and was somewhat critical of the protesters, Janet chose to straddle the fence. Yes these folks have the “right” to protest just as the newspaper has the right to the freedom of the press. However once these protesters stepped over the line and began using assault, intimidation and other means to go after them with the intent to close them down, leaders like Janet should take a stand and tell them that this isn’t how we do things in America.

The actions of the protesters in Little Saigon are meant to be a chilling reminder to anyone that crosses them, “Challenge us and you’ll be next”. Folks like Janet, Van Tran and Andy Quach, who are supposed to be leaders in the Vietnamese community, need to put their collective foot down and stop this type of “mob rule” activity. We cannot have “angry mobs” controlling the editorial content of newspapers.

Regarding the monies she has spent from her “Fund 130” I commend her for spreading some of it around in Santa Ana. Considering Santa Ana makes up the largest part of the First District that is the least she can do. However she chose not to comment on the $2.5 million she is looking to spend on a bridge that will benefit one of her big money donors Frank Jao.

I realize that the money she is trying to secure to build the bridge does not come from her “Fund 130”. However that money would be better spent on improving the roads in the First District. Anybody that has driven in Santa Ana knows that all too well. And if her goal with the bridge is to help with pedestrian safety, she again should look towards spending such money in Santa Ana where we have one of the highest, if not the highest, pedestrian fatality rates in the nation.

I want to thank Janet for her response and again I apologize for my post mocking what I believed was her ignoring my concerns. I had included my phone number in my email to her just in case she had any questions or problems responding. Perhaps she did not see it and that is why she contacted Phil and had him let us know about her response.

On a personal note to Janet, believe me when I tell you this, my criticism’s of your policies and your actions are in no way meant as a personal attack on you. This is simply politics. Unlike some in the local blogosphere I don’t take personal delight in attacking folks. I don’t see politics and blogging as a bloodsport. The next time I see you I will, as I always do, extend my hand cordially and say “hello”. I’m sure you’ll do the same.

  10 comments for “Janet Actually Responds

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    April 16, 2008 at 11:32 am

    She never really answered your question; She wrapped the answer around the flag. She did not come out and condemn violent protests. his email response shows Janet is a straddler.

  2. Jorge Sanchez
    April 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    What does her uncle’s service in Vietnam and her brother’s sacrifice in Iraq has anything to do with Janet’s ability to public office?

    Is Janet running for re-election or is her brother, Robert?

  3. Andrew Davey
    April 16, 2008 at 1:38 pm


    Agreed. From what I see here, I think you & Sean are correct. Janet Nguyen is straddling the fence on this issue of the “protests”. And regarding funds for Santa Ana, it does seem like Janet has been bringing home some bacon… But still, she could be doing A LOT more meaningful things for First District residents if she stopped throwing money on pork barrel gimmicks like the Little Saigon “bridge”, Westminster “office”, and Garden Grove “sign”, and started directing more First District funds to the social services that residents here actually need.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    April 16, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong here Sean, but ddin’t ask her to condemn the violent actions of protesters in Little Saigon?

  5. April 16, 2008 at 2:33 pm


    I did not specifically ask her to “condemn” them however that was essentially what I was asking her to do. Janet chose to use the same type of rhetoric used by Van Tran and the rest of the “Trannies”. Sheilding themselves from actually taking a position and using the Constitution as their shield.

    These folks are not merely protesters, they are professional agitators. If they did not like something in one of the newspapers write a letter to the editor and perhaps stage a protest. However these are never ending protests that are geared towards shutting these papers down and sending a chilling effect to those that may challenge them in the future.

    In the case of the protest on Main Street in GG they have loudly protested for months on end and they are having a negative effect on other businesses in the area. What about their rights.

    I am disappointed that Janet and the others did not stand up and say enough is enough. Only Hoa dared to step outside the “party” line and issue any sort of criticism against them whatsoever.

  6. April 16, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    You guys are right, Janet is using carefully-parsed politician-speak so as not to alienate the crazed anti-Communist fringe of Viets. I guess they represent some kind of political prize that she and Van Tran both covet. No, Thomas, saying “I support people exercising their freedom of speech in a peaceful and law-abiding way” is not the same as condemning violent protest.

  7. April 16, 2008 at 7:39 pm


    Don’t you find it a tad bit hypocritical for some of the local blogowhiners to criticize and condemn Assemblyman Van Tran when he took essentially the same position as Janet, then turn around and defend Janet or remain silent?

    Only Democrat Hoa Van Tran had the courage to step outside the box and make comments somewhat critical of the protesters. That fact however is lost amongst some in the local blogosphere. You’d think if folks were truly concerned about this they would praise Hoa for having the courage to speak out.

  8. John Grace
    April 16, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Sean Hill, its a pleasure to read this post as I had a completely different impression of you from your Orange Juice response posts. It does seem as if y’all have a lot of fun with these blogs and replys. I for one appreciate your support of Hoa Van Tran. While I dont personally know him I do know Andrew Nguyen who speaks highly of him and am sympathetic to first time politicians that were not raised in the local dominant culture (I wasn’t either – I was raised a democrat). I know that Van Tran has made overtures to these young politicians and provided the cultural identification for them that their supporters who are not Viet could not provide but this does not make them his followers or worthy of the humorous “Tranny” label that has bloomed on the blogosphere. I enjoyed teasing Andy about that yesterday, thank you all. Sean, if you can tell me why so many Dem leaders are ignoring Hoa it would help. I can see that all of you bloggers are more informed about OC politics than I am.

  9. April 16, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I sympathize with people like Art and Thomas trying to find SOME honest Republican to get behind, but as far as I can tell their search will be in vain, in this county at least. Who was that guy, Demosthenes? going from door to door with his lantern looking for the last honest man… And I hate it when a politician I’m so invested in doesn’t quite live up to my expectations… it’s easy to keep silent about it. I think we’ve all been there by now!

  10. April 17, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Vern – Until we embrace the fact that politicians are merely human beings, we will continually be disappointed. And until we allow human beings to run for office without fear of being smeared by claims that have nothing to do with the actual political process, good candidates will continue to sit by.

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