Hoa Van Tran, candidate for County Supervisor from the first district, represents the emergence of Democratic Party activism from inside the Vietnamese community. Historically this community has been Republican, but their interests are much better served by the Democratic Party. Tran is an intelligent, capable, and well-qualified candidate.
Today, Red County/OC Blog is reporting allegations of questionable actions by Edgardo Reynoso, senior campaign consultant to Hoa Van TranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign. The allegations involve, among other things, the creation of a hostile work environment that has led to the departure of two female campaign staff members and campaign finance reporting irregularities.
Campaign finance reports can easily and quite legally be amended — it’s done all the time. But the allegations against Reynoso are serious and disturbing. These allegations are also similar to those that circulated in Democratic political circles prior to and after Reynoso’s departure in 2007 from the position of Field Director for the Democratic Party of Orange County. Hoa Van Tran was warned of Reynoso’s toxicity but the campaign hired him despite these warnings.
It is important in our support of Hoa Van Tran that we provide him both encouragement and advice. Democrats have been hammering away at the lack of ethics on the part of Republicans in Orange County, including, most recently, former Sheriff Mike Carona. In the same spirit of those calls for ethical conduct by Republicans, we must encourage Hoa Van Tran address the allegations about Mr. ReynosoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conduct.
While I would love to give Mr. Reynoso the benefit of the doubt here, accusations such as those enumerated by Red County can be toxic to any campaign. Therefore, a good first step for Mr. Tran would be to distance his campaign from any further association with Mr. Reynoso.
Failure to take positive steps to correct potential negative perceptions of his personal judgment and the ethics of his campaign activities could spell disaster for TranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign. This would not only be unfortunate, it would be a disservice to members of the Vietnamese community who wish to be more active politically as Democrats.