Hoa Van Tran – Desperately Implying Endorsements

Hoa Van Tran’s first mail piece hit the First Supes District on Thursday. The mailer touted his commitment to serving the people of the first district and his “no-nonsense leadership for Central Orange County.” 

There are several pictures on the mailer, one with an elected official from the First District. Side by side, Hoa Van Tran is shown with Santa Ana Councilman Sal Tinajero. “Two fighters for Central Orange County” the caption proclaims.

The mailer, while not indicating a formal endorsement from Tinajero, implies at least some level of support and tacit endorsement. Why else would Sal allow the photo to be included in a mailer if he wasn’t endorsing Hoa? Well this is where the sliminess of Hoa Van Tran’s campaign manager Edgardo Reynoso comes into play.

Sal Tinajero has not endorsed Hoa Van Tran, and from what I can determine he has made no decision about making such an endorsement. However, sources have confirmed that the night before the mailer was scheduled to be sent out, and after it was all printed up, Reynoso called Tinajero and tells him that they have this mailer going out and it’s got Sal’s picture on it, but no indication anywhere that Sal has endorsed Tran. Reynoso tells Sal that if he wants they will dump the mailer.

This put Tinajero in an untenable position. While he had not endorsed Hoa, if he tells him not to send the mailer out, the cost of the mailer will have been flushed down the toilet. So rather than make a fuss, Sal does the gentlemanly thing and agrees to the release of the mailer. Sal’s a nice guy, and I can understand why he would not want to make the only Democrat in the First District contest waste a bunch of money reprinting a mailer. It’s too bad that someone forgot to tell Reynoso that the right way, and nice way, to use someone’s picture in a mailer is to ask first before you print it.

I’ve got to say, this is one of the oldest political tricks in the book, one which Reynoso has a reputation for using. Hoa Van Tran’s first mailer to the people of Central Orange County deliberately misleads voters into thinking that Sal Tinajero made an endorsement he had not made. Reynoso has been actively seeking pictures of Hoa Van Tran with elected officials from the First District. He has tried unsuccessfully to get photos with Assemblyman Jose Solorio and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. I wonder how many other pictures with elected officials they tried to get before they ran with Sal Tinajero’s?

Let this mailer be a warning to all elected officials in the First Supes District. Stay away from cameras and Hoa Van Tran, unless you want the picture to show up in a future mailer. So much for “No-nonsense Leadership for Central Orange County.”

  29 comments for “Hoa Van Tran – Desperately Implying Endorsements

  1. April 28, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Wow you folks are really trying to undermine the campaign of Hoa. Good job OC Dems!

    Because somebody has a “personality” conflict with Edgardo they are willing to hand the seat to the Republican’s. You should all be so proud.

  2. April 28, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Nice catch.

  3. Rumor mill...
    April 28, 2008 at 9:40 am

    This is just a rumor, but word on the street is Reynoso is dragging Hoa to functions in order to get pictures with him and the likes of Correa and Sanchez. He will then in turn attach them to mailers and imply an endorsement. Looks like that was what he did here…

  4. April 28, 2008 at 10:25 am


    It is not OC Democrats that are tanking Hoa Van Tran’s Campaign. and it is the ultimite in minimalist thinling to suggest that the issues with Reynoso are simply personal. Hoa Van Tran is tied to the actions of his campaign manger. He has recieved good advice from good dems that Reynoso and his underhanded tactics are not appreciated by the Democratic Party. There are valid reasons to have concerns about Hoa Van Tran’s campaign. In addition to appropriate supervision of Reynoso, one of the greatest has been his failure to accurately report his campaign financial activity.

    The concerns about who is actually backing his campaign are further clouded but those reporting failures. It is unlikely that the only errors are in the reporting of expenditures. I for one would like to know where all the cash Reynoso is allegedly paying his “volunteers” is coming from.

    We as Democrats cannot rightfully criticize the improper conduct of Mike Carona, Janet Nguyen, Trung Nguyen and Dina Nguyen if we are unwilling to hold our own candidates to the same standards.

    Ultimitly, I believe the DPOC should endorse Hoa Van Tran in this election. I also believe that we must send him a clear message that the alleged actions of his Campaign Manager Edgardo Reynoso are not acceptable. We must communicate in no uncertain terms the importance of truthful reporting of campaign finances.


  5. Northcountystorm
    April 28, 2008 at 10:40 am

    So, Chris, when Irvine City Councilman and OCDP Truman honoree Larry Agran sent a campaign mailer out with a picture of him and George Bush(taken together when Bush visited Santa Ana) I guess under your standard Larry was deliberately misleading the voters into believing that Bush had made an endorsement he had not made.

    I guess under the Prevatt standard we can pass on “no-nonsense leadership” in Irvine.

  6. Northcountystorm
    April 28, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Chris , but I’m with you about holding Dems as well as Reps. accountable to accurate campaign finance reports. Mistakes do occur and pointing them out can sometimes be helpful in correcting errors.

  7. April 28, 2008 at 11:48 am


    While I can see your comparison of Agran/Bush with Tran/Tinajero, I don’t buy it.

    I have not seen Agran’s mailer, but my guess is that Larry had actual endorsements listed on his mailer. My guess is that Larry did not caption the photo with the phrase, “two fighters for Irvine.” If it were just a photo without a caption or ID of Sal I would be less inclined to infer an endorsement.

    But that is not what happened in this case.

  8. Paul Lucas
    April 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    For not having a horse in this race (by your own admission) because you live in Long Beach and have not nor do you intend to, endorse any candidate in this BOS race, you sure seem to have a lot of hate for the only Democrat in this race simply because he hired a guy you don’t like.

    Campaign finance reports are frequently screwed up in a great number of campaigns. Democrat and Republican. And they should be held accountable no doubt about it.

    But I find it curious at the least your affinity for casting the quantity and quality of negative attention towards he only Democrat in this race. This is only benefiting Janet Nguyen in her bid for re-election in June.

    Non one in the Democratic Party is going to benefit from Janet Nguyen having free reign to sit on her laurels and re-build the bridges she has burned at the peril of our Democratic candidates in OC should she be victorious in June.

    I would like to see you be a bit more balanced in your analysis of this race and its participants. I wish you the best.


  9. April 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    The financial disclosure omissions cannot be brushed away as simple oversights. It does not take a rocket scientist to report all of the expenditures out of the campaign checking account as of a particular date.

    My concerns are not regarding a personal beef with Reynoso. on the contrary, my beef is with Hoa for not taking responsibility for, and control over, his own campaign. If he wants to be a County Supervisor in control over a $5 billion budget, he should at least be able to control his campaign.

    I have held Supervisor Nguyen to this standard, I have held Councilwoman Nguyen to this standard, and I will hold Hoa Van Tran to the same standard.

  10. Paul Lucas
    April 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Ill take your assessment of Hoa’s campaign finance statements at face value. Concerning you holding Janet Nguyen and Dina to the same standard of responsibility I would have to respectfully disagree.

    It sure seems that you are giving Hoa Tran and Janet Nguyen different treatment in weighted criticism in your analysis and editorials. Now this is your right as an individual expressing their freedom of speech.

    However, I do think you are being somewhat disingenuous in your application of your standards and how you hold elected officials and candidates to your definition of accountability.

    This is an honest observation on my part and I hope you take that for what it is. No more no less.
    I wish you all the best,

  11. April 28, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    There are 144 posts under the category “Janet Nguyen.” If after reading all of them you still think there is a bias in favor of Janet Nguyen on the part of this blog or myself, then I suggest that you may have difficulty with reading comprehension.

    All the best.


  12. April 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Anyone who would like to look at the campaign finance statements for Hoa, Janet, and Dina can find them over at The Bolsavik’s place: http://bolsavik.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/the-money-of-janet-dina-hoa-tran/

  13. IamDemocrat
    April 30, 2008 at 1:09 am

    It seems to me that you are Janet’s boy.

  14. April 30, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Not True.

    Check out this particular story:
    http://www.theliberaloc.com/2008/01/24/paperwork-i-dont-need-no-stinkin-paperwork/ or just review all of the stories under the Janet Nguyen Category.here. http://www.theliberaloc.com/category/janet-nguyen/

    I am far from being her “boy.”

  15. April 30, 2008 at 9:33 am

    You’re wrong.

    Check out the Janet Nguyen category for yourself. Read this story in particular to begin with.

  16. April 30, 2008 at 9:56 am


    I agree that you are far from being Janet’s boy. However that little picture and caption at the upper right hand corner of this blog certainly aids Janet’s cause.

    Hoa is the endorsed candidate of the Democratic Party and yet you still want to belittle he and his campaign.

    Since that is the case, I am sure you won’t mind if I belittle Obama should he get the nomination.

  17. April 30, 2008 at 10:07 am

    This blog has had a history of calling on candidates to file accurate statements. The fact that Hoa has not done so is his problem. A DPOC endorsement is not a get out of jail free card, or a free pass. I’m not going to ignore it simply because he has a “D” after his name, Neither should you.

  18. April 30, 2008 at 10:26 am



    That being the case since we have called out the right for their ties to whacko religious extremists you won’t mind if I do the same to Obama right? Or should I say Wright?

  19. American Eye Dull
    April 30, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    What are you, Sean, like 12 years old? man, its time to grow up.

  20. Ma Nho Van
    April 30, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    I’m sure Sean Mill wouldn’t mind being called out either for some of the scandalous remarks he’s made in public about the vibrant gay community, or the vietnamese community, or the latino community, or the…

  21. Nigel Summar
    April 30, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I am journalism major at Irvine Valley College. I have been following the blogs as part of my thesis paper on Electronic Media and Blogs and their role in local politics from the perspective of journalism.

    I think Sean and others who are assuming you are now “Janet’s Boy” stems from the recent change in your tone regarding the BOS 1st District and the candidates in this race.

    I checked the link you provided to see how you have been critical of Janet. You certainly have been critical of Supervisor Nguyen up until February 27th 2008 when you wrote a post titled “Janet’s Tool, Pedroza thinks Benevides may run for Supervisor.

    Then beginning with a post you wrote on March 7th, 2008 titled Lucas Pulls Papers for first District. Please David Run (updated) you seemed to be attacking a non-Vietnamese Democrat for pulling papers to run against Janet Nguyen.

    In this article you were quite critical of Lucas for pulling papers to run. You pleaded with Councilman David Benevides to run. Benevides chose not to run in the end.

    Then in a March 27th post titled “Dina Stumbles Out of the Gate” you made the following statement;

    “Is it just me, or is it strange that these are some of the same folks who jumped all over Janet Nguyen for her missteps.”

    Ok fair enough. You are criticizing a group that you term “Trannies”. No problem there but this is where you seem to make a hard turn in your attitude towards Supervisor Nguyen.

    In fact, the next time you went into the realm of the Janet Nguyen for Supervisor threads you edited a post by Sean H Mill on April 15th titled “Janet’s Response to My Email”.

    At this point you edited your fellow bloggers post by removing a picture and adding in an editor’s note expressing that Janet Nguyen did respond to Sean Mills email. Here is a quote from Sean Mill the following day;
    “Earlier this morning I was informed by Phil Becerra via Chris Prevatt that Janet did indeed respond, however she claimed that her email was rejected three times.”
    Here, it is clearly stated that you had communications between yourself and a staffer or friend of some sort of Supervisor Nguyen. First, it is extremely unlikely that an email would bounce back from an email server when it is a response. Second, this email response I am assuming came from a County Computer. Any modern computer would recognize the IP of a County Government Computer as a non-threatening or spam email. Third, you obviously communicated between Janet Nguyen and her supporters in order to reduce criticism of her regarding her stance on the issue of Protestors. I am not criticizing you for communicating with the Janet Nguyen camp and her supporters. I am merely pointing out why people are suggesting that you may be a Janet Nguyen supporter.

    These are the type of changes in your posts and writings that are leading people to believe you are now “Janet’s Boy” to use their terms.

    Many of the posts you wrote about anything related to the District 1 race have been extremely critical of your fellow Democrats and hardly mention Supervisor Nguyen at all. Let alone criticize her. That is all your right. I am merely pointing out the timeline in which you seemed to have switched camps and became a supporter of Janet Nguyen by attacking those who may try to unseat here and get a Democrat in that office. I hope this contributes to the dialogue of this topic.


  22. April 30, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    “Earlier this morning I was informed by Phil Becerra via Chris Prevatt that Janet did indeed respond, however she claimed that her email was rejected three times.” Here, it is clearly stated that you had communications between yourself and a staffer or friend of some sort of Supervisor Nguyen.

    One thing that bothers me about the local blogs is that we tend to assume that everyone knows who the players are. There’s no reason you’d know who Phil Bacerra is, but he’s a local planning consultant who’s acquainted with many OC politicians, both Dems and Reeps.

    First, it is extremely unlikely that an email would bounce back from an email server when it is a response. Second, this email response I am assuming came from a County Computer. Any modern computer would recognize the IP of a County Government Computer as a non-threatening or spam email.

    That’s not correct. First, it’s not a matter of “modern computers,” it’s a matter of the spam detection algorithm being used by a given individual’s ISP and email client. For example, yesterday I received quite a few emails from Sean Mill. Most of them got through but today I discovered two that had not.

    While IP addresses are indeed used to filter out spam, that’s generally done by the ISP before it even gets to your computer. The “whitelisted” emails, such as emails from a county government computer, are then subjected to spam testing algorithms that look at the CONTENT of the email. If the algorithm decides that the content is spammish, it filters it out. Sometimes innocuous emails (what techies call “ham”) gets caught in the filters, as Sean’s emails to me did yesterday.

    Anyway, the fact that an email comes from a county government computer will absolutely not keep it from being caught by an overly-enthusiastic spam filter. Your implication that Supervisor Nguyen is lying is based on a completely faulty assumption.

    As for whether Chris is “Janet’s boy:” I have a moderate Republican friend who lives in Texas. A few days before the Texas primary I asked him how he was going to vote. He answered with much frustration that he didn’t like any of the candidates – neither Clinton, Obama, nor McCain. He ticked off a list of problems he had with each.

    Is it so impossible to believe that Chris might feel similarly about the 3 Supervisorial candidates?

  23. April 30, 2008 at 9:35 pm


    I have said before that it is not at all unusual that the publisher of a blog would be contacted regarding a post. It is also not that unusual that an intermediary would be part of that process when it involves an elected official.

    On the matter of “altering” the photo in Sean’s post; First I am the publisher and can, and will, do so if I find it necessary. Second, the photo in question was of a middle finger flipping people off. Since we had received a response I found the photo to be no longer appropriate. I made my notation about Supervisor Nguyen responding because I felt that changing a photo required an explanation to our readers as to what happened and why.

    On the matter of whether or not I have “switched camps;” there has been no switching of camps. I have been critical of Supervisor Nguyen, and I have been willing to give here the benefit of the doubt periodically as well. I am not in anyone’s camp.

    What I do know is that I am not willing to blindly support a guy who came out of nowhere to jump in the race for Supervisor just because he is registered as a Democrat. I expect that Hoa would have the common courtesy to run his campaign ethically. There is evidence to suggest that he may not be doing so. He needs to recognize that campaign reporting laws are important. Liberals and Democrats expect that he not act like a Republican, and follow the rules.

    I have no problem criticizing a Democrat for filing reports that are on their face obviously false. If his campaign cannot file finance reports accurately, why should we trust him with a $5 billion budget. Dina Nguyen cannot even figure out how to file a statement of intent before she raises money, and Janet Nguyen cannot bring herself to report contributors to her legal defense fund (which wasn’t legal); cannot live within her district office budget paying for extra staff with funds from the Health Care Agency while cutting agency services; has the public pay for a “outreach” office in Little Saigon; redecorates her district office because “everyone else was doing it;” I could go on but I think you get the point.

    Hell, they’re all flawed. Damn right I pleaded publicly for an elected democrat to challenge Janet Nguyen. And please, do not even go down the road of invoking Paul Lucas’ trojan horse campaign for Supervisor. The fingerprints of Van Tran and Mike Schroeder are all over this race, and Paul. This is a contest between Van Tran and Janet Nguyen, all other players are simply pawns in their feud.

    The only losers in this race are the people of the First District who will have to suffer with four more years of Linclon Club and Republican control of a Supervisor’s seat that could have been a voice for the working people in Orange County.

  24. conypony
    May 1, 2008 at 8:51 am

    If, this discussion is about getting quality people in as Supervisors, I invite you to look at Don Ritze, He’s running against Bill Campbell, I don’t know what I can say here and not get sued, but, he’s voted against his constituants interests in favor of Irvine and developers consistantly. I’ve met Don Ritze, and he appears to be an upright kinda guy.
    We know Bill isn’t.

  25. Art Pedroza
    May 1, 2008 at 11:48 am


    May I remind you that the reason you Dems lost the First District was because Lou Correa VACATED it and you guys did not have anyone to replace him with. Shame on Miguel Pulido for ruining all the local elected officials. They are all tainted and not worth a damn. It is simply embarrassing that your party could not field someone decent for this seat.

    That said, Janet has done a fine job. She is nowhere near the bad Reep that Dina is. Dina flew to the Mexican border to malign Latinos.

    As for Hoa, the guy isn’t ready for a council seat, much less a supervisorial seat. He needs more seasoning. And it would help if he would actually speak out against Van Tran. He won’t. I wonder why?

  26. Paul Lucas
    May 1, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    With all due respect Art,
    Hoa VanTran is not runing against Van Tran. He is in a race against Janet and Dina. I understand your perception of this being a race against Van Tran but to the general public, should Hoa go after Van Tran in this race he would likely be seen as quite off keel by attacking someone he is not running against.

    Sort of like when Trung Nguyen put out a press release on me during his race against Janet Nguyen inthe special BOS race to replace Lou Correa. Can you see the similarities an how attacking Van TRan would not be beneficial to Hoa at this time?

  27. Dan Chmielewski
    May 2, 2008 at 8:53 am

    “That said, Janet has done a fine job. She is nowhere near the bad Reep that Dina is. Dina flew to the Mexican border to malign Latinos.”

    And Janet is hardly an angel when it comes to her position on immigration; Art, Sean has a point that Supervisor Nguyen and you are at odds about several key positions, and yet you blow nothing but sunshine up her butt. Could you address the inconsistencies please?

  28. May 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I just posted about my interview with Hoa Van Tran’s campaign. Reynoso said he’d informed Sal the day the picture was taken.


  29. May 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm


    Great interview. I love how Hoa is not allowed to speak for himself unless under supervision.

    I did check with the person who actually took the photo of Hoa and Sal. The photographer stated that Mr. Reynoso “LIED!… he (Sal) was NOT asked if it could be used! Sal was asked by Reynoso “if they could talk about an endorsement,” in the future.

    Of course, I’m sure Reynoso will call this “hearsay” as well.

    Chris Prevatt

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