Hoa’s Campaign Issues Its Own Deadline

For the past several weeks there has been an organized and concerted effort to attack and undermine the candidacy of the sole Democrat running for the First District Supervisorial seat. The smear campaign leveled at Hoa Van Tran and those around him has come from the left, members of this blog, and the right, Matt Cunningham at Red County. These folks would like you to believe that their criticism of Hoa’s campaign is based strictly on possible campaign reporting errors, however their tactics imply otherwise.

Cunningham reported yesterday that Hoa has until May 18th to come into compliance. I spoke with Hoa’s campaign earlier today and they assured me that the amended campaign reports will be filed on time and any errors in the reports will be corrected. Let me remind you that amended campaign reports are normal procedure and as you can see at the Orange County Registrar of Voters website many campaigns file amended reports including those of Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Supervisorial candidate Dina Nguyen. This is standard stuff folks and is not as sinister as certain folks have tried to paint it.

As I have previously stated I believe that these attacks on Hoa go much deeper than folks simply being worked up over reports being filed properly. Campaign information and photos belonging to the campaign have been distributed to bloggers and subsequently published in an attempt to undermine Hoa’s campaign. Many of these photos are being used to play on the racist fears of the community in what I have coined “the blogosphere’s version of the Willie Horton ad”. As a result of this Hoa’s campaign is fighting back.

The source of the information being fed to Cunningham and others has been well know to myself and Hoa’s campaign from the outset. I was asked by others at this blog to protect this person’s identity and I will respect their wishes on that. For the record when the Register’s Peggy Lowe asked for the identity of the person in question Hoa’s campaign also refused to disclose the name.

As a result of continual attacks on Hoa’s campaign resulting from information they believe was taken without permission by this person, attorney’s for the campaign have sent a letter to that individual have sent a letter demanding the return of the campaigns property. So just as much has been made about the deadline set by the registrar, Hoa’s campaign has itself set a deadline. Here is the text of that letter:

Do Phu & Anh Tuan
A Professional Law Corporation

May 15, 2008

Re: Our client: Hoa Van Tran

Matter: Return of campaign’s property


As a former staff of our client’s campaign, you know that all office equipment acquired by campaign funds belong to the campaign. It is our belief that you are still in possession of our client’s lap top computer, which was bought by you from Costco for our staff to utilize in Mr. Tran’s campaign. Please be advised that holding on to such property, including all campaign information, upon termination o eplt’s termination, would constitute conversion of property. At this time we demand that you are to return the lap top computer to our client’s campaign immediately. Should you fail to do so, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. I we do not receive any constructive response from you by 5 PM, May 19, 2008, we will prosecute against you in state court.


Phu D. Nguyen

Attorney for Hoa Van Tran’s Campaign for Supervisor


So there you have it. People have been asking if something was taken from the campaign why hasn’t Hoa taken any action? Clearly this is the first step in that action. The party involved must now decide what route they want to take and how far they are willing to take their smear campaign against Hoa.

It will also interesting to see if the folks who have been raising all the questions and controversies about Hoa’s campaign will simmer down once the campaign reports are amended. I am especially interested in seeing what the actions of the Democrats that have been involved in this effort will be. Will they actively support the campaign of the sole Democrat in the race or will they continue with the de facto support of Janet Nguyen.

If this is truly about proper campaign reports then the attacks should stop. I however contend that these attacks go much deeper than that and lie with the fact that certain people have an axe to grind with Hoa’s campaign manager Edgardo Reynoso. It is clear to me that some Democratic operatives have partnered up with ultra-partisan Republican Matt Cunningham in this attack in order to provide themselves cover. How else can one explain the fact that alleged “loyal” Democrats ran to Cunningham with the info to undermine Hoa’s campaign?

Sadly all of this petty bickering and hatred of Reynoso will perhaps result in yet another failure for Orange County Democrats to make inroads into the Vietnamese community. I hope party chairman Frank Barbaro is paying close attention to what is going on and when the dust settles he makes the proper moves to insure something like this never happens again. Mr. Barbaro cannot be happy with all of this and I am sure that Lou Correa, Jose Solorio and Loretta Sanchez, who have all worked hard to cultivate support in Little Saigon, must be disappointed as well.

The Democratic Party must begin to do more to insure we build a base in the Vietnamese community. Attacking Hoa Van Tran, Do Phu and others in that community won’t help us do that. Mr. Barbaro is a smart man and he knows that the party’s future in central OC depends on us having a base of support in Little Saigon. Hopefully he will put people in place that can make this happen and will help build bridges rather than burn them.

  34 comments for “Hoa’s Campaign Issues Its Own Deadline

  1. Teacher
    May 16, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Come on! Even the letter from their attorney has numerous spelling and grammatical errors, these guys are f-ing jokes. If Lou, Loretta and Jose have anything to be disappointed in it’s the candidate.

    Sean, your blind following of the Hoa camp is nothing short of comical at this point in time. If Democrats are supposed to make inroads into the Little Saigon community, then we need to start cultivating good candidates, not table scraps like Hoa.

    I’m sorry Sean, but it’s time to write this one off.

  2. OC Pupil
    May 16, 2008 at 11:45 am


    “Is grammar the relevant issue here and

    will this be on the test June 3rd?”

  3. The real post...
    May 16, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Sean: blah, blah blah, this is a conspiracy! Blah, blah, blah, Chris Prevatt is evil! Blah, blah, blah, Paul Lucas is the Messiah! Blah, blah, blah every elected Dem in OC is inferior to Hoa Van Tran! Blah, blah, blah, I think I have a crush on Edgardo…

  4. May 16, 2008 at 11:56 am


    First, I am a bit concerned that you have published such allegations before they have been deliveded to the person in question. That saidn you hold full personal responsibility for posting the letter.

    The allegations do no match with the facts. If indeed said equipment was “stolen” why is this only coming up a month after the staff person resigned from the campaign.

    There is a coordinated effort to get Hoa Van Tran and Phu Do Nguyen to properly report the campaign’s financial activity. they have known of these issues for 37 days. I am personally part of tha effort. Amendments are filed all the time, and usually within days of learning of the errors. Willul failure to report errors once knwn is against the law.

    You talk about making inroads to the Vietnamese community. Whay does it say to the Vietnamese communiy about the Democratic Party if we do not demand integrity and honesty from our candidates. And please Sean, stop invoking the names of Lou Correa and Loretta Sanchez. They do not support such conduct and you, Reynoso, and Hoa Van Tran know that.

    So at least we now know why the amendments have yet to be filed. It appears They have been to busy writing a letter falsely accusing a former staff person of theft instead.

  5. May 16, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Interesting. This letter seems to support the part of Chris Prevatt’s investigation listing the purchase of computers at Costco as one of the unreported expenditures.

    I’m still mystified as to why the campaign wouldn’t just file an amended report. There’s nothing controversial about paying filing fees and buying computers….

  6. Sorry Sean
    May 16, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Sorry, Sean. To hold a blind eye to the fact that he can’t run his campaign properly, how are voters expected to trust him in the actual position? Are we, the voters, supposed to turn a blind eye to campaign mis-management and vote for him anyway JUST BECAUSE he’s a Democrat?

    Sorry Sean, ain’t buying it. If that was the case, Paul Lucas would be the clear front-runner to be elected in Garden Grove.

  7. May 16, 2008 at 12:26 pm


    The letter referenced was sent via mail and via email yesterday. I am quite sure that at least the email portion of the letter has been received at this time.

    This letter was given to me directly by the campaign and I have no prohibition from publishing it. You had no problem, nor did Jubal, from publishing photos that belong to the campaign, and neither of you had permission to do so.

    It is insignificant as to when the alleged crime took place. The fact of the matter is that the campaign and their legal advisers are raising the issue now.

    Chris please explain for all of us what you would do to help build a base in the Vietnamese community. What is your plan? I hope it doesn’t consist of posting “stolen” photos and playing on the racist fears of the community.

    I will not stop invoking the names of Lou, Loretta and Jose. They have all worked hard to reach out to the Vietnamese community. I am sure that they would not be in favor of using photos of urban Latino youths as a means of smearing the campaign of another minority Democrat.

    Let me also remind you that Lou and Loretta, like Hoa, got no support from the party structure until they began winning. They became successful do to the fruits of their labor and not because some party machine backed them.

    And why would you care if I invoked Lou’s name? It is a well known fact that you have little regard for him, just like you have little regard for Hoa. Sadly this petty bickering will lead to another Republican victory in central OC.

  8. Correction!
    May 16, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    On the contrary Sean. Hoa does have the support of the DPOC. But he will lose it fast if he doesn’t start speaking up and correcting the misinformation out there. TELL HIM TO FILE HIS REPORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Done!

  9. May 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm


    As I stated in my post the amendments to his campaign reports will be filed by the deadline given. End of story on that.

    However it is clear that the smear campaign consists of much more than the campaign reports. Do you really think that the attacks will stop once the amendments are filed? I don’t.

  10. Falsely Accused
    May 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I am the former staffer who has been falsely accused of theft. I have spoken with Phu Do Nguyen and informed him that this fake letter has been posted here because I believed he couldn’t possibly be connected with such flagrant falsehoods and insinuations which Sean has been posting for the past several days.

    Phu has decided to follow this course, and because of his relationship to the campaign, so has Hoa. I gave Phu the opportunity to have this item removed. His response was completely unsatisfactory. I find it despicable that a letter of this nature be posted online as if it had actually been delivered to the addressee.

    I have stayed out of this fray because I believed that Hoa and Phu were in their heart of hearts good people. Sadly, I was wrong. I have tried to protect this campaign, even after I left and have never come forward with the real reasons I left. It seems that Hoa, Phu and Edgardo have not thought this through.

    When I signed on to the campaign, I did so because I was inspired by the national presidential campaigns and felt that here in our own district, we had the opportunity to unite three different communities Vietnamese, Latino, and Whites for a common cause: represent ALL the people who reside in District 1. I thought Hoa, whose personal story is so inspiring, was the perfect person to build a bridge connecting all the constituents.

    I admit that I was being idealistic. I admit that I tried to frame the campaign along those lines. I admit that it was I who suggested that Hoa hire somebody who could effectively reach the Latino community.

    It breaks my heart to have arrived to this conclusion, but I am now willing to tell my side of the story and explain the reasons I left the campaign…

    Before I pour out my heart, I would like to give Phu, Hoa, Edgardo, Sean, et al, the opportunity to do the right thing and remove this letter and denounce these false statements. More than anything, I’d like to see Hoa’s campaign stop trying to damage the reputation of those who have fought so hard to see them succeed.

  11. Joey
    May 16, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    This letter doesn’t hold the Professianal Law corporation of Do Phu & Anh Tuan in any high regard.

    I confused about the request in the letter. It states that the campaign worker purchased this computer but doesn’t imply that it was purchased with campaign funds.

    Shouldn’t a demand letter be clear on this point.

    Then, if it was purchased by campaign funds I sure hope that that expense is repoted in Hoa’s admended campaign reports.

    I hope it reports also the legal services cost of this professional law corporation as well.


  12. May 16, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Falsely Accused-

    Thank you for coming forward. I’m so sorry it had to be under this cirrcumstance. I’ve been trying my best (for the most part) to stay out of this mess as well, but it’s getting harder for me to ignore this fracas when people like you are being hurt in the process.


    If you can, please remove this letter. I can understand if Hoa wants to defend himself against the allegations against him… But there’s no reason whatsoever for former campaign staffers that have done no wrong to be falsely accused of theft. I know that you’re not like Edgardo, so don’t engage in something that furthers his smear campaign against people that have done nothing but tell the truth about his destroying of Hoa’s campaign.

  13. May 16, 2008 at 1:10 pm


    None of us has the ability to speak on behalf of Lou Correa, Loretta Sanchez, or Jose Solorio on what they think of the goings on in the Hoa Van Tran campaign. I will belive the will file amendments that are complete and accurate only once I see them.

    On the matter of this letter from Phu Do Nguyen. I believe that its transmission, as well as its public posting, violates California Whistleblower protections as stated in CA Labor Code §§ 1102.5. A complaint was filed with evidence provided by this individual. Threats of legal action based upon false allegations after a the individual provided evidence in a complaint is clearly retaliatory, defamatory, and actionable.

  14. May 16, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Chris and Andrew,

    I have done nothing more than report the actions being taken by the campaign of Hoa Van Tran and his lawyers. This letter was provided to me from the campaign after I called to inquire about them complying with the filing of amended reports.

    I have not revealed the name of the person in question in order to protect their identity. I very well could have revealed their name as the person in question, however until all the facts are revealed I do not believe that it would be appropriate to reveal the name.

    However the fact that pictures were posted of urban Latino youths insinuating that all those in the photo are gang members is quite possibly a defamation of character issue. Those photos remain posted on not only Red County, but this blog as well.

    I see no reason to remove that letter. It is authentic in its nature and is a part of the story I posted.

  15. Joey
    May 16, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I guess I have to much free time and jumped on a bashin bandwagon without reflecting of the 1st supervisorial candidates, who best represents my concerns and interests.

    I’m going to say Hoa Tran does this soley because even though he has evidently made some campaign mistakes similar to those commited by other campaigns, he’s not bashing “Mexicans”

    When I comment about bashing Mexicans I’m talking about candidates who for political purposes bring up the anti-Mexican crapola to get votes.

    Had Janet sent out a mailer against gay’s and their hidden agenda I think you wouldn’t hear the daily stuff about Hoa. But Janet didn’t send out the poltical hate piece about gays, she sent the to “the vietnamese who don’t like Mexicans.”

    That’s something worth understanding for Hispanics. Consider that if you share the same political partisan umbrella with another so-called discriminated group, that particular group may not have your back so don’t feel obligated to reciprocate any favors come November.

    Interesting though, knowing Janet I bet she comes out for the marriage admendment if she has to run in November.

    Then, Chris will get a taste of his owm medicine.

  16. Correction!
    May 16, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Sean. Will the false accusations against the former Hoa staffer be taken back by you and Edgardo?

    I don’t think so.

  17. May 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Joey –

    I don’t think the (free?) legal services by Phu Do Nguyen is required to be reported. Contributions of time spent is not reportable. (That’s why Mike Schroeder’s work on Trung Nguyen’s behalf is not limited by campaign finance laws.)

    The free stay at the Ramada Inn given to Edgardo, however, if true would exceed the Ramada Inn’s contribution limit.

  18. OC Pupil
    May 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    So, I don’t understand, “falsely accused staffer”: are you saying that you are not in possession of a computer from Hoa’s Campaign?

    Because if you are not in possession then you have done nothing wrong and you haven’t collaborated with anybody seeking to undermine the candidacy of the only Democrat running for Supervisor in a district where Democrats have the registration advantage.

    But if you DO have the computer and it is NOT returned, then you are a THIEF and a LIAR and are subject to civil and criminal prosecution as well as being the source of misinformation and distortion being utilized by those who aim to stop Vietnamese Americans from uniting with Democrats in Central OC.

    Which is it? Inquring minds want to know because the people backing you should know this, don’t you think?

    PS. I understand Janet Nguyen is really good at raising money for legal defense funds.

    ~ With blessings from Mother Earth

  19. May 16, 2008 at 2:24 pm


    I’m sorry I have to break with you on this, but I must. Of course, you have the right to post that letter… It’s just that it looks to me like another effort from Hoa’s campaign to silence someone who dared to disagree with the way Edgardo has brought this campaign down. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like Falsely accused did anything wrong… So while you can choose to keep this letter up, I don’t think it’s fair to Falsely that he/she be publicly slandered by this letter. And even if some here have been too hard on Hoa, two wrongs still don’t make a right.

  20. May 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I do not believe that Janet Nguyen has sent out such a letter this cycle. When she did in the Special Election TheLiberalOC was very critical. That has not happened this time around.

    No double standards here. If we are going to be critical of elected officials, candidates and their actions, we must do so equally or our arguments will lack credibility. I beileve we have. There are credible and honorable Vietnamese democrars in Orange County who have not endorsed Hoa. I wonder why that is?.


    You are assuming that the staffer has a laptop was stolen. There is no evidence to suuggest that it is. There is probably evidence proving that it was not stolen but rather compensation for services rendered.

    As someone else pointed out earlier, the campaign is now claiming that a laptop computer; purchased and not reported in the initial reporting period, exists.

    Back to the original question, where are the amendments that are required?

  21. May 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    “There is probably evidence proving that it was not stolen but rather compensation for services rendered.”

    If that is the case then this a moot point and the person alleged to have stolen this can simply ignore the letter sent by the lawyers for Hoa. Should the police become involved they should be able to produce the proof and there should be no legal action whatsoever against them.

    Sounds like this person has nothing to worry about then Chris. Just hope that they have the proof that you claim they have.

  22. May 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    What a joke.

    This is a lame and transparent diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the glaringly obvious fact that Hoa has failed to report thousands of dollars in expenditures annd has refused — despite continuing public attention to the matter — to amend his reports.

    This matter could have been fixed a month ago with a little bit of effort.

    Now Hoa and Co. are acting like thugs, instead of cleaning up their own mess.

  23. Vern Nelson
    May 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    SO GLAD… to not be in you guys’ Supervisorial District. Makes for nice telenovela though…

  24. Teacher
    May 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Hey Hoa nice new mail piece with Obama and Hillary

  25. OC Pupil
    May 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    talking about transparency, jubal defending chris prevatt….what conspiracy?

  26. Eat Fresh!
    May 16, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    1. Sal’s picture on a mail piece ain’t gonna help Hoa get elected.

    2. Neither are pictures of Obama and Hillary going to help Hoa get elected.

    3. A picture of you eating at Subway with Jared ain’t gonna help you or Hoa get elected.

  27. May 17, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Eat Fresh! – But evidently a picture of you sitting at the same table as the prime minister of Vietnam will get you (and the newspaper you founded, even after you’ve passed away) branded a communist.

  28. Dan Chmielewski
    May 17, 2008 at 10:38 am

    This is an embarassing letter. If the laptop was stolen, you call the police. This is an attempt to defect blame from a poorly run campaign that won’t be in business after election day. If Hoa Van ran were an honorable candidate, he’d fire the people running his campaign. This letter is a signed confession of incompetence.

  29. Flowerszzz
    May 19, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Why do they need so much time to correct reports? It would take them about 15-20 minutes to do, and they can even fill the report out on line. Sean, no matter the laptop issue here, in all honesty there is something more to the story about the campaign filings….is the Democrat party really that incompetent (or is it just this campaign) that they have no one capable to help with the filings? Why are they stalling?

  30. May 19, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Flowers, campaigns do their own filings. Neither the Republican Party nor the DemocraTIC Party (note that it’s not called “the Democrat Party”) has any control over the filings done by their candidates.

  31. The Lovable Curmudgeon
    May 19, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Can you comment here when the amendment is available? The ROV website still has the report filed on March 24.
    A link or pdf file would be appreciated.

  32. just...asking?
    May 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Gila you are correct that campaigns do their own filings, but as with the case of Dina’s multiple filing issues, usually political allies/party leaders are there to help candidates.

    It seems like Hoa and his campaign leaders are alone and isolated from party supporters or just too arrogant to take the sound advice and quickly correct the financial reporting irregularities. Either case makes Hoa’s campaign seem hinkier and hinkier (or however you conjugate hinky).

  33. The Lovable Curmudgeon
    May 19, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Sean Mill wrote:
    “they assured me that the amended campaign reports will be filed on time and any errors in the reports will be corrected.”
    The correct time to file a campaign report amendment is NOW – as soon as the discrepancy is identified.
    The clock is ticking.
    If the self-imposed “deadline” passes without a complete and honest report, will Sean take the fall for the folks at the HVT campaign? Or will he let us know who “they” who made these assurances are?
    And, given their poor track record, why would I believe the amended report is factual and complete?

  34. May 20, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    It has come to our attention that the laptop computer referred to in the letter from Phu Do Nguyen was compensation paid to that employee. We have evidence that suggests the allegation of theft against this former employee is not supported by fact.

Comments are closed.