We have been waiting at least 40 days for Hoa Van Tran to file his amended campaign finance reports. His campaign has misrepresented their intentions regarding this filing.Ã‚Â They have been saying for weeks that their Treasurer is reviewing the reports and will make amendments if necessary. The problem with that statement is that their Treasurer has not changed. Their Treasurer is Phu Do Nguyen. He filed the original statements and in my opinion willfully failed to ensure that all expenditures were accurately reported.
I have previously outlined that the campaign reports filed for the initial reporting period ending March 17th did not represent all the payments made with 16 checks drawn on the campaign bank account. Among the expenses that I highlighted was the purchase of more than $5,000 in computer equipment and software.
Well in a letter to a former staffer demanding the return of the laptop computer included in that purchase, Hoa’s Attorney and Treasurer Phu Do Nguyen has publicly admitted that he willfully failed to report those expenditures. What makes this whole thing worse is that, by writing and publicly distributing this letter, the HoaÃ‚Â campaign is engaging in harassment and intimidation an individual responsible for the reporting of improper campaign expenditures to authorities. The very fact that this letter was published a month after the staffer left the campaign, coupled with the fact that no police report was ever filed alleging a theft makes that pretty clear.
Let’s see if I’ve got this right?Ã‚Â Hoa Van Tran’s campaign and its operatives haveÃ‚Â apparently willfully violated campaign reporting laws and engaged in harassment, including intimidation and threats, againstÃ‚Â a whistleblower. For the record Tan Nguyen sent out a letter to Latino voters suggesting that they could not vote if they were immigrants.
So what did the Republicans do about Tan Nguyen in 2006?
Here is what OC GOP Chair Scott Baugh said when the GOP Executive Board demanded Tan Nguyen withdraw from the race.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Such behavior is degrading and inexcusable,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Chairman Baugh.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“If the law has been violated, the offenders should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and brought to justice,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baugh explained.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Republican Party of Orange County is the Party of the Ã¢â‚¬ËœOpen Door.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ We are deeply saddened and disturbed that a Republican nomineeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign would engage in such obnoxious behavior,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Chairman Scott Baugh.
Chairman Baugh and the Republican Party of Orange County have repeatedly requested an explanation from Tan Nguyen.Ã‚Â No response to telephone calls or emails has been forthcoming.Ã‚Â The Republican Party of Orange County therefore requests that Tan Nguyen withdraw from the race.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Republican Party of Orange County will not tolerate any voter intimidation,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Chairman Baugh.
To make this even clearer, Frank Barbaro and Democratic Party of Orange County officials have repeatedly requested an explanation regarding the campaign reporting discrepancies and demanded that amended returns be filed. No response other than, “if there are mistakes we will correct them,” has been forthcoming.
When the OC GOP witnessed voter intimidation and improper conduct they said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Republican Party of Orange County will not tolerate any voter intimidation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So what will the Democrats do?Ã‚Â
So far, they have demanded that Mr. Tran file amended returns by the close of business on Monday (today)Ã‚Â or they will reconsider his endorsement at their meeting tonight. The agenda item also states that if TranÃ‚Â does file the amended returns the item will be withdrawn from the agenda.
At this point the matter is much greater than just some campaign finance reporting problems. Hoa Van Tran’s campaign has engaged in outrageous andÃ‚Â obnoxious behavior including harassment and willful and fraudulent acts to defame the character of a former employee for causing the reporting of possible improper conduct to authorities.
While Hoa is not engaged in intimidating voters, he and his campaign treasurer are now engaged in blatant retaliation against a whistleblower.Ã‚Â Regardless of whether Hoa Van Tran files amended returns, the Democratic Party of Orange County needs to distance itself from such boorish behavior and flagrant violation of the laws of the State of California.
Hoa Van Tran is responsible for the actions of people working on his behalf. The Democratic Party of Orange County needs to stand against such behavior. The most effective way of doing so is to withdraw their endorsement of Hoa Van Tran. The Republicans had the back-bone to demand that their candidate withdraw from the race.
So what will the Democrats do?Ã‚Â Ã‚Â