Paul Lucas: Portrait of a Trojan Horse

Paul Lucas has been involved in Democratic Party politics for years. Whenever a democratic candidate or the party has needed help, he has been there. When there has been a labor strike, he has been there.

So imagine the surprise when out of the blue, Paul pulled papers to run for Supervisor in the First District. Heck, he walked into the Registrar of Voters with a big old Cheshire cat grin, and right next to Hoa Van Tran plunked down more than $1,400 on his credit card to file for the race. This seemed odd for a couple of reasons.

First, Paul has kind of a big mouth. He tends to talk a lot about what he plans to do. He did a lot of talking before moving to Garden Grove after his failed bid for Assembly against Van Tran. He made it clear that his move was for the specific purpose of running for Garden Grove City Council in 2008. He had not said a thing to a single democrat prior to his filing. Second, at the time he did this, he was unemployed. Who spends $1,400 to run for Supervisor when they have no job, or support to pay off that debt?

There were unconfirmed suspicions that he had been encouraged to run by Garden Grove City Councilwoman and First District Supervisor candidate Dina Nguyen. At the time we joked about it, but really saw the idea as more of a joke than possibility. Then the other shoe dropped. That shoe was in the form of a letter distributed to the OC GOP Central Committee that accused Supervisor Janet Nguyen of providing opposition research about Van Tran to Paul during his 2006 Assembly campaign. The letter was distributed on Dina Nguyen’s behalf by Assemblyman Van Tran staffer Truong Diep, and other supporters. It was referred to by Van Tran in his remarks to the GOP Central Committee.

Not only was the letter a lie; it was signed by Paul under his title as a member of the Democratic Party of Orange County on the day of the GOP meeting. There is no dispute that the letter was indeed signed by Paul Lucas. Since the letter was distributed on Dina Nguyen’s behalf, it had to have been given to her or someone affiliated with her campaign. Even more disturbing is the fact that the letter was meant to support Dina Nguyen, who is being backed by Assemblyman Tran, in an effort to keep current Republican Supervisor Janet Nguyen from receiving the endorsement of the OC GOP.

So why should this matter to democrats or the Democratic Party of Orange County?

First, Van Tran is one of the most anti-labor Republicans in Sacramento. Second, Van Tran is a Latino immigrant basher. His most recent escapade was a jaunt to the US-Mexico boarder for an “illegal immigrant” photo op. Third, if you are consorting with Van Tran, you cannot be working in the interests of the Democratic Party of Orange County. Any support given to Van Tran and his stranglehold on the politics of Little Saigon is in direct support of his desire to run for either the Senate seat held by Lou Correa, or the Congressional seat held by Loretta Sanchez.

Working in support of Van Tran is anti-labor, anti-Latino, and anti-Democrat. Paul Lucas is the subject of a vote of reprimand by the Democrats tonight for his conduct. He still doesn’t get that he has done something wrong. He needs to be told, in no uncertain terms, that to be working on behalf of Van Tran and his allies, is to be working against the core values of the Democratic Party of Orange County.

  23 comments for “Paul Lucas: Portrait of a Trojan Horse

  1. Kudos Kate
    May 19, 2008 at 6:06 am

    Paul wan’t helping Van. He was trying to damage anti union Janet. I’m really shocked at how so many Dems are rallying behind Janet. Me thinks she cut a deal to register Dem after the general.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    May 19, 2008 at 8:02 am

    This is really old news; aren’t we done with the Paul bashing by now?

  3. May 19, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Dan,

    This is hopefully wrapping things up. I’ve found that there are people who still do not get what was done and why it was wrong. In the context that the Central Committee hears this matter tonight, it is relevant, this one more time.

    Kate,

    The effort was to help Dina Nguyen who is controlled by Van Tran. While the effort was targeted towards Janet Nguyen, It was designed to strengthen Van Tran.

  4. May 19, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Chris,

    Janet isn’t exactly pro-union or pro-Latino. In fact she matched Van’s candidate in the anti-Latino category during the last election. Why are you a de facto supporter of Janet now?

    Don’t give me the bs about what you have written in the past. Lets talk about now. You have not written anything even remotely critical of Janet since this election season has started. Why is that?

    Perhaps Kate is right. Did Janet cut a deal to switch parties? I would not doubt if she cut some sort of a deal.

    The fact that you continue to bash Paul Lucas is tired and old. Why are you shilling for Janet? Please let all of us Dems know.

  5. May 19, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Sean,

    First, this post is about Paul Lucas not Janet Nguyen. Second, I challenge you to find any action or piece of campaign literature “in this election” or during Janet Nguyens brief time in office that I have not criticized. I recall hammering on redecorating, paying for staff out of the Health Care Agency budget, and her vote to sue the OC Pension Fund in support of Moorlach’s pipe dream to name a few.

    Pointing out how Paul Lucas has disgraced the Democratic Party and himself is far from shilling for any candidate. It is relevant given a vote at the Central Committee tonight.

    On the matter of pulling together a post about all of Janet Nguyens faults, errors, or falls. I will have theat done shortly. But for those who want to know know, we have an entire category listed on this blog devoted to Janet Nguyen. http://www.theliberaloc.com/category/janet-nguyen/

    Here is the most recent story I focused on about Supervisor Nguyen. We do have a blog of numerous writer including you Sean. We can hardly be accused of giving Janet Nguyen a free pass,

    Paperwork? I Don’t Need No Stinkin Paperwork!

    http://www.theliberaloc.com/2008/01/24/paperwork-i-dont-need-no-stinkin-paperwork/

  6. May 19, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Dan-

    Agreed. I’m really getting sick of all this Paul Lucas stuff. It’s time to put this issue to rest. And hopefully once the DPOC E-board makes a final decision today, we won’t have to hear any more of it.

    Sean-

    While Chris may have been quite tough on Hoa (and now that his campaign is falling deeper into complete disarray, he kinda now has reason to be), I wouldn’t exactly call him a “Janet shill”. And really, the namecalling from both sides is getting to be old and tired. I hope that once this campaign is over, you and Chris and everyone else involved can end this sorry feud so that we can get back to talking about relevant issues.

  7. The record...
    May 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    While I don’t believe Paul was working for Van Tran with this letter, he was working with Mike Schoerder, per his request, to help Dina get the early endorsement from the GOP. Dina, if she received the endorsement, would in turn help Paul with his city council bid to replace her.

    What is so sad about this whole thing is Paul’s self-destruction. He has been so hell-bent to become an elected official, a goal he has had since the day we met him, that he has sold his soul to the perverbal devil, Mike Schroeder. His ambition has led him to personal tirades against the very people who support him. He has called people stupid, crooks, thieves, liars, etc., when he doesn’t get what he wants. Even if Paul does escape the reprimand tonight, his relationships will be fatally altered and his goal to be a respected politician will never be recognized.

  8. WFB
    May 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Chris vs. Sean or Barrack vs. Hillary

    The Reeps love it !!

    You all must be a bit cranky – due to “playing in your own sandbox” perhaps ?

    Get out and stretch your legs Sean – take a couple of swipes at Art – just for old times sake.

    Watch out for them cat turds in your own sandbox.

  9. For the Good of the Party
    May 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    To all DPOC members. Do not allow Mike Schroeder and Van Tran to be part of Democratic politics. As Democrats we ought to denounce Paul’s actions and let him know that sort of action will NOT be tolerated. Past friendships should not be an excuse to excuse the unexcusable.

    Paul is trying to publicly potray himself as a loyal Dem while consorting with the enemy behind our backs. We need to have an overwhelming vote tonight to let Van Tran, Mike Schroeder, Dina Nguyen, and Paul know that we will not allow the enemy to work amongst us.

  10. Bladerunner
    May 19, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    This is the point where things get out of hand. Its one thing to yank the Hoa endorsement, or decide maybe Paul’s actions should be taken into account when he comes to the OCDP and seek and endorsement should he still decide to run for the GG City Council. But a reprimand is an entirely different matter. This is not a star chamber or a banana republic. it’s a legislatively created body that operates under rules. There is a Code of Conduct and I have looked at it and find nothing that Paul has done that violates the Code.

    What Paul has done is act like a fool. I have told him that. He has been played by Dina and even though he has been supporting the Democratic endorsed candidate(which is more than some people have been doing, notwithstanding that candidates problems)he got used and looked stupid. I have told Paul he owes everyone, including the Central Committee, an apology for his conduct.

    Now if the Central Committee wants to pass a resolution, they should pass one that spells out what the conduct they don’t like and then demand he apologize. If he fails to do that than they can proceed to reprimand or even censure.

    I understand the geopolitical view that Van tran is the real enemy. I get that. But another equally legitimate view(not one I now share but its legitimate) is that helping Janet is harmful to the Party because she is far more dangerous than Dina as a candidate and she will run for partisan political office against Lou or Jose or other Democrat. So while we can critize Paul and even ask that he apologize, due process demands that the Party step back and redo the motion as suggested above or, like I suggested with Hoa if he turns in his report, return it to the E-Board to take up any other issues with regard to Paul.

    There but for the grace of God could go a lot of people if the Committee goes forward with this.

  11. May 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Blast from the past, 2006: Ryan Gene Williams (later “Trabuco”) the lovable and hapless young Republican candidate who went against Loretta last time with absolutely no GOP support: “Paul Lucas was the only person to visit me in the hospital, when no Republicans would.”

    OH NO!!!! This means Paul’s plot to undermine Loretta goes back farther than any of us imagined!! *sarcasm* Though it does show the kind of guy Paul is.

    Hurry up and have your vote. No doubt it was a political faux pas to do anything that could help the loathsome Van Tran even in the slightest, especially while using your DPOC title. But let’s see if a majority thinks this was some kind of treason. And then move on to get more Dems elected in OC.

    BTW, what’s this “Not only was the letter a lie…”? Is it established now that Janet did NOT provide Paul with oppo research in ’06?

  12. Paul Lucas
    May 19, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Blade Runner. Thanks for your input. You are the lone voic of reason in the wilderness. Should someone articulate what rules and or bylaws have been broken by my actions, I ill offer my apologies. Until that time, I feel that there neds to be language drafted into the bylaws to adress these types of situations. A clear and concise definition should be drafted on issues such as this for the future of the party and members.

  13. May 19, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Bladerunner,

    You are correct that Paul’s actions did not violate the Bylaws of the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct could not have anticipated that anyone could have been as stupid as Paul was.

    The Executive Board did express and outline for Paul what they considered about his behavior was improper. The provided him the opportunity to appologize for his poor judgement. He refused to even consider that he did anything wrong.

    That is why the motion to reprimand has been brought forward. The provisions for censure are reserved for violations of the Code of Conduct. Provisions for removal are clearly detailed in the Bylaws and do not apply. the olny process aailable to the Central Committee to express its displeasure is in the form of a motion to reprimand.

    The EBoard tried everything it could to give Paul an honorable and face saving way out. He chose not to take it. That is how we’ve gotten to where we are today.

  14. Bladerunner
    May 19, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Chris, The Executive Board can recommend action but it is the Committee itself that takes the action. I’m glad you concede Paul’s actions do not violate the Code of Conduct.. So we’re looking at the Executive Board recommending a reprimand for bad behavior. Ex post facto laws or resolutions aside, I take it that had he done the smart thing and apologized they would not be forwarding this motion to reprimand. Ergo, if he apologizes tonight, the Committee should then vote down or table the motion to reprimand, right? RIGHT?

    Of course, you probably didn’t see my last comment before you pushed the send button. Paul may be drawn to the flame. Maybe he will think he’s Joan of Arc.

    Saving face is nice but I’m more interested in not creating bad precedents. The Committee should amend its motion to set out what conduct the committee finds objectionable and to demand an apology. If that is not forthcoming by the June meeting, than a motion to reprimand will be in order. That may not fit into some people’s desire to throw the rope over the limb before the June primary election but in the long term it best serves the sense of justice and fair play that all democratic institutions should be goverrned by.

  15. Anonymous
    May 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Is it true that Paul is seeking the early endorsement of the Republican Party?

  16. Paul Lucas
    May 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    BR,
    I am in total agreement with you. Although I have no problem with apologizing for getting people in the DPOC worked up and out of sorts, I am vry concerned with setting a bad precdent. That is my main hesitation

  17. Bladerunner
    May 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Paul, I can only throw you a life line. I can’t make you grab it.

  18. We will see
    May 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Paul has denied all involvement with this letter to the GOP. Something he stated in this very blog. I would be surprised if he apologized and took responsibility for his hand in it.

  19. rebecca
    May 19, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Chris, you are starting to sound like a Maoist who wants to “reeducate” Paul. Whatever. You’re attacking a Dem (Hoa, constantly) and helping Janet. When does your reeducation come?

  20. May 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    rebecca,

    You do realize that two of Hoa’s staffers were arrested for attempted murder? And that his own party may well remove their endorsement of him tonight?

  21. HB citizen
    May 19, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Teddi Alves us much more deserving of a reprimand than any other Democrat I know around here.

  22. grumpy old dem
    May 20, 2008 at 12:30 am

    paul said it
    but
    he wasnt really sorry

  23. May 20, 2008 at 1:00 am

    GENTLY pull starting just below one earlobe and the Paul Lucas MASK (available for $14.97 on the clearance table at any Party City) tears off to reveal…
    .
    ..

    ….
    …..
    ……
    . . . . . . . . .
    … none other than …
    ……………………………………….
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Robert K “Bob” Dornan ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    (Think about it, when have you seen B-1 and “Paul” in the same place.)

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