But that doesn’t mean he can read a financial report.
Hugh Nguyen finally sent out the letter we reported last week he was planning to send to supporters regarding his intentions for his Clerk-Recorder campaign. I previously reported that Nguyen had told me that he would be evaluating his options and would tell his supporters his intentions this week. Less than 24 hours after I spoke with Nguyen, he told the CRA that he was in the race to win. Mr. Nguyen never responded to my inquiry regarding his rapid decision. His letter now confirms his intentions.
In his letter, Nguyen said something that I found hard to believe:
“The spending at the Clerk-Recorder’s Office is massively over budget. The morale of the employees is at an all time low. Tom is not available to meet with industry leaders in the mortgage and title insurance, and has been rarely seen at his office. Leaders at the County know that Tom is taking advantage of his elected position and not performing the department head duties that have been entrusted to him.” – Hugh Nguyen, February 24, 2010
Much of what Nguyen says here is not verifiable, which is the nature of political rhetoric. The ability to ascertain the veracity of comments made by a candidate can only be based upon whether you can believe the things he claims are true. That can only come from verification of statements made that can be cross-checked and confirmed.
So while Nguyen’s claims regarding staff morale, available to meet with industry leaders in the mortgage and title insurance industry, being seen at his office, and whether Tom is taking advantage of his elected position and not performing the department head duties that have been entrusted to him cannot be verified objectively; his claim about the office being massively over budget can.
Here are the facts about the Clerk-Recorder Budget performance year to date. Director of Finance Frank Kim reported to the Board of Supervisors on February 9, 2010 that the Clerk-Recorder office was $99.709 under budget in expenditures as of 12/31/2009. On the revenue side the department budget was about $3.19 million over anticipated revenues. What kind of “management” employee at the county would make such a statement, with no factual basis?
Either Mr. Nguyen is lying when he made his claims about the budget performance of the Clerk-Recorder’s office, or he cannot read a financial report. Either way, can we really believe what he says about department morale, and Tom Daly being an absentee Department Head given the credibility of his own budget performance analysis?
To be fair here, I pointed out this inconsistency to Mr. Nguyen’s Campaign Manager who said he would get back to me when he could with a response. When he does, I’ll let you know what Nguyen has to say on this matter.