For Hieu “Hugh” Nguyen, being completely truthful seems to be a bit of a problem. There’s this old Schwarzenegger action movie that comes to mind every time I read an interview, see one of his campaign signs, or even visit his website. The movie is called “True Lies.” Schwarzenegger plays a man who has a secret life as a spy; not even his wife has a clue who he really is.
For this election, Mr. Nguyen is painting himself as a Chief Deputy Clerk Recorder; an experienced professional from that office seeking to take over for his boss. Of course, the only truth in what would otherwise be a lie is that Hugh Nguyen did work as Deputy Clerk Recorder for Garry Granville, the former Clerk-Recorder who left the office almost 8 years ago.
Nguyen has chosen to use as his ballot designation the title Assistant Clerk. A position title he does indeed hold over at the office of Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. Nguyen handles files management for the Clerk of the Board, supervising 4 employees part-time in a function completely unrelated to those of the Clerk-Recorder. Your average voter won’t know the difference, and Hugh won’t be going out of his way to tell them otherwise. You guessed it, this is one of the things that reminds me of that movie “True Lies”.
Nguyen has said that he will devote his full time to the job of running the office of Clerk-Recorder. Hugh claims that Tom Daly is an absentee manager and that the public deserves a full time professional managing that office. But given the amount of time that Hugh Nguyen spends at his Lee’s Sandwiches franchise in Santa Ana, while currently holding a senior management position with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, I have to wonder if he isn’t looking for a “cover” for that job, like the lead character in “True Lies.”
On his campaign website, Mr. Nguyen continues his efforts to paint himself as more than he really is; some might say he is painting a cover story. He lists endorsements of elected officials, many that he gathered up before Tom Daly announced his intention to run for reelection. He boasts a list of primarily Republican political officials and even a few Democrats. Two of those elected Democrats are City Council Members in Santa Ana. Council Members Sal Tinajero, and Michelle Martinez. Both are up for reelection for their seats and I find if a bit odd that they have both endorsed a right-wing Republican, who is endorsed by the California Republican Party and the California Republican Assembly, over an incumbent Democrat in that office.
I did find that Mr. Nguyen has forgotten that Fifth District Supervisor Pat Bates (in first Screen Shot) is no longer the Chair, of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. But most curious of all was Hugh Nguyen’s listing on his “Endorsement’s” “In Loving Memory of Great Friends.” I suppose he is indicating that if these “Great Friends” of his would endorse him if they were still alive.”
Possibly a more appropriate title for this section would be; “With my Campaign for Clerk-Recorder I PLEASE DEAD PEOPLE.” Odd though, of the three dead old friends he lists none are Ronald Reagan or his old boss and mentor Former Clerk-Recorder Garry Granville (1995-2002). I suppose, neither one of them were close enough old friends to give him their endorsement. Or maybe it is just part of the script for a new movie…