HUNTINGTON BEACHâ€” Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and Assemblyman Van Tran faced off tonight inÂ two half-hourÂ debates taped at the KOCE studios in Huntington Beach. The first of the debatesÂ aired on KOCE and the OC ChannelÂ Wednesday nightÂ and the second will air tomorrow in the Real Orange time slot and will be rebroadcast several times on the local Orange County public broadcasting station.
The Sanchez campaign sent out the following statement after the firstÂ debate was aired.
SANCHEZ TRIUMPHS IN DEBATE WITH ASSEMBLYMAN VAN TRAN ON KOCE
Assemblyman Avoids Stating Position on Immigration Reform; Ducks Abysmal Record on Education, Health Care, Safeguards for Consumers
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA â€“ Championing her strong record of creating jobs and fighting for middle class families, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) decisively won a debate against California Assemblyman Van Tran on public television station KOCE earlier this evening. During the debate, Sanchez repeatedly criticized Tran for his role in the stateâ€™s $19 billion budget crisis and for consistently voting against the interests of Orange County families.
â€œIn this election you have a clear choice,â€ Rep. Sanchez said. â€œYou can either vote for a failed Sacramento politician who cannot pass a budget, supports deep cuts to school funding, and whose only idea on health care is to repeal it. Or you can vote for me, a leader who has created jobs, made sure our schools stayed open, and fought for better access to health care and cheaper prescription drugs.â€
â€œVan Tran claims to be â€˜very proud of his record,â€™ but the reality is he spent more time focusing on the use of teleprompters than explaining his votes against seniors, children, and middle class families in central Orange County,â€ said Caroline Hogan, press secretary for the Committee to Re-Elect Loretta Sanchez. â€œHe repeatedly evaded questions on whether he supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and referred to lower prescription drug costs for seniors and quality, affordable health care as â€˜socialist.â€™ How much more out-of-touch can Van Tran be with the people of Orange County?â€
Under Tranâ€™s tenure in the State Legislature, California experienced the longest budget impasse in state history â€“ a 100-day long spectacle that caused national embarrassment and resulted in painful cuts for local schools, health care providers, and working families. The rest of Tranâ€™s legislative record is even worse â€“ he voted to slash $500 million in funding for education (cuts called â€œdevastatingâ€ by local teachers); to privatize Social Security (a plan that would have put the retirement funds of over 400,000 Orange County seniors at risk); to deny working families a raise in the minimum wage; to cut Medi-Cal reimbursements by 10%; to weaken safeguards for California consumers; and to suspend property tax deferrals for low-income seniors in Orange County. These actions are part of Tranâ€™s long history of voting against the interests of his constituents on a wide range of issues.
In addition to trying to duck his atrocious record, Tran refused to explain multiple votes that had direct benefits for special interest groups. In 2005, Tran voted for a bill that allowed utility companies to charge their customers a surcharge fee for credit card transactions.  Following the vote, from 2005 through 2008, Tran reported receiving $18,899 in campaign contributions from utility companies that had not previously contributed to him. And in 2006, Tran voted against a bill that required mobile telephone companies to provide a 21-day grace period to new customers who wished to cancel the contract.  From 2007 through 2008, Tran received $9,000 in campaign contributions from special interest opponents of the bill that had never contributed to Tran prior to his vote.
â€œMy opponentâ€™s voting record in Sacramento shows he is a politician who allows donations from special interests to guide his decisions â€“ not the best interests of the families he represents,â€ Rep. Sanchez said during the debate. â€œI have always been an independent voice for Orange County.Â I wake up each and every day to fight for the people in our community.â€
Unlike Van Tran, Congresswoman Sanchezâ€™s decisions are guided by the people who live in Californiaâ€™s 47th Congressional District. She fought for quality, affordable health care for Californians; strengthened Social Security for our seniors; provided critical investments for local infrastructure projects, including the extension of the 91 and widening of the 22; and created dozens of new tax cuts for working families and small businesses. Her record is about creating jobs, fighting for our small businesses, educating our children, and making our community safer.
Tran’s people were first out with their statement, even before the debate was broadcast.
This afternoon, Van Tran drew a winning contrast with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchezs 14 ineffective years in Washington, and Trans commitment to stopping Washingtons reckless overspending:
“Today, the truth about Loretta Sanchez was exposed. Van Tran showed Loretta Sanchez to be the overspending Washington politician she is. The difference was clear. Trans record of fighting to cut taxes, reduce spending and build good paying jobs for Orange County was a sharp contrast to Sanchezs jet-setting on taxpayer dime and trips to the Playboy Mansion.Â If after 14 years in Congress, you still need a teleprompter to make a 1 minute statement you are not working hard enough to fix our struggling economy.Â One bill in 14 years is not going to cut it especially when it was only to name a post office.Â - George Andrews, spokesperson Van Tran for Congress 2010.
During his post debate statement Tran wondered how, with all of Sanchez’ travels around the world, did she have time to find out what was going on in her district? I managed to get in the first question and asked Tran to explain how he knew what was going on in the district since, as has been reported in the Orange County Register and other publications, he lives in Sacramento? Tran tried to assert that it was just TheLiberalOC, me in particular, who has made that claim and that I should check my facts. He claimed that he spends plenty of time in his district and that I should check his travel records. I’ll follow up on that but the truth is that Tran and his family live full time in Sacramento. Tran claims that he is a family man and that is why his family is with him full time in Sacramento. I guess that Tran is suggesting that fellow Orange County legislators, like Senator Lou Correa,Â AssemblymanÂ Jose Solorio, and Assemblyman Chuck DeVoreÂ are not good family men because they come home to their districts on the weekends to be with their families.