Friday, August 7, 2009

Van Tran Declared 80% of Calfornia Budget Cut will be Made Up by Federal Funding

Last Friday, California State Assemblyman Van Tran conducted a town hall meeting at Furiwa Restaurant for the Vietnamese-American community to help answer some of the concerns by the community in regards to the budget cut. The Vietnamese-American community in OC is particularly concerned about healthcare and welfare & social services benefits.

The event was reported by Nguoi Viet Newspaper , The headline is: " Van Tran at Town Hall Meeting in OC: 80% of Budget Cut will be compensated by Federal"

Tran said that despite the $26.3 billion budget cut, this is a short term fiscal reduction and the state is doing all it can to compensate for loss revenue.

Tran emphasized the good news is that the 80% of the cut in education, healthcare and social services will be made up by federal funding and stimulus package so the community should not be worried. He was also proud that despite the cut, the better news is that there was no tax increase in the budget.

Calls were placed to offices of various Democratic and Republican leaders in Sacramento to confirm Van's statement about the good news of receiving federal funding to cover education and health care shortfall was met with skepticism.

Van Tran is running for congress so obviously he did not want to be the bearer of bad news to a strong voting segment of the community that relies heavily on state funded health care and social services for their existence.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Van Tran and Andy Quach DUI Cover Up

Within the Vietnamese American community, the story is well told as follows -

According to those who were at the West Coast Sea Food Buffet, Van Tran, Andy Quach and Diep "Tyler" Truong were there until 10:00 PM when Quach suggested that they go to Citryst. Quach jokingly enticed them with the line "there would be more pretty girls over at Citryst". Citryst is owned by Amanda Nguyen, a relative of the owner of Pho 54 restaurant.

Van Tran and Andy Quach left Citryst together while Tyler Truong left Citris earlier for he is not much of a drinker.

For the record, the owner of West Coast Sea Food Buffet claimed that Quach and Tran were not drunk when they left his restaurant. If there is an ambulance chasing lawyer out there, Citryst would be the place to start your investigation.

City Councilmber Andy Quach of course is part of the " Trannie" known in the Little Saigon as the "Gang of Seven". He is also a paid fund raiser for State Assembly Van Tran. The last bill to Tran was for $2,000.

So far the Andy Quach DUI incident is being implicated in blogs like Red County, Orange Juice, LiberalOC as a cover up by Van Tran and Andy Quach. The blogs have done a great job of vetting out the story. The OC Register also is piecing the story together as more information is being released by the police department.

We now know that Van Tran was there at the scene and tried to interfere with the investigation to a point that the police threatened to arrest him.

Questions are being asked right now in the community:

1. Who was in the car with Andy Quach when he mowed down the utility pole and plowed his car into a residential wall? Was he alone or somebody else was in the passenger seat? This could be easily determined by looking at the passenger side airbag activation.

2. If Van Tran was with And Quach and left the scene and then came back afterward, this is serious cover up and it shows the lack of judgement by Tran for allowing Andy to drive drunk.

3. Were there any security cameras at the scene that could shed light to the event?

Tran had so far have perfect explanation for everything. In the interview with the OC Register, he claimed that he left West Coast Sea Food at 10 PM and went home to read. At midnight, he responsed to Quach's call. Eventhough he admitted that he could not make sense of what Quach was saying, he managed to arrive to interfere with the investigation.

This contradicts with the story that they were both at Citryst after West Coast Sea Food Buffet.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

QuachGate Update

Various American blogs like Liberal OC, Orange Juice Blog are calling the Andy Quach DUI as QuachGate. The reason is that there are more to the story. The Liberal OC,, is reporting that State Assembly Van Tran was also at the scene. The issue being raised is whether Van Tran was in the car with Andy Quach or he was just conveniently there afterward. In addition, there is an on going rumor that Westminster City Councilmember Diep "Tyler" Truong was there at the scene also. And again, was he in the car with Quach and Tran?

It was quite an accident, Quach hit a smaller car that had 3 passengers, bounced into the utility pole and then hit a concrete wall of a private yard and brought down a whole section The car bursted into flame. Quach's blood alcohol level was 3 times higher than the legal limit. He was incoherent when the police arrived.

Van Tran claimed that Andy called him while Van was at home and gave him direction to the accident. This of course will need to be confirmed with the people at the scene and also the 911 tape might give us some idea.

This is one those stories that has taken a life of itself. Andy Quach is the one that Van Tran trusted the most in all of his underlings. He does not have the wit but makes up with loyalty and try to be the guy behind the scene for Van Tran.

Nguoi Viet Newspaper Goes Thru More Changes

With Do, Bao Anh's husband removed from the newspaper (he was brought in to keep an eye on the finance) and talented reporters leaving to the newly established Viet Herald, Nguoi Viet decided to hire back Vu, Hao Nhien, the one time fired secretary general of Nguoi Viet, to help bolster the newspaper.

Hao Nhien was fired for his role in the foot washing pan controversy. He went on and started the musing Bolsavik Blog.

Hoang Mai Dat, another young talented writer who was the secretary general until last Saturday, resigned abruptly (probably to make way for Hao Nhien).

With Phan Phu Thien Giao who is now the the editor in chief and the recent hired Dinh Quang Anh Thai as managing editor at large, Nguoi Viet hopes the restructure will boost it sagging ad revenue. It is estimated that after the controversy, NV lost about 15% to 20% of its ad revenue to Vien Dong and Viet Bao.

The publisher is still Phan, Huy Dat, the lawyer. Do Bao Anh's role is unclear for now but she and her family still control the large share of the newspaper. There will be more changes to NV as the newspaper struggles to gain back its lost reputation.

Loretta Sanchez and her Vietnamese-American Support

There is no doubt that the Vietnamese-American community in OC has embraced Congreswoman Loretta Sanchez (D) warmly in the last 5-6 years in response to her staunch anti-communist stand against the current Vietnamese government. Morevover, her many appearances in community events and show of supports have won her many supporters. Unlike other politicians who only provide lip service, Sanchez shows her outward commitment to the community by having two Vietnamese-Americans in her staff - Lilly Nguyen (field rep) and Diep Nguyen (case worker).

In contrast, Congressman Ed Royce (R) has no Vietnamese-American in his staff. It is noteworthy that none of the Republican congressmembers who are well known for their anti-communist stands and work closely with the Vietnamese-American community have any Vietnamese-Americans in their staff. Meanwhile, Democratic congressmembers like Mike Honda, Zoe Lofgren and Senator Jim Webb all have Vietnamese-American serving in their staff.

In a community that is quite politically active, this is is something to take note.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jacqueline Nguyen Nominated as US Federal District Judge

President Obama last Friday nominated California Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, 44, for United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California. If confirmed, Judge Nguyen would be the nation’s first-ever Vietnamese American to serve as an Article III judge. She would also become the third-ever Asian Pacific American female Article III judge in United States history, and the first-ever Asian Pacific American woman to serve as an Article III judge in California.

Nguyen arrived in 1975 as part of the first wave of Vietnamese refugee after the fall of Vietnam. She graduated from UCLA law school in 1991.

In California there are currently 5 Vietnamese-American judges (including Jacqueline Nguyen). They are superior court judges - John Nho Trong Nguyen, Jacqueline My Le Duong, Thang Barret Nguyen, Jacqueline Nguyen and federal immigration judge - Tue Phan.

Quang Pham Received Asian Heritage Award

Republican Quang Pham, who is running for Congress in the 47th Congressional District to replace Loretta Sanchez, recently received the prestigious Asian Heritage Award for Literature for his memoir, “A Sense of Duty: My Father, My American Journey.” Published in 2005 by Random House to wide acclaim by Vietnamese American, Vietnam veterans and mainstream readership, it was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and selected by the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association as a finalist for its Nonfiction Book Award. “A Sense of Duty” will be released in paperback and Vietnamese-language edition in 2010. Books sales proceeds will be donated to charities.

Each year, the Asian American community is asked to recommend the best and brightest in 15 categories, ranging from education to community service. This year 119 nominations were received. The nominees’ names were placed on a ballot and uploaded to for members of the community to select someone in each category worthy of recognition. Those names were announced during a gala, star-studded ceremony on Saturday, July 25, 2009 aboard the aircraft carrier museum USS Midway in San Diego. The event, this year titled “Legacy and Legends,” also paid special tribute to Retired Army Major General Antonio Taguba, a profile in courage for revealing conditions at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Other outstanding Asian Americans currently serving in the military were also recognized.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Suspicious of Drunk Driving, Andy Quach Was Arrested

City Councilmember Andy Quach of Westminstern City, 37, was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving. He was taken to the police station and chemical blodd alcohol content was submitted. The OC Register reported today.

It is important to be clear that the chemical BAC test is a test requested after an arrest for DUI and/or DWI. Its purpose is to provide officers with evidence that you were driving under the influence. It is distinctly separate from the roadside sobriety test and preliminary alcohol screening test (roadside breath test) conducted before an arrest to help officers determine if there is probable cause for an arrest.

According to the OC Register, Quach drove his $100,000 plus Mercedes S550 into a pole after partying with his friends and knocked out power of 300 homes. Electricity is not expected to restore until 8:00 PM tonight.

The former Mayor Pro Term Andy Quach, part of State Assemblyman Van Tran's political machine known in Little Saigon as " The Gang of Seven", has served 7 years as city council member of Westminter.