There are a lot of pressures from the Republican Party to have OC Supervisor Chair Janet Nguyen endorse Assemblyman Van Tran for his US congressional run against the incumbent Loretta Sanchez. Nguyen is undecided at the moment.
In a campaign where 40% of the electoral votes are in her district, Tran has a lot to gain with Nguyen supporting him. Even though he is fully aware of the situation but he still inexplicably has his henchmen attacking Janet Nguyen at every opportunity he has in the Vietnamese-American community.
Currently, his negative is very high within the Vietnamese-American community. They consider him as a selfish politician with an oversize ambition of, as the OC Register called it correctly, “being The Godfather of Vietnamese-American politics”. To the community, he is the product of special interest groups, especially of wealthy Chinese-American businessmen who has close tie with the Vietnamese government. The last 10 years, he has done a lot for the special interest groups while just provide lip-service to the Vietnamese-American community. His image took a beating when he and his gang blocked Nguyen's effort to build a pedestrian bridge across Bolsa Blvd. The bridge has been something that the community wanted for a long time to help alleviate the traffic jam in Little Saigon. He hurt his underlings’ campaigns against Nguyen when he sent out a letter on their behalf using his personal assemblyman letterhead urging the voters not to vote for Janet Nguyen because she is a communist sympathizer. The proof was that she accepted $500 donation from a person who has business in Vietnam. His hatred and despise for Janet Nguyen is so deep that he would do anything to destroy her political career.
The fact of the matter is that he could not raise money within his own Vietnamese-American constituents in Orange County. He has to rely on the Chinese-American businessmen in San Jose and Sacramento to help with his fund raising. He spent more time in San Jose and San Francisco with fund raising because his image is better there than within his own district.
Out of the potential 14,000 Vietnamese-American voters in D47, many would vote against him out of disdain for his scorched earth political tactics against Vietnamese-American politicians who are not in his fold. Of course, the voters also are afraid of his giant ego of being the “Godfather”.
Janet Nguyen is a smart and established politician and she has difficulty being Van Tran’s underlings. The rumor mill in Little Saigon told a story of how when she first ran for the supervisor seat, Van insisted that she paid him and his gang to be her consultants. When she refused, he vowed to destroy her political career. So far he fails but his scorched-earth campaign against her has put Nguyen over $200,000 in debt. In return, he manages to destroy the political careers of Trung Nguyen, Andy Quach and Diane Nguyen.
If she decides to endorse Van Tran and he wins, he will guarantee to put her in her place and will continue to destroy her political career. To Van Tran, there is only one top dog in the Vietnamese-American community. He already recruits two people to run against her in 2012.
Janet Nguyen already has granted him a favor by not supporting Quang Pham in the primary. The main reason Pham dropped out of the race was because he knew without her support, he would not win the primary.
So what Janet Nguyen to do? To sleep with her nemesis and prays that he will spare her if he wins or to stay out the race altogether. The lesson that she has learned about politics is that a promise today means nothing tomorrow and politics is personal. It is whoever in power will make or break her. And Van Tran has vowed publicly to teach her a lesson. It is just a matter of time for him to succeed.
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