An Interesting Case of A Field Rep for State Senator Janet Nguyen

For the last two years, State Senator Janet Nguyen (Repubican, 34th District) has an official field representative for  the Vietnamese-American Community in Northern California.  Her district of course is mostly in Orange County which is in Southern California.




Tho Nguyen  resides mainly in Stockston and has a house in San Jose.   He is an active and familiar face of the community in the Bay Area.

LSI is not familiar with the Senate rules, even though other State Senators in the Bay Area have Vietnamese-American or Asian-American field reps to work with the Vietnamese -American community, this apparently might not be enough.   The Senate obviously feels that  State Senator Janet Nguyen (R)  is best representing the Vietnamese-American community in the Northern California as a ranking  Vietnamese-American elected official from a different district.

The same logic could apply that a Hispanic State Senator not from her district would probably best represent the Hispanic community in Orange County.

Tho Nguyen takes himself very seriously as her representative and as a Senate staff.   At Vietnamese community events and celebrations in the Bay Area, since they are mostly in San Jose and Nguyen would not be available to attend for she has to mind her true constituents in Southern California, he would mainly introduce himself as her representative of Northern California

He is very proud of his role and jealously guarding it.  At events, he always demands that he speaks first, before all of the city and county elected officials, even assemblymembers.  And if he does not get to speak first, he would throw a tandrum and scold the organizer how disrespectful they are and how it is protocol that State Senator (and in this case their representative) speaks first before the Mayor, the County Supervisor, and Assemblymember.

Another habit of his is to needle people who received commendation, recognition or resolution from State Senator Janet Nguyen (R).  He would insist that they owe him their gratitude for he is the one that put int the word to the senator to bestow this type of  honor.


"I am Very Big"

Last December, at an event to celebrate the victory of a new elected  member of the State Assembly in the Bay Area, all the leaders of the community were invited and assigned seats with their names.   The volunteers did not assign him a seat for some reasons or another.    As typical, he threw a tandrum with the organizer and caused the delay of the event.  When they offered him a seat of his choice, he insisted that was not enough.

He then approached a young volunteer and told her to remove all the names of the assigned seats since he did not have his name on them, no one should.  This was the only way to satisfy him.  As the young girl looked puzzling, he berated her in English: " I am very big, you do what I tell you"

His tough and "I am very big" personality ruffles quite a few feathers of the community leaders in the Bay Area to a point that one of  the main Vietnamese media refuses to have anything to do with him.

When a well known community activist in the Bay Area informed State Senator Janet Nguyen (R) about his over the top behaviors that can cause political backlash against her,  she promptly replied she had investigated and all the complaints are not true.

Communist Spy Accusation

With such ringing endorsement,  Tho Nguyen last week promptly blasted out an email to many people (including people in the city and county government) making communist spy accusation.  He forwarded  an  anonymous email posted in some obscure Yahoo! e-groups accusing the community activist as being a communist agent and communist spy infiltrating the community.  

In the email blast, he wrote an introduction: " For everybody to see what this person is truly about."

It is ironic since State Senator Janet Nguyen was accused and attacked mercilessly by the former Assembly Van Tran and his cohorts for being a communist sympathizer during her elections in 2006 and 2007.  And it was this same community activist whom she asked to defend her during those two hotly contested elections.  In doing so, the activist was accused in kind and anonymously as a communist agent / spy.

Being accused as a communist sympathizer or spy is a serious condemnation in the Vietnamese-American community.  A Vietnamese-American in SF was assassinated when he was accused to be a communist agent.  The event was documented in the PBS documentary titled " Terror in Little Saigon".

It is quite Trump-like in this case for a Senate staff to use his position as a representative of State Senator Janet Nguyen (R) to defame a voter of being a communist spy and agent trying to wreak havoc in the community.   The defamation law is clear about the responsibility and legal liability of a person who writes false accusation as well as  a person who forwards defamation email with malice intent.

A letter by the community activist to Tho Nguyen and State Senator Janet Nguyen (R) to raise awareness of the issue and ask for proof of such malicious  accusation has not been answered.


Footnote:  Despite all these rogue behaviors by Tho Nguyen, one has to give him credit for being a good soldier.  During the uproar of State Senator Nguyen being escorted out of the Senate floor and not allowed to speak about her feelings against a deceased Senator,  he was the one that rally the Viet community demanding for an apology from the Senate leadership.

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