Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Janet Nguyen Attacking GOP Candidates to Show Off Her Power

In Tossup State Senate Race, Janet Nguyen Has A Curious Target: Fellow Vietnamese-American GOPs

Locked in a competitive re-election campaign, Republican State Senator Janet Nguyen is lobbing harsh attacks.

And while that's to be expected in the final days of a hard-fought campaign for one California's few remaining tossup seats, the target of Nguyen's harshest attacks is directed at fellow Vietnamese-American Republicans. 

A recent radio ad funded by Nguyen’s campaign features a blistering attack on Tyler Diệp, a fellow Vietnamese-American Orange County Republican in the middle of a close race for the 72nd Assembly District. Nguyen has bitterly opposed Diep for more than a decade, dating back to her feud with her former mentor Assemblyman Van Tran. 

The Nguyen-funded ad claims that those who support her Democratic opponent Tom Umberg “also support Tom Hayden.” 

In addition to an attack on Diep, the ad includes false and out-of-context quotes to imply that Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, Nguyen’s former chief of staff, supports Communist officials. The Nguyen audio clips were taken from a speech Do gave in defense of Nguyen. 

Nguyen Funds Fountain Valley Hit Pieces 

On October 12, a Merced County-based political action committee based in Hilmar spent $7,297.64 in campaign mailers attacking Republican Vietnamese-American candidate Nick Le Cong, according to state campaign finance disclosure filings. The same committee spent an additional $3,621.30 on October 17th to level more attacks on the Fountain Valley candidate. 
Why would a political action committee based in Hilmarspend nearly $11,000 on a city council campaign more than 300 miles away? 

On September 15, the PAC accepted a $25,000 campaign contribution from Janet Nguyen for Senate 2018. Fountain Valley is Nguyen’s hometown.

Nguyen Endorses Democratic Candidates. 

Nguyen has publicly endorsed Mima Velasque (D) over Cecilia Iglesias (R) for Santa Ana city council.  Nguyen also endorsed Jamison Power (D) and Tai Do (D) over other Republican Vietnamese candidates for Westminster city council seats.

In Garden Grove, she went after city council candidate Duy Nguyen with attacks to help his opponent.

Likely to Hurt Vietnamese-American Voter Turnout

The outcome of Nguyen’s attacks could have fallout on other campaigns. Republicans are defending several congressional seats in Orange County and likely need Vietnamese-American voters to turnout in larger numbers. 
Political scientists frequently say that negative campaign suppresses. A 1999 study by professors at Arizona State University found that “voters tend to stay home” when campaigns devolve into negative attacks.  

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