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Did Long Pham Lie To Me At The 2014 CRA Endorsement Convention?

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on May 20, 2014

As many of our readers may know I am a partner in the political consulting firm Custom Campaigns, which owns OC Political. We have been fortunate to have a great deal of success electing candidates in Orange County over the past few years. One of our success stories was electing Robert Hammond to the Orange County Board of Education in Trustee Area 1 replacing sitting board member Long Pham who decided to run for the 72nd Assembly District.

LongPham

Long Pham is currently running for the 34th Senate District in a race against sitting OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio. The top two candidates will advance to the November election under the new Prop 14 rules. I want to preface that I have no problem with Long Pham running for the seat (although I would call his chances of advancing to November virtually impossible). However, Long Pham unsuccessfully tried to paint himself as the conservative candidate by vying for the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly (the CRA endorsed Janet Nguyen).

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a Republican when vying for the endorsement of the CRA is either endorsing on giving money to a non-Republican (especially when a CRA-endorsed candidate is running for the same seat). I have issues with Long Pham applying for the CRA endorsement because he refused to endorse Robert Hammond at the CRA endorsing convention in 2012, and I wanted to know why he refused to endorse the only Republican running for the seat (who went on to win the seat despite not having Pham’s support).

At the CRA endorsing convention that took place on March 22, 2014, I asked Mr. Pham why he refused to endorse Robert Hammond, the successful CRA-endorsed candidate for Trustee Area 1 on the Orange County Board of Education in 2012. Pham responded that because he did not know who was running at that point and felt that it would be improper to endorse before he knew who all was running. I was a direct witness to Robert Hammond asking Mr. Pham for his endorsement at the CRA meeting.

For the sake of our readers, I will note the timeline of June filing and the CRA endorsing convention back in 2012:

Filing for County Board of Education closed on March 14, 2012
CRA Endorsement Took Place on March 24, 2012

Based on this timeline, the field was set before the endorsement meeting took place. Here is a look at the candidates that were running for the seat:

Robert Hammond – Republican
Ken Nguyen – No Party Preference
Art Pedroza – Libertarian
Eleazar Elizondo – Democrat

Clearly, only one Republican was running, and he was the CRA-endorsed candidate. If Long Pham had some kind of issue with Robert Hammond, he should simply say so instead of trying to claim that he did not know who was running for the seat.

I am not the only one that has faced the issue of Pham’s odd recollections. A month ago, Martin Wisckol wrote an article for the OC Register where Mr. Pham appeared to contradict himself about his education. We will see what happens on June 3rd in this race.

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