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Posts Tagged ‘Bao Nguyen’

Lead Changes Galore: CD-46 (Nguyen), AD-68 (Choi), Sup-1 (Martinez), and Central Committee (Munzing)

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 14, 2016

(Top l-r): Bao Nguyen, Steven Choi, Michele Martinez, Mike Munzing (Bottom l-r): Bob Peterson, Harry Sidhu, Andrew Do, Roberta Turbow

CD-46 Candidate Bao Nguyen (D), AD-68 Candidate Steven Choi (R), Sup-1 Candidate Michele Martinez (D), Central Committee Candidate Mike Munzing (R)
CD-46 Candidate Bob Peterson (R), AD-68 Candidate Harry Sidhu (R), Supervisor Andrew Do (R), Central Committee Candidate Roberta Turbow (R)

This is cross-posted to OC Daily.

Yesterday was a crazy day in vote counting saw that saw lead changes in four different races.  It was definitely a good day for mayors, with Bao Nguyen (Garden Grove), Steven Choi (Irvine), and Mike Munzing (Aliso Viejo) each climbing into the last available spot in their races.  Additionally, Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez took first place in her race.  These races largely remain too close to call with an 87,000 ballots still uncounted countywide.

After Friday’s counts, Sheriff’s Commander Bob Peterson (R) was leading Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen (D) by 236 votes for the second spot to advance to the run-off in the 46th Congressional District against former State Senator Lou Correa (D).  After yesterday’s counts, Nguyen surged forward by 814 votes and now leads Peterson by 578 votes for the right to challenge Correa’s march to Congress.

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On Friday, former Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu (R) was leading Irvine Mayor Steven Choi (R) by 608 votes for the second spot to advance to the run-off (and victory in the general election) in the 68th Assembly District against Attorney Sean Jay Panahi (D).  After yesterday’s results, Choi swung 640 votes and now leads Sidhu by 32 votes for the run-off slot.  With results this close, both campaigns are gearing up with attorneys and ballot watch teams.

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Friday’s results showed Supervisor Andrew Do (R) with an 836-vote lead over Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D) in his bid for a full four-year term after winning last year’s special election for a two-year term.  With a massive 1,689-vote swing, Martinez now leads Do by 853 votes.  Who finishes first is mostly about perception by donors, parties, volunteers, etc., as Do and Martinez will face each other in the November run-off regardless of which is first or second, as Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui (R) is a distant third.

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Finally, in the forgotten close race for Republican Central Committee in the 73rd District, Friday’s numbers had Small Business Owner Roberta Turbow ahead of Aliso Viejo Mayor Mike Munzing by 234 votes for the sixth and final spot on the Central Committee from AD-73. A 343-vote swing now has Munzing leading Turbow by 109 votes.

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With 87,000 uncounted ballots left in Orange County, there’s still a whole lot of counting left and a whole lot of nail-biting.

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 46th Congressional District, 68th Assembly District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Live from the 46th Congressional District Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 14, 2016

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Candidate Forum Audience Survey

We’re live from the 46th Congressional District Candidate Forum, sponsored by Connect-to-Council, Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce, Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce, and Santa Ana College. The 46th Congressional District Candidate Forum began after a 15-minute Intermission after the 1st Supervisorial District Candidate Forum concluded.

Only three candidates are present:
*Orange County Sheriff’s Commander Bob Peterson (R-Orange)
*Mayor Bao Nguyen (D-Garden Grove)
*Educator/Business Owner Lynn Schott (R-Irvine)

Frontrunners Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) and Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) are not present nor are the myriad of minor candidates.

Former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Mark McLoughlin (D-Santa Ana) is the moderator.

Lynn Schott notes she and her family attended class at Santa Ana College. She was born and raised in the 46th District. She says she understands the district and that job creation should be the top priority. She says she will bring leadership.

Bao Nguyen greets the audience in Spanish and Vietnamese. He speaks of being an immigrant as an infant. He says he grew up and went to high school in Orange County. He is the Mayor of his hometown of Garden Grove. He says established politicians taking campaign contributions from corporations and SuperPACs harken back to the Communist regime his parents fled. He speaks of expanding Spanish and Vietnamese programs in schools. He states he started Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation. He says he is fighting corruption locally and will do so in Washington, DC.

Peterson states he was homeless as a 14-year-old in Orange County. He went to Loara High School and was inspired by two Sheriff’s deputies to join the Sheriff’s Department. He started washing laundry at the County jail and would return 22 years later to command the jail.  He believes in serving the public, regardless of party or national origin.

McLoughlin asks about federal support for community college.

Nguyen notes he is a product of public schools. He speaks of K-14 education, including community college. He wants to prioritize education funding but opposes federal policies controlling local schools.

Peterson notes he is an adjunct professor at both Santa Ana College and Brandman University. He speaks of his family’s student loan debt, both his and his wife’s as well as his children’s. Both of his children are in graduate school currently with heavy debt loads. He wants to reduce the federal loan burden on students.

Schott paid her way through college. She wants to send federal money to states to support community colleges.

McLoughlin asks about communities at risk in the district due to poverty and high unemployment.

Peterson wants to fight crime to make the community safe for business to encourage entrepreneurs to open businesses in these communities, bringing new jobs.

Schott rattles off the unemployment rates in each city in the district. She particularly emphasizes the unemployment rate among 18- and 19-year-olds.  She wants to encourage a better business climate with increased opportunities for youth, including encouraging youth to open their own businesses.

Nguyen wants to provide jobs by improving roads. He wants to expand apprenticeship programs with labor. He wants to provide infrastructure jobs.

McLoughlin asks what two existing federal programs each candidate would eliminate.

Nguyen wants to eliminate mass deportation. He speaks of his family’s separation during their immigration process. He wants immigrant children to have a chance at the American Dream like he did. Nguyen wants to end government mass surveillance and points to his father’s house arrest in Communist Vietnam.

Schott doesn’t want to eliminate any agencies. However, she wants to examine the Environmental Protection Agency to determine if each regulation is worth the economic cost. She says she would do the same examination in other agencies.

Peterson states it is important to understand the lay of the land. He opposes constantly reinventing federal education mandates. He questions Common Core, the EPA, and immigration policies.

An audience question asks about immigration reform.

Schott wants to secure the border and enforce existing laws.

Nguyen wants comprehensive immigration reform. He blasts separation of families under current immigration laws. He speaks of his family being separated when they came to the United States.

Peterson speaks of closing his windows and locking his doors at home and not letting strangers walk into his home without permission, but clothing and feeding those he invites into his home. He analogizes it with the need to enforce immigration laws and showing both compassion and common sense with immigrants. He wants to bring immigrants out of the shadows.

The audience asks another question about immigration.

Nguyen speaks of the economic value and power of immigrants in the billions of dollars. He speaks of bringing immigrants out of the shadows and being endorsed by California’s first “undocumented immigrant lawyer.”

Schott speaks of immigrants being part of America’s tapestry. She wants to encourage people to come with legal documents to achieve the American Dream. She wants to be careful with the number of visas. She wants college educated Americans to have jobs rather than importing international students into the U.S.

Peterson notes the United States is a melting pot, which is what makes the country great. He wants to secure the border and have a fair way to immigrate into the country. He says the current system is broken. He notes the 1986 immigration deal required securing the border but that was not enforced. He says reasonable people need to work together to fix the immigration system.

McLoughlin asks about getting more federal tax dollars back to California since California is a donor state.

Schott calls for examining potential tax reforms to let people keep more of what they earn.

Peterson states even Orange County is a donor county. He would like to examine entitlement programs pulling resources away from California. He notes California has a larger population than Canada. He is concerned about jobs going overseas.

Nguyen says Orange County does not make enough noise. He wants to fight for Orange County and use his background as a community organizer to get money invested in local education, public safety, and infrastructure. He speaks of making noise at least four times.

An audience question asks about ending the War on Drugs.

Peterson states it is not known how many lives are saved by a traffic signal. He speaks of his brother dying of drug-related cancer just two months ago. Peterson says he never tried drugs himself because of the War on Drugs. He does not want to give up on the War on Drugs.

Nguyen wants to decriminalize marijuana. He speaks of an incident from last year of a Santa Ana Police raid where the officers kicked down the door and partook of some of the marijuana products. He says studies show legalizing drugs works.

Schott calls for a balance. She is concerned about drug laws being enforced unfairly in minority communities and wants the laws enforced evenly. She wants to look at budget priorities on creating jobs, improving the business climate, and strengthening education.

An audience question asks about Alzheimer’s research and care.

Nguyen says there needs to be more federal funding for research for all diseases. He wants to restrict pharmaceutical companies’ prices. He doesn’t want pharmaceutical companies to own patents for drugs developed with research paid for by federal funds.

Schott wants to straighten priorities. She wants to reduce regulations on business and instead fund agencies providing senior services.

Peterson speaks of the challenges of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia. He wants to end wasteful research like studies on goldfish intoxication and alligator races to instead fund research into diseases and to fund senior services.

McLoughlin asks about crime and gun control.

Schott attacks Prop 47 for causing increases in crime.

Peterson states Prop 47 is the root of crime not a lack of gun control. He says the Sheriff’s Department was forced to release 600 inmates because of Prop 47 and rhetorically asks where they went. He blasts Prop 47 being named the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.”

Nguyen criticizes the prison-industrial complex. He says Orange County leaders need to fight for Prop 47 dollars. He says Orange County needs to bring more money rather than attacking Prop 47. He blasts the United States for having more inmates than Communist China.

McLoughlin calls for closing statements.

Nguyen says Washington is broken, and he can fix it. He says the candidates who did not show up are just playing the game. He blasts candidates for abstaining on votes and suing over personal problems. He blasts corporate contributions.

Peterson notes he is not a politician, just an average guy. He has served on school district committees and in public service in the Sheriff’s Department. He calls for an end to fear-mongering. He wants people to listen to what people are saying instead of hype.

Schott states she is not a career politician or a tool of special interests. She wants to solve the challenges of the 46th District. She wants to invest in the dignity of the community. She states she will take action.

The forum ends after about one hour.

Posted in 46th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michele Martinez Pulls Papers for Supervisor, But Warchest Can’t Buy Denny’s Moons Over My Hammy

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 22, 2016

Andrew Do, Michele Martinez, Steve Rocco

Supervisor Andrew Do (R-Westminster), Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D-Santa Ana), and Steve Rocco (NPP-Santa Ana)

Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D) has joined convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco (NPP) in pulling papers to challenge the re-election bid of Supervisor Andrew Do (R).  Additionally, the enigmatic Robert Bao Nguyen has also pulled papers to challenge Do’s re-election bid in the First Supervisorial District, which consists of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster, Midway City, and northern Fountain Valley.

Martinez clearly wasn’t planning a challenge to Do until recently, as she still doesn’t have a campaign account for Supervisor open, and her City Council account had $8.16 in it as of December 31.  No, that’s not a typo: she had eight dollars and sixteen cents.  If she had a campaign meeting at Denny’s, she wouldn’t even be able to buy the $8.99 Moons Over My Hammy with her Council account.  The good news for her is she has no loans or unpaid bills, so she has the $8.16 free and clear.

Even if she is depending on independent expenditures to assist her in a bid against Do, IEs alone cannot power a campaign.  The candidate has to have some funds available.  Additionally, most IEs like to see candidates be able to give themselves self-help before the IEs will intervene, particularly when a challenger is seeking to unseat an incumbent.

Martinez is clearly the Democrats’ last-minute replacement candidate, as Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Vince Sarmiento (D) had been exploring a run for Supervisor for quite some time, even opening a campaign committee for Supervisor on January 8 (interestingly, an IE PAC supporting Sarmiento for Supervisor opened on January 7).

By entering the 2016 race against Do, Martinez continues her decade-long streak of alternating between bids for higher office and bids for re-election:

  • In 2006, Martinez won her bid for City Council with 32.6% of the vote in a four-way race, narrowly edging Republican Evangeline Gawronski, who got 30.2% of the vote.
  • In 2008, Martinez made an ill-fated bid to unseat Mayor Miguel Pulido, who crushed her 55.0%-29.3% in a four-way race.
  • In 2010, Martinez was unopposed for re-election.
  • In 2012, Martinez won only 16.7% of the vote for the open 69th Assembly District seat, coming in second-to-last out of five candidates.
  • In 2014, she won 52.0% of the vote in a four-way race in her bid for a third term on the City Council.

Martinez raised $31,108 in her 2014 re-election bid for Council.  Do reported $113,786 cash-on-hand at the end of 2015.  Rocco has never raised money in any of his numerous bids for office.

Awkwardly, the same day that Martinez pulled papers against Do, CBS 2/KCAL 9 ran a story entitled, “On Average, 1 Shooting Reported Each Day In Santa Ana In 2016.”  It’s safe to assume the campaign of former prosecutor Do will highlight the rising crime in Martinez’s city.

Convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco, a former Orange Unified School District Trustee, pulled papers in early January and completed filing on Tuesday.  He is running as “Retired Educator/Writer” on the ballot.

Curiously, on Wednesday, the enigmatic Robert Bao Nguyen pulled papers to challenge Do.  It is unclear if he is simply another Rocco-type running, or if there is a more sinister motive behind his candidacy, such as pulling Vietnamese American votes away from Do in an effort to force him into a November run-off against Martinez.  Even the name Robert Bao Nguyen seeks to benefit from the name ID of Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen (D), who is running for Congress in the 46th District, which includes, among other places, Santa Ana and small portions of Garden Grove.

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to the mysterious Robert Bao Nguyen nor Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, Santa Ana | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Correa Recount Highly Unlikely to Succeed, Based on Recent Cases, Do to Be Sworn in This Morning

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 3, 2015

Supervisor's Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Last night, former Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) submitted an official request for a recount to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.  Judging by recent recount efforts, it is highly unlikely that Correa will be able to overturn Supervisor-Elect Andrew Do’s 43-vote lead.

  • In the 2014 general election for the North Orange County Community College District’s Measure J, measure opponents needed to flip 34 votes to block the 55% supermajority to overturn the measure.  Realizing a recount would be unlikely to prevail, the opponents went with the unique method of using the recount as an opportunity to examine the provisional ballots, then ended the recount to instead file suit in court to get the provisionals tossed.  This case is still pending.  However, since provisionals overwhelmingly favored Correa, it is unlikely he would use this method (nor would adding the uncounted provisionals help since there were just a handful of those, so it was far short of 43).
  • In the 2014 general election for Mayor of Garden Grove, then-Mayor Bruce Broadwater (D-Garden Grove) sought a recount to overturn his 15-vote re-election loss to then-School Board Member Bao Nguyen (D-Garden Grove).  Broadwater threw in the towel when the first day of the recount failed to change a single ballot despite 2,500 ballots being recounted, and Nguyen became Mayor.
  • In the 2014 primary election for State Controller, then-Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) sought a recount to overturn his 481-vote loss to then-Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee (D-San Francisco). Perez gave up after one week when he only managed to change 8 votes in approximately 400 precincts.  Yee advanced to the general election against Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and won that race to become State Controller.
  • In the 2007 special election for the First Supervisorial District (i.e. the election for this same seat eight years ago when none other than Lou Correa resigned the seat to become a State Senator), then-School Board Member Trung Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) led then-Councilwoman Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) by 7 votes.  Janet Nguyen then sought a recount and netted 14 votes, thereby changing her 7-vote deficit into a 7-vote lead.  Trung Nguyen then went to court and widdled Janet Nguyen’s lead down to 3 votes.  Janet Nguyen, of course, went on to serve eight years in the seat before resigning in 2014 to become a State Senator, triggering the 2015 special election.  One important caveat in this story, state laws regarding recounts were much more generous in allowing ballots to be tossed back then, and even that was only a 14-vote (or 11-vote if you consider the judge’s rulings) switch.

Do’s 43-vote victory is simply too large a margin for Correa to overcome.  I don’t blame Correa for trying, because 43 votes out of 48,626 cast in 101 precincts is tantalizingly close, but he just won’t be able to pull it off.

Do will be sworn in as Supervisor this morning.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, California, Garden Grove, North Orange County Community College District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »