The falling out between state Senator Janet Nguyen and 1st District Supervisor Janet Nguyen has boiled into the open in the form of a Vietnamese-language robo-call Nguyen record urging voters not to support Do’s re-election. TheLiberalOC.com broke the news about the robo-call last week, Here’s the translated transcript, courtesy of the LOC:
“Dear Constituents, This is Senator Janet Nguyen. Thank you for your trust and supports for me over the years. I called to speak about the election the Orange County Supervisor District 1. I am very sad because this election has caused much divisions in our communities and Supervisor Andrew Do has made slander remarks and false accusations toward me. Supervisor Andrew Do has accused me of supporting another candidate, while I have not declared my support to anyone.
I always want the residents of our district to have a representative who have the heart to unite the community, and dedication to serve all. For that reasons, I cannot support Supervisor Andrew Do in his reelection campaign, and I have not yet support other candidate. Thank you my fellow constituents. Again, this is Senator Janet Nguyen.”
The feud isn’t new: the falling out between the former friends happened not long after Do won the 1st Supervisor District special election. The initial and ongoing causes for the break vary depending on whom one is relating them.
Do was Nguyen’s attorney during the bitter 2007 recount battle with Trung Nguyen following the 1st District special election to resulted in Nguyen’s election by 3 votes. Do served as her chief of staff for her first years in office, and he returned to that role during her final months on the Board of Supervisors as he prepared to run for her seat following her election to the 34th Senate District.
Thy Vo documents much of the back-and-forth charges in a newly-published Voice of OC article.
The reaction of other Republican elected officials and party leaders ranges from consternation to frustrating and disbelief. Central Orange County is ground zero in the battle between the Republican and Democratic parties: the former to retain its dominance and the latter to push outward from central OC to neighboring sections of the county. Having both the over-lapping 34th Senate District and 1st Supervisor District in the hands of Vietnamese Republicans is a significant advantage for the GOP in terms of retaining the loyalty of Vietnamese voters, expanding the party brand and candidate recruitment for local office. Since Vietnamese-Americans vote at a much higher rate than Latinos, this helps offset the GP registration disadvantage in central Orange County. The present division hurts the Republican Party and helps the Democrats.
When reached for comment, Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Fred Whitaker had this to say:
“We have worked hard for Janet Nguyen in the past, and have the the utmost confidence in Andrew Do as our endorsed candidate. We are confident that theses efforts to split the Republican vote by Phat Bui will not be successful. Phat Bui has zero accomplishments on the Garden Grove City Council and touting his alliance with the socialist Bao Nguyen won’t play well with the voters of the First District.”
Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui cannot make it to a November run-off – all he can do is bleed enough votes from Do to prevent him winning 50-percent-plus-one in the June primary. That is also the only impact Nguyen’s robo-call can have – and the cumulative impact Bui’s candidacy and Senator Nguyen’s robo-call is to help Michele Martinez, the liberal Democrat member of the Santa Ana City Council. The question is whether these games will continue past June and into November is Do finds himself in a run-off with Martinez.