Immigrants Told They Can't Vote; GOP Candidate Told He Can't Run


An Orange County Republican's congressional campaign went into meltdown Thursday after he said a staff member was responsible for sending thousands of letters to new voters with Latino surnames telling them—wrongly—that it is illegal for them to vote if they are immigrants.

The Orange County Republican Party immediately called for Tan Nguyen, the GOP candidate for California's 47th district, to withdraw from the race after it concluded he approved the mailing.

Full story. Nguyen, himself a Vietnamese boat exodus immigrant, who ran as a Democrat against Dana Rohrabacher in the last election, is still denying responsibility, saying he fired the aide who is to blame, and insists he's in the race to stay. He's up against Dem incumbent Loretta Sanchez.

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  1. I smell a rat. There’s something they’re not telling us here.

  2. joe wrote: “I smell a rat.”

    Nah, that’s just the nuoc mam.

  3. joe,

    Why? Whatdya thinking?

  4. I don’t know, Rick. Something.

  5. Hmm, I’ll give it a closer reading and ponder…Perhaps that he ran as a Democrat against Dana Rohrabacher in the last election?

    Rohrabacher is a pretty good small government type. What kind of ideological transformation has Nguyen gone thru? Perhaps it has to do with that he didn’t really transform at all…

  6. I don’t know…

  7. This does seem kind of bizarre. He changes parties, somebody who could be very easily linked to him does a lame dirty trick (how much more amateurish can they get?), and party leaders immediately denounce him rather than do the usual California GOP approach of circling wagons to shoot themselves in the foot.

    This is just weird.

    If you’re going to do a dirty trick like that, you have to let it pass through a chain of intermediaries with good deniability. Sure, the guys who did it now have dirt on you, but you have dirt on them as well. That’s politics. This seems very amateurish.

    The amateurish aspect doesn’t bother me. The swift response of the party leaders, however, seems downright weird.

  8. When will Lonewacko show up?

  9. Some boat people ended up in Israel. Anybody see Mossad’s hand in this?

  10. I’m wondering how effective this scheme could be? I mean, anyone who has gone through naturalization would know that they could vote. They had to answer questions much more difficult than that to get citizenship.

    Had I received something like this, with letterhead from an obviously anti-immigrant organization, it would just make me mad. I’d be more likely to vote and more likely to vote against an anti-immigrant candidate.

  11. Let me play the anti-joe for a moment here:

    Let me see – Tan Nguyen ran as a dem in the last election.

    Tan then switches parties and runs as a repub in this election.

    Said repub then turns around and does exactly what the dems stereotype repubs as being – anti immigrant (read latino).

    Machiavelli could not have done a better job.

  12. Yes, brilliant.

    Or brilliantly stupid.

  13. they raise’em funny down in the OC. Loretta Sanchez beat B-1 Bob Dornan for the seat amid accusations of voter fraud from illegal aliens…

  14. bendover,

    Yeah, that’s the kinda thing I was hinting at.

    (Don’t know why this take on it would be characterized as “anti-joe” though)

  15. Oh, the conspiracy theories, it’s so exciting and reassuring to know that SOMEONE is in control, even if they’re wicked and Machiavellian.

    Here’s my theory: Tan is a moron, and so is everyone else involved in this blunder. Rove isn’t in control, and the Dems are DEFINETELY NOT in control.

  16. Ben Dover,

    Maybe, but if that were the case, I’d expect Nguyen to be playing it differently. Either as Mr. Anti-immigrant or, on the other hand, making a great show of being loudly appalled and condemning the Republican bastards who betrayed him, in strongly partisan terms.

    Maybe it just looks funny to me that the Republicans would dump their nominee by the roadside so eagerly. It’s certainly not how they’ve treated other embarrassments, like George Allen, Tom Delay, or wossname, the Ohio gubanatorial candidate.

    Maybe they’re just happy to be rid of him, because he’s not part of the OC John Birch Republican caucus, and they think Sanchez could be more easily defeated next time in the general election than an incumbent Nguyen in the primary.

  17. Chris S,

    I’m not generally much of a conspiracy theorist – I’m much more likely to knock them down.

    But I also have a pretty good record of recognizing the odor of bullshit, and something about this doesn’t sit right with me.

  18. Chris S.-

    Actually, the thing that makes no sense to me is that the incompetent stunt was handled so competently by the party leadership. I don’t normally attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence, and normally that’s good advice when talking about the California Republican Party. But the competence of this, the intelligent, honest, open, and fast handling of the incident, the lack of wackos rallying behind an embarassment to the party, it is all totally out of character for the California Republican Party.

    When the California Republican Party does something right, that’s when you know that something is wrong.

  19. joe-

    Don’t ever, ever, EVER extrapolate from Tom DeLay, George Allen, the Ohio guy, or anybody else to the California Republican Party. The national Republican Party is, for the most part, a disciplined and effective machine. The California Republican Party, however, forms circular firing squads for the sole purpose of shooting itself in the foot. When the party leadership handles an embarassing incident in a laudable manner, and the candidate doesn’t raise a stink, that’s when you know that something is fishy.

  20. Rick, the “anti-joe” comment really should have had a smiley face behind it 🙂

    I really don’t truely believe my own theory…at least until more evidence comes out.

    Right now I’m really just chaulking this up to political stupidity.

    Buuuutttt, just to muddy the waters a bit more – exactly how would you expect a party to respond to someone they suspected to be an opposing party operative. Maybe in a swift decisive and “laudable manner”? And as to the lack of outrage shown by Mr. Nguyen, in poker sometimes its best not to overplay your hand.

  21. On the one hand, the open-borders loonies here might cheer this news, seeing as the net result is to give even more power to far_left racial_demagogues like the racist Chairman of the California_Democratic_Party, Art_Torres.

    But, those of you who oppose things such as ethnic_nationalism might want to think about the whole issue in a bit more depth.

    And, needless to say, those who read my site have been in the loop on this issue since it started; the latest entry (about Arnold’s capitulation) at the link.

  22. Damn those racial demogogues! How dare they object to letters threatening Latinos with imprisonment for voting?

    “And, needless to say, those who read my site have been in the loop on this issue since it started…”

    Quite so. If you’re looking for upo-to-date cheerleading for anti-immigrant thugishness, Lone Wacko’s blog is the place for you.

  23. But, those of you who oppose things such as ethnic_nationalism might want to think about the whole issue in a bit more depth.

    We certainly need more ethnic nationalism, because that’s never caused any problems. Why don’t we think a little harder about whether we can ever trust non-believers while we’re at it? You know what – there was a lesbian couple at my home for dinner this evening. They brought their kids. Do you understand? THEY ARE RAISING CHILDREN! This too requires deep thought. If this was the same country that I was born in, this would not be happening. Just because our founding fathers didn’t encourage ethnic nationalism and a Christian state, doesn’t mean that we should ignore the intervening years of bigotry, right? Let’s bring this country back to where it was 50 years ago, because that’s when things were good. We’re really letting things slide as a society by accepting these new “different” immigrants and by tolerating “alternative” lifestyles. Hell in a hand basket. HELL in a handbasket.

  24. A moment’s reflection made me realize that I may have misinterpreted your use of the term “ethnic nationalism.”
    If you were referring to the Chicano movement, let me say that this is no different than the civil rights movement in the 60s. That was obviously a plot of the black nationalist movement. MLK was, of course, just a stooge of forces that conspired to bring down the US gov’t. Thankfully, right-minded people like yourself were pointing that out to us at the time. The American public would be wise to heed your words, before we fall prey to a similar plot.

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