May 03, 2006

Telling It Like It Is

In the same primary election that's got Tom Umberg walking our neighborhood, there's a guy named Tan Nguyen who's running in the Republican primary for US Congress. If Nguyen wins the primary, he'll be going head-to-head with the Democratic incumbent, Loretta Sanchez (who first came to Congress in 1996 after beating out only-in-Orange-County fixture 'B-1' Bob Dornan).

Nguyen appears to be something of an opportunist, one of those guys who really really wants to be in office no matter what: in 2004, he ran for Congress in an adjacent district as a Democrat. Now it looks like he's playing the numbers, hoping that the Republican bloc plus the Asian-American vote will be enough to overcome the Democratic+Hispanic voters who've been keeping Sanchez in Congress.

While everybody else seems to be soft-pedalling the primary so far, Nguyen is going all out, papering our neighborhood with junk. No vacant lot or expanse of fence is safe from his giant electric-green signs that feature a headshot and a campaign slogan: "Not afraid to tell it like it is."

So what is 'it', exactly? What are the brave words that Tan Nguyen speaks, but all other candidates fear to say? It's difficult to tell, since every time I've tried to visit his Web site,, it's been broken.

So in the absence of actual information, each time I pass one of these "not afraid to tell it like it is" signs, a quote from The Simpsons comes to mind:

Grandpa Simpson: "I used to be 'with it', but then they changed what 'it' was. Now what I'm with isn't 'it', and what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me!"

(Searching around, I see that I'm not the only one who doesn't like the profusion of Tan Nguyen signs. Unsurprisingly, he's not posting the "STOP illegal immigration" signs around our neighborhood ...)

Posted by Kevin at May 3, 2006 10:02 PM

Are you the loser type? I believe so. People who are determined will always chase after their goals and dreams...Tan wants to run for Congress again, and so what? He should be someone that your dumbass should look up to. GET IT???

Posted by: Kimmie at May 15, 2006 08:14 PM

Kimmie: thanks so much for your thoughtful comments! I really appreciate your small attempt to educate me and improve the level of discourse around here.

So please tell me: why should I (or anyone) vote for Tan Nguyen? What does he really believe in? If I look at the 'issues' on his Web site, I see one trendy in-the-news hot-button issue (immigration), and a hodge-podge of unobjectionable out-of-left-field other stuff (pension protection? That's swell, but what does Tan want to do for the majority of us who don't have traditional pensions?)

More to the point, why should anyone in the 47th Congressional District vote for Nguyen? Does he actually live here? If you look at the filings on the Federal Election Commission's website, you can see that he kept San Diego County as his home base during his 2004 run for the Democratic nomination in the 46th CD primary. This time around, his campaign mailing address is in Garden Grove, but I doubt that he lives out of a commercial building on Main Street. How long has he actually taken to understand the voters of this district, their needs, and their concerns?

And even if he was the greatest, most sincere guy in the whole world, that still wouldn't mean that I wouldn't resent him for trashing our neighborhoods with his profusion of signs so far in advance of the election. (And if he's really sending out mailers urging people to call 911 when his signs are stolen, then he's a total idiot.) At least I can take solace that he's spending a pretty penny of his own money to line the streets with junk.

The fact that Tan is running for Congress simply because he wants to run for Congress isn't anything to look up to — that's an acceptable reason for someone to run for treasurer of his high school's Student Council, but I'd like to see a little more idealism and a lot less craven lust for power in someone who'd be representing me in Washington. The fuzziness on the issues, the switching around of party affiliation and district to whatever's likely to give him the best chances — it just doesn't add up to anything beyond naked opportunism.

Posted by: Kevin at May 18, 2006 07:49 AM

There's an independent who will be entering the race this fall.

Posted by: at June 7, 2006 04:37 PM
Sadly, Further Comments Have Been Disabled ...

Due to a never-ending flood of comment spam, we've decided to disable comments for all blog entries past a certain age. If you'd like to comment on a closed blog entry, say something in one of the newer entries or E-mail the author.

-- Apologies, The Management