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The Bridges of Orange County: Why Democrats & Latinos Need To Support Hoa Van Tran

The campaign for the First District Supervisoral seat is getting geared up and it should be hotly contested and quite entertaining. The race featuring Republicans Janet Nguyen and Dina Nguyen and Democrat Hoa Van Tran will decide who represents central Orange County on the Board of Supervisors. Janet, the incumbent, and Dina, a Garden Grove city councilwoman, are somewhat known political entities, whereas Hoa is essentially an unknown.

While Janet and Dina may have the benefit of being able to tout their political experience, they also must be burdened with the political baggage they have accumalated. First and foremost of which is their detachment from the Latino community. Janet ran a very anti-Latino campaign when she ran for the First District seat in the special election and Dina is closely alligned with Assemblyman Van Tran and his anti-Latino rhetoric. Hoa on the other hand recognizes the value and importance of all immigrants. Hoa understands that immigrants, be they Mexican, El Salvadoran, Korean, German, Vietnamese or any other group that I may have missed, have added great social value to our community and have aided tremendously in the economic revitilization to the core of central Orange County.

I think that the perfect metaphor for this race is a bridge. This race is about building bridges and creating communities. This race is about electing someone who can bring the residents of central Orange County together and who can provide the leadership necessary to provide a better quality of life regardless of their race or socioeconomic level. So my apologies to Clint Eastwood (Bridges of Madison County), this election should be entitled “The Bridges of Orange County”.

As I have previously written Supervisor Janet Nguyen proposes that we spend $2,500,000 on pedestrian bridge in the heart of Little Saigon. This bridge will be of little value to the residents of the First District, however it will be of tremendous value to one of Janet’s big money donors, Frank Jao. This bridge will connect properties owned by Jao, increasing their profits and their value all on the taxpayers dime.

Janet and Dina (by way of Van Tran) have also done their best to burn bridges between the Vietnamese and Latino communities. Rather than trying to find the logical common bonds between these communities, Janet and the “Trannies” have chosen to exploit the fears and ignorance that exist in these immigrant communities and have played one side against the other.

During the special election Janet sent out mailers claiming that Vietnamese immigrated to America “the right way”, whereas Latino’s did not. This blatant slap at the Latino community must not be forgotten and a $5000 check to buy playground equipment cannot make up for it. Democrats, Latino’s and all voters of good conscience must reject these type of slurs and racially charged propaganda.

The “Trannies” have managed to hold their own with Janet when it comes to bashing the Latino community and Latino immigrants in general. During the special election “Trannie” candidate Truong Nguyen matched Janet’s vile mailers with pieces that bashed the Latino community as well. Recently the “Trannies”, including Dina Nguyen, took a trip to the Mexican border at taxpayers expense for a photo-op and to express their support for the border fence. I guess when all else fails, play the old reliable “hate” card.

Enter Hoa Van Tran. Hoa immigrated to Orange County in 1980 at 15 years old. One of ten children born to a Catholic family, his first job was picking strawberries in the local fields and his second job was that of a janitor. He worked those jobs after spending all day going to school at Bolsa Grande High School. Hoa’s story is not that different from those of many in the Latino immigrant community. It is for that reason that he has such a close connection with and an affinity for the Latino community.

Rather than bashing and scapegoating Latino’s, like Janet and Dina, Hoa wants to continue reaching out to them and to all communities regardless of race and bring the First District together as one community. Rather than supporting the building of a fence like Dina or bridge to benefit a big money donor like Janet, Hoa wants to build bridges between communities. Be they black, brown, yellow or white, Hoa understands that all the residents of the First District, regardless of race, want someone that will represent them and fight for their best interests.

Hoa is the local kid that has made good. He came to America dirt poor and through hard work and determination he has become quite successful. After serving our nation in the US Army for 15 years, fighting in the first Gulf War and rising in the ranks to become a Military Intelligence Officer, he graduated from Santa Ana College, Cal State Long Beach and eventually earned his law degree. Today he is a successful attorney specializing in consumer protection. He is the shining example of the American dream.

On June 3rd the voters of the First Supervisoral District will have a chance to make their voices heard loud and clear sending the message that we are tired of the politics of division. In the race for the Board of Supervisors it is blatantly clear that there is only one choice that is interested in building bridges between our communities and bringing us together as one. That choice is Hoa Van Tran.


  1. Hoa Van Who Hoa Van Who April 14, 2008

    When will Sal Tinajero, Mayor Miguel Pulido, Claudia Alvarez, Vincent Sarmiento, Michele Martinez and David Benavides endorse Hoa? Why are the electeds in the largest city in the First District keeping mum?

  2. Sean H. Mill Sean H. Mill Post author | April 14, 2008

    I think once more people start learning about Hoa and what Hoa stands for you will see more folks support his campaign. That being said, Hoa is more about getting the support of the people of the First District than he is getting the backing of the electeds.

    He is inline with the majority of the blue collar working folks and with the Latino community on most issues. That is what matters.

    Loretta and Lou did not get much support from local electeds when they first ran and look at the successes they have had.

  3. Correction... Correction... April 14, 2008

    With all due respect, Sean, you should consider that Hoa may not be a good candidate. I am a Democrat, but I am not going to support someone just because they are a Democrat. They have to prove that they want to be in office and work hard for the community. For me, that means, how many households are they walking? Are they walking everyday? How many hours are they walking? Are they walking on weekends? All day? How many un-paid volunteers are walking for him? 20? 30? Are they raising enough money to compete? Are they recruiting enough volunteers for their campaign to sustain them for the duration. Campaign 101 = votes, volunteers and funding.

    Lou and Loretta did not have any support when they ran the first time, which is very true. But they knocked on every possible door, attended every pancake breakfast, committed several hours a day to “call time” to raise money – even putting themselves into debt, and asked every person on the street to join their campaign to make a difference in their neighborhood.

    At this point, Hoa has done very little of these things, thus he does not inspire me to support him. Until then, I will support candidates like Lou, Loretta, Katrina, Sharon, Kim Oanh, Jose, Michelle and Jordan.

  4. Sean H. Mill Sean H. Mill Post author | April 14, 2008


    Hoa has been out walking precincts every day as have the workers that he has in his office. We should get behind him because we can’t let Janet or Dina win the seat. Maybe if the big money folks see that Hoa has the support of the people the money will flow in on a regular basis.

  5. Joey Joey April 14, 2008

    It is interesting how you set a higher standard for Hoa than Lou or Loretta.

    You want Hoa to walk everyday, yet candidates in the past walked as many door as “possible”

    You want Hoa to raise money, yet candidates in the past committed “several hours a day for fund-raising”. (Are you sure they did this on there first go around, me thinks definitely was not happening on a daily basis)

    Then besides, can you imagine how limited the pool of donors there are as opposed to a congressional or state seat. This is a supervisor office. I think there’s little doubt that state and national candidates in winnable elections have an infinite amount of potential donors as opposed to a local supervisor.

    I watched the video of Hoa and the Young Democrats meeting and I was extremely impressed of his command of his speech. I watched Janet and Dina at the California republican party endorsements committee meeting and was really disappointed. I honestly believe that my 4th grade daughter could have presented a better job at public speaking.

    Given that, if I were in your flip flops, I would stop putting barriers for Hoa and help him get the volunteers, help him walk the neighborhoods, and help him raise the funds.

    Perhaps instead of feeling compelled to tell others what to do while questioning others who are actually doing something, consider setting an acceptable standard for candidates who it sounds like did not have the enrolling in your highly acclaimed politic 101 course.

  6. Correction... Correction... April 15, 2008

    So accept for a $500.00 donation from Mr. Barbaro, why are the big three and others not supporting Hoa? Folks, you can attack me all you want, but that is one of the big questions of the day. And you bet I set my standards higher, not just for Hoa, but for every candidate. Should voters expect with less?

  7. Joey Joey April 16, 2008


    Go re-read what I wrote because I said you set your standards higher for Hoa than the other candidates you mentioned. I wasn’t talking about setting standards higher than the general public.

    Believe me when I say I know you.

    I run into people like you daily.

    The parent who complains to me why their son/daughter is not learning baseball meanwhile they don’t lift a finger to offer minimal assistance.

    The parent who complains about schools but doesn’t do anything proactive to fix the issues, while I’m an active PTA member and public schools financial donor.

    The person that points out that someone is littering but dosn’t pick up thrash as it passes them on the street.

    The person that has all the suggestions about making our community a better place but doesn’t understand that talkiing about something is not a substitute for doing something.

    Standards. I meet them everyday, how about you?

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