former congressional candidate indicted

Asian Behaving Badly... bad campaign tactics edition. Tan Nguyen, a former Orange County congressional candidate, is accused to misleading investigators examining a controversial letter his campaign sent to people with Spanish surnames warning about the consequences of voting illegally. He was indicted by a federal grand jury this week obstruction of justice charges: Former candidate for Congress indicted on charges of obstructing justice.

Nguyen was running to unseat Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) in the November 2006 election. Three weeks before the election, his campaign sent letters to 14,000 voters in central Orange County that said, "You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or if you are an immigrant, a vote in a federal election is a crime that can result in jail imprisonment or you will be deported for voting without the right to do so."

The letter, written to Spanish, also falsely said that the state had developed a tracking system that would allow new Latino voters' names to be handed over to anti-immigrant groups.

Last year, the state attorney general's office said it wouldn't file charges against Nguyen after a seven-month investigation found there was no criminal intent to intimidate voters in the letters. However, according to federal officials, Nguyen allegedly misled investigators who were looking into whether the letter violated election laws. Thus, the obstruction of justice charges.

If convicted, Nguyen could face up to 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. More here: Former candidate Tan Nguyen indicted over mailer sent to Latinos. It looks like Tan Nguyen will not be running for office again anytime soon.

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