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2.18.2011

orange county congressional candidate gets prison time

This week, former Orange County Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen was sentences to one year and a day in prison and six months in a halfway house for lying to investigators during his campaign against Rep. Loretta Sanchez in 2006: Former candidate Tan Nguyen: 'It's been hell.'

Nguyen was convicted last December of obstruction of justice in an investigation of "intimidation letters" he sent to thousands of Latino voters just weeks before the November 2006 election, claiming they could go to jail or be deported for voting:
After a mistrial last August, Nguyen was convicted in December of one felony count of obstructing a probe into a controversial letter that his campaign sent to 14,000 Latino voters. Sanchez is the longtime Democratic congresswoman whose district includes Garden Grove, Santa Ana and parts of Fullerton and Anaheim.

The letters Nguyen's campaign sent to registered voters with Latino surnames and foreign birthplaces spurred an investigation into possible voter suppression and prompted a response letter from the secretary of state, reassuring them of their right to vote.

The letters, in Spanish, ambiguously warned that "emigrados" could go to jail for voting, and falsely stated that immigration reform groups would have new database access to information about new voters.

At the time, Nguyen denied having anything to do with the letters, and blamed them on a campaign volunteer whom he fired. Nguyen also cast blame on another campaign volunteer who was a close college friend.
Shame, shame. Dirty tactics. The federal prosecutor had requested that Nguyen be sentenced to the maximum 21 months, but after asking for mercy, he received a sentence somewhere in the middle. Nguyen will start serving his sentence at a minimum-security facility in or near Southern California on March 28. More here: Tan Nguyen Gets Prison for Anti-Loretta Sanchez Vote Scheme.