Chris Prevatt at The Liberal OC posted a fascinating piece over the weekend about efforts by Assemblymember Van Thai Tran to muzzle a critic on the Little Saigon airwaves. Reading excerpts from Tran's cease-and-desist letter to radio host Do Son was deja-vu all over again for me.
In late 2003 and early 2004, I wrote a series of stories detailing a fight between Diane Vo and Tran. Vo originally came on the political scene after fighting against the Garden Grove City Council's onerous cyber-cafe ordinances. She won a lawsuit against them (Tran sat on the council at the time) and used her newfound public political voice to attack Tran after two sisters accused him of ripping them off. Van responded by sending Vo's radio bosses a cease-and-desist letter. Salem Communications, which owned the radio station from which Vo broadcast, never released the letter, but an email obtained by the Weekly sent by Tran's attorney to Vo's legal representation claimed she made "slanderous comments . . . against him and others in the community, and that she made threats against Mr. Tran and friends of Mr. Tran on the air" and also "contend[ed] that programs such as Ms. Vo's cause great harm to the Vietnamese community due to their divisive nature." All of this happened, mind you, while Tran was merely candidate for State Assembly.
The stress of fighting Tran eventually wore Vo out, and she moved to Las Vegas. Tran became what Prevatt calls the Emperor of Little Saigon, but whom we'll from now on call Boss Tran, the grand puppeteer of Orange County's preeminent ethnic voting bloc (damn Mexicans will NEVER get their act together), who enforces dissidence through operatives and his own bullying tactics. Don't let Tranany Hall getcha, folks; email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell Boss Tran what a censorious fool he is.