Tan Nguyen--the bizarre Little Saigon political figure who couldn't decide if he was a Republican or a Democrat--at least had one question resolved today: his future housing situation.
Federal Judge David O. Carter has sentenced Nguyen to spend 366 days in prison followed by six months in a halfway house for lying to investigators about his role in a scheme to intimidate Latino voters from voting in his 2006 race against incumbent Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
Despite the scheme, Sanchez trounced Nguyen by capturing more than 62 percent of the vote in the central Orange County congressional district composed of Santa Ana, Anaheim and Garden Grove.
In 2004, Nguyen ran as a Democrat in hopes of toppling another OC congressperson, Dana Rohrabacher (R-Skipped Vietnam War Duty).
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A native of South Vietnam and a man who has clearly struggled to understand simple ethical concepts in the U.S., Nguyen has long claimed he had no role in devising a pre-election letter that sought to frighten 14,000 Latino citizens from voting. Multiple investigations proved otherwise, yet Nguyen attempted to convert his status as a convicted felon into a martyrdom. That effort pathetically failed, too.
"The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting the voting rights of all individuals," Thomas E. Perez, an assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice, said in a press statement. "We simply will not tolerate those who attempt to interfere with efforts to enforce civil-rights laws in our nation."
Carter gave Nguyen until March 28 to begin serving his sentence.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly