In his energetic but losing attempt to unseat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Little Saigon state Assemblyman Van Tran under reported pre-election money pouring into his campaign, according to amended financial disclosure reports filed at the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Size of the error?
More than $32,000.
Prior to the general election, the Tran campaign had revealed that it raised $258,000 between July and September when, in fact, it had received contributions totaling nearly $291,000, according to a Nov. 20 disclosure amendment.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Even with this latest amendment, the campaign still hasn't revealed the sources of the overwhelming majority of the late reported cash. That's because it claims that all but about $4,000 came in small amounts under $200. By law, only larger contributions must be itemized to reveal the contributor's name, address, date of the contribution and amount.
On Dec. 1 the campaign admitted that it also filed erroneous pre-election information about operating expenses by under reporting the amount by nearly $11,000.
Assuming Tran's amendments are now accurate, the assemblyman raised an impressive $1,016,792 or about $700,000 less than Sanchez during the two-year election cycle.
Sanchez, who first won the Anaheim/Santa Ana/Garden Grove seat in 1996, defeated Tran, who had national Republican Party backing, by more than 13,100 votes or 53 to 39 percent. In the weeks prior to the election, Republican pollsters claimed Tran was in statistical tie. The now dubious claim helped fuel a media frenzy that Tran had a solid chance for victory and helped him raise money from conservatives across the nation. Sarah Palin and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steel even came to Anaheim to support him. GOP groups don't like notion that Orange County's six-member congressional delegation has a lone Democrat.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly