Van Tran Filed Inaccurate Pre-Election Disclosure Reports

Tran: Oops

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.

Botching the overall contributions figure also distorted the campaign's
pre-election cash-on-hand, under reporting that number
by more than $33,500.

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. 

It's not uncommon for campaign committees–especially ones for a rookie candidate–to file amended reports. Rarely does the FEC determine that the omissions were intentional. George Andrews, Tran campaign spokesman, blamed the disclosure glitches primarily on a direct mail firm that processed numerous small donations from Tea Party supporters across the nation.

Christopher Victorio / OC Weekly
Sanchez: Won but suffered a 16-point approval drop from 2008

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

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