Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez has launched her first TV ad against her Republican challenger, Assemblyman Van Tran.
In the spot she rips Tran for taking over $136,000 in living expenses that are given, tax-free, to legislators. Tran has apparently used the money to buy a home in a gated community in Sacramento.
That Tran and the other legislators are taking all this per diem money, while also accepting cars paid for by taxpayers, is especially egregious given that our state budget is deeply in the red, and is late, and the Governor is continuing to furlough state workers.
Tran also told the Register, in a separate article, that “As a state assemblyman I have worked to make it easier for small businesses to hire, gotten rid of regulations and fee structures. … That is what I would do at the federal level.”
Tran’s only legislative accomplishment appears to be a bill that allows Vietnamese restaurant to sell rotten moon cakes. Click here to read about that.
The Register failed to note that Tran’s wife was once arrested. “His wife, Cyndi Nguyen, pleaded no contest to three misdemeanors in 2004 and was sentenced to three years’ probation for helping to concoct bogus medical bills at her paralegal office in Sacramento,” according to the L.A. Times.
The bills charged for services that were never rendered by her brother, Dennis Nguyen, a Sacramento chiropractor. He pleaded no contest to the felony conspiracy charge and was sentenced to 120 days in jail and five years’ probation. He also lost his chiropractor’s license.
The Tran campaigns response to the Sanchez campaign’s allegations was typically lame – “The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. says Van accepts the normal per diem,” said Tran spokesman George Andrews. “Van’s given his last two legislative pay increases to charity. This just shows Loretta Sanchez knows she’s in trouble. She’s obviously threatened by our campaign,” according to the L.A. Times.
Note that Andrews did NOT address the per diem issue in his response. But Andrews is right about Sanchez being threatened. She has reason to be. Congressional race watcher Charlie Cook recently moved the race from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic” in his Cook Political Report, according to the L.A. Times.