Former GOP Congressional Candidate Sentenced

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 “Terrible day” is what former GOP Congressional candidate Tan Nguyen described to the Bolsavik his feelings on Valentine’s Day when federal judge David O. Cartersentenced him to one year in prison for lying to investigators about his role in sending a ”don’t vote” campaign letter targeting Latino voters.

Nguyen was convicted in December of lying to investigators and getting a campaign worker to take the blame for his actions in sending out a mailer targeting Latino voters trying to get them to not vote in the 2006 campaign for the congressional seat held by Rep. Loretta Sanchez. That was a re-trial. Earlier, in August, the judge had declared a mistrial after the jury in that trial was stuck at 11-1 in favor of conviction on one count of lying to investigators and 9-3 on one count involving the campaign worker.

Nguyen told the Bolsavik today he is appealing the conviction and sentencing. But, for all practical purposes, he was hoping “only to take the felony away.” The one year sentence – he would have served it out by the time the appeal is heard anyway, Nguyen said. In federal court, a convicted defendant must serve time while pending appeal.

Citing Nguyen’s “exemplary” life before lying to investigators, the judge allowed Nguyen to report himself to prison on March 28. His lawyer Dean Steward said Nguyen is expected to spend about 10 months in a minimum-security facility in Southern California and then be moved to a halfway house.

Resigned to incarceration, Nguyen said he just wanted to “get it out of the way.”

In court, the prosecution painted Nguyen as an evil man who “threw under the bus” his campaign volunteers, whom he blamed for the letter. One of them is a close friend from college. In attendance at the sentencing is Nhi Ho (in Vietnamese: Ho Van Xuan Nhi), a former co-chair of Van Tran’s 2004 campaign for Assembly. Ho sent out a lengthy email berating the campaign workers for testifying against Nguyen, calling them “false friends” and traitors.

Nguyen is currently involved in numerous big-ticket development projects. Asked by the Bolsavik what would happen to the projects, he said he had “good partners and they will take care of business