Candidate appears to be behind a particularly nasty and potentially illegal campaign mailing. Candidate insists he did not have knowledge of illegal activities and fires staffer who, candidate claims, may be behind actions. Candidate's party still calls for the candidate to step aside and withdraw from the race. High-minded and principled response, right?
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Orange County Republican leaders on Thursday called for the withdrawal of a GOP congressional candidate they believe sent a letter threatening Hispanic immigrant voters with arrest.
Tan D. Nguyen denied knowing anything about the letter in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press but said he fired a campaign staffer who may have been responsible for it. Nguyen's attorney said his client had no intention of quitting.
County Republican Chairman Scott Baugh said that after speaking with state investigators and the company that distributed the mailer, he believes Nguyen had direct knowledge of the "obnoxious and reprehensible" letter. He told the AP that the party's executive committee voted unanimously to urge Nguyen to drop out of the race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez.
"I learned information that allows me to draw the conclusion that not only was Mr. Nguyen's campaign involved in this, but that Mr. Nguyen was personally involved in expediting the mailer," Baugh said in a telephone interview.
State and federal officials were investigating the letter, which was written in Spanish and mailed to an estimated 14,000 Democratic voters in central Orange County. It warns, "You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time."
Immigrants who are adult naturalized citizens are eligible to vote.
And should excercise that right and duty proudly. Perhaps one should look at the response of another candidate and another party to a potentially illegal activity for an instructive lesson.
UPDATE: WaPo article here.