Janet Has Really Stepped In It.


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Well, this turned out well. Boundlessly ambitious Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s carefully laid plot to hijack Little Saigon’s beloved Black April ceremony came to an ignominious end at tonight’s Westminster City Council meeting. And the people rejoiced!

But it would have been glorious. For Janet, that is. And it would have shown Van Tran and his adherents who the queen bee really is in America’s largest Viet community! Her application was filed last August, for Christ’s sake, and should have been a slam dunk.

Who could have foreseen that the people of the community might have resented her turning a nearly sacred commemoration of the Fall of Saigon into a purely personal and political platform for Janet and her chosen guests? Who could predict the public outcry when it was discovered she had reserved Westminster’s Freedom Park for a crowd of only 300 with a small sound system, when for years the event has drawn over a thousand?

How was Janet to know that the folks would not take kindly to her plan to be the mistress of ceremonies, speaking first and introducing each of her invited, mostly Republican political guests? Or that they’d take exception to the high-handed way she treated the usual organizers when they tried to negotiate with her, snapping that she “couldn’t just jump at the beck and call of whoever!” Didn’t it count for something that she planned to give an award to Nick Berardino of OCEA to show her bipartisan statesmanship?

The best part is the MEG WHITMAN part! Now this is still just an unsubstantiated rumor which I can’t prove, but EVERYBODY heard that she was expecting to have the thick-necked billionairess gubernatorial hopeful at her lovely Black April shindig, and it makes such perfect sense that it’s just GOT to be true. Hitching herself to e-Meg’s wagon right now – showing Meg she can deliver the Viet vote, cozying up to a Ms. Moneybags who MIGHT end up running the state – a brilliant career move and it would really, REALLY show Van Tran who’s queen, but… as things turned out tonight, not so much.

When my buddy/interpreter Trung Ta and I arrived at City Hall, there was absolutely no way to get in. There were 150 people filling the hall, and 150 angry citizens outside in the dark misty cold, leaning forward to hear reports from inside. I only saw one obvious Janet supporter – a forlorn old gentleman sitting with a sign reading “Approve.” (Approve Janet’s permit that is.) Everyone else sported signs that read “REVOKE!” or “Revoke Janet!” or “Black April is not a Janet event!” I shivered and strained to hear snatches of English, and consoled myself by towering over everyone else (and also finally meeting cool people Hugh Nguyen, Quang Pham, and Tammy Tran.)

(Picture Courtesy of Nguoi Viet)

It was the biggest angry crowd I’ve been in – and the biggest overflow crowd from a City Hall – since November’s Costa Mesa Town Hall that Solorio and Tran held to discuss the sale of the Fairgrounds. More than one English-speaking Viet was heard to say, “This is the VIETNAMESE TEA PARTY!”

(Picture Courtesy of Nguoi Viet)

After about an hour of suspense, someone burst through the doors, hollered a few Viet words, and the crowd erupted in cheers! The initial impression was that Janet’s permit had been revoked; but actually the council’s compromise solution was possibly more humiliating: Janet gets the park from 9AM to 4PM – this is on a FRIDAY, Friday April 30th, I’d say she’ll have to bust ass to get her crowd of 300 – and the people get it after that. And they rejoiced.

(Picture Courtesy of Nguoi Viet)

Any casual observer can see this has been devastating to Janet’s popularity in the Viet community – a black April indeed, and not the kind she was looking for. Both before and after the council’s decision all the chatter was about recalling the Supervisor, who I understand was never that popular in the Viet community to begin with – her electoral victories have always been mainly due to white voters, and her only dependable allies on the council were the two white members. I think Zorro is right – this is the beginning of the end for her and her cabal – a Twilight of the Jannies, coinciding with the already-advanced Twilight of the Trannies. And the people rejoiced!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.