Van Tran says Loretta Sanchez hasn’t pandered enough to the Viet voters

Does Tran seriously think Sanchez hasn’t pandered enough to the Vietnamese voters?

Republican Assemblyman Van Tran has fired off his first shot at Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who he is running against in November, in the 47th Congressional District.

Tran is attacking Sanchez on Vietnamese human rights, which is ironic because this is an area she has actually worked hard on, as opposed to Mexican migrant rights which she has pretty much ignored.

Here is Tran’s press release:

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2010
Contact: Dave Everett, (951) 233-7804

More Empty Talk From Loretta Sanchez on Human Rights And Democracy In Vietnam

After Sanchez Praised Hillary Clinton’s Weak Rebuke Of Vietnam Foreign Minister, CA-47 Congressional Challenger Van Tran Asks What We Have To Show For 14 Years Of Inaction and Rhetoric From Sanchez On Vietnam Diplomacy.

(Santa Ana) – After repeated efforts by Assemblyman Van Tran and other Orange County elected officials to have Vietnam placed back on the Countries-of-Particular-Concern list, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made nothing more than a brief, passing and weak mention of Vietnam’s record of human rights abuses and lack of democratic reforms last week during her meeting with Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem.

Even more disheartening to the Vietnamese American community was Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s praise of this brief mention, which “was sandwiched between praise for the progress Vietnam has made and calls for economic growth (in Vietnam),” according to another Orange County Congressman.

Sanchez’s November opponent, Van Tran, who is also the highest ranking Vietnamese American elected official in the state, criticized both Clinton and Sanchez for their gratification over another round of empty rhetorical comments and lack of any real results.

“The Communist government of Vietnam has been accused of jailing and beating pastors and demonstrators, persecuting Catholics demonstrating to bury their dead in Catholic cemeteries, threatening the destruction of religious monuments and persecuting Buddhist Monasteries – And yet no real sanctions are even discussed by this administration,” said Van Tran.

“The public is tired of empty words and demands a representative in Congress who will follow their words with action. I’d ask each resident of Central Orange County, ‘What do we have to show for 14 years of inaction and rhetoric from Loretta Sanchez on Vietnam human rights and democracy?’”

“Even Sanchez’s own letter to Secretary Clinton asked her to call for the immediate release of political prisoners and repeal of Internet filters. Hillary didn’t make anything close to that bold of a demand. In fact, she made no demands at all.”

“How can Loretta Sanchez think these empty words are a replacement for real sanctions? Considering the Clinton’s past relationship with Vietnam and President Obama’s opposition to pressuring the communist regime, I didn’t expect much to begin with – but spinning this empty, passing comment as an achievement is an insult to all of those still working for freedom and democracy for Vietnam.”

Asked to respond to Clinton’s comments at the news conference, Foreign Minister Khiem cited President Barack Obama’s view that human rights “shouldn’t be imposed from the outside.” This policy assures Vietnam that no real sanctions will take place as long as the current administration remains unchecked.

Despite the lack of any improvement on human rights and democracy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations with Vietnam on July 11, 1995. President Clinton first granted Vietnam a waiver of the Jackson-Vanik requirements in 1998. The presidential waiver gave Vietnam access to Export-Import Bank credits and of the countries that have been covered by the Jackson-Vanik amendment, only Cuba and North Korea are not accorded U.S. Normal Trade Relations status.

Earlier this year, Orange County Congressman Ed Royce sponsored a resolution urging that Vietnam be added to the State Department’s list of “countries of particular concern” due to its violation of religious freedoms. The resolution passed the House but has stalled in the Senate.

“They control all of the levers of government. Has Loretta even talked to the Senators about their lack of action on this resolution?” asked Tran’s campaign volunteer coordinator, Joan Le. “Sanchez approves a bunch of wheeling and dealing to pass the government takeover of healthcare and even wheeled and deal-ed on a vote as important as closing down Guantanamo Bay – but she can’t even lobby her fellow Democrats in the Senate to apply real sanctions against this oppressive government that thumbs its nose at international human rights.”

Assemblyman Van Tran began his public service as a community activist for human rights and democracy in Vietnam. He founded Project Ngoc, as a University of Irvine student in the1980’s, to prevent Vietnam War refugees in refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia from being sent back to Communist Vietnam. Tran has helped intercede on behalf of a jailed Radio Free Vietnam’s Tony Nguyen from being sent back to Communist Vietnam from South Korea and as recently as January 2010 wrote U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam be declared as a Country of Particular Concern.

Visit Van Tran’s website at to learn more about his efforts to fight for human rights, democracy and freedom.

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