Fresh GOP Scandal Escalates, DOJ Searches Nguyen's HQ, Home

| Sat Oct. 21, 2006 9:46 AM EDT

First Tan Nguyen was a no-show at his own press conference yesterday. Then the Justice Department searched the Republican candidate's headquarters, his home, as well as the house of a staffer, leaving with boxes of evidence from each. As Vince reported yesterday, Nguyen, an immigrant from Vietnam who is trying to unseat 5-time representative Loretta Sanchez, has denied having any knowledge of the letter sent to 14,000 Orange County residents saying that immigrants who vote face jail time.

No one seems to believe him, and his party is in full retreat: the feds called for a search warrant, county republicans have called for him to withdraw, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose bid for re-election relies in part on Orange County remaining a Republican stronghold, has denounced the candidate and is scheduled to meet with Hispanic leaders in the county today. Republican Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, whose in a tight race for re-election, announced yesterday that he'll send a voter information letter next week to all those who were sent false information by the Nguyen campaign.