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Mansoor hires Vietnamese assistant

Little Saigon insider Daisy Tong also runs two firms, which the Costa Mesa mayor paid about $31,000 to for campaign services.

September 01, 2010|By Mona Shadia, mona.shadia@latimes.com

COSTA MESA — Mayor Allan Mansoor has been trying to appeal to the Vietnamese American community, a key voting bloc in his bid for the 68th Assembly District.

Toward that goal he's enlisted the support of a Little Saigon political insider, Daisy Tong, who he hired as his assistant.

Tong worked as a field representative for Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Westminster) during Tran's first term, and now Mansoor is running for Tran's old seat. Tran is termed out of the Assembly and is running for Congress.

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Both Tran and Mansoor are Republicans.

Tong is operations manager for Visteva, a company that builds campaign websites, and president of Saigon West, a Vietnamese marketing and communications firm that bridges "the gap to new opportunities," according to its website.

Tong and her husband, Chad Morgan, run both companies, which share an address in Garden Grove.

"She represented me on Asian issues and dealt with the Asian community and kept me updated on what's going on," Tran said. "She's very politically active."

Mansoor is running against Phu Nguyen, a Democrat and Vietnamese American who owns a business that arranges wire transfers to Vietnam. Vietnamese Americans in Orange County generally lean Republican, but political analysts say that the Vietnamese vote could go either way, given that Mansoor is running against a Little Saigon businessman.

Tong is described on Saigon West's website as someone who has held leadership roles in local campaigns and nonprofits within the Vietnamese community for more than 10 years. She helps Mansoor with campaign activities, such as scheduling, she said, adding that her title — assistant — does not matter.

"What I do is help him if anybody has difficulties communicating with Allan in the Vietnamese community," Tong said. "I wouldn't say I advise him on anything — he has his own mind."

Mansoor did not return calls seeking comment on Tong's pay or title.

Tong declined to discuss her compensation..

"I'm doing this because I believe in Allan," Tong said. "The only motivation I have is Allan is a good candidate, he's a good guy and he's a good guy for the 68th Assembly District. That's all that matters."

According to campaign records, Mansoor paid $31,627.74 to Saigon West and Visteva for campaign literature and mailings.

Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner Jim Righeimer, who is running for the City Council, serves as an advisory board member for Visteva, according to the website.

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