Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Manh Nguyen and His Recount Options

Five days into the voter-initiated recount, incumbent Councilmember Manh Nguyen still trails the challenger Lan Diep by the same tally - 12.

His various challenges on the absentee ballots so far were not successful.   He is most likely to again challenge the duplicate ballots (ballot that was manually duplicated from the damaged original ballot).   And then there are  the provisional ballots that he still want to contest again.   He had challenged them unsuccessfully in the first recount.

If all else fails,  he can opt for a lawsuit to have this election invalid on technical reasons, e.g, missing ballots, disqualified ballots, or other procedural mistakes that the ROV is struggling through.

Nguyen is famous or infamous (depending if you are his foe or friend) for his tenacity.   The only thing that will stop him from a lawsuit if the second recount does not overturn the election  is money. He will not be able to see beyond the fact that the public backlash on such a lawsuit will be so great even if he is successful with the lawsuit to have the election invalid.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Vietnamese-American Community Supports Ash Kalra

Last Saturday, people from the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose and well known community leaders gathered at Seven Tree Community Center to show support for Ash Kalra  and his state assembly race.   His opponent in November is Madison Nguyen.

In the June primary, Kalra came in second with 19.8%, followed by Van Le at 14.70%, Andres Quintero at 13.7% and Cong Do at 6.1%.   The other two Hispanic candidates combined for 10.40%.  Nguyen distanced all candidates with 34.35%.

At the picnic, both Van Le and Cong Do showed up to rally the crowd along with many prominent members of  Viet Voters, VACNORCAL, Little Saigon Foundation, etc...   Also presence were Assemblymember Kansen Chu and his wife.

Kalra also receives support from Councilmembers Tam Nguyen and Manh Nguyen.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Lan Diep Won by 14 Votes After Recount

After the automatic recount,  Lan Diep now won by 14 votes instead of 36 over Manh Nguyen. However,  Nguyen's supporter has asked for a voter-initiated recount.   He is hoping that with another recount, he still can turn the tide.

The change in vote after the manual tally is mainly due to the under vote error by the counting machine.    These are ballots that neither were votes for Nguyen nor Diep.  However, the machine counted by mistake as either for Nguyen or Diep.

During this recount, Nguyen challenged 73 ballots and he was only granted 2 challenges, the rest were deemed not legitimate.

A year ago,  Diep lost to Nguyen by 13 votes.  There was no automatic recount rule then and he did not ask for a recount.

Note:  After the press release by ROV on July 15, 2016  after their official recount declaring Lan Diep won by 14 votes, they changed the number to 12 votes  on July 18, 2016.   The reason is they found another 37 ballots that somehow were misplaced.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Manh Nguyen and His Recount Strategy

With just two days into the recount process, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters has done such a sound job that by tomorrow, they expect to wrap up the recount and issue a final result.

But in a twist of intrigue, before the closing of the day, a voter in D4 named Nam Truong, sent in a request to have a voter-initiated recount on behalf of Manh Nguyen.   This prompted Lan Diep to tweet

. won't do anything himself. E.g. order a recount, file an ethics complaint, serve constituents, etc.

Manh Nguyen of course is being counseled by an election lawyer from LA.   So he makes sure he is getting his money worth.

The voter-initiated recount is being paid by whoever requested it.  Manh Nguyen is hoping  to be able to have additional challenge options with the voter-initiated recount, probably to rechallenge a number of ballots that were disqualified in the first place.   The cost is about  $2,000 a day similar to  what Orange County Registrar of Voters was charging last year.  

Lan Diep might not want to be too confident with this second recount.   This is where experience in election law comes in play.

Ballot Recount for D4 City Council Race

It took a day and a half for the ballot challenges by both sides to be either entered for further research, accepted or denied.   According to Lan Diep, he personally think that there were 2 ballots that could be for Manh.   But the ballots are being reviewed for clarification.

As of this afternoon, the actual counting has just began.  

Lan Diep entering the process with 36 vote lead.  The recount takes place manually  with one person calls out the vote, one observes and two people tally.  The two separate tallies recorded must be the same or the process has to start over. 

Councilmember Manh Nguyen took no chance and hired an election lawyer from LA.   He has a dozen people monitoring the recount.  Lan Nguyen, forever an underdog, is by himself,  with 2-3 supporters stopping by checking out the process.  

It will take about one week to complete the process.  The conventional wisdom is that unless the challenges are in Manh's favor, the manual recount will rarely see any ballot change.  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Senator Jim Beall's Creek Clean Up

Senator Beall’s Los Gatos Creek Clean Up
Saturday, August 16th, 9 am - 11 am
Meet at Campbell Park between
Campbell Ave. & Gilman Ave.
Be part of the solution to pollution!

Join Senator Jim Beall for the Los Gatos
Creek Cleanup Day!

A creek runs through our neighborhoods.
Please help us take care of this precious resource.

This event is free and everyone is welcome -- join your neighbors, enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, meet friendly people, do something good for the environment. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy footwear and clothing. Trash bags, trash sticks, and gloves will be provided.
Weather permitting.
Registration: 8:45 am
Clean Up: 9 am—11 am


Friday, July 1, 2016

Manh Nguyen Feels Confident About The Recount

With all the ballots have now been reported for the D4 race, Lan Diep leads the incumbent Councilmember Manh Nguyen by 28 votes.  Before the provisional ballots were counted,  Diep was ahead by 36 votes.   The automatic recount will take place on July 11.   Nguyen feels confident that he can flip the tally to his favor.  His team thinks that there might be some chances with the provisional ballot.   In reality, that is his real hope.  Rarely a recount will change the result except in the provisional ballot.

Besides the potential upset of an incumbent that has the support of all major establishments and political powers,  the council race will also be known to have highest turn-out in a primary for D4.   With 17,350 ballots cast, the number is more than double the previous primary.

If Lan Diep wins in the end, the final laugh of course is with State Assemblyman Kansen Chu.  His sweet revenge against his long time antagonist former Mayor Chuck Reed and his protege, current Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Major Upset In the Making in District 4

With still 2,000 ballots left to count, incumbent City Councilmember Manh Nguyen is ahead  attorney Lan Diep by just 17 votes.   The trend was against him in the last two days.  On election night, he was ahead by 193 votes.

MANH NGUYEN7,19350.06%
LAN DIEP7,17649.94%

If Manh Nguyen lost, it would be one of the biggest upsets in San Jose City Council race history.  Never before, an incumbent with the endorsement of current Mayor and former Mayor including a number of seating City Councilmembers along with both Labor and Chamber is facing such a defeat.

One interesting note, a week before the election,  Assemblyman Kansen Chu threw his support to Lan Diep.   Chu of course is a well liked former councilmember of D4.  

Lan Diep lost to Manh Nguyen by 13 votes in last year primary.  It would be interesting to see if he can reciprocate the loss this year.

Just one note - The voter turn-out is unusually high for this primary, especially in D4.   Typical turn out has been around 8,000 ballots in the primary and 14,000 ballots in the general election.  This year, the primary will likely break a record of close to 17,000 ballots.

OC Election Results Two Days After

Completed Precincts: 226 of 226
Vote CountPercentage
LOU CORREA (DEM)25,15541.7%
BOB PETERSON (REP)8,78814.6%
BAO NGUYEN (DEM)8,33213.8%
JOE DUNN (DEM)7,63212.6%
LYNN SCHOTT (REP)5,2168.6%

County Supervisor 1st District
Completed Precincts: 198 of 198
Vote CountPercentage
* ANDREW DO21,70436.0%
PHAT BUI11,62219.3%
STEVE ROCCO5,7279.5%

Member, County Central Committee 72nd Assembly District - Republican
Number To Vote For: 6
Completed Precincts: 242 of 242
Vote CountPercentage
* MICHAEL E. GATES (REP)16,40514.6%
* ANDREW DO (REP)13,97612.5%
* KERMIT MARSH (REP)12,63011.3%
DEAN GROSE (REP)11,58010.3%
TYLER DIEP (REP)10,8729.7%
1 JOHN W. BRISCOE (REP)10,3269.2%
PHAT BUI (REP)8,9438.0%
2 JOHN BRISCOE (REP)7,5486.7

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Early Results from San Jose and Orange County

Some of the early results in San Jose City Council races

City Council District 4

City Council District 8


State Assembly D27 (San Jose)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

OC Register Endorses Andrew Do for OC Supervisor


The largest newspaper in Orange County endorses current Supervisor Andrew Do in his bid for re-election.

"...In his nearly 17 months on the board after winning a special election, Andrew Do has taken a role of leadership, helping craft county policies that prioritize public safety, creating a more open and transparent county government and tackling our region’s homelessness crisis.
Mr. Do has our endorsement and the voters would be wise to return him to office."

Supervisor Andrew Do is well liked in the community and is known for his outreach efforts to ensure that all voices are being heard.  He ability to focus on issues and cut away the politics has enable him to work with oppositions to tackling problems.   Recently, he was in Sacramento for a ceremonial event with the State Senate.   President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D) half joking told him, you are next on my target list.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ash Kalra vs. Madison Nguyen

The California State Assembly race for D27 is getting intense between the two main candidates - former San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and City Councilmember Ash Kalra.

Nguyen and Ash both have raised the maximum limit of $550,000 for their respective campaign.  But Nguyen with the huge support from PACs is raising a concern of out-of-state special interest groups trying to influence the race.  It is unusual to have this much money pouring into a primary for a state assembly seat.   Just for comparison,  two years ago, the Republican Party and PACs spent $3 million for the whole state senatorial race to support Janet Nguyen and her campaign against Jose Solorio.  And it was considered to be a crucial race for the Republican Party to prevent the Democratic Party of an absolute majority in the State Senate.

So far local PACs have spent about $400,000 to support Kalra while special interest groups have put it over $1.7 million to support Nguyen.

Here is a press release by Ash Kalra's campaign.

May 31, 2016

CONTACT: Michael Terris
(415) 308-0867

Out-of-State and Billionaire Special Interest Groups Spend $1.7 Million to Buy a Seat in the California State Assembly

San Jose, CA — So-called school reform special interest groups funded by out-of-state and Republican billionaires have waged war on City Councilmember Ash Kalra. By putting in over $1.7 million into trying to get Madison Nguyen elected, they are hoping to buy a majority for privatizing public schools in the California State Assembly.

"There are seven candidates running, but I am the only one under attack from these billionaire special interests because they know they can never buy my vote," responded Ash Kalra, San Jose City Councilmember and a leading candidate for California State Assembly. “I am proud to have the support of thousands of teachers, nurses and school employees who are standing up for the integrity of our public schools.”

Kalra is also taking hits from the California Apartment Association funded by wealthy real estate developers because he has consistently fought them to bring more affordable housing options to San Jose. Both the so-called school reform and developer special interests are using false and misleading statistics to try to fool voters into opposing Ash Kalra.

A recent San Jose Mercury News article highlighted the misleading statistics being used to attack Kalra. They falsely accuse Kalra of having a low attendance record, when the real statistics show that he has a 97.4% attendance record, which actually bests his opponent’s own record in City Hall.

“The voters of the 27th Assembly District are too smart not to see through this blatant attempt to buy this election,” said San Jose Teachers Association President Jennifer Thomas. “San Jose teachers are 100% behind Ash Kalra for Assembly because we know he will stand up to out-of-state billionaires who wants to buy this election and privatize our public schools.”

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Diep Lan and His Campaign for D4 City Council

This is an interesting turn of event.  The race will be closer than it will be with the support of Kansen Chu for Lan Diep.


Dear Friends:

I have done my best not to bombard you with fundraising emails this election cycle, but I really need your help right now. With only seven days left before Election Day, I hope to send out one last mailer to voters reminding them to vote for me. There are about 40,000 registered voters in District 4 and as you can imagine, the cost of printing and postage to mail to just a fraction of them costs a significant amount money. If you haven't already contributed $600,please give what you can up to the $600 limit.

This final mailer will be important to help voters understand what's at stake in this election.

This past May 24th, a representative from Google Fiber came to make a presentation before the San Jose City Council. As you may know, Google Fiber is an internet service that provides connection speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second. This service is currently only available in five cities across America, and every major city, including San Jose, has been vying to become the next Google Fiber city.

Given time to question the Google Fiber representative, this is what my opponent, Councilman Manh Nguyen, asked:
  • "How competitive is your company compared to internet companies like Comcast and AT&T?"
  • "Is Google Fiber cheaper than Comcast and AT&T?"
  • "How cheaper?"
  • "Will Google Fiber be faster than Comcast and AT&T?"
  • "Between Google Fiber, Comcast, and AT&T, which company provides the best service?"
  • "By approving this project, do we provide any special treatment to Google?"
  • "So what kind of the benefit that this project will bring to the people in San Jose? Both in terms of pricing and in terms of the internet?"
  • "And what type of benefit that Google Fiber get from this project?"
As the capital of the Silicon Valley, San Jose should have elected officials who know enough about trends in technology that they don't have to ask basic questions like "what kind of benefit" lighting fast internet like Google Fiber would bring to San Jose.

But unfortunately, what the Mercury News editorial board says about Manh Nguyen is true: "Nguyen has not impressed in office, although he has stood with Liccardo on key votes. He comes to meetings ill-prepared and asks questions that already have been answered."

Personally, I believe we deserve more than a councilman who comes to meetings ill-prepared and asks questions that have already been answered either because he does not understand what has been discussed, or because he is not paying attention.

I believe north San Jose can do better than a councilman who prefers part-time staff because he expects his employees to have time to campaign for him. District 4 can do better than a councilman who has been accused of using his council staff to campaign for him on city time and who just recently has been caught bundling official city literature with his own reelection material.

I know that I am more qualified than Manh Nguyen to represent our community on the City Council, and I hope that you agree. But there are a lot of voters out there not paying attention this primary season and with Election Day only a week away, I need your help getting their attention.

Please help me fund one last mailer by making a contribution in any amount - $10, $25, $50, $100 or more - up to the $600 contribution limit. Even if you've already contributed but are within the $600 cap, please give again. Any amount will be appreciated.

With your help, I hope to have good news to report back in a week's time.

With gratitude,

P.S. I'm really serious this time. How much money I raise will determine my endgame for this election. Please give what you can up to the $600 limit!
Copyright © 2016 Lan Diep for San José, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you chose to receive emails from the Lan Diep for San José City Council Campaign.

Our mailing address is:
Lan Diep for San José
1750 Lundy Ave., #611084
San JoséCA 95161

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Viet Thanh Nguyen Wins Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


Viet Thanh Nguyen became the first Vietnamese-American to win the prestigious literary award and a $10,000 check.  He was born in Vietnam and grew up in San Jose.   He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1992 and received his Ph.D. in literature in 1997.  He is currently a professor at USC while his wife, Lan Duong, is an associate professor at UC Riverside.   His brother, Tung Thanh Nguyen, is a well known professor of medicine at UCSF.

The story he wrote, even though fiction, mirrors the many facets of Vietnamese people and their complex life in the Bay Area during the 1980s.   The unique thing about the Vietnamese-American diaspora is that they always look back to their homeland 3,000 miles away.   Their lives are interwoven with a driven zeal to action to help their homeland be freed of the current communist regime.

Thuy Nguyen Becomes the First Vietnamese-American Community College President


Just one additional note to the coverage, Thuy Nguyen is married to the first Vietnamese-American Superior Court Judge in the Bay Area.  He was the second Vietnamese-American to become a judge in the US.  The first was Wendy Duong in Houston in the early 1990s.

LSI had the opportunity to invite her to be a speaker at a conference in Oregon more than a decade ago and she was impressive then at that time as a young community activist and  leader as well as  an aide to then State Assemblywoman Wilma C.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Did Garden Grove City Councilman Phat Bui Commit Fraud?

Garden Grove City Councilman Phat T. Bui currently campaigns for  Orange County Supervisor's First District.  As a controversial and brash-talking figure in the Vietnamese-American community in Little Saigon, he carries his reputation well into the City Council ever since he won the election.

He was elected in 2014, riding the endorsement of the former GG Mayor Bruce Broadwater, who subsequently lost his seat due to a corruption scandal.  When in office, he and the current Mayor Bao Nguyen would constantly butt head on many issues.  Nguyen defeated Broadwater in the general election.

His many claims to fame as he touts in his current campaign is that he is a successful owner of a software consulting company providing contract work for government agencies. His achievement of the "American's Dream"  through academic, hard work, and shrewd business acumen is what qualified him to be the best supervisor.

As described in his biography, he is particular proud of the fact that when in college (University of Minnesota), he majored in three subjects - math, physics and electrical engineer.   However, there have been rumors in the community about his lack of college degree, contradicting his claim.

Bui is the owner of a software consulting firm called NetResults, LLC.  The firm specializes in providing software services for the state government.   In July 2014, he won a $250,000 contract (REQ0013070) with the  Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors State License Board.

 As part of his submitted credential, he declared that he received two degrees in 1982 - Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Bachelor of Science in Physics from University of Minnesota

However, a background check shows that he never graduated from the university.

Since the news broke last week in Little Saigon, some of his constituents have questioned him on this matter.  Councilman Phat T. Bui so far is not responding.

Garden Grove City is trying to clean itself of the corruption scandal of its former mayor.  Now the city has another potential ethical issue on its hand - a council member who might have lied about his credential in order to obtain a government contract while he is in office.