Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tet Flower Festival - Feb 7-8

There are 3 Tet festivals in San Jose this year to celebrate the Lunar  New Year.   They are spread out in three different weekends in Feb.  The first one is the Tet Flower Festival on Feb. 7 - 8 at Yerba Buena High School.  The other Tet Festival is the weekend after at the Santa Clara County Fairground.  And the last one is on Feb. 28 at Kelly Park.


San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra for State Assembly 2016

Friday, January 16, 2015

Andrew Do for OC Supervisor

With 10 days before the election,  the supervisorial race for Orange County D1 is getting some actions.   The Democratic Party and labor unions have spent over $1 million in support of former State Senator Lou Correa (D).  Half of that money is in Little Saigon itself. 

His major opponent is Attorney Andrew Do (R) who is also a former Garden Grove City councilmember and deputy district attorney for OC.   Andrew Do is well known in Little Saigon for his community service.  His wife is a superior court judge.

 He receives the support of the OC Republican Party and some of the major elected officials, including State Senator Janet Nguyen, OC Supervisor Michelle Steel, Congressman Ed Royce and Congresswoman Mimi Walters.  There are two other Vietnamese-American candidates who are also running with the intention to split the Vietnamese votes against Andrew Do.

As a last minute bombshell strategy that is often used by the Democrats,  the Voice of OC Blog reported that two county social workers were recently fire for allegedly helping Andrew Do with his campaign.  The blog went on trying to prove that this incident shows that Andrew Do is "corrupt".  However, when county officials were asked, no reason was giving for their dismissal except that these individuals were contract workers,  not permanent employees,  and they had been with the county for seven years.

The Voice of OC Blog is known to be the voice of the labor unions after records show that they received $1 million financing from OCEA (Orange County Employees Association).   In the past election, it attacked Janet Nguyen constantly with sensationalized stories of "alleged corruption".    The political fodder points were disguised as "investigative report" and quite dramatic to a fault in its double speak language during the recent state senatorial race as the blog tried to steer the voters to  former State Assemblyman Jose Solorio.   The result is Solorio still lost by 20 points   in the election despite the fact that he outspent Janet Nguyen 3 to 1. 

Voice of OC reporting is so unethical and inaccurate that the Orange County District Attorney had to release a statement late last year -

The main statement of the press release from OCDA is:

"........Any publication that quotes any future stories from the Voice of OC should proceed with extreme caution and verify its accuracy.  If anyone would like the details of the Voice of OC’s pattern of misconduct and unethical behavior, they should contact me directly.  Meanwhile, the OCDA is contemplating all remedies available on future contacts with the Voice of OC..."

This  will be a very close election and whoever can get out their base will have an advantage.  The Democratic Party is determined not to lose the election and they are willing to throw the kitchen sink at Andrew Do if they could.   If the Vietnamese-American turnout is high, Andrew Do will have a good chance.  Right now, there are 20,340 absentee ballots returned already.  LSI is not expecting the turn out to be more than in the 2007 special election where there were about 48,000 ballots casted. 

Tet Festival in San Jose

     For 39 years ever since the Vietnamese refugees came to San Jose, there has always a Tet festival to celebrate the Lunar New Year in the city.   In most years, there are more than one festival and for this Year of The Goat, there will be three galas organized by different community groups.  

      What makes this particular Tet gala quite special is the fact that it will be organized by a group of people that either were born or  their whole life raised in the US.  The main organizers are professional folks in their late 20's and early 30's.  

      In the past, the festival is put together by their parents or their grandparents and the events are mostly aimed at their own community.    However, the upcoming festival in History Park is catered for a city wide audience of all ages to come and share the Vietnamese New Year's traditions and culture.  So come and enjoy the Lunar New Year with Vietnamese food, carnival games, all kind of contests and performances by local artists.    The organizers hope that this gala will be the first of many for years to come to show off the diversity and unique multiculture city that San Jose is. 

Happy Tet! 

Footnote: Tet means New Year in Vietnamese 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chris Phan and Van Tran's Gang of Seven

The special supervisorial election in Orange County is two weeks away and the community is gearing up for a battle between Chris Phan's supporters and Andrew Do's supporters. 

Over the weekend,  Chris Phan organized a meet and greet event to rally his supporters.  Phan is mainly being supported by the same folks that were ardent supporters of Van Tran, the former state assemblyman.    Van has been calling on these folks to support Chris Phan.  Thus it was not surprise to see  some members or what left of Van Tran's Gang of Seven showed up and spoke enthusiastically in support of Phan.

Attorney Lan Nguyen,  a Garden Groves Unified School District trustee, and Van's original Gang of Seven member, declared loudly into the microphone: "Chris Phan is the only qualified candidate and deserve the community votes."   Tyler Diep,  a Westminster City councilmember, was also there to show his support.  He spoke highly of Phan and turned the table on Andrew Do by throwing some softball questions at Phan on  "how he felt about Andrew's supporters attacking Phan's record so far as a politician."  Diep  also went to Phan's campaign headquarters couple weeks ago to help Phan opening his campaign. 

Andrew Do meanwhile is taking full advantage of the anti-Van Tran's Gang of Seven supporters.   These are also the voters that helped Janet Nguyen won her election.

So you have it, a community divides again by the ghost of Van Tran and his cohorts.    Van  has politically  disappeared from the community after his bitter defeat in 2010 against Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.   And the community still has a sour taste of the  all out war he waged against Janet Nguyen a few years back.  Yet he is still trying and  stubbornly insists to be the Godfather of Little Saigon.   Van is a family man with kids so he probably has heard of the famous song " Let It Go!"


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Chris Phan for OC Supervisor

There are a number of people in the Vietnamese-American community asking about Garden Grove City Councilmember Chris Phan's role in the Garden Grove City Fire Department corruption as well as the Horizon Cross Cultural Center billing scandal.

Since Phan is running for OC Supervisor  in hope to fill the seat left open by Janet Nguyen, it is useful for the voters to have information in order to understand one's judgement and leadership.

As a lawyer and a deputy district attorney,  Phan curiously has exhibited laid back attitude  for the law and tendency to plead ignorance.

Phan was elected  Garden City Councilmember two years ago and then got a job as deputy district attorney for OC.   During his short tenure as a councilmember, he was confronted with a nepotism corruption involving the hiring of the son of the then mayor of Garden Grove to the fire department despite the fact that he was unqualified.  In the wake of the scandal, the mayor lost his re-election and the fire chief was forced to resign.   But the city council then approved a sweet settlement in secret with the fire chief worth more than $500,000 so that he would not sue the city.   The deal was considered illegal by law experts since it violated the Brown Act -

When asked about the nature of the settlement and why it was not made public,  Chris Phan replied: "I don't know".    It took the Voice of OC reporter to figure out the story and make it public.

Chris Phan has been a board member and one time even Chairman of the Board for the Horizon Cross Cultural Center in Orange County.  The nonprofit center mostly serves the Asian community.   They receives funding from Orange County and other governmental agencies.   In the last few years, the Orange County Transportation Authority had been questioning the center about some billing irregularities and the actual transportation services that they claimed to provide to the elders and handicaps.  The center could not justify some of its billing and services and ultimately the funding for the particular program was terminated at the end of this summer.   

Strangely enough, Chris Phan,  instead of launching his own investigation as board member on this issue, took offense with the OC  Board of Supervisors.  On July 24, 2014 at the weekly OC Board of Supervisors meeting, he went off on them and complained how they had mistreated the center.

Chris Phan is running as a Republican but with neither the support of the Republican Party nor their elected officials in Orange County.   He is hoping to capture some Vietnamese-American votes away  from the leading Republican candidate Attorney Andrew Do.    Andrew Do meanwhile has the name recognition and the record serving the community as chief of staff for now State Senator Janet Nguyen.   Thus, he is getting her supporters behind him.   And Janet Nguyen has quite a lot of supporters and it showed in the recent election where she trounced Jose Solorio by 20 points.

This will be a tight race with such a short timeline to prepare and  raise money for the five candidates - 3 Vietnamese-American and 2 Hispanic.   Since it is a special election, the turn-out will be low.  Extrapolating from past special elections in OC, there will probably be less than 45,000 voters expected.  The 2 main candidates, Lou Correa (D) and Andrew Do (R) will mostly likely  receive bulk of the votes and it might come down to a few vote difference again.  So go to vote for every vote counts!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cong Do Running for State Assembly

With so many Vietnamese-Americans running for office in San Jose this year and next year, it would not be complete without mentioning 2016.  With still 2 years away, Cong Do already announced his candidacy to replace State Assemblywoman Nora Campos for District 27.   He is so eager that his website is already up.  Of course, when you are not working and just staying home painting for fun, he has plenty of time to do whatever he wants.

A self-proclaimed anti-communist activist who has been trying to destabilize the Vietnamese government for years, he went back to Vietnam to promote his anti-communist activity and was jailed in June, 2006 on terrorist charges by the local law enforcement.  Three months later, he was freed when US Congresswoman Lofgren petitioned with the US Department to help her constituent. 

This will be an interest race since the infamous Madison Nguyen is also running.  The district has 33% Asian and 46% Hispanic.  It covers most of D7, D8 and D5.   Now whether the Vietnamese-American voters will vote for a Ly Tong clone or a former elected official who is not quite popular with her own ethnic base, we will have to wait for another 720 days.

Ash Kalra and Darcie Green are happy of course since at least they don't have to worry about the Vietnamese-American votes going mostly to Madison Nguyen. 


Tam Nguyen's Inaugural Ceremony

While Mayor-Elect Sam Liccardo and other newly elected city councilmembers will have their inaugural ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel, Tam Nguyen will have his at the city council chamber first and then joined the other in the evening.  He has invited his friend, State Senator Janet Nguyen, to officiate the swearing in.

He will also throw an open party for District 7 voters on January 18 at the Unified Center on Story Road to show his appreciation for their support during his campaign

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Andrew Do vs. Lou Correa & Others for D1 Supervisorial Race

The race is officially on to fill the supervisor seat held by Janet Nguyen until she recently elected to State Senate.  The official election date is January 27, 2015 with  the mailing of absentee ballot starting December 26, 2014. 

The Orange County D1 has approximately 600,000 residents and covers part or most of Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Westminster, Midway City and Santa Ana.  The last time a special election was held, close to  48,000 votes were casted and Janet Nguyen won the election over Trung Nguyen by 3 votes.   There are about 51,000 registered Vietnamese-American voters in the district.

There are a total of 5 candidates, two Hispanic and 3 Vietnamese-American.  But the two main candidates with their respective party's endorsement and support are Lou Correa (D) and Andrew Do (R).

Lou Correa, 56,  is a termed-out state senator and was a D1 supervisor for 2 years (2006-2007).   Andrew Do, 51,  is a former Garden Grove city councilmember and former OC deputy district attorney.  He also serves as chief of staff for Janet Nguyen. 

Andrew Do has the endorsement of the OC Republican Party and many big names Republican included OC Supervisor Michelle Steel, State Senator Mimi Walters, and Congressman Ed Royce.  Of course, State Senator Janet Nguyen is supporting him strongly and her constituents within the Vietnamese-American community are likely to follow her suit.   He has a strong presence in the community with the many community programs that bring healthcare and social benefits.  

Even though Correa works very hard to win Vietnamese-American support but his unequivocal support of SCA-5 to repeal  the ban of colleges and universities in California to use racial preferences has angered many people in the community.   They see this legislature as threat to their children's education advancement since SCA-5 essential will limit the numbers of Asian students to be accepted to college.

This special election will be won by whoever can get their base to turn out.  Correa and his close support of President Obama and his amnesty policy for illegal aliens can be a plus to drive the Hispanic vote.  While Do with his Republican Party's endorsement will get the hard core party vote.

Andrew Do, with his strong Republican and natural Vietnamese-American base, has the most visibility with his party and in Little Saigon despite the fact that there are two other Vietnamese-American candidates.   According to conventional wisdom, candidate Chuyen van Nguyen, a relative unknown in the community, is there to dilute the vote on purpose.  Chuyen van Nguyen was a retired aide to former State Senator Joe Dunn (D).   Garden Grove Councilmember Chris Phan, meanwhile, has no record in the community during his 2 years in office except for his public ambition ever since he took council office to become the next supervisor .  He is being supported in the Vietnamese-American community by the remnant of Van Tran's supporters.  These are the same people that would not vote for Janet Nguyen or anybody who received her support.  Phan can play the role of the spoiler of course.

Expect the race will be a close one and LSI cannot wait to see another nail-biter like 2007.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Vietnamese-American Candidates for San Jose City D4

Things are already heating up in the Vietnamese-American community as three  candidates of their own are gearing up for the special election next year to fill the vacated council seat in D4.   This is to replace Kansen Chu who now is the new assemblyman. 

So far,  Lan Diep, a  young lawyer from Houston who recently  moved to D4, has announced his intention to run to the community.

Johnny Lee, another young candidate, who  was a candidate for D7 in the last election, also made it known that he will run. 

And there is Manh Nguyen, an older man in his 60s, is thinking of  throw his hat in the ring. He is a producer of local Vietnamese radio show.  His English speaking skill is not what you would expect for a public figure but who cares when you are aiming for the Vietnamese-American vote only. 

The race really opens up with the decision by Daisy Chu (Kansen's wife) not to run for now.  She would be the clear favorite due to the name recognition.  The D4 has about 22% Vietnamese-American voters.   In comparison,  D7 has about 30% Vietnamese-American voters.   But due to the high turnout, the Viet vote in D7 is usually about 40% of the total vote. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chris Phan and His Ambition

Chris Phan, the current Garden Grove City councilmember, is aggressively campaigning for the vacant OC supervisor seat that was recently held by State Senator Janet Nguyen.   In his recent mailer asking for money, he declares that he is currently the front runner and that his opponents are running at the behest of special interests.

LSI senses that this will  be a rough and tumble campaign with Chris Phan spearheading the smearing.  Reporting here at the Liberal OC Blog:

".......In the Voice of OC article Phan is quoted criticizing Correa for only serving two years of his first term as Supervisor.
“I have a lot of respect for the senator — he’s definitely done a great job,” Phan said. “At the same time, if you follow history, he was a supervisor before. I don’t think these seats should be a safe harbor waiting for another opportunity.”
Phan however should have thought about the irony of his comment before he made it. Having been only elected to his council seat two-years ago, the same question could be raised about Phan using his current position as a “safe harbor” and stepping stone for the higher office of Supervisor...."

In his two years in office,  the community has not seen him accomplish anything except letting people know that one day he will be replacing Janet Nguyen.   His power hungry for higher office is insatiable.  Earlier this year, four months before the primary election in June  for the 34th District State Senate, he  filed an intent statement to run for First District Supervisor seat.    So basically, a year into his city council, he made up his mind that he would be moving on and the city council seat (to him) is a "safe harbor" and stepping stones for bigger things.

The readers of this Blog are mostly voters  and  common citizens who tend to vote for candidates who truly believe that they would use the elected office to serve the people.    And like  typical voters, the readers  also tend to be afraid of ambitious politician like Phan whose only purpose so far in running for offices is so that he could have power.

Be afraid and even be more afraid of Chris Phan if he gets elected.   Overly ambitious man with power usually will lead to corruption and unwanted consequences.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Bao Nguyen Becomes the New Mayor of Garden Grove

It has been a successful year for Vietnamese-American candidates in California.  The two cities that made up Little Saigon in Orange County now have two Vietnamese-American mayors.  Bao Nguyen won his race by 15 votes to be the first Vietnamese-American mayor in Garden Grove, population 175,000.   Both Garden Grove  and Westminster (population 90,000) have council members that are also Vietnamese descend. 

Of course, Janet Nguyen becomes the first Vietnamese-American state senator in California.  She trounced her opponent by 20%.

In San Jose,  Tam Nguyen won the D7 councilmember race by 214 votes while 4 other Vietnamese-Americans won their school board trustee election.  Meanwhile, it was an expected reaction as the majority of the Vietnamese-American voters  in D7 and D4 rejoiced and celebrated when one of their own,  Madison Nguyen, lost her mayoral race early in the primary. 

As more and more Vietnamese-Americans are actively participate in political offices,  it would not be surprised that 8 years from now, there are more Vietnamese-Americans elected to city and state government in California


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tam Nguyen, A Ponytail "Politivist" and A Catbird Seat

Next year, San Jose City Hall will definitely have a colorful cast of newly elected councilmembers both from ethnic background and profession.  We have a smiling corporate man from Apple, a young Hispanic policeman and then there is the Asian lawyer Tam Nguyen. 

Tam Nguyen  is a familiar face in the Vietnamese-American community with his guitar and musical performances.   He is a member of a well known musical group based in Orange County that performs throughout the US.  He is passionate about music and poetry.   He even composed his own theme song for his recent city council campaign.   And  he dons a ponytail and rides a Harley-Davidson.  How many candidates can have this much fun running?

But he is an analytical person by training.   He started out as a computer engineer for Tandem Computer, received his MBA and then decided to get a law degree because there were only 4 Vietnamese-American lawyers for the whole community of 60,000 or so people.   For almost 20 years, his law practice is built around community activism and helping the voiceless.  Along the way, he co-founded a newspaper and is a co-owner of a restaurant.  But it is his love for music and for the arts that the community sees him as a person.    And as he grows older, his pony tail is noticeable getting longer.   Whether this is a statement of being a confident self-made man who is quite content with his life and work, only he can tell. 

He is not the first ponytail lawyer to appear in  court to defend his clients but he is definitely the only lawyer right now with a ponytail appearing in court as a city councilmember-elect.   A year and a half ago, the idea of running for city council in D7 never crossed his mind.  He showed no interest at all.  But when he was convinced by community leaders that it was for the best of the community (both Vietnamese-American and at large) and he can make an impact, he was ready to go.  

He raised money anywhere he could find a friend.  And he has a lot of them.  People in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Orange County hosted many fund raisers for him. He organized a 40-people team to canvas the precincts for him.  His theme as a "politivist" resonated with the voters from middle class to low income.   He introduced himself as " my name is Tam which means heart"  to voters that he met. 

In 2015, how he will use his swing vote to move San Jose forward and help his constituents, only time can tell.  But he is smart a "politivist", a word that he coined to show his commitment through city government to the common man's cause.  One can sense that he will do the right thing with his big heart.  

Both current mayor and mayor-elect know this and they were already courting him over a private lunch less than a week after the election.   He is a maverick leader  as they come and he wears his heart on his sleeve. 

As a self-made man, he has many stories that he loves to share  but his favorite is from the story told by Bishop Desmond Tutu:

"...An anthropologist studying the habits and customs of an African tribe found himself surrounded by children most days. So he decided to play a little game with them.  He put candies in a decorated basket at the foot of a tree. Then he called the children and suggested they play the game. When the anthropologist said “now”, the children had to run to the tree and the first one to get there could have all the candy to him/herself.  So the children all lined up waiting for the signal. When the anthropologist said “now”, all of the children took each other by the hand ran together towards the tree. 

They all arrived at the same time divided up the candy, sat down and began to happily munch away.   The anthropologist went over to them and asked why they had all run together when any one of them could have had the candy all to themselves. The children responded: “Ubuntu. How could any one of us be happy if all the others were sad?”  

Ubuntu is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up as “I am what I am because of who we all are.”


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Madison Nguyen Determines to Run for CA Assembly D27

As the dust just settled in this cycle of election, San Jose City Councilmember Madison Nguyen already is planning ahead for 2016.  She is being termed out this year after 8 controversial years at city hall.   She already tells anyone who is listening that she intends to file for statement of intent to run for the 27th California Assembly District very soon.   This is the office that is currently held by  her one time friend and now arch nemesis,  Assemblymember  Nora Campos.

She will be joining a number of potential candidates.  Conventional wisdom predicts  that San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra and Darcy Green are the other two contenders.  Darcy Green is a former aide to Manny Diaz and Joe Coto.  She is currently a Relations Manager for Kaiser Permanente.   A potential wild card is Xavier Campos.   A former city councilmember who recently lost his race as an incumbent due to allegations of unethical conduct,  Campos might not be running.   But as a younger brother of Nora Campos, he has instant name recognition for a district of 465,000 people.  The district composes of 33% Asian, 46% Latino and 16% White.   It has 180,000 registered voters.

Of the four people planning to run, Darcy Green is the most intrigue and will bring a fresh face to politics.   Whether she can run an effective campaign or not is unknown.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dave Cortese Concedes and Maya Esparza Waits

With Dave Cortese conceded earlier this evening, the provisional ballot counting is now becoming less of a story.  The only intrigue is whether Tam Nguyen will have enough votes to keep the surging Maya Esparza from winning the San Jose D7 city council seat.  We will find out by the end of the week.  It is not impossible to overcome  the 258 vote difference (as of this evening) but there might not be enough votes left to save her.   Maya's campaign staff was a no show at this morning at the ROV while Tam's campaign manager and 4 of his supporters stopped by to check on the process.


Only 14,000 Provisional Ballots Left in Santa Clara County

Now that all the ballots are tallied except for the provisional ballots, Santa Clara County ROV's office  suddenly became quite crowded this morning with at least 20 people from Sam Liccardo's campaign and a half a dozen from Dave Cortese's campaign.   They were all there ready for the counting of the provisional ballots which should finish by the end of the week.

The two still contested races are the San Jose mayoral race and San Jose D7.   Tam Nguyen is ahead of Maya Esparza by 267 votes while Sam Liccardo has a 3,668 votes lead on Dave Cortese.   If the lead is less than 1% for either candidate, there is a possibility of a recount.  The provisional ballots for D7 will not be tallied until Wednesday.

SAM LICCARDO      87,950    51.06%
DAVE CORTESE      84,282    48.94%

TAM NGUYEN 6,581    51.04%
MAYA ESPARZA       6,31348.96%

Saturday, November 8, 2014

San Jose D7 Election Update

Who would have thought that San Jose D7 race between the lawyer Tam Nguyen and Maya Esparza would not be decided by now.   Four days since Nov. 4 and there is no clear winner yet.

The early result showed Tam Nguyen ahead Maya Esparza by 18%.  However, as we are finding out that there are still thousands of votes still being counted due to computer problem at the Registrar of Voters, the lead has been shrinking every day since election night.

There are probably still 1,500 to 2,000 votes left for D7.  Nguyen is now ahead by 365 votes.  Is there enough votes left for Maya to catch up?   It will be nail biting and who ever wins, it might be  less than a hundred votes separating them.  Recount anyone?

TAM NGUYEN     5,412     51.74%
MAYA ESPARZA     5,047     48.26%

Garden Grove Mayoral Race Is Not Over Yet

With there are hundreds more provisional ballots to be counted, the mayoral race for Garden Grove City is still up in the air. 

Bao Nguyen is trying to unseat an incumbent mayor, Bruce Broadwater, who is controversial to a point that the firefighter's union is coming out against him.  And not because he is cutting their pension or benefits. 

Bao Nguyen was just randomly throwing his hat in the ring and he happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Bao Nguyen is gaining votes after Nov. 5 as more VBM ballots are counted.  He is trailing only by 256 votes after being down by more than 350 votes.   There are now only 1% point separate them.   This election is from over since there will be a recount in the horizon.

BRUCE ALLAN BROADWATER    9,907    43.0%
BAO NGUYEN 9,651 41.9%

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dave Cortese Lost the Mayoral Race

With additional 15,000 ballots, Dave Cortese finds himself further behind.  He is trailing by almost 2,500 votes.  It is safe to predict that Sam Liccardo is the next mayor of San Jose. 

It will be a contentious next 4 years in city hall with the budget and labor issues and Liccardo already knows who to approach.  He called Tam Nguyen last night and personally congratulated him for his D7 victory.

It is not too early to think 2015 and perhaps 2016, so LSI will venture into the crystal ball -

Dave Cortese will be content to serve out 6 more years as county supervisor unless Mike Honda decide to retire. 

Daisy Chu will be running for city council to replace her husband.

Jim Zito is planning for his 2016 city council bid for D8.


Ro Khanna Cannot Let Go

It was one of the most expensive US congressional races  between 2 Democratic candidates.   The young gun Ro Khanna outspent and outraised the incumbent Mike Honda by millions.  And with the help of big corporate money, he was hoping to unseat a lovable but old congressman.   LSI received a total 15 negative mailers from him during the general election alone. 

In the end,  Ro Khanna even lost in his own home town, Fremont, by 2%.   He trailed by 5% in Santa Clara County.  Basically, this race for the CA-17th is over since the trend is against him as more votes are counted.  

However, he has not conceded since he claimed that there are about 40,000 ballots left and most are VBM.

He is young and still have quite a political career ahead of him but he will need to learn how to lose gracefully.  Remember there is always 2016, by then Mike Honda would be 73 years old and he might just decide to retire. 


How Many Votes Left to Save Dave Cortese?

From: bushey, shannon
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2014 3:26 PM
Cc: Moreles, Matt
Subject: Election Count/Process Update
Honorable Members of the Board of Supervisors,
I want to take this opportunity to provide you with a status update regarding the counting of votes from yesterday’s election and to let you know what you may expect for the coming days.
We estimate that approximately 120,000-150,000 Vote By Mail (VBM) ballots were dropped off at polling places yesterday and arrived at the ROV Office last night.  In addition, about 14,000 Provisional ballots were received at the polls.
Once the VBM ballots have been processed through our ballot sorting machine, we will have an accurate count of the number of ballots remaining to be tallied.  The goal is to complete the count of VBM ballots by this weekend.
Once the VBM ballots have been counted, we will begin validating and counting the Provisional ballots.  We anticipate that the validation and counting of the Provisional ballots should be completed by the end of next week.
Our website ( will be updated by 5:00 p.m. each day to reflect the latest counts.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Take care.
Shannon Bushey
Registrar of Voters
County of Santa Clara
1555 Berger Drive, Bldg. 2
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 282-3005

Low Turnout Dooms Dave Cortese's Mayoral Hope

With an extremely low turnout of only 109,100 ballots casted,  Dave Cortese is losing the San Jose mayoral race to Sam Liccardo by 2%.   The most updated number shows that turn out in the general election is lower than in the June primary where there were 130,100 ballots.    Labor Unions still think that  their own Hispanic base and their last minute effort can turn the tide.  However, the trend is against Cortese all night long.  He is about 2,000 votes behind.

According to the Santa Clara County Registrar Office, there are still about 60,000 to 70,000 votes attributed to the mayoral race that have not been tallied.  Cortese is winning the Vietnamese-American heavily dominated districts - D7 and D4.    But he surprisingly is  losing in his own D8.

The Vietnamese-American community voted overwhelmingly for Tam Nguyen, an activist lawyer who was part of the recall Madison Nguyen effort, to represent them in San Jose D7.    Tam Nguyen is winning  by 9% with only 8,800 votes casted.   In the primary, there were over 10,500 people voted.  Even though there are still about 3,200 votes left to be counted, the trend is against his opponent all night long and for her to overcome a 9% deficit is not easy.

With Vietnamese-American voters compose of 35% of the electorate, if Tam Nguyen wins, the D7 will be controlled by Asian-American candidate for years to come.    There were 9 other Vietnamese-American candidates ran for various school board trustee seats.   Five won with large majority of the votes.

The biggest victory for the community of course is newly elected State Senator Janet Nguyen.  She will be the first highest elected Vietnamese-American in state legislature.  She won the 34th state senate seat.  A district that has been a Democratic seat.   This was the most closely watched race in the state with the local Democratic Party poured in over $3 million.   Nguyen raised $3.4 million while her opponent, Jose Solorio took in $2.6 million of direct contribution.   In the end,  Nguyen won in a landslide despite extreme dirty tactics by Labor Unions, trouncing Solorio 60% to 40%.   


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Results for Santa Clara County and Orange County, Part II

With over  65% of the votes counted, here are some of the other races that have Vietnamese-American candidates.   A total of 10 candidates in Santa Clara County and 19 in Orange County.

City of Garden Grove Mayor

Bruce Broadwater  8,795   43.2%
Bao Nguyen            8,430  41.4%

City of Garden Grove City Council  (top 2 only)

Phat Bui        8,660    23.5%
Kris Beard    8,555    23.2%

City of Westminster City Council  (top 2 only)

Tyler Diep          7,309    34.4%
Margie Rice        6,376    30%
Charlie Nguyen  4,734     22.3%

City of Westminster Mayor

Tri Ta                   85%
Andy Nguyen       15%

In Santa Clara County,  Thanh Tran and Khanh Tran won the trustee seat for  the Franklin McKinley Unified School District and Alum Rock Unified School District respectively.  Huong Nguyen and Scott Hung Pham also won the trustee seat for San Jose Evergreen Community College District.

Richard Nguyen, Sam Ho and Anthony Phan lost their respective school board trustee bids.


Election Results in Santa Clara County and Orange County Part I

With the extreme low turn-out, the Vietnamese-American candidates are doing as expected.  Here are the early results for the major races with about 50% of the votes counted

State Senator D34

Janet Nguyen   52,187  61.7%
Jose Soloorio   32,366  38.3%

San Jose City Council D7

TAMNGUYEN         4,094   57.9%
MAYA ESPARZA 2,974   42.1%                                                                                                                     

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Another Ethic Complaint from Sam Liccardo's Campaign

Earlier this September,   a group of Vietnamese-American activists organized a Rock the Vote event to get out the votes in the Vietnamese American community in San Jose.   The event was held on a beautiful Sunday at Grand Century Mall and widely advertised within the community.    A number of candidates showed up for the event including the leading mayoral candidate Dave Cortese.   

Couple weeks later, Sam Liccardo's supporters filed a complaint to the Ethic Commission.  The complaint alleged that  the organizers are Dave Cortese's supporters and they were putting together the event on behalf of Dave and nothing more.   And yet neither Cortese nor the organizers filed any monetary donation statement. 

This is somewhat of a stretch of course since Rock the Vote event is a common thing within the Vietnamese-American community to help voters aware of the issues as well as candidates. 

The Ethic Commission nevertheless sprung into action and immediately hired the law firm of Hansen Bridgett LLP to pursue the case.   They have investigated about a dozen people including Dave Cortese.  

The inquiry was nothing more than another political ploy that is too little too late for Sam Liccardo.  However, this kind of political gamesmanship irked Cortese.   He told the lawyer from Hansen Bridgett ,  "...  I don't see a problem of me practicing my constitutional right in attending civic event or political event for that matter....."     The lawyer defended his action, "I am just doing my job as being asked..."

A fishing expedition that will  cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars just because in the name of politics and a mayoral job

Friday, October 31, 2014

Are There San Jose Voters Out There?

This must be the most "boring mayoral race" and uneventful city wide election season for San Jose voters.   The  "boring mayoral race" is what Dave Cortese described in a recent lunch with his supporters as he commented on what appeared to be a low turn-out by voters this November 4. 

The returned absentee ballots so far indicated a lack of enthusiasm by the voters.   For District 7,  ~ 5,900 absentee ballots have returned and about 50% are from Vietnamese-American voters.    For the mayoral race, ~ 61,200 people have sent in their ballots so far with only 4 more days to go.   Absentee ballots usually make up about 70 - 75% of the total votes. 

In the bigger picture, a less people going to the poll, the more it is favorable to the underdogs.  In this case, Sam Liccardo.   However, for the D7 race, a low turn-out means that Tam Nguyen has a higher chance of getting the majority.  The Vietnamese-American turn-out is quite predictable in D7 with a dependable voting bloc of  6,000 - 6,500  votes.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kieu Hoang Winery

Kieu Hoang (credit: RAAS Corp.)

The first Vietnamese-American billionaire decided to be in the wine business.   Over the summer, he  purchased Michael Mondavi Family Estate Winery southwest of Napa and plans to grow a new high-end wine brand for Asian and  U.S. markets.   The deal included  the winery and more than 20 acres of surrounding vineyards and plantable land  in the Napa County side of Los Carneros winegrowing region for about $12 million.  The winery can produce up to 100,000 cases per year.

Kieu Hoang, 69, started RAAS —  “Rare Antibody Antigen Supply” — in 1980 as a supplier of blood plasma. The company built a large facility center in Shanghai, China and now offers a line of blood- and health-related products under their own brand KHKMY.   The company went public in China and he is listed in Forbes Magazine with a net worth of over $2 billion.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sam Liccardo Cannot Win Over the Vietnamese-American Voters

LSI commissioned a poll recently in the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose to see the sentiment of the community between two well qualified candidates for San Jose City mayor -  Sam Liccardo and Dave Cortese.  

The results of the survey of 325 likely voters show -   Dave Cortese has 57%,  Sam Liccardo has 34% and 9% undecided.   When asked which candidate is more favorable, 65% of the voters feel more favorable toward Cortese vs. 35% toward Liccardo.  The margin of error is 4%.

The Vietnamese-Americans living in San Jose is only 10% of the total citywide population.   However, with to their high turn-out in every election, they will likely compose about 13% to 15% of the total votes. 


Free Flu Vaccine Day in Orange County

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maya Esparza On Top in the San Jose D7 Race

You know the city council race for San Jose District 7 is heating up when dirty tricks of sign stealing and defacing are being carrying out.   In this case,  the candidate Maya Esparza and her campaign decided to be creative and show who is really on top of the race.