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 has been received and about 50% are from Vietnamese-American voters.    For the mayoral race, 61,200 people has turned 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.   



Second Poll Shows Dave Cortese Leading By Wide Margin

With less than 2 weeks before the election, there are two polls  showing that Dave Cortese is leading the San Jose City mayoral race by a wide margin. While one poll contradicts and claims that the race is tied.

A poll conducted by The San Jose State University's Survey and Policy Research Institute at the request of the Mercury News (who is supporting Sam Liccardo) indicated that Cortese  is leading by 8%.   Another recent poll done by the EMC Research for South Bay Labor Council shows Cortese is ahead by 11%.  

Sam Liccardo mean while commissioned his own poll but refused to let the public see the detail.  He claimed that the JMM Research indicated he and Cortese suddenly are tied.

Liccardo is struggling to appeal to the majority of the voters.  He is becoming a one dimensional candidate as he is relying more and more on the Republican base for his support.   His albatross in the Vietnamese-American community is Councilmember Madison Nguyen.   Liccardo is so desperate for the Vietnamese-American votes that he asked for Nguyen's endorsement against the advise of his Vietnamese-American supporters. 

Liccardo knows his campaign is floundering and the latest episode of filing unsubstantiated ethical claim against Cortese is a sign of desperation.

LSI likes Liccardo and thinks that he would make a wonderful mayor.  However, unlike Cortese who spends a considerable amount of time  building his base for the last 8 years by showing up to events, actively reaching out  to many different communities  and actually providing concrete  actions that people could appreciate,  Liccardo chooses to rely on the  endorsement game and the powerful money of the wealthy families and corporations to buy the election.

Unfortunately, Liccardo will likely fall short because he does not have the women's votes and he is having difficulty appealing to the Hispanic and the Asian communities.

LSI predicts a 6% difference between Liccardo and Cortese on election day.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Why Dave Cortese Will Be the Next Mayor of San Jose

With the election 3 weeks away and the absentee ballots already sent out,  the mayoral race for the 10th largest city in the US is heating up just like the stifling hot weather that has gripped the city for the last 3 months.

Dave Cortese and Sam Liccardo are well qualified to lead the city.   Personally,  LSI likes Sam Liccardo.  He is personable and comes across as an easy going person.  Dave is intense and introvert.  But  Dave Cortese is a doer.  He has shown again and again that he could steer government resources to do good things for the community with practical purpose and value.   

But election is all about numbers.  They simply don't add up for Liccardo.   In a city where 2/3 of the population are none white,  Cortese has worked very hard in the last 8 years to build his name and a coalition of Hispanics, Vietnamese-Americans, Chinese-Americans and Indo-Americans.  Liccardo is still an outsider looking in.   He tries very hard but he has never really connected with the right people in their respective communities to help welcome him.

In an election where 55%  to 60% of the votes will be from the none white electorate, Liccardo will have a hard time making up the difference even if he wins the white votes.   And then there is the women vote.  It is no secret that Liccardo is trailing Cortese in this important group of voters.  Liccardo is behind 5 out the 10 districts - D8, D4, D7, D5, and D9.  District 6 will be a battle ground but it is leaning toward Cortese.

Liccardo knows he is trailing from his own internal poll and his latest move of filing an ethical complaint against Cortese shows that he is desperate.

What is the prediction - LSI will venture to say Cortese by 6 points.


Friday, September 5, 2014


                                           TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney


“The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) has endured years of unethical and inaccurate web “reporting” by various staff members of the Voice of OC.    The latest occurred this afternoon during my conversation with Adam Elmahrek, who is on staff with the Voice of OC.   

Any reporter might make a mistake, but it’s unethical to not correct their mistake when it is obvious they made one and it creates mistaken fact.   

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.    Until this issue is resolved, all calls from the Voice of OC to OCDA staff should be directed to me.” 

Susan Kang Schroeder 

Chief of Staff 


Friday, August 8, 2014

Sam Liccardo Visiting Buddhist Temples

City councilmember Sam Liccardo has been busy visiting Vietnamese Buddhist temples in San Jose in recent weeks.   It is an unusual sighting for sure since Buddhist temple is not a place for politician to visit unless they are there for spiritual purposes.   

He is desperately looking to make head wave with the Vietnamese-American voters as he is currently being politely turned away by community leaders.   With Nguyen's endorsement, this will make his reception into the community to be more difficulty.  His Vietnamese-American supporters  adamantly opposed his decision to accept Nguyen's endorsement for they felt that this would drive more Viet voters to vote against him.  

What Nguyen brings to the table is her connection to the Chinese -Vietnamese businessmen and their deep pocket. 

The question now is can Dave Cortese hold on to the 6 districts that he won in the primary knowing that he will be outspent by Sam?


Viet Xuan Luong, First Vietnamese-American Army General

Yesterday, at Fort Hood, TX, home of the US Army 1rst Calvary Division, Colonel Viet Xuan Luong was promoted to brigadier general and became the first Vietnamese-American general/flag officer.  

He and his 7 sisters came to the US in 1975 after being airlifted from Saigon.  His father was a major in the ARVN.   He was raised in California (LA and Mountain View) and joined the army after receiving his BS from USC almost 2 decades ago.   He served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The first Vietnamese-American commissioned to West Point was Hung Vu in 1981.  He left the service with the rank of captain after fulfilling his 5 years commission.   In 1999,  Josephine Nguyen graduated second in her Naval Academy class.  She and her classmate (Mary Godfrey) had the distinction of  becoming the first pair of women who graduated as the top two of their class.  


Janet Nguyen Can Help You With Your Taxes

An article posted on Forbes recently lays out the case for why Janet Nguyen's candidacy for state senate is the most important political fight in 2014 for Californians.

According to the article, the race is " likely to determine whether or not taxes will rise by billions in the world’s eighth largest economy"

The article further explains:

".......Fortunately for California Republicans, they have a strong candidate in Janet Nguyen, a current Orange County Supervisor, to go up against former Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio in this crucial race. Nguyen, who emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam at age 5, describes herself as “a believer in limited government,” and says that if elected, she would spend taxpayer dollars the way she spends her own. That would certainly represent a stark contrast between both the status quo in Sacramento and her opponent’s legislative record.

“Janet Nguyen’s candidacy for state senate is the most important political fight in 2014 for Californians,” said Brian Calle, Opinion Editor for the OC Register and Editor-in-Chief of “And if Nguyen is victorious,” added Calle, “Democrats would not have the necessary two-thirds majority in the Legislature to unilaterally raise taxes in the Golden State

For further reading, see the link below:


Monday, July 21, 2014

Janet Nguyen Receives Endorsement from Orange County Register


Orange County Register Cites Nguyen's Commitment 
to Create Jobs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 CONTACT:      Chris Marsh
July 20, 2014                                                                        (714) 705-0773

(Westminster, Calif.) - Support for Janet Nguyen's Campaign for the 
34th State Senate District continues to build with the pivotal endorsement of the Orange County Register Editorial Department. 

In an editorial titled Janet Nguyen for State District 34, the Register recently announced its endorsement citing Supervisor Janet Nguyen's "commitment to fight for smaller government, fiscal restraint, no new taxes and a reduction in business regulations." 
"I am humbled and honored to receive the endorsement of Orange County's most read and respected news publication," noted Janet Nguyen upon receiving news of the endorsement this morning.
Below are some notable excerpts from today's editorial.
"Her dedication to preserving Proposition 13 and opposition to the destruction of property rights through eminent domain and the high-speed rail project were also welcome positions."
"California would do well to return to pro-growth and limited government policies if it is to restore economic prosperity and opportunity. Janet Nguyen clearly embodies these principles more than her opponent, so she has our support for the 34th District state Senate race."
For the full editorial endorsing Janet Nguyen's Campaign for the 34th State Senate District, you can visit the OC Register website here

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Madison Nguyen Goes Shopping

San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen is shopping to see who would bite her endorsement bait.   After her third place finish in the recent mayoral race, she is anxious to cut a deal for her endorsement with either one of the two remaining candidates who will face each other in the fall for the runoff. 

Last week, Nguyen met with County Supervisor Dave Cortese.   LSI was not at the meeting but from what Nguyen has been ranting about after the election to whoever wants to hear, it would be safe to expect a similar outburst. 

She has been expressing her bitterness of how San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed did not endorse her even though she supported him on all of his issues.  She has even gone further to say that most of Sam Liccardo's money and votes should have been hers if Reed had endorsed her.  And she is particularly upset with the Mercury editorial for calling her lacking city-wide issue experience.   

Just a bit of history, Nguyen abandoned Labor Unions after they had helped her to beat back the recall and took side with Reed.  The switch in loyalty was because she wanted to win this race and Reed backing was supposedly her ticket.  Reed gave her the vice mayor position and apparently promised his support for her mayoral race.   

So what does she want from Cortese?  If Dave wins, she will run for his supervisor seat.  She wants his endorsement in return for hers now.   The problem is Nora Campos already has her eye for the D3  seat.   How about Nora's current assembly seat?  Well, that is likely to be reserved for Ash Kalra by the Labor Unions.

LSI does not know the future of Nguyen's political career but any politician that can betray the people that supported them with no regrets really has no future with the electorate.   Who would trust Madison Nguyen?  Not the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose.   Sam Liccardo knows  that she will stab him the in back at any given opportunity.  Dave Cortese and Cindy Chavez simply wish that she would go away. 

What a tangle web Nguyen has weaved with her disloyalty.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Madison Nguyen and Dina Nguyen Plotting for Supervisor Seats

The primary election is just over less than a week, and the pundits are already predicting upcoming political moves.   So from the corners of many Viet coffee bars here in San Jose and Garden Grove, here are what LSI had overheard (Disclaimer:  It was difficult to listen to some of these conversations while being constantly distracted with fully and partly nude waitresses in their high heels).

- Madison Nguyen will likely run for the Santa Clara County supervisor in D3 in 2015 if the current supervisor, Dave Cortese, wins the mayoral race in November.   This time, she will likely get the endorsement from Mayor Chuck Reed.  San Jose D4 is Reed's district and it is part of the the county D1.    Nguyen can be quite vindictive as some of her close friends already know.   She was and still is very upset when Reed decided not to endorse her in the mayoral race even though she turned her back against Labor just for him.   But she is also a smart politician and knows how to move forward.

This is actually a favorable race for her if the Vietnamese-American voters would support her.  However, history has shown that she will not get the Vietnamese-American votes so she will have to throw her fortune in the wind again and see how far it will carry.

Her opponent (s) will mostly likely  be  Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves.  Other names keep  surfacing including Rose H. and Daisy C.

- Dina Nguyen, the former Garden Grove councilmember, has her eye on Janet Nguyen's seat of OC supervisor D1.  She lost the supervisor race to Janet in 2008.  If Janet wins the state senatorial race this November, a special election will be held in Feb 2015 for a winner-take-all election.  The current GC councilmember, Chris Phan, will no doubt put his hat in the ring.   Of course, former assemblyman Van Tran, is no dummy and he can  see a golden opportunity when it appears.   He knows that even with three Vietnamese candidates, the chance is still there for one of them to win because  D1 is so heavily dominated with Vietnamese-American voters.  Janet Nguyen won election despite being challenged by 2 Vietnamese candidates.  Matter of fact, none of the Hispanic candidates made the top two.

Another interesting candidate seems to be emerging is another former Garden Grove councilmember, Andrew Do.  He is a strong candidate and respected by the community.

Of course all of these are coffee bar talks and are irrelevant if Dave Cortese and Janet Nguyen both lose in the runoff.   Both Madison and Dina are hoping that is not the case since these are the needed openings for them to salvage their political career.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ready for Another Round of Mike Honda vs. Rho Khanna

LSI is not sure what is the going on with Rho Khanna's campaign but they sure know how to spin a terrible trouncing.   Right after the election, a mass email campaign already started by Khanna depicting Honda as a weak candidate since he only won 49% of the total votes in a 4-person race.  

Up till the primary election, LSI was told by his people that he had been getting a lot of supports from tens of thousands of phone calls and weekly town hall meetings with his voters for the last one year.   Surprisingly, he could not even beat Honda in his own hometown and county.  Khanna lost by almost 19 points to Honda in Alameda County.  He did worse in Santa Clara County with a 24 points difference.

Khanna wants badly the Vietnamese-American votes and is trying his best to hitch a free ride on the coattail of attorney Tam Nguyen's popularity in the community.  However, his lack of record working and supporting  the Vietnamese-American community is being scrutinized within the community.  

In general, the conventional wisdom is that Khanna made a wrong impression in the primary with the overall voting population. 

The unscientific feedback that LSI received so far is the typical Bay Area voters do not really care for the negative attacks that are borderline the truth against an incumbent like Mike Honda, a respected figure who came across as a caring and affable grandfather.   The barrage of negative attacks in the primary did not stick and left voters with bad taste in their mouth. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Madison Nguyen and Her Toxic Endorsement

LSI learned that Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen was quite eager to offer her endorsement to the second place finisher of the recent San Jose mayoral race.   However, the offer was politely turn down for now.

It just happens that Councilmember Sam Liccardo is an astute student of political history.   He knows how Nguyen's endorsement of Teresa Alvarado  in last year Santa Clara County supervisorial race riled up  the Vietnamese-American voters and they turned out to vote in drove and gave the now Supervisor Cindy Chavez the necessary vote difference.  

A lot of people in the Vietnamese-American community felt bad for Teresa for she is a nice and decent person.  What did her in was her naivete to the sentiment of the  Vietnamese-American community.   Blanca Alvarado (the a well respected former supervisor of the same seat) sensed her daughter mistake and in the end was personally asking the Vietnamese-American leaders to help her daughter.   But it was too late and Nguyen's polarizing reputation damaged the campaign to a point that the Alvarado staff could not attract Vietnamese callers and walkers to help with their race (despite the fact that they offered $10/hour for the service). 

This week election for mayor and city council,  Buu Thai was another candidate as the unfortunate recipient of Nguyen's endorsement.  On the surface, with strong name recognition in D7 for her work in the last 8 years as a school board trustee and Nguyen throwing her weight behind her,  the conventional wisdom was that she would at least come in second place.  In reality, she was dead last. 

Liccardo knows that this will be a tight race and he is fighting an uphill battle against Dave Cortese.  He does not need another reason to motivate the Vietnamese-American voters to support  Cortese.  But on the other hand,  Nguyen can be a very persuasive and in the upcoming mailer,  there might be a picture of Liccardo and Nguyen together urging the Vietnamese-American voters to vote for him.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Three Nguyens, One Lost, Two Won

It was an election night that the Vietnamese-American communities in Orange County and San Jose were expecting from the start of the campaign season

Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R) won her state senatorial race with ease.  She received 54% while her nearest competitor, former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D), garnered 31%.  This is a seat that the Republican Party wants desperately and Janet Nguyen is their woman.   With a weak candidate and low Hispanic turnout as predicted, Janet Nguyen will again face Jose Solorio in the runoff.  She will be a strong favorite of course for this is a partisan race and this is the year voters will lining up for the Republican Party to show their disapproval of Obama.

In San Jose, the lawyer Tam Nguyen won his city council race for D7 with 34% of the vote.   Maya Esparza will be his opponent in the runoff this coming November.  She received 28% of the vote.

Tam Nguyen was dismissed by the Mercury News Editors as a community activist with no experience.  The scathing put down of him by the editorial as somebody who does not know how  government works and worst of all, the Mercury News Editors did not bother to mention the fact that he is a practicing lawyer for over 20 years.  Interestingly enough, he won a lawsuit against the Merc in 2000 for plagiarism.  The Merc was ordered to pay him $20,000 for the damages. 

Buu Thai, school board trustee and with a shining endorsement from Madison Nguyen,  came in dead last among the four candidates.

It is interesting to see how Tam Nguyen will fare now that the other two Vietnamese-Americans are out of the race.   He is a hard campaigner and has the skill sets and experience to bring the voice of the D7 people to city hall.   This is something that Madison Nguyen was unwilling to do.

And then there is Councilmember Madison Nguyen and her mayoral race.   She told her Asian supporters that she would get 90% of the Asian votes.  This is quite significant of course since they are 1/3 of the demographics.  She came in third with 21%, Sam Liccardo is second with 25%.   Of course, Dave Cortese, the favorite from the start, won with 34%.   

Dave Cortese put together a strong coalition of Asian, Hispanic and White.  He is also very favorable among female voters.   His campaign calculated that Cortese  should be able to carry D10, D9, D7, D8, D2, D5 and D4.   It is too early to have any concrete numbers to analyze.   However, in the runoff, it is not far fetch to say that Cortese will carry these 6 districts. 

Sam Liccardo will have the money and Madison Nguyen will throw her support behind him, as well as Mayor Chuck Reed.   However,  it will be a tough hill to climb with 9% separating him and Cortese.  Also, in the last 2 elections, whoever Nguyen publicly supported, they would end up loosing.

It is too early to predict but LSI has the gambling bug the last couple of days.  The early conventional wisdom is that Dave Cortese will be the next mayor and Janet Nguyen will be the first Vietnamese-American to be elected California State Senator.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Madison Nguyen, Dave Cortese, Sam Liccardo and the San Jose Mayoral Race

In the 2006 San Jose mayoral race,  then San Jose Councilmember Dave Cortese came in fourth while receiving 20,691 votes.   It was such a poor showing for him.  He was considered to be one of the two candidates to be in the run-off.   To this day, he still considers it to be a very disappointing loss.

Eight years since passed and he is now a presiding supervisor for Santa Clara County.    He is once again considered to be one of the favorites.   Dave Cortese, by all people who know him well, is a politician who genuinely believes in using government to benefit the people.   He is truly a behind-the-scenes deal maker who will carefully weigh issues often to a fault.  

He very actively involves in the Vietnamese-American community.  LSI could see him attending at least 2 community events a month for the last 4-5 years; unlike Madison Nguyen who rarely makes appearance in the community.  The community has taken a really liking of him and the poll done on behalf of LSI showed a great amount of support for him. 

If the 2006 mayoral election results could be used as a predictor of the 2014 race,  Cortese will need at least 30,000 votes to be in the runoff.

In a city where there is no majority voting block anymore and where the demographic is  1/3 White, 1/3 Hispanic and 1/3 Asian,  a true rainbow voting coalition is needed for any candidate to win. 

Cortese is well known and liked among the Chinese-Americans and Indo-Americans.   His long friendship with elected leaders of the respective ethnic groups certainly will bring him the needed votes.  Labor will deliver their voting bloc of Hispanic and union folks to him for he is their favorite candidate.

The Vietnamese-American voters is expected to be about 11,000 to 13,000 if past history holds true.  Cortese is hoping to split the votes with Madison Nguyen.   Based on the last poll taken in the Vietnamese-American community,  LSI thinks Cortese will win about 40% of the votes and the rest will be split unevenly among the other 4 candidates,  It will be an unbearable failure for Cortese if he cannot get into the runoff.   This is his ultimate prize and he  works so hard and long to earn it. 

Madison Nguyen meanwhile is lacking support from her own ethnic base due to her controversial fighting with the community for the name Little Saigon.  Beyond D7, she is limited in her appeal. 

Sam Liccardo with the support of all the big money and Chamber of Commerce, suddently realizes that even with over $700k on hand, it is still not enough to convince people.  

LSI's prediction -  Dave Cortese will be in the runoff riding the stronger than expected  support of the Vietnamese-Americans.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ao Dai Festival, Fairmont Hotel, Sunday, May 4, 2014

A noteworthy event organized by Friends of Hue to support their charitable activities in Vietnam

Against a tapestry of colored flags and red silks, one hundred dancers dressed in the Vietnamese Ao Dai will dance to the drumbeats of forty drummers in front of the Fairmont Hotel San Jose, California on Sunday, May 4, 2014, marking the opening of the 2014 Ao Dai Vietnamese Cultural Festival. 

Designers from Vietnam and the Greater Bay Area are invited to celebrate Vietnamese visual arts, language and energy. The event is designed to promote the beauty and grace of Vietnamese women. This family-friendly event will be a stunning visual feast appealing to everyone who appreciates beauty, fashion and cultural diversity.

The Festival includes:

Free Outdoor Festivities
  • “Vinh Quy Bai To” (Traditional horse and carriage wedding ceremony.)
  • Featuring 100 Ao Dai models, 20 zither performers and 20 drummers
  • Dragon Dance
  • Ao Dai stilt walkers
Indoor Event (for ticket holders only)
  • VIP Champagne & Cocktail Reception, Cognac testing sponsored by Martell
  • Cocktail Reception with Jazz performance by Thuy Linh and her Jazz Quartet
  • Designer’s Walk
  • Face and Hand Painting
  • Music performed by Emmy Award Winner Vanessa Vo 
  • Hon Vong Phu (Yearning Mountain – poetry in motion)
  • Fashion Show of exquisite Ao Dai – International Designers dazzle with exquisite creations from traditional to modern
  • Humanitarian Awards
  • Ao Dai Fashion Awards
  • Gourmet Five Course Asian Cuisine Dinner with Wine



Dave Cortese and Vietnamese-American Voters in San Jose

Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese is trying to fulfill his political ambition to become the leader of San Jose.   He lost the mayoral race to his arch enemy, the current Mayor Chuck Reed, in 2006.  

For a city with a population comprises of 1/3 Hispanic, 1/3 Asian and 1/3 White, forming a rainbow coalition is a must for anybody to win a city wide race.   Reed, in 2006, won by carrying the Asian and White votes.

Cortese was stunned at that time when most of the Vietnamese-American votes went to Reed despite his efforts to woo them.  Even though they only represent roughly 10% of the electorate,  the Vietnamese-American voters often have a much higher turn-out and this could make a difference in the primary where there are multiple candidates.  

It is no accident that for the last 8 years, Cortese has spent considerable time to build his image among the Vietnamese-American voters. 

Cortese, being a strong supporter of labor unions, will likely to carry the Hispanic votes.  His strong presence in the Chinese-American community (with the help of San Jose City Councilmember Kansen Chu and his wife) will certainly help him to win this voting bloc.   His  alliance with San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra will gain him some votes with the Indo-American community.  Of course, it does not hurt when your chief-of-staff is also Indo-American.

Without a doubt, this race is strongly followed by the community, especially when Councilmember Madison Nguyen is one of the candidates.    Nguyen barely survived a recall  and she is considered to be a polarized figure in the community.   Recently,  there was a candidate forum hosted by a network of  Vietnamese-American  organizations with over 400 people attending -

Just to see what the conventional wisdom is revealing, an ad hoc poll was conducted by our friend at Asian Poll Media and LSI would like to share the results

The question was asked -  If the primary would be held today, who would you likely to support out of the five candidates?

A field of 315 most likely Vietnamese American voters (145 women and 170 men) were asked during the third week of April.  The poll was conducted within a 4% margin of error. 

Dave Cortese - 38%
Madison Nguyen - 35%
Sam Liccardo - 9%
Rose Herrera - 6%
Pierluigi Oliverio - 1%
Undecided - 11%

This is a surprising number since Dave Cortese is not expected to win the Vietnamese-American votes, his game plan is to have enough support to prevent Nguyen to carry an overwhelming majority.  

The poll shows that the Vietnamese-American community is ambivalent about Nguyen.  It also reflects that fact that she has not actively reaching out to the community for the last 4 years.  

She has been flooding the community with a campaigning theme that reads - "Vietnamese Voters vote for Vietnamese Candidate."

This so far has its limit. 


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kieu Hoang, The First Vietnamese-American Billionaire

Kieu Hoang, 69, the owner of RAAS Group debuts recently on the 2014 Forbes Billionaires List after the shares of one of his companies,  Shanghai RAAS Blood Products took a big jump this year.   His net worth is estimated to be $1.8 billion.  

He was born in Quang Tri, a city in the central region of Vietnam.   He came to the US in 1975 and is currently  resides in Southern California.  In 1980, he founded a plasma testing company with a central lab center established in Agoura Hills.   In 1992, he branched into China and founded Shanghai RAAS.  

Kieu is well known for some of his tourism ventures in Vietnam, including his efforts to organize Miss World 2010 in Vietnam.  However, he made a mess of himself with his wheeling dealing and ultimately shut down his many ventures.   The press in Vietnam was quite critical of him as a typical brash Viet Kieu throwing their money to buy influence and fame in Vietnam.

The other wealthy Vietnamese-American that made it big in the hi-tech is the serial entrepreneur Bill Nguyen.  He sold his first company back in the days of the dotcom bubble for $850 million.   He  estimates to be worth at $350 million.  At 41 years old, Nguyen still has time on his hand to be a billionaire like Kieu Hoang. 

While Kieu builds his companies the old fashion way with strong products and revenues,  Nguyen made his money by wheeling and dealing with the hope that his companies would get bought out based on hype.  These are usually the case and the buyers are often ended writing off their investment.

And then there is Steve Tran, a truck driver in the Bay Area, who is the owner of $324 million lottery ticket.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 San Jose Mayoral Race Debate Organizing by Vietnamese-Americans

New Memorial Wall to Honor Vietnamese Soldier Heroes



April 2, 2014


Contact: Janice Rombeck

Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese, 408-299-5030                            

New Memorial Wall to Honor Vietnamese Heroes

WHAT:         The unveiling of a new Memorial Wall dedicated to seven Vietnamese heroes who died in the Vietnam War.  The ceremony will feature a marching band, salute to the flags, a moment of silence, the playing of Taps and an introduction of the seven heroes in English and Vietnamese. Family members of the honored men will receive a balloon. After all the biographies have been read, family members will release the balloons.  Dignitaries will also speak. The monument is a project of the Lam Son Group in partnership with the Viet Museum and the Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese.



WHEN:           Saturday, April 5, 2014, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


WHERE:         Outside the Viet Museum, History Park, 1650 Senter Road, San Jose


WHO:           U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

                   Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

                   Congressman Mike Honda

                   Supervisor Dave Cortese          

                   San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and City Councilmembers

                   Loc Vu, Director of Viet Museum

                   Alida Bray, President and CEO of History San Jose




For more information, call the Lam Son Group at 650-823-6645 or the Office of Supervisor  Dave Cortese at 408-299-5030.

Monday, March 17, 2014

SCA-5 Caused Uproar in the Asian American Community, CA State Assembly Speaker Perez Backed Down

(Santa Ana) In an unexpected turn of events, California State Assembly Speaker John H. Perez announced today that he will hold off on moving forward with Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA 5). Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who opposed this legislation, welcomed the news but vowed to continue monitoring the bill.
"I am pleased that SCA 5 has been tabled because it was a divisive piece of legislation that would have significantly affected the residents of Orange County," said Supervisor Nguyen.  "However, there's a chance it could still move forward so I will continue to watch it."
SCA 5 would have repealed portions of Proposition 209, which was passed by the voters in 1996 and removed preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public education. Given the widespread impact that this legislation would have on the residents of Orange County, Supervisor Nguyen authored an opinion piece opposing it and has asked that it be included on the Board of Supervisors' agenda for the County to take an official oppose position.
"Although SCA 5 will not move forward at this time, it has highlighted deficiencies in the K-12 education system that need to be addressed," said Supervisor Nguyen. "I think we still need to talk about how we proactively enhance the K-12 education system to make sure that we successfully increase the chances of those who wish to pursue their dreams of attending higher education."
According to Speaker John Perez, SCA 5 was sent back to the State Senate without taking action in the State Assembly at the request of SCA 5 author, Senator Ed Hernandez.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mike Honda vs. Rho Khanna For US Congress, California D17

The main stream media has been abuzz with the ability of Rho Khanna (D) to raise over $3.2 million  to unseat the incumbent Mike Honda (D).   Rho lives in the East Bay and was a mid-level member of the Obama administration.   Honda so far received about $1.1 million.

However, with the latest poll conducted by Democracy for America,  Honda is 19% ahead of Rho and 16% ahead of a Republican challenger.  The latest poll results can be reviewed in the following link -

LSI also had commissioned a poll asking Vietnamese-Americans about the name recognition of each candidate.   A poll, conducted by a private foundation - Viet Polling Media, asked 217 Vietnamese-Americans in D17 whether they recognize  Mike Honda,  Rho Khanna and Vanila Singh.

The result is 65% either recognize who is Mike Honda or familiar with his name.   Vanila Singh is not known at all in the community while Rho Khanna is familiar in 9% of the population.   The margin of error is 5%.

Khanna hired some Vietnamese-Americans to help him get closer to the Vietnamese-American voters.   Nevertheless, their lack of credibility with the community ends up hurting Rho more than helping him.

LSI is not a gambler but with this kind of name recognition in the community,  it is safe to predict that Khanna will not even make a dent in the Vietnamese-American voting blocs that will most likely favor Honda.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Vietnam Education Foundation Community Outreach, California

February 10, 2014 (Washington, D.C.)

The Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) is pleased to announce its Community Outreach meetings in California:

(1) in Orange County on Saturday, March 8, at 3:00pm at Viet Bao Gallery - 14841 Moran St., Westminster, CA 92683 and

(2) in San Jose on Sunday, March 9, at 3 pm at Berryessa Public Library - 3355 Noble Avenue, San Jose, CA 95132. The meetings are free and open to the public. 

The purpose of these meetings is to share information about VEF. Brief presentations will be made that will also cover the requirements for applying for various VEF grants and scholarships. In addition, VEF Fellowship recipients, who are pursuing graduate degrees in leading California universities, will present their research endeavors via an interactive poster session.

Furthermore, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who is a member of the VEF Board of Directors, will be speaking at the event on Saturday, March 8. 

Several additional VEF Board members from the U.S. Vietnamese-American community will be speaking: Ms. Anhlan Nguyen, IT Portfolio Manager at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Mr. David Duong, CEO of California Waste Solutions; Ms. Quyen Vuong Executive Director, International Children Assistance Network; and Dr. Kim Oanh Nguyen Lam, Director, Advanced Training and Research, International and Foreign Language Education in the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, a presentation will be given by Dr. Lynne McNamara, VEF Executive Director.  

VEF is an independent U.S. Federal Government agency, whose mission is to build the relationship between Vietnam and the United States through educational exchanges. As per the VEF legislative mandate, VEF activities focus only on the STEMM fields: sciences (natural, physical, and environmental), technology (including information technology), engineering, mathematics, and medicine.  
VEF educational exchange activities consist of three programs: (1) Fellowship Program, which sends Vietnamese nationals to the United States for graduate degree programs; (2) Visiting Scholar Program, which supports Vietnamese nationals, who already hold a doctorate, to further develop their professional skills via studies, research, and/or observational activities at leading U.S. academic institutions; and (3) U.S. Faculty Scholar Program, which supports American professors to teach courses in English at Vietnamese institutions for one or two semesters by teaching on site in Vietnam or by teaching via interactive, real-time videoconferencing from the United States

VEF began operations in 2003, and the year 2014 marks its 11th anniversary. The first VEF Community Outreach event took place in Houston, Texas, in 2013, and focused on sharing information about VEF programs with members of the community.  This is the second time that VEF is holding a public outreach meeting in the United States to introduce VEF programs and activities more widely to the public in order to promote public awareness. VEF is pleased to have an opportunity to reach out to the community in California, a key region for VEF and home to the largest community of Vietnamese-Americans in the United States.  

So far, VEF has sent 466 VEF Fellows to study at 92 top-tier U.S. universities of which 28 VEF Fellows are pursuing, or have received, graduate degrees, at the following universities in California: University of California, Berkeley University of California, Davis University of California, Los Angeles University of California, San Diego University of California, Santa Barbara University of Southern California 

VEF is pleased to invite all members of the community, who are interested in learning more about VEF, to come to the Community Outreach events. Refreshments will be served. 
For more information on VEF, please visit the VEF website at

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to Politically Attack OC County Supervisor Janet Nguyen

District Attorney Clears Supervisor Janet Nguyen of Politically Motivated Complaints



Garden Grove, CA - - Stephen Larson, an attorney for County Supervisor and Cal Optima Board Member Janet Nguyen, announced today that the Orange County District Attorney's Office, in correspondence prepared by Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Lubinski, has confirmed in writing that it has completed its investigation concerning conflict-of-interest allegations concerning Supervisor Nguyen.  


 According to Mr. Lubinski, the District Attorney has concluded -- after conducting witness interviews and reviewing campaign finance documents, contracts, and voting records -- "that no criminal conflict of interest laws were violated by Janet Nguyen" in her position as a Cal Optima Board member.   


Although Supervisor Nguyen has always been confident that nothing improper ever occurred and that the complaints submitted to the District Attorney were politically motivated, she is pleased to receive this written confirmation from the District Attorney and, through that office, the FPPC.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Madison Nguyen No Show at the 32nd Tet Festival in San Jose

The 32nd Tet Festival at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds attracted tens of thousands of people.   It was one of the largest crowd ever in the history of the event.   It was a resounding success for the VTF committee who put many volunteer hours and efforts to pull off such a great event.  

Interestingly enough, during the two festive days,  San Jose Councilmember Madison Nguyen, who is running for mayor, decided not to show up.   There are 5 candidates running in 2014 and County Supervisor Dave Cortese is the clear favorite in the Vietnamese-American community.   His long standing relationship and ever presence in the community is so well like and respect that it is not surprising.

This fact is significant since it was the Asian-American votes that got the current Mayor Chuck Reed into the run-off and won it all against Cindy Chavez.   With 1/3 Asian, 1/3 Hispanic and 1/3 White,  the electoral demographics favor whoever won the non-White votes will have the best chance to win the election.

Obamacare in Little Saigon

With the community asking for more information and participation in Obamacare,  OC County Supervisor Janet Nguyen and her staff conducted a Q & A forum to help explaining the program.

In San Jose,  Santa Clara County supervisors Cindy Chavez and Dave Cortese also arranged for different events to help the community.