Politics as Usual In San Jose

First it was the assistant city clerk, Dennis Hawkins, who made the comment while he was being interviewed by the press. The video tape appeared on the Internet video of Vietnam Daily newspaper. Hawkins declared as matter of fact: ".... the city is considering an all mail-in ballot for the Madison Nguyen recall initiative to save money..."

Then the city clerk, Lee Price herself, appeared onVietnam Liberty TV and reinterated the same position.

The community of course was very anxious and up in arm ready to protest against such voting limitation. The term disfranchisement was throwing around in the media and a civil rights lawyer was consulted. After all, more than 7,200 recall signatures were collected even thoug the community only submitted 5,181 signatures. They surely wanted to protect their civil rights granted by the constitution.

Madison Nguyen and Mayor Chuck Reed are well known for having political tin ear but not this time. Immediately they both appeared on Que Huong Radio and declared that they had heard unfơund rumors on the voting process. The city would not deny voters the right to go to the poll to vote.

It was a smart move for thus far a series of disastrous political miscalculations by Madison Nguyen. The fact is that the city has not been very fortunate when it comes to civil rigths matter. A recent civil rights lawsuit against the city in 2003 ended up costing the taxpayers $8.2 million in settlement and an embarrasing forced resignation of the city councilman of District 7. The irony here of course is that Madison Nguyen ended up as his replacement of District 7.

The whole community is waiting for the city to reach a decision on the supposedly Brown Act violation by Councilmembers Madison Nguyen and Forrest Williams. The city supposedly will submit to the judge on October 23 their response. The community meanwhile is pressing for a full trial.

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