Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Unaccountability of Madison Nguyen

What do Kathy Coles, Doris Allen and Madison Nguyen share in common? Well, they are some of the few women legislatures in California history being recalled by their own constituents. Both Coles and Allen were successfully recalled while Nguyen is on the verge. In 1995, Kathy Coles, San Jose District 8 councilwoman, was recalled for making insensitive remarks toward Asian Americans, specifically Indo-Americans and Chinese-Americans. In the same year, the first woman Speaker in California State Assembly history, Doris Allen, was recalled by her own Republican Party for voting along with the powerful Democratic AssemblymanWillie Brown.

But what makes Nguyen recall different is the fact that she is unaccountable for her actions in secret dealings with wealthy developers and special interest groups in a culture of behind the scene deal cutting and coverup. So far, Nguyen has refused to answers many questions raised by the community despite the fact that emails from her and her staff clearly showed a pattern of secret dealing between her and Tang Lap, the wealthy developer of Vietnam Town as a "quid pro quo" favor. What made the coverup more interesting is the fact while voting for the naming of Little Saigon she did not disclose to the public or council as required her communication and agreement she made with Tang Lap months before the June 5, 2007 vote.

In a post Gonzales era where elected city councilmembers are taken oath to be open, honest and serve the interests of the people and not the special interest groups, Nguyen lied and tried to cover up her actions until she was confronted on her own tantalizing emails that the community had obtained through Freedom of Information Act.

Nguyen strongly feels that she cannot be held accountable by the voters of District 7. Matter of fact, she challenged them by calling them a bunch of unemployed people with nothing to do.

At her recent fund raising on December 17 where 50 people showed up (And that including the press, her staff and her campaign team), she kept insisting that she has the support of the majority of the people and that the 7,000 signatures representing extreme minority groups.

The recall process is about elected official being held accountability to the people and by the people. It is after all, the government of the people, by the people and for the people and not the government of powerful real estate developers, lobbyists and special interest groups.

Nguyen's donors for her anti-recall effort are either out of town real estate developers, lobbyists or special interest groups. And yet she keeps referring to her campaign as grass root movement. Well, may be it is if she is running for city council in Washington DC or San Diego or Sacramento or Phoenix or Las Vegas but not in San Jose. And more specifically not in District 7.

In contrast, the recall team has 95% of their donors living in San Jose and noticeably in District 7.

This is about Nguyen and her 3 years of representing wealthy real estate developers and special interest groups. It is not suprising that the voters of District 7 want a recall election to have their voice heard and Nguyen to be held accountable.

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Unofficial Election Results

 San Jose City Council, D7   Precincts Reporting:  100% Tam Nguyen                        31.85%       2,275  Maya Esparza             ...