Showing posts from January 25, 2009

Larry Stone and the Voters of District 7

One sad thing about the recall election is as the community exercising its given democratic rights, it has experienced threatening phone calls and tremendous amount of racist comments and innuendos. Some of the volunteers, especially young college students were reduced to tears as they walked through some neighborhoods.

Larry Stone, the Santa Clara county assessor, for some inexplicable reason still calls out the community as "bullies and thugs". It was one thing to drink alcohol at a one star night club (to raise money for Nguyen) and let one's foul mouth be out of control, it is another to be still ranting and raving about it. As an elected official (no matter how small), one should not use power of official title to label voters who want ethical government and its representatives to not serve special interest groups and not making deal behind the scene as quid pro quo favor. And most of all, the voters have the right to remove elected officials at their pleasure when t…

Who Is Running to Replace Van Tran?

Lately, every political maven is talking about State Assemblyman Van Tran and his next move. Tran is termed out in 2 010 and considered by many to be the 500 lb guerrilla of Vietnamese-American politics in Orange County. He has a choice of running for state senate in 2012 (since there are no current open seats in 2010) or going after Loretta Sanchez in 2010. Two years ago when his political star was not tarnished, it was a strong possiblity. With a viscious campaign trying to destroy Supervisor Janet Nguyen and "to teach her a lesson" as Andy Quach put it, not once but twice in one year, he managed to lose quite a bit of goodwill from his own base.

Tran is a very calculated politician and he worries about his legacy in his own community. He will not take risk by committing to a race that he does not feel he could win. He rather waits until 2012. Last year, he already tested out the water by having his lieutenant, Lan Nguyen, sent out email to his closest supporters asking to …

A Marriage Made in Vietnam

Last November, a Viet kieu in hi tech business finally settled down and married his long time girlfriend. It was a private wedding attended by 200 people at the Hotel Caravelle in Ho chi Minh City.
What made the wedding note worthy is the fact that the Viet kieu is Harvard graduate, Henry Nguyen. A medical doctor by training from Northwestern with a MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Henry is the head of IDG Ventures Vietnam for the last 4 years. The bride, Nguyen thanh Phuong, is the daughter of the Prime Minister Nguyen tan Dung. She is the executive director of Vietnam Capital Fund Management

IDG Ventures Vietnam is part of the IDG Ventures which manages five local global funds of $700 million. IDG Ventures is part of Pat McGovern's empire in Boston. Pat McGovern is a billionaire businessman and a close friend of Senator John Kerry and in many ways along with Tom Vallely (Harvard) paved the way for Kerry's political career early on. Senators John Kerry and John McCain ar…

The Political Connection (Part II of III)

Every politician who lives in District 4, District 7 and District 8 knows that the Vietnamese-Americans made up 20% or more of the registered voters. City wide, they are about 10% of the total voters. In District 7 where the besieged Councilwoman Madison Nguyen resides, there are over 10,000 registered voters. This represents 34% of the district.

San Jose, a city composed of 1/3 Asians, 1/3 Hispanics and 1/3 Whites, the Vietnamese-Americans are the most sought after voting bloc since they are a swing vote in most districts. In District 7, they can win an election outright by their sheer turnout. On the average, they have the highest turnout of any ethnic minority groups. When it comes to politics, nothing motivate them more than democracy and freedom issues relating to their homeland. Just like the Cuban-Americans who dominate and shape the political landscape of Miami and in general South Florida, one of the key issues in the Vietnamese-American community is where one stands on the c…

The Vietnamese-Americans in San Jose & Their Politics (Part I of III)

Part I - How many events and shows can one attend?

From the outside looking in, it must have been very confusing to the white folks of San Jose for there are so many events and organizations in community that is still considered to be on the fringe by the white media and white politicians.

Every weekend, there are last 2 - 3 community events to attend. Every association has its own special events at least 2-3 times a year. And there are alot of the associations. There are the Overseas Vietnamese Women's Association, the Northern California Vietnamese-American Association, the Former Political Prisoners' Association, the Association of Vietnamese Policeman, the Association of Vietnamese Veteran, the Association of Vietnamese Officers and Generals and so on so forth. LSI, by just scanning the dozen or so weekly newspapers/magazines in the community, can pull out at least 4 dozens major associations in San Jose ranging from high school alumni to college alumni (Vietnamese high scho…