For a second time within 3 months, US Congressman Joseph Cao visited Orange County to raise money with the help of State Assemblyman Van Tran. The first time, it was during the Tet's Celebration and Van Tran was the main host organizer along with Chieu Le (Lee's Sandwiches) and Frank Jao (the wealthiest and most powerful real estate developer in Little Saigon). The media was all over for this was afterall the first Vietnamese-American Congressman ever. Yet the event was so pathetic that no newspapers in Little Saigon even bother to report it. Less than 60 people showed up for the fund raising in a posh restaurant with seating arrangement for hundreds. One interesting observation at the event was Tran and his gang (of 5 now instead of 7 ) made a point of not seating together.
Two weeks ago, Joseph Cao came again for fund raising and also to discuss about human rights issues in Vietnam. Van Tran was once again on the host committee. Tran did not show up and he was not happy that Quang X. Pham was also asked to help with the event. Whatever the politics, the event was worse than the first attempt. Joseph Cao came away with about $2,000, enough to cover his travel expenses. However, he did stay long enough to receive an achievement award given out by VANG at their biannual gala in Beverly Hills. VANG is an acronym for Vietnamese-American National Gala. It organizes as national annual celebration of Vietnamese heritage and pride.
The event was not well attended this year after its controversy 2 years ago in Houston. To many people in the community, the event was nothing more than snobbish get together to flaunt the wealth of the few rich people in the community.
Both Assemblyman Van Tran and Supervisor Janet Nguyen declined to attend the event despite receiving invitation months in advance.
On a more successful note, a fund raising event titled : "Thank you the Vietnamese Veterans" was held in San Jose 3 weeks ago. The event attracted about 10,000 people and raised $440,000 to help the Vietnamese veterans who are still in Vietnam. This was the third time that it was organized.
The only Vietnamese-American elected official in San Jose City Council - Councilwoman Madison Nguyen- was not invited. Instead, Councilwoman Rose Herrera and Supervisor Dave Cortese- came and received recognitions from the community.
Also, thank God that Congressman Joseph Cao was not invited for he might jinx the whole event.
Cao might be considered to be the symbol of GOP party's future as House Minority Leader John Boehner had touted; but in the Vietnamese-American community, his political future is unclear. "The Future is Cao" slogan needs to be revised for 2010 election.