Friday, March 19, 2010

Van Tran, Quang Pham, Tan Nguyen, Katherine Smith and the D47 Congressional Race

Two weeks after Quang Pham suspended his congressional campaign, there are still a lot of questions unanswered.  Within the Vietnamese-American community, he seemed to be on a roll with Van Tran on the defensive.  It was so bad that Van Tran did neither file nor gather the necessary signatures for the election until the last minute.  He only pulled the paper after Quang Pham decided to pull out of the race one week before the filing deadline.

It turned out they both received similar polling results.  The latest poll showed that if Quang Pham and Van Tran were running against each other, Katherine Smith would win by about 20%.   A Republican primary in June would have on a high side about 20,000 to 22,000 voters turn-out.   The Vietnamese-American voters would make up about 1/3 of the total votes due to the excitement of having two Vietnamese-American candidates.

Quang Pham would have a very good chance of beating Van Tran if it was a 2-man race.  However, with Katherine Smith in the race, the poll shows that they both could lose.  And the polling is worse for them with Tan Nguyen in the race.

In a game of Chicken, Quang Pham yielded since he realized that even if he had won the primary, it would be a tough battle against the incumbent Loretta Sanchez in a district where 2/3 of the population is Hispanic.  And the fact of the matter is that Sanchez has a very good rapport with the Vietnamese-American community while the OC Republican Party is all talk but cannot raise money for any candidates so far, even for Van Tran.

Loretta Sanchez is obviously benefited from Quang Pham's departure.  She worries more about Quang Pham taking away her Vietnamese-American votes than Van Tran.   Her strategy is very simple, stick close to the Vietnamese-American community and split the votes. And also by riding the coattail of a suprisingly active Phu Nguyen's campaign, she has a real good chance of getting 50% of the Vietnamese-American votes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Minh Duong and Patrick Phu Le Gathering Support from the Community

It was a busy weekend for candidates Patrick Phu Le and Minh Duong.  Minh Duong - -  was at the Santa Clara Republican Party Convention and mingled with party's leaders.  He was appointed to be the chairperson of the Vietnamese-American Republican Party Committee of Santa Clara County. 

On the hand,  Patrick Phu Le - -  had his fund raising at Grand Fortune Restaurant with about 150 people in attendance.  His main supporters at the event were from the group called Vietnamese-American Community of Northern California (VACNORCAL).   This is the group that currently in legal battle with the San Jose City over whether Councilmember Madison Nguyen violated the Brown Act. 

The campaign is getting heated with many behind the scene deal making, arguments and the typical posturing
between candidates.   It is now clear the Vietnamese-American community is divided into three camps: 

1.  With the help of the Recall Team, the people who were motivated to vote in the recall against Madison Nguyen are lining up behind Minh Duong

2.  The VACNORCAL group is behind Patrick Phu Le.   This group is mostly made up of older folks who are in constant turmoil with their attacks on each other to determine who are more anti-communist than the others. 

3.  David Duong (the owner of California Waste Solutions) and his friends of wealthy businessmen are behind Madison Nguyen.  The majority of them don't live in San Jose but they have the money and the influence to get the votes for Madison Nguyen.   David Duong (center) in 2008 received recognition by the Mayor of Ho Chi Minh City for his business work in Vietnam. 

The other Vietnamese-American candidate, Viet Nguyen, 29, has not began his campaign yet.   He is considered by the community to be a pretender and more or less a fame seeker.