Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vigil Tree for Newtown, Connecticut

In remembrance of the victims of the tragedy in Connecticut, Supervisor Cortese’s office has partnered up with community leader Megan Williams, the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations, the Office of Women’s Policy, the Human Relations Commission, American Muslim Voice Foundation, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, Carry the Vision, and the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council to provide our community the opportunity to join together in honoring the victims of the Sandy Hook School shootings.

Community Vigil Tree:

A tree will be placed in the lobby of the County Government Center (70 W. Hedding St., San Jose) from December 20th-31st . We are asking community members to create paper ornaments in remembrance of the victims. We will provide the paper ornaments next to the tree where there will be pens for you to write and share your thoughts and well wishes and hang them on the tree.

Memorial Ceremony:

On Thursday, December 20th from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, a brief memorial ceremony will be held in the East Wing of the County Government Center. We hope that you will join us in solidarity and spirit.

What: Tree Vigil for Connecticut families

When: December 20, 2012 at 6:00pm

Where: County Government Center, East Wing, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tyler Diep Failed Bid to Gain His Old Seat

Wesminster City Council this week, appointed former mayor Margie Rice, 83, to the city council seat vacated by Tri Ta.   Tyler Diep was lobbying hard to have a special election so that he could use his $100,000 war chest to win back his city council post. 

He will have to wait until 2014 to try to win the election from either his nemesis Andy Quach or Margie Rice. 

Many Vietnamese-Americans in Little Saigon felt good riddance, first of former assybleman Van Tran and his lieutenant, Tyler Diep.  

There is a fresh air of politics in Little Saigon.   With Dina Nguyen unable to run in 2014 for city council in Garden Grove, the Van Tran's underlings are basically  either out of power or outright and some are distancing themselves from him.   Andy Quach told Quang Pham (the ex-congressional candidate in 2010) that he had not talked to Van Tran after his defeat and he and Van Tran are not close anymore.

So what is next for Wesminster politics -  Is there a pediastrian brigde on Bolsa Avenue in the near future?  This time Andy Quach and Ta Tri would not dare to vote against it.  Actually, Ta Tri was so afraid of Van Tran and Margie Rice that he called in sick on the voting day.   But now as a mayor, Ta Tri knows that the bridge will affect his dream of running for higher office in the future.  Andy Quach's political career is limited to city council so 2014 is a crucial election for him. 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tyler Diep Asking for Appointment?

The rumor in Little Saigon right now is the newly elected Mayor Tri Ta  will appoint Tyler Diep to replace the seat vacated by the form councilmember Frank Fry.  Tyler Diep lost his re-election bid this month after serving 4 years.   It was an embarrasing loss considering that he had $130K to spend and also was an incumbent.

 If the rumor is true,  Tri Ta shows that he is loyal to Van Tran and his aide than to Margaret Rice.   Of course, it was Margarat Rice and her support and endorsement that got him elected mayor. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

A lesson for Vietnamese-American Candidates in San Jose

The Vietnamese-American community in San Jose still felt cheated after the election as a lot of them were led to believe by Jimmy Nguyen's supporters that he would have a chance against the incumbent Rose Herrera. 

If it wasn't for Herrera running a terrible campaign and her husband getting caught stealing campaign signs,  Jimmy Nguyen would be trounced by wider margin instead of the 10% difference.

With roughly $500K spent on his behalf and with all the biggest names in San Jose politics campaigning for him, including Supervisor Dave Cortese (the dean of District 8 politics), Assemblywoman Nora Campos,  her brother San Jose Councilmember Xavier Campos and Labor Unions, everybody was predicting that the race would be much closer.

So what do we learn from this campaign?  A negative campaign that based on lies does not work, especially when the candidate is a newcomer with no ties in the community.   Spending $500K on mailers and other media  under the advise of high power consultant usually is a bad sign for a city council campaign, especially in a district of 100,000 people.   It was far excessive and it caused some people to vote against Nguyen out of disgust. 

Jimmy Nguyen was a good candidate but lacked the credibility to replace Rose Herrera.  People see him nothing but a pawn for other people's agenda.   He tried his best but his message was drown out by the negative campaign.  His campaign staff was inexperience and it showed in the end.  There were a lot of disappointed supporters who were also upset at the way they were treated by his campaign staff.  

To run for city council and this is only true for city council since the importance of knowing your community is heavily emphasized, the candidate does need to show that they are active within the district and know their neighborhoods.   This provides a foundation of local support that one will need to win a city council race.   Jimmy Nguyen needs to learn this lesson and keeps himself active if he is interested in running in 2016.

LSI does not see a Vietnamese-American candidate winning a major office in 2014 election in San Jose, especially if Cam Van Le and Tam Truong are on the collision course in District 7 to replace Madison Nguyen for the city council seat.  Nguyen meanwhile has nothing to lose so she will try her luck at running for mayor.  With practically no Vietnamese-American base, she will have a hard time getting past the primary.   Dave Cortese is getting his coaltion of Chinese-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans and Hispanics under his belt.   If he runs, it is just a question of can he get 50% + 1 in the primary or not.


For Tyler Diep - Decision, Decision?

It does not look good for Tyler Diep.   With a couple of days left before all the ballots counting are officially done,  Tyler Diep is still trailing Diana Carey by 213 ballots. 

What will he do?  He can ask for a recount but this will only delay the inevitable and it also makes him look less attractive for the city council to appoint him to replace the seat occupied by Frank Fry.

Diana Carey certainly would not want to have Tyler Diep on city council so that he could screw her with three Vietnamese-American votes.   Sergio Contreras got elected because of the huge endorsement and support of former Mayor Rice.  And she does not give a damn about Tyler Diep.

Whatever the case may be, this will go down as one of the biggest upsets in Little Saigon politics.  Granted Wesminter is a small town and city council seat is a part time position but it shows that Tyler Diep is vulnerable in the Vietnamese-American community.  

He is young and he can always come back but for him to step into a bigger political stage, he is not ready yet.

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 57 of 57

Vote Count Percentage
DIANA CAREY 8,995 19.8%
TYLER DIEP 8,782 19.4%
KHAI DAO 2,711 6.0%
AL P. KRIPPNER 2,511 5.5%

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Saga Continues for Tyler Diep and Diana Carey

With only a few hundred ballots left, does Tyler Diep have enough to catch up the 235 ballot deficit?

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 57 of 57

Vote Count Percentage
DIANA CAREY 8,758 19.8%
TYLER DIEP 8,535 19.3%
KHAI DAO 2,584 5.9%
AL P. KRIPPNER 2,453 5.6%

Friday, November 16, 2012

Will Tyler Diep Ask for Recount?

With less than a thousand ballots left to count,  Tyler Diep is trailing Diana Carey by 258 votes.   The clock is about to strike at midnight for Diep.  What would he do?  It is understandable that he would lose the Sergio Contreras but to an unknown Diana Carey.  Even worst, he lost the seat as an incumbent.

On the bright side,  he is young, has a lot money,  so he can always bounce back 2 years from now.  However, by losing, he just opens doors to other Vietnamese-American candidates in 2014.

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 57 of 57

Vote Count Percentage
DIANA CAREY 8,703 19.9%
TYLER DIEP 8,445 19.3%
KHAI DAO 2,554 5.8%
AL P. KRIPPNER 2,436 5.6%

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

300 Votes Separate Carey from Diep

With 2,600 ballots left to count,  the incumbent Tyler Diep is closing the gap on Diana Carey.   This race will go down to the wire with now only 300 votes separate the two candidates

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 57 of 57

Vote Count Percentage
DIANA CAREY 8,454 20.0%
TYLER DIEP 8,144 19.3%
KHAI DAO 2,422 5.7%
AL P. KRIPPNER 2,361 5.6%

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tyler Diep Lost City Council Race - A Shocker

With little more than four thousand ballots left,  the incumbent Tyler Diep (Diep Mien Truong)  is trailing Diana Carey by 650 votes.

The chances for him to pull out a last minute miracle is slim since his Vietnamese-American votes are being diluted with Charlie Nguyen and Khai Dao. In the last 5 days after the election, he hardly gains any ground against Carey.

If the trend holds, his lost would be an out of this world shocker for he is an incumbent with a loaded campaign chest of $150,000.   LSI could not remember when a last time an incumbent city council lost in Westminster.   But on the other, Tyler Diep probably knew he is not popular already when earlier this year he dropped out of the state assembly race in a district where Asian-Americans make up a strong voting bloc. 

This unexpected event then begs the question  whether he would be appointed by the city council to replace the seat left open by Tri Ta as he becomes the newly-elected mayor. 

Tri Ta owed his mayoral victory to the endorsement and support of the popular ex-Mayor Rice.  She went out of her way to not support Tyler Diep.

Just a pont of reference, the Vietnamese-American community in OC never really cares for Tyler Diep.  He is deemed to be controversial and arrogant, especially with the leaks on how he abused his seat to get special treatments.    It did not help that he was an underling of Van Tran, an ex-assemblyman who lost his congressional bid to Loretta Sanchez in 2008 in a landslide.

After Tran's defeat,  his "Gang of Seven"  lost their political leverage and saw their power and influence dwindle further in Little Saigon  due to infighting.   Andy Quach and Tyler Diep Truong denounced against each other publicly as they fought to protect their consulting businesses.  

Like most small cities, the city council job is a part time position.  They are allowed to operate consulting operation  to help business owners getting permits and other paperwork applications. 

Ta Duc Tri and Tyler Diep are still friends but they know that they will have to leverage their political capital wisely are else it will hurt both.

CITY OF WESTMINSTER Member, City Council
Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 57 of 57

Vote Count Percentage
DIANA CAREY 8,128 20.5%
TYLER DIEP 7,478 18.9%
AL P. KRIPPNER 2,273 5.7%
KHAI DAO 2,196 5.5%

Friday, November 9, 2012

Majority of Asian-Americans voted for Obama

There is a myth that most Asian Americans tend to vote for Republican candidates.  Well, in the last two elections, the polls showed that they overwhelmingly voted for Democratic candidates to the tune of 64% and 79% respectively.   Being the fastest minority voting bloc, this is a troublesome sign for the future of the Republican party in a nation-wide election.   Hispanics actually have less affinity for Democratic candidates than Asian-Americans in the 2012 election.   They voted 74% (in 2008)  and 76% (in 2012) for Democratic candidates.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jimmy Nguyen Lost by 10%

Unexpectedly,  Jimm Nguyen's  young political fortune ended for now at the hand of Rose Herrera.   He lost by 10% point in a bitterly fought campaign pitting Labor Unions against Rose Herrera.  

Jimmy Nguyen was an unknown in his own Vietnamese-American community as well as in the community-at-large.  He bursted into the scene as an opportunist, hoping that he could be a pawn for the proxy battle between Chuck Reed and Dave Cortese and his labor backing.   His inexperience, and limited in-depth knowledge of issues due to lack of participation in the community where he resides and immature campaign staff were shown throughout the campaign

A more mature candidate could have taken Herrera to the task.  Live and learn.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Thin Skin" Rose Hererra vs. "Lucky Boy" Jimmy Nguyen

With a campaign reaching $1 million spending mark and probably the costliest city council race in the history of San Jose,  it will come down to this -  Should the citizens of San Jose vote for a candidate that support pension reform  to show that they really care how  their hard earned money being taxed and spent by the local government?

The incumbent Rose Hererra has a checkered personal history of fiscal irresponsibility and of course a second rate temperament.   She is legendary for her prima donna behavior among the Asian communities.  " I am a city councilwoman therefore, I should be treated like a queen to all events" .    She needs to remember that she is nothing but a low level public servant that can be kicked out of office anytime.   If it was not for her support of the pension reform, this race would not be even competitive.

Now the Vietnamese-American's "Lucky Boy"  Jimmy Nguyen of course happens to be at the right place at the right time.   His campaign was going nowhere and he was clueless on issues.  However, the puppet master Dave Cortese and the powerful unions cannot stand Mayor Chuck Reed.   It is a proxy political battle that they wave and if Jimmy Nguyen wins, he will be their pawn for the next 8 years.  

So San Jose voters,  what would it be?  The revival of unions and their ways by electing Jimmy Nguyen or keeping a second rate city councilwoman and sending a message about how they want their money to be spent?

The election will be a close one.   From preliminary absentee ballot numbers,  LSI is expecting anywhere from 20,000 to 24,000 total ballots.   If the turn-out is more than 21,000 ballots,  Rose will win.   

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jimmy Nguyen and Duc Lam - "Gotcha Game"

In a brilliant political "Gotcha" move,  Jimmy Nguyen and his supporters decided to see if they could embarass Rose Herrera.    The high paid political consultants, Tom Saggau and Dustin DeRollo were staking out at a park in District 8 to see if they could catch the person who supposedly has been dumping Jimmy Nguyen's campaign signs.    Accompanying  them is Duc Lam, a friend of Jimmy Nguyen and a video camera.    According to the Mercury News -

"...Software engineer Matt Wahlin, 58, admits he did remove some Nguyen signs, which he said someone repeatedly placed on the couple's front lawn in recent days. He said he also removed signs that had been on public property in the area, which he said is a violation of city rules.

But Wahlin said he was attacked Monday night as he was about to throw the signs away in a garbage bin, located in a small park less than a mile from the home he shares with Herrera.

"I was going around the corner and I was blindsided and knocked to the ground by at least one person," Wahlin told reporters late Tuesday morning from his living room. As he stood up after the attack, he said, two suspects shined a bright light and camera in his face.

Wahlin showed reporters scrapes and bruises on his face, hands and left knee that he said he suffered as a result of the confrontation. He filed a police report Tuesday against his unknown assailants...."

The video that the consultants posted on the web is in poor condition but here are two full stories reported on the Internet.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fire and Bronze Lửa Đông Sơn Concert

The Sound of Fire and Bronze, an enchanting blend of jazz, traditional Vietnamese folk-inspired music and original scores performed by internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist Nguyên Lê and Đàn Tranh [Vietnamese Zither] virtuoso Vân Ánh Vanessa Võ.

A small exhibit of ancient Đông Sơn drum and several drum rubbings will be open to the public on Saturday Nov 3, 2012 at the Rose Center.

Lửa Đông Sơn Cultural Exhibit & Concert
Rose Theater Center, Westminster, CA
Saturday, Nov 3, 2012

Đông Sơn Culture & Bronze Drum Exhibit: 2:00-4:00 PM.
Special talk at 2:30 PM by Drs. Chan and Quynh Kieu – complimentary

Concert at 7:30

Concert Ticket Prices:
$25 Student (ID required, spaces limited)
$40 General
$100 Bronze (Preferred seating)

Tickets Available:
1. By Credit card or PayPal
2. At Lee’s Sandwiches on Beach/McFadden: 15440 Beach Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683
3. At Bolsa Tickets ( 714.418.2499, 10161 Bolsa Ave, Ste B-207, Westminster, CA 92683

For further questions email:

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 MacArthur Fellow - An My Le

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards five-year, unrestricted fellowships to individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and promise of continued creative work. It is limited to U.S. citizens and residents.  

The fellow program is usually referred to as the Genius Grant with the award of $500,000.   Previously two other Vietnamese-Americans had received the award

Dr. Huynh, Sanh Thong, Yale University (1987).  The award is for his exceptional work in literary study.

Dr. Huynh, My Hanh, High Explosives Technology Group,  Los Alamos National Lab (2007).  The award is for her work in high energy chemical reactions and its practical application.

This year, Le, My An, at Bard College, NY, was given the award for her talent in documentary photography.

In given her the award,  the foundation stated the following -

An-My Lê is an artist whose photographs of landscapes transformed by war or other forms of military activity blur the boundaries between fact and fiction and are rich with layers of meaning. A refugee from Vietnam and resident of the United States since 1975, much of Lê’s work is inspired by her own experience of war and dislocation. From black and white images of her native Vietnam taken on a return visit in 1994 to pictures of Vietnam War battle re-enactments in rural America, her photographs straddle the documentary and the conceptual, creating a neutral perspective that brings the essential ambiguity of the medium to the fore.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Romney Leading Obama Among Viet-American Voters

Just out of sheer luck as Asian-American Poll Media was doing some polling projects, the foundation was gracious enough to do an unofficial survey for LSI to see what is the presidential election landscape within the Viet-American community in the Bay Area in general.  

The unofficial survey was done with 235 likely voters in Santa Clara County.   The result is not surprisingly in favor of Romney at 54% vs. Obama at 44%.   This of course is propably the reverse of the general electorate in the Santa Clara and elsewhere in California where Obama is so overwhelming ahead that neither Romney or Obama even show up to campaign.

The fun race to watch is in Virginia where the Asian-American voters will help decide a very close race for the 13 electoral votes.  Romney are actively courting the Asian-American voters there while Obama is focusing on the Latino voting bloc.    In 2008,  the retiring Senator Jim Webb won a close election with the help of the Vietnamese-American voters who turned in drove to support a Democratic candidate in a heavily Republic leaning district.   Of course, it did not hurt that Webb's wife is a young and good looking Vietnamese-American lawyer who is almost 2 decades his junior.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Building Healthy Families Forum

Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy in collaboration with Asian Americans for Community Involvement is proud to introduce the “Xây Dýòng Gia ÐiÌnh LaÌnh Maònh” or “Building Healthy Families” community forum, a Domestic Violence Information & Resource Collaborative event on October 13th at the Franklin McKinley School District Office.
Our mission is to educate Vietnamese American families in identifying signs and symptoms of domestic violence and emotional abuse. We hope to achieve this goal by engaging the community and connecting these families to the resources, information and tools that are vital to a healthy home environment, whether it be their own or a loved one’s.
Xay Dung Gia Dinh Lanh Manh
“Building Healthy Families”
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Breakfast & Registration: 11:30 am
Panel & Discussion: 12:00 pm -1:30 pm
Lunch and Resource Fair: 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Franklin McKinley School District Office
645 Wool Creek Drive, San Jose, CA 95112
Panel Speakers:
Judge Jacqueline Duong, Santa Clara County Superior Court
Dr. Le Phuong Thuy, Family Therapist
Quyen Vuong, Executive Director, ICAN
Nguyet-Anh Le, Sr. Legal Advocate, AACI
Please Join Us!
The day’s events will feature a panel of distinguished speakers including Judge Jacqueline Duong of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, family therapist Dr. Le Phuong Thuy Quyen Vuong, Executive Director of the non-profit ICAN, and Nguyet-Anh Le, Senior Legal Advocate for AACI Women's Shelter. The resource fair will bring together legal experts and community service providers to talk about support services, prevention and intervention strategies. After much planning and collaboration we are pleased to invite you to:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Democratic Party and Vietnamese-American Voters

                             Our Bowl of Rice

                                                                     By Dr. Vinh Cam

I recently had the privilege of attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a delegate from Greenwich. 

When people ask why I’m a Democrat, I say that Democratic core values resonate with my heart and mind. 

Growing up in a devout Catholic family in Saigon, compassion, love, respect for the elderly, humility, education, sharing and unwavering faith in God were our core family values. 

Since a very young age, I believed that poverty and ignorance are the worst diseases on earth.  I wanted to devote my life to help people by choosing a career in scientific research and public service, and I believe the Democratic Party is most supportive of those goals.

Having survived centuries of colonialism at the hands of the Chinese and more recently the French, the Vietnamese people have demonstrated tremendous political stamina.  The famous Trung Sisters, perched on elephants, led an army of women and men to push back Chinese invaders in 40 AD. 

The success of our Vietnamese community has spanned from the continuing growth of small business to the prominence of a number of Vietnamese-Americans in arts, business, and sciences.

I have witnessed firsthand how Democratic legislators have fought for "our bowl of rice" in protecting and expanding social programs that provide economic security for millions of Vietnamese families, including seniors, students, and veterans. 

The Democratic Party has created a large tent for Americans from all walks of life.  Its policies of inclusion, social justice, and shared prosperity has allowed minorities to make giant leaps in their education and career growth.

Democrats want to continue fighting for a better quality of life for our community and want to prevent cuts (such as those in the Paul Ryan budget) that would adversely affect our community.

Although there is a perception that Republicans have been more aggressive in targeting the Vietnamese vote, Democrats have been working very hard to earn it.  Recently, Republican intolerance on immigration issues, and attacks on Social Security and Medicare have driven many Vietnamese away from the Republican Party.  The people whom I have helped to register to vote over the years have told me that they found that Democrats have done more for people of color.

I believe that war - causing untold suffering - should be avoided at all costs and only used as the last resource.  That's why I voted for Senator Obama for President in 2008, for his opposition to the War in Iraq and his promise of ending it if elected.  He kept his word in ending the war in Iraq and brought our troops home.  President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden have worked tirelessly to help former service members getting training and jobs to ensure that military families have a prosperous life.

I learned a great deal from attending the Convention in Charlotte.  Our dreams, no matter how ambitious, can become reality.  I was fired-up from seeing so many "rags to riches" stories that were accomplished through sheer determination of individual spirit.

I don't have the words to describe the various emotions I felt while attending the Convention.  I cried and laughed, depending on what different speakers said.  One thing I felt for sure was gratitude.  Gratitude to God for having given me the strength to overcome adversity and leading me to the right path.  Gratitude to America for having adopted me into her loving arms and giving me political and economic security.  Gratitude to all my friends and colleagues who have helped me along my life journey.  Gratitude to my grandmother , Huynh thi Sang, and mother, Huynh thi Cuc, who have raised me with absolute binding faith in God and deep inculcation of strong work ethics, compassion and self-sufficiency.

In 2008, I was the Founding Chair of Vietnamese Americans for Obama to conduct voter registration and enlist our community support for Senator Obama.  Blessed with strong will and faith, our Vietnamese community ought to seize the moment to shape our own destiny right here in America.  I strongly urge you to embrace active citizenry and fully exercise your rights at every single election.

Whether  you're Democrat, Independent, or Republican, rich or poor, I urge all my fellow Vietnamese Americans to be engaged in the political process.  Don't consider politics a dirty business.  It's upon all of us to make politics clean and rewarding.  Get involved!

I will entrust my vote to re-elect President Barack Obama on November 6, 2012.  I urge you all to reach into the depth of your heart and ask yourself who has been fighting for your rights.

President Obama and Democrats have been fighting for "our bowl of rice."  It is just not the Vietnamese bowl of rice but the” AMERICAN BOWL OF RICE.”  Let us give them our heart and sweat in reelecting President Obama on November 6.


Dr. Vinh Cam
Delegate from Greenwich, CT
PO Box 5303
Greenwich, CT 06831
Dr. Vinh Cam is a former member of the Representative Town Committee, and a member of the Democratic Town Committee

Friday, October 5, 2012

Keith Khoa Nguyen and Scott Hung Pham both Resigned

In a strange coincidental set of circumstances, Keith Khoa Nguyen and Scott Hung Pham both resigned recently from their respective school boards.   Nguyen resigned last month from Franklin Mckinley School District while Pham did the same with Alum Rock Union School District in early August.  Both were elected in 2010.  

Betty Duong, a one time aide to former Assemblyman Joe Coto, was lobbying hard for the appointment but the board chose a Hispanic candidate instead  despite the fact that school district has 25% Vietnamese-American students.

Keith Khoa Nguyen also left his position as policy analyst for Mayor Chuck Reed earlier this year.  Nguyen decided to leave politics for now is a suprise since he had talked about running for District 7 city council  in 2014.

While the dust has not settled at all for the 2012 election cycle, the conventional wisdom has it that the policeman Tam Truong is planning his next political move in District 7 to replace his close friend Madison Nguyen in 2014.   It is widely expected that Madison Nguyen will be running for mayor against Dave Cortese and perhaps Sam Liccardo. 

Truong has the look and credential to be the next city councilmember.

Truong's plan is no comfort to Cam Van Le, trustee of East Side Unified School District.  Recently, she has aksed her friend and real estate agent, Amy Duong, to help her look for a house in District 7.   Le has been thinking aloud about her next political career move.   However, being quite cautious by nature,  Le has been asking everybody she could get a hold of about the latest rumors of who is running in District 7.  If there are more than two Vietnamese-American candidates running in District 7, she might set her sight for District 8 instead which is at least 4 years away. 

So where would somebody like Betty Duong fits in if she is thinking about a city council seat?   LSI would think District 4 is wide open for her since she does have the name recognition in the Vietnamese-American community as a lawyer as well as her charitable work.   


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jimmy Nguyen vs Rose Herrera according to Mercury News

Mercury News editorial: Attacks on Rose Herrera are scarier than crime in San Jose
Mercury News Editorial
Posted: 10/03/2012 04:48:21 PM PDT
It's tempting to dismiss the cutthroat campaign against San Jose Councilwoman Rose Herrera in District 8 as business-as-usual politics. But when misleading information is presented in a sensational fashion by police officers, it's different.
The police union has a right to get involved in politics. But actions that might be all right for other unions are troubling for officers who need the public's trust to do the job. If Herrera loses this election, Evergreen and San Jose will lose. Regardless, the police union is losing something in this campaign.
The police union hates Herrera. There's no other way to put it. We hope voters see through the scare tactics that imply she is single-handedly to blame for the uptick in crime, particularly burglaries, in San Jose. The fact that burglaries are up everywhere along the Highway 101 corridor -- even in Palo Alto -- has not yet been laid at Herrera's door, but give it time.
Herrera is flustered by the attacks, which say she "rolled out the red carpet for criminals," and she isn't always as clear as she should be when discussing statistics. She and a majority of council members are doing the right thing, even though, in her case, it may not be politically expedient. Herrera is a key vote for responsible budgets and public safety policies.
For example, if the city had not negotiated a 10 percent pay cut for police -- money the officers now want back -- the force would have been cut to 950 back in 2011. Today there are still 1,054 officers on the job, and the city is hiring to get back to the authorized level of 1,100. That's not enough, but prudent budgeting supported by Herrera has kept it from being worse.
A favorite theme of the police is hammering Herrera for voting against increased staffing in the police burglary unit. But police Chief Chris Moore and his assistant strongly opposed this, arguing that it would take officers off patrol and was not the best use of manpower. Evergreen and San Jose need a council member smart enough to know when to listen to the experts and strong enough to vote in the public interest even when she knows it will be used against her.
Perhaps most disingenuous, the officers are holding meetings in Evergreen ostensibly to help people guard against crime, when the sessions are part of their campaign strategy. One was scheduled the same night as a City Council study session on police staffing. They are also blocking Chief Chris Moore, who is retiring in January, from having civilian investigators do background checks on new recruits, which would free up 17 officers for patrol.
Herrera has been critical to the single most important step to balance the city budget and rebuild the police force: She has supported pension reform -- and so has District 8, where more than 70 percent of voters approved Measure B in June. The police budget is ballooning largely because of retirement costs, which shot up from $150 million to $245 million in just the past few years.
Voters who feel themselves swayed by those scary mailers need to look a little deeper.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Unofficial Poll for Jimmy Nguyen and Rose Herrera

LSI asked Asian American Poll Media, LLC to do an unofficial poll for the exciting  San Jose District 8 city council race.  

The conventional wisdom indicates that this will be a close race despite Jimmy Nguyen, a relatively unknown and inexperience candidate, running against an incumbent that is mostly staying out of trouble ever since she was elected 4 years ago. 

The reason is mostly personal vendetta from labor unions and Supervisor Dave Cortese against Rose Herrera for she is taking a pension reform position aligning with Mayor Chuck Reed.   Of course, Cortese and Reed are fierce political enemies since 2006 mayoral election.

The survey was done with 235 likely voters with an error of  +/-  4%.  Voters were selected across the diverse ethnic groups that made up the electorate of District 8.    According to poll taken for the week of Sept 25 - Sept 29,   50% will most likely vote for Herrera, 42% for Nguyen, and 8% undecided.

From the poll,  it will be a closely contested race with Jimmy Nguyen running against pension reform.  He changed his postion after the primary so that he could get the money and support from Labor.  Nguyen also enjoys an overwhelming support of the Vietnamese-American community, especially from Ly Tong and the anti-communist activists that caused such commotion with their Little Saigon fight a few years ago.  

Herrera on the other hand is enjoying the support of Reed and Chamber of Commerce with her staunch stand on pension reform and fiscal responsibility.  At the end of the day, will Herrera be defeated for she is vulnerable with her second rate temperament


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jimmy Nguyen vs. Rose Herrera, A Proxy War

Jimmy Nguyen is picking up the momentum to unseat at the incumber Rose Herrera for the city council seat of District 8 in San Jose.   With 18% of the registrar voters in the district are Vietnamese-Americans, he will have a strong voting bloc by having the last name Nguyen.

Even though he has not been active in the community in the past, he has been lately embracing himself with Ly Tong and the Little Saigon naming battle (yes, the battle is still on after all these years, along with the pending appeal over the Brown Act violation).   But you cannot fault the guy from jumping on  enticing political opportunties when he sees one. 

Jimmy Nguyen and Patricia Martinez Roach were part of the proxy battle between County Supervisor Dave Cortese and labor unions against Mayor Chuck Reed.    Cortese also has a personal vendetta against Reed so anything to make Reed's life miserable, it is fair game to him. 

The choice candidate was Roach and Nguyen was the designated spoiler.  The strategy was not to have Herrera won the primary outright but forced her into the runoff in November.   In  the end, when Roach faltered badly, Cortese and his people decided to put PAC money into Jimmy Nguyen to ensure that the Vietnamese-American votes were strong with him.  

In the primary, Nguyen was for Chuck Reed's pension reform plan but in order to get the full support of Labor, he now has switched to opposing the pension reform plan. 

With Labor now finally lining up behind him after his flip flop to their pension cause, Nguyen will have a good chance of closing in on Rose Herrera who won the primary with 48% of the votes.

The key question here is - Do people in District 8 believe in Labor and their entitlement and control of the local government that really put a lot of tax money in their own pockets?  These are wasteful money that benefit Labor and their many underlings yet do not serve the people of San Jose.    Union members are receiving benefits and entitlements that are 30% better than the ordinary working folks.  In this period of economic hardtime,  it is unfanthomable that the taxpayers still have to bear the burdner high taxes to pay for the outrageous benefits that the public workers do not deserve. 

Jimmy Nguyen is not his own man.  He sold his soul to Labor in order to get a city council seat.   On the other, Rose Herrera is well known to have a second rate temperament as well as intellect.  But again, we are just talking about a city council seat. 

As taxpayers in District 8 going to the booth in November, the most matter question they have to ask themselves is: " When is enough is enough, do you really want your hard earned money being taxed away to subsidize the ridiculuos entitlement and outlandish benefits that public servants are currently enjoyed?" 

It is a clear election of choice between Herrera (whom by the way won the 2008 election with the supports of Labor and Dave Cortese)  who is supporting the pension reform because she understands the needs of fiscal responsibility and Nguyen, an inexperienced newcomer who at first supported the pension reform but now flip flop because he just wants to win at all cost.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Tran Nhan Tong International Prize at Harvard

The Tran Nhan Tong International Prize for Reconciliation and Compassion has been made public on the website by Tran Nhan Tong Academy at Boston.

The academy, named after the third king in the Tran dynasty of Vietnam (1225-1400), was founded in April with an objective of researching the king, and popularising his career and ideas to the world.
Every year, the academy’s prize committee will present an award to people who make great contributions to building friendships among countries and solving conflicts.

Nomination letters should be sent to the committee before July 31. They will select the award recipients in the first week of August and announce their names in mid-August.

The committee is comprised of academy president Thomas Patterson, academy director Nguyen Anh Tuan, Alex Jones and Thomas Scanlon from Harvard University , and Thomas Fiedler from Boston University .

The prize also sees the participation of former and current leaders as advisors, such as Vietnam’s former chairman National Assembly Nguyen Van An, Latvia’s former president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, and Washington Post’s vice president Ann McDaniel.

Each awardee will receive a medal, a certificate, and a classical work or a song and a poem (in English and Vietnamese) praising them.

The Recognition Day and the Tran Nhan Tong International Conference will take place at Harvard Faculty Club, Harvard University on September 21 .

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jimmy Nguyen for District 7 City Council in 2014?

With the campaign heading into the final two months,  Jimmy Nguyen's lack of campaigning experience is glaring.   Many of his supporters are concerning about his efforts and his inability to raise money.  

He tries his best to rally the Viet - American community to help him with money.  His all out support of  the convicted felon Ly Tong has gained him admiration of  the extreme anti-communist crowd but has hurt him with the more main stream Viet-American voters. 

The whisper among his Viet-American supporters is that this election is good for Jimmy to get some public exposure so that he can run for District 7 to replace Madison Nguyen in 2014.  This is something that has crossed his mind no doubt.   

District 7 is wide open in 2014 with 35% of the voting block is Viet-American.   A candidate like Jimmy Nguyen has a very high chance of winning.  Of course, Cam Van Le, a schoold board member, is also thinking very outloud about running for the seat.   She is actively scoping out who is running for the seat.   

LSI cannot wait till 2014 to see the contest in District 7 to replace Madison Nguyen.    Of course, Nguyen has made it known in the Viet-American community that she is running for mayor in 2014. 

She hopes to sneak in between two white male candidates who are rumored to be in the running also - Dave Cortese and our dear friend Sam Liccardo.   She is hoping for the female votes and some of the Viet-American votes.   Would it be enough to get her into the runoff?  


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So Far - Madison Nguyen 1, Dave Cortese 0

For those who are keeping score, the proxy war between San Jose City Councilmember Madison Nguyen (and her mentor, Mayor Chuck Reed) and County Supervisor Dave Cortese is being fought bitterly in the open in the Vietnamese-American community.

Yet it is only 2012.   It is no secret that Cortese and Nguyen will be vying for the San Jose mayoral seat.   Dave has been very active in catering to the Vietnamese-American community.   After all, they will make the difference who will be in the runoff.  

Cortese has two main projects this year to help win point with the Vietnamese-American voters.  They are: 

1.  Attaining the highway sign " Little Saigon" to highlight the business district named Little Saigon.  Even though it is not offically recognized by the city planner but the monument and banners are allowed to be displayed.  

2.  Securing a plot of land in the county for a Vietnam War Veteran Memorial statute

Cortese, with the help of Assemblymember  Nora Campos, had sponsored a bill (AB 2095) to allow DOT to post 4 "Little Saigon" signs along HWY 101.   The bill was allowed to expired recently since  at the recent hearing of the Rules and Open Committee, both Reed and Nguyen restated the fact San Jose City does not official recognize the Little Saigon name and therefore would neither support nor reject such bill.     For the supporters of having such signs, it means that they will have to wait for another 2 years when a new set of elected officials might be in their favor.

Madison Nguyen 1,  Dave Cortese 0.

However, Cortese will have better luck with the Vietnam War Veteran Memorial since he has more control.   The county supervisors in principal have no objection to designate a plot of land within the county building grassy area for a bronze statute of a Vietnamese and an American soldier  to commemorate the Vietnam War.    The final approval is still needed but Cortese has been instrumentally in shepherding the whole process, including selecting the groups within the community to lead the project.   Now it will be up to the community to unite and raise about $400,000.    According to the plan, the county will take ownership of the statute and provide maintenance of the memorial.   With the success of this project,  Cortese will have a leg up on Madison.

Now for a tie round,  it is the Mid-Autumn Festival.  Both Cortese and Nguyen are sponsoring their own event on the same date.    Cortese is helping a large Mid-Autumn Festival in the Santa Clara County Fairground.  It will be an all day event with major entertainments from Orange County along with a health care fair.    Nguyen is promoting her own event at Kelley Park from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Jimmy Nguyen and His Rousing Support for Ly Tong

In the last two weeks after Ly Tong's release from prison,  the Little Saigon community has been seeing him being accompanied by the District 8 city council candidate Jimmy Nguyen.   At an event to raise fund to support Ly Tong's effort to counter sue the county for wrongful conviction (as Ly Tong maintained),  Jimmy even showed up and gave a rousing speech praising Ly Tong as a hero of the community.   He even donated $500 to the cause.

The community understands Jimmy Nguyen needs the votes but to some people,  this is a little too desperate to claim that Ly Tong is a hero. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Rose Herrera Trying to Get the Vietnamese-American Votes

With Jimmy Nguyen agressively going after the Vietnamese-American votes,  city councilmember Rose Herrera has no choice but to figh back.   Her team has been going to Vietnamese-American homes trying to convince the voters to her side.   She is sending out mass e-mail with pictures of her and Madison Nguyen front and center.  

She knows that she will need to win at least some of the Vietnamese-American votes.  The race is too close and if Jimmy is getting all of the votes, she has little chance of winning.  She will concede the majority of the Vietnamese-American votes to Jimmy but she cannot give him a free ride for  + 90%  of the votes.     This would be too much for her. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Xuyen Kim Nguyen, A Fugitive


Subject Image


Thi Kim Nguyen, Kim Nguyen, Xuyen Nguyen


Date(s) of Birth Used:

February 16, 1942

Place of Birth:





135 pounds















Scars and Marks:

None known


Nguyen became a naturalized citizen in 1999. She has lived in the Seattle, Washington, and Dallas, Texas, areas.


In May 2005, seven individuals, including Xuyen Thi-Kim Nguyen, were indicted in Dallas, Texas, for their involvement in a scheme to defraud a mortgage company of over $5 million. After four of the seven individuals pled guilty, Nguyen was convicted of one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud, and seven counts of fraud by wire. Nguyen was placed on home monitoring until her sentencing. However, some time between November 8, 2005, and November 11, 2005, Nguyen fled from her home in Plano, Texas. Subsequently, a complaint was filed in the Northern District of Texas for failure to appear, and an arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court on February 3, 2006.
If you have any information concerning this person, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
Field Office: Dallas

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pham Phu Thien Giao Refuses to Resign

The saga of Nguoi-Viet Newspaper is reaching another chapter as the calling for Pham Phu Thien Giao is louder and louder.   Viet Star Newspaper in Orange County is calling out the current editor-in-chief of Nguoi-Viet to be everything but short of a communist agent.  

Appearantly from what has been written in the media,  Pham Phu Thien Giao served in the communist army and stationed in Long Giao.  He later went to work with a communist party owned newspaper.   He came to the US via Eastern Europe and not directly from Vietnam.  

And the other worse sin in the Little Saigon politics is the fact that he was trying to revive the Trannie's fortune and their infamous "Gang of Seven" via his shamelessly promotion for Diep Mien Truong for state assembly (before Diep knew he would not have a chance).


Mid Autum Festival 2012, Kelley Park

Councilmember Madison Nguyen is sponsoring  a Mid Autumn Festival in her district on Sept 22, 2012 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Kelley Park.

Everything is free but not parking.   Please note the strict parking rules so that your cars won't be towed away or ticked.


Autumn Festival 2012, Santa Clara County Fairground


Hội Tết Trung Thu
Autumn Moon Festival
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 (11:00AM- 10:00PM)
Santa Clara County Fairground.
344 Tully Road San Jose, CA 95111
Sponsored by Sant Clara County Supervisors, Viet Voters, Radio 1500 AM,  ETIS Tax Services and the participation of over 15 Vietnamese-American community groups.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Olympic Medalist Marcel Nguyen and Jade Hilde

Here is a funny excertp from Jade Hidle on her take of Marcel Nguyen and his Vietnamese-heritage.   The rest of the article can be read on

Go Marcel Nguyen! diaCRITIC Jade Hidle gives us an Olympic take on Vietnamese identity using Marcel Nguyen, the Olympic silver medalist in gymnastics, as the launching point. At the same time, Hidle turns inward and and gives us a beautiful reflection on her own struggles as a mixed Vietnamese.
[before we begin: like diaCRTICS? why not subscribe? see the options to the right, via feedburner, email, and networked blogs]

On August 2nd, Vietnamese German gymnast Marcel Nguyen won a silver medal at the London Olympics in the men’s Individual All-Around. Straightaway, a friend—one who jokingly, tenderly calls me “halfer” for being Vietnamese and Norwegian, or “Viking,” as he would say—sends me a text message that asks, “What’s up with a German named Nguyen?”

 I know he is, in jest, ventriloquizing the ignorant, confused questions that strangers always pose to me about my mixed identity and my seemingly misplaced last name. But I know so many of the millions watching the Olympic Games must have been asking similar questions, in earnest, about a Nguyen representing Germany.

So I let my thumbs began to pound the texting keyboard on my phone to deliver a snapshot history of Vietnamese in Western Europe: The French! The 1931 Exposition Coloniale Internationale featuring “Indochinese” people on display like circus attractions. And in WWI? Nearly a hundred thousand Vietnamese soldiers!

And don’t forget about Philipp Rösler, the Vietnamese-born current Vice Chancellor of Germany. Recognize, yo! And what about me, the mixed Viet girl with a Norwegian last name? Would murmurs of my ethnic makeup cloud the shine of my silver medal? (Obviously, I would only earn an Olympic medal of any color in some alternate universe operating on a fantastical time-space continuum à la Star Trek.)

Seriously, though, Marcel’s medalling opens up a good opportunity not only to draw attention to the diversity in Germany, a country haunted by its past, but also to how worldwide the Vietnamese diaspora has been and continues to be. And, of course, it’s important to point out that “Vietnamese” can and does look like Marcel and like me..........