Showing posts from 2013

Richard Nguyen Edged Out Incumbent Al Hoang for Houston City Council Seat

In a battle of mostly for Vietnamese-Amerian votes,  political novice Richard Nguyen beat out the incumbent Al Hoang for Houston City Council District F.  

Nguyen received 3,160 votes while Hoang garnered 2,964 votes.   Less than 12% of the registered voters went to the poll.   In District F has about 67,000 registered voters and Vietnamese-American voters is 15% of the total.

Al Hoang served for 2 terms since 2009.  He lost partly because of his controversial dialogues with the Vietnamese government and his heavy handed tactics in dealing with the Vietnamese-Americans whom voted him in the office in 2009.   His defeat was a referendum of the Vietnamese-American community that does not want to be jerk around.

Hung Nguyen Lost Virginia House of Delegates Race

With 90% of the precincts reported, it seems that Hung Nguyen (D) has lost his bid to become the first Vietnamese-American elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. 

It was an opportunistic campaign with lack of funding and little support from his own Vietnamese community.   Thus the result was encouraging and it is up to him to learn from this experience in order to mount a challenge two years from now. 

CandidateVotesPercentRecount VotesRecount %Column13Column14Column15REP James M. "Jim" LeMunyon9,51654.37% 02200.543709290366815595N067DEM Hung Q. Nguyen7,94945.42% 02200.45417666552394531N067Write-in370.21% 992200.002114044109244661265N067Total Votes17,502

Hung Nguyen and His Chances

Hung Nguyen (D) is falling behind his opponent in fund raising effort.   Currently, he has raised about $53K (1/3 of the money came from California where he originally resided).  Meanwhile, his opponent, the Republican incumbent James LeMunyon, is flushed with cash at $280K (10% came from out-of-state).

So what are his chances?  The Democratic Party is fully behind him.  The Asian-Americans are lukewarm right now.  Whether the government shut dow will entice them to go to vote en-mass is too early to tell.   With not a lot of money, he has been relying on other Democratic candidates to co-promoting his name.   His co-campaigning with other better funded Democratic candidates is a practical strategy to get his name out there for free.

LSI thinks the race is actually closer than the conventional wisdom predicted.   LeMunyon is sitting on $84K of cash unspent.  He should be worry and use the money wisely for he might be in for a suprise in November.   As mentioned before, if Nguyen lose…

Janet Nguyen and San Francisco Chronicle

It is quite rare to have SF Chronicle to interview a political candidate in Orange County.   So LSI was surprised to see the article about OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R) along with the video -

 So what is going with the OC state senate race between Janet Nguyen (R) and Jose Solorio.   See below for a nice breakdown by an article in the OC Register.    By all indication thus far, it will be a close race but if Nguyen can rally her base, she might be ahead by more than 7 votes on election night (which is still a year from now).

Vietnamese Americans more engaged politically
There are far more Mexican-born residents of Orange County than Vietnamese-born, but those from Vietnam are more likely to register to vote.

Vietnamese Americans repeatedly prove themselves more engaged with Orange County elections than their Latino counterparts, and Regis…

Van Tran for Board of Equalization

The ex-assemblyman Van Tran is curiously announced his run for the Board of Equalization to replace his long time mentor Michelle Steel who is termed out and will be running for Orange County supervisor.

Why such a puzzling move to set up another political defeat for a position that has little political influence?

The 4th BOE Seat encompasses all of Orange County, along with San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and portions of San Bernardino Counties.   There are about 9 million people residing in the area.   Less than 3% are Vietnamese-Americans.   The overwhelmingly favorite candidate is the Diane Harkey (R).  She has the support of all the major politicians in the area, including local assemblymembers, state senators and all  five OC county supervisors.  And of course, she has no problem raising a boat load of money.

Not suprisingly,  his mentor Michelle Steel decided to also support Diane Harkey.    Michelle Steel and  her husband (a powerful Republican Party leader) gave Van Tran and …

One Vietnam Network Presents STREET EATS GALA

This is the second annual event put together by One Vietnam Network to raise money for their organization.  The group was formed with the idea of provide social network for Vietnamese people all over the world.  Last year, there were about 500 people attending the gala paying $125 a piece or more.

Richard Nguyen vs. Al Hoang for Houston City Council

An upcoming election this November that are being watched closely by the Vietnamese-American communities is the Houston city council race in District F.   The district is currently represented by Councilmember Hung Hoang or Al Hoang (English).   

Just as a background about  Houston.  It is the largest city in Texas with  2.2 million people and is divided into 11 districts.  Each district is represented by a city council.   The city also has 5 at-large council members and a mayor.    District F includes the Alief community where a large population of Vietnamese-Americans resides. 

Al Hoang was elected in 2009 and has a three-term limit of 2 years each.  The Vietnamese-American voters voted for him based on his strong anti-communist rhetoric.  

After taking office, he immediately wrapped himself in controversy with his open overture to the communist government in Vietnam.  He went to Vietnam on "special economic development visits" and met with high officials including the…

San Jose Mid-Autum Festival 2013 - A Celebration for Kids of All Ages

The celebrated festival put together by Viet Voters, Vietnamese-American Round Table, VACCNORCAL and Santa Clara County Supervisor Office was quite a show with over 2,000 people attending.

Of course, politicians like Congressman Mike Honda, Supervisor Dave Cortese and Cindy Chavez showed up to get maximum exposure.   San Jose City council candidate Tam Nguyen also sponsored the event.

The festive gathering that is often known as the Children's New Year brought smile and happiness to everybody from young to old with traditional games, music and shows.

Cannot wait until next year!

Hung Nguyen's Campaign for Virginia House of Delegates

So far, this is how much each candidate has been able to raise. In the past two elections, Jim Le Munyon had raised on the average of about $450K while his opponents on the average of about $350K. 

Hung Nguyen is behind in his effort despiste being supported by the Democratic Party and Labor Unions. But he has a chance if he could get his Asian-American base to vote for him. So far, they have been reluctant to give him money. Vietnamese-Americans in his district are well to do professionals so he will need to get them more interested in his candidacy. 

The mainstream Vietnamese-Americans are neutral about him at the moment.  He is mainly being supported by a quasi-political group called Viet Tan.  This is a controversial anti-communist group in California that is known for their militant efforts to overthrow the Vietnamese government.  

House of Delegates District 67 Election: All Elections2013 General Election (11/05/2013)2011 General Election (11/08/2011)2009 General Electio…

Voice of OC and Jose Solorio vs. Janet Nguyen

The Labor Unions and Democratic Party funded blog called Voice of OC and of course Jose Solorio (Democratic candidate for D34 State Senate race) are really going after County Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R) and her campaign.   And the state senate race is still more than a year away.

There are now numerous complaints from Vietnamese-Americans in Little Saigon about basically thugs claiming to be "Investigative Detectives" from Voice of OC knocking on their houses and businesses.  These agents (or thugs as Vietnamese-Americans are calling them) then arrogantly demand the people to answer  questions such as -

- "Are you a supporter of  Janet Nguyen?  If you are, do you vote for her and do you give her money?"

-  "If you are giving her money, why you are giver her money and how much?"

Last time LSI check, this is still a country where people have the rights to support and give money to their candidates without being questioned and harassed by "Investigativ…

Voice of OC - The Blog of Labor Unions & Democratic Party in Southern Cal

Charles Moran posted on Flash Report about the Voice of OC attacking a gay Republican running for office in Southern Cal.

Here are some of the excerpts:

"........Thanks to the San Diego Union Tribune, the entire San Diego community got to see just how far Democrats will go to smear a gay Republican. According to the Union Tribune, the attacks on Carl DeMaio weren’t even launched in San Diego, but by the “Voice of OC, a website founded with labor money in Orange County.”

While I refuse to re-state the hateful and personal attacks launched at Carl, I do believe it’s important to mention that the attacks were meant to inflict pain on Carl and his family, and just as important, I believe the attacks were also intended to send a message to gay Republicans running for office – that we could be next.

To those of us active in Republican politics, we have seen many attacks, some …

Van Le Announced Her Candidacy

First, the lawyer Tam Nguyen, now the community activist Van Le has put her hat in the ring for the 2014 San Jose city council race to replace the term-out Madison Nguyen.   Van Le is currently a school board member of East Side Union School District.   This would be an interesting race since both Tam Nguyen and Van Le will likely split the Vietnamese-American votes in District 7.  The Viet-Americans make up about 28% of the total registered voters. 

Thus begs the question - Will Maya Esparza run?  She is currently the trustee of Franklin-Mckinley School District.   

Janet Nguyen Fights Back Against Labor Unions

There is blog called Voice of OC in Orange County that has been touting themselve as a "non-profit investigative news agency".  It turns out that they are nothing more than a mouth piece for Labor Unions and the Democratic Party.  

The Blog received almost $800,000 from Unions and Democratic Party movers and shakers in the last 2 years alone. 

It is a pretty low tactic to claim to be neutral and unbias news  when matter of facts, everything is reported with a political agenda of helping Unions and Democratic Party and smearing whoever opposing the Unions and the Democratic Party.

WARNING – Voice of OC(EA) SMEAR Campaign against Senate Republican Candidate Janet Nguyen
September 5, 2013
Contact: Dave Gilliard (916) 626-6804

The self-described “non-profit investigative news agency” blog called Voice of OC has been conducting a relentless smear campaign geared towards keeping Republican candidate Janet Nguyen out of the California State Senate.

Recently …

Hung Nguyen For Virginia Delegate

Democrat Hung Nguyen, a Fairfax (VA) resident who owns a small IT consulting business, is challenging the incumbent LeMunyon (R), who was elected in 2009, for state representative seat in House of Delegates District 67th.  Hung Nguyen, who grew up in San Jose,  is a seasoned community activist for Vietnamese causes but a novice politician. 

He is married to a Korean-American and is hoping that a big turn out of Asian and Hispanic voters to win in a  moderate district.  The district is about 21% Asian and 11% Hispanic.  However, the Hispanic turn-out has been relatively low during off year election.

He is a good speaker and a quick learner.  He was the president of National Congress of Vietnamese-Americans, a nonprofit foundation established by an anti- communist activist and author Nguyen Ngoc Bich and his friends in Virginia. 

His opportunistic decision 3 months ago to run (since the incumbent was running unopposed) and his inexperience in running a campaign are giving him a slow s…

Miss Vietnam of Northern Cal Organizing Mid-Autumn Festival

What: 2013 Mid-Autumn Festival- Tet Trung Thu
Where: History Park at Kelley Park
Date: September 14, 2013
Time: 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Festival Activities include:
Free Lanterns
Live Entertainment
Children Vietnamese traditional dress contest
Drawing & coloring contests
Free face painting
Resource Fair
Lantern Parade

Most importantly, admissions will be free!!!

Hoa Hau Ao Dai Bac Cali - Miss Vietnam of Northern California

For more information, please contact:
Hoa Hau Ao Dai - MVNC: (408) 613-7285

Mid-Autumn Festival by Viet Voters & Coalitions

Like last year, The Viet Voters, Vietnamese American Community Coalitions and their affiliations along with the Santa Clara County together are putting together a festive mid-Autumn event for kids of all ages in San Jose.   This year, it will be on Sept 21 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Yerba Buena High School. 

Happy Tet Trung Thu!

Janet Nguyen and Her State Senate Run

With a newly redrawn district where Democrats and Republicans are split evenly and with 20% Independents,  OC County Supervisor Janet Nguyen has a favorable demographics to win the seat from the term-out Lou Correa (D).    The California Republican Party is pulling out all the supports for her.   She is leading her opponents in money raised so far.    Also, the district is heavily populated by Vietnamese-Americans.   Thus, their expected high turn-out will give her a strong voting base.  Of course,  it is only 2013 but the conventional wisdom is that she will be formidable as she continues to rally the party base and reach out to indepedend voters.

Visa Bribery Scam by Hong Vo and Company

News reported by USA Today and local Denver TV station sent shocked wave to the Vietnamese-American community in Denver:

Hong Vo, a 27 years old  Denver resident, is among three people arrested for allegedly helping hundreds of Vietnamese citizens enter the United States illegally in a multimillion-dollar scheme.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announces that  more than 500 people paid thousands of dollars to sneak into the U.S. using fraudulent visas.

Hong Vo,  Tran Huynh, and Michael Sestak, a visa chief at the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City in March 2012, allegedly started approving visas for a bribe between $20,000 to $70,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Michael Sestak was the best man and Hong Vo's wedding.  It was an elaborate wedding with hundreds of guests that costed well over $300,000.   At the time of her arrest, she was living in a wealthy neighborhood with her husband …

Vietnamese-American Coalitions in San Jose Celebrated

Couple weeks ago, the Vietnamese American Communities and Coalitions of Northern California had their gala to celebrate their newly elected members and also mark their victorious support for Cindy Chavez in the recent supervisorial election.

This is the same coalitions that were formed to recall Madison Nguyen  4 years.  Even though their effort failed but they have become a powerful voice in the community and their influence is undeniable.   Cindy Chavez, under Dave Cortese's advise, reached out to them early in her election while Teresa Alvarado decided to stick with Madison Nguyen for her support.

There were about 500 people showed up for a 3-hour long party.  City councilmembers Sam Liccardo, Kansen Chu, Ash Kalra as well as supervisors Dave Cortese and Cindy Chavez were there for the celebration.  The Mayor of Milpitas was also present to help cheer the crowd.   

The 2014 city council candidate Tam Nguyen was on hand to work the crowd.  Noticeably absence was his opponent C…

Viet Voters and Cindy Chavez

The aftermath of the special election for county supervisor in District 2 was somewhat anti-climatic to some of the Vietnamese-American voters.   With poll indicating the majority of the Vietnamese-Americans voting for Cindy Chavez, the winning result did not come as a surprise.  Nevertheless, it was a joyous mood for the many Vietnamese-Americans who were at the party on election night. 

Many members of the Vietnamese-American Voters Federation (Viet Voters for short)  headed by Dr. Ho Vu and Phuong Le, Ph.D. (a Stanford graduate) were there to celebrate.  Ben Field, the ED for South Bay Labor Council, in his speech addressing the crowd, publicly thanked Viet Voters for their support and efforts.   Both Chavez and Field actively reached out and worked with Viet Voters to ensure that they received the important Vietnamese-American swing votes (which made up about 20% of the total votes)

Viet Voters is the same group that tried to recall Madison Nguyen in 2009.   They were actively i…

Bachelor's Degree for Vietnamese Language and Culture

With more than 500,000 Vietnamese-Americans living in California (About 2/3 living in either San Jose or Garden Grove/Wesminster), there is a growing interest in the Vietnamese-American communities in California of perserving the Vietnamese culture and tradition for the next generation of Vietnamese-Americans born in the US.

In a recent story NPR in southern Cal, CSU in Fullerton will launch a BA degree for Vietnamese language and culture, as well as teaching Vietnamese to teachers as foreign language.

As the 10th most speaking language in the world, Vietnamese is being used widely outside of Vietnam in Viet diasporic communities throughout the world.  Besides the Western nations,  travelers could hear Vietnamese language in far away countries like Somalia, Bangeldesh, and Egypt.

How Vietnamese-American Voters Voting

LSI conducted a scientific polling on the Vietnamese-Americans in District 1 for the July 30 special election for county supervisor between Cindy Chavez and Teresa Alvarado.  

From a representative sample of 145 registered voters who mostly likely to go to the poll, the following questions were asked:

1.  Who  do you think you know better -  CC,  TA or Don't Know?
2   Who do you view more favorable ?
3.  Who do you most likely to vote for ?

The poll was conducted from July 19 - July 22 and within a margin of +/- 3%.  Here are the results:

Question 1:   40% CC, 28% TA, 32% Don't know

Question 2:  47% CC, 36% TA, 17% Don' Know

Question 3:  54% CC, 41% TA, 5% Undecided

Alvarado Campaign Recruiting Vietnamese-Speaking Staff to Help with Precinct Walking

In a last ditch effort to help secure the Vietnamese-American votes,  Alvarado campaign is looking for more Vietnamese-speaking staff to knock on doors and get out the votes.    The campaign is paying $10/ hr.  Those who are interested can call Christine at 408-234-5404.   The posting can be viewed on Vietnamese Student Associations via Facebook.

Meanwhile, Cindy Chavez  is wrapping up her campaign in the Vietnamese-American community with the confidence that the Viet supporters of County Supervisor Dave Cortese will deliver to her the Vietnamese-American votes  needed to win the election.

Teresa Alvarado knows that her effort to secure the Vietnamese-American votes are getting tougher.  Her venerable mom also tried to reach out to some members of the Vietnamese-American Voters Foundation and their PAC. 

The election is July 30th and Labor Unions are pre-celebrating their stronger grip on the county government.

Teresa Alvarado vs. Cindy Chavez

With less than a month left for the special supervisorial election in Santa Clara County to replace the disgraced Shirakawa,  both Alvarado and Chavez are working hard to win the Vietnamese American votes.

 Last week, at the Viet Voters' headquarters, there was a debate arranged by the Viet Voters for both candidates.   Most people attending the event agreed that Alvarado came out as a more trustworthy and likable candidate.    Of course, Cindy Chavez and Labor Unions were campaigning against Viet Voters in their support of Madison Nguyen in the 2008 and 2010 elections.   Viet Voters was the group that organized the recall and rallied the community support for Minh Duong's candidacy.

But in politics, there are no enemies, just convenient friends.   Cindy Chavez now claimed to be duped by Madison Nguyen and completely disassociated herself from Nguyen.   She is relying on SC Supervisor Dave Cortese to get herself a foothold with Viet Voters.   

She is also quite supportive of…

Scott Hung Pham Lost An Easy Chance to Be in the Run-Off

With all of  the precincts counted, here is the result of last night special supervisorial race for District 2 to replace the convicted Shirakawa.   About 18% of the registered voters went to the poll.

PATRICIA MARTINEZ-ROACH  1,362             7.05% CINDY CHAVEZ                                         
6,036 31.25%
SCOTT HUNG PHAM 2,74714.22% JOSEPH LA JEUNESSE 6363.29% DAVID S. WALL 6083.15% Total 19,316

In a district where Scott Pham calculated that there are about 20,000 Vietnamese-American registered voters, if he could get 35% of them to go to the poll and vote for him,  he could have been in the runoff due to the low overall turnout. 

But unfortunately,  he simply did not know how to run for office.  LSI could not even find his campaign website.  With his incapability to raise any money, he was doomed from the start. 

Cindy Chavez and Teresa Alvarado will now face each other.   With the overwhelming Vi…

Town Hall with US Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear in San Jose

You are invited to the following event: Townhall with Rep. Zoe Lofgren and U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear Event to be held at the following time, date, and location: Friday, June 7, 2013 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PDT) Board of Supervisors Chamber, Santa Clara County Government Center
East Wing, 1st Floor
70 W. Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110

View Map Yes No Maybe Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) is proud to host a town hall featuring special guest: U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David B. Shear.
Following remarks by Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, Congresswoman Lofgren, and Ambassador Shear, audience members will be invited to ask questions during a question and answer session.
Guests are asked to email questions in advance to:
David B. Shear was sworn in as Ambassador to Vietnam on August 4, 2011. He joined the Foreign Service in 1982. He has served in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. In Washington, he has served …

US Ambassardor to Vietnam David Shear Visiting Little Saigon, Orange County


Attorney Tam Nguyen Announcing his 2014 City Council Campaign

Last month, the San Jose attorney Tam Nguyen publicly declared his candidacy for District 7 city council seat in 2014.  This is the seat that will be vacated by the controversial Madison Nguyen. 

It is quite an early announcement by any standard but Tam Nguyen was just trying to measure who are the other candidates.   Right now,  Cam Van Le is the only other person who is hungry for the seat.   Earlier in the year, she moved to District 7 from District 8.    However, she was surprised by Tam Nguyen announcement but she is determined to win the race anyway.

It will be an interesting race with 1/3 of the electorates in the district are Vietnamese-Americans.   Many believes that this a district where a Vietnamese-American candidate would be a favorite to win.   Neverthless, there are strong speculations that Maya Esparza is harboring interest in running for the seat, especially with Labor behind her.   

Our Lady of La Vang Cathedral in San Jose

After 25 years of persistent petitioning and sometimes with strong-arm tactics,  the Vietnamese-American Catholics in San Jose got part of their wish to have a parish that they can officially call their own.   On April 28, 2013,  Bishop Patrick McGrath announced the renaming of St. Patrick Proto-Cathedral Parish to be Our Lady of La Vang Parish.  

The St. Patrick Parish has served the Vietnamese-American community for the past 37 years and the parishioners are now predominately Vietnamese-Americans.    However, the San Jose Diocese had been reluctant to designated it as a Vietnamese-American parish.   It is not uncommon to have such designation in southern California, Texas, Virginia, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, Kansas, Oaklahoma, Florida and Louisiana.  There  are about 3 dozen Vietnamese-American parishes in the US that specifically serve the Vietnamese-American Catholic communities. 

So what prompted the change of heart by Bishop Patrick McGrath and his predecessor, Bishop Eme…

US Consulate in Vietnam Caught Taking Bribery For Visa Scheme

According to a McClatchy report, a consular officer allegedly sold visas for millions of dollars at the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, and laundered millions in profits by buying real estate in Phuket and Bangkok.

The state department has been covering up the story for weeks but it was recently exposed by McClatchy. 

Foreign Service officer Michael T. Sestak was charged on conspiracy to commit visa fraud and bribery in an alleged scheme that investigators say spanned several countries. He and his cohorts charged Vietnamese  up to $70,000 each for visas granting legal entry to the United States.

The state deparment investigators say the alleged conspiracy occurred while Sestak was handling non-immigrant visas in the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. Sestak served in the consulate until last September.  Sestak then moved the money out of Vietnam by using money launderers through offshore banks…

Scott Pham for Santa Clara County Supervisor

For the last two weeks,  LSI has been flooded with email from Scott Hung Pham about his campaign for the June 4 special election.    Scott was elected to the Alum Rock Union School Board in 2010.   He abruptedly resigned in 2012 and cited personal reason for his departure.  Now he is putting his name in the ballot with 5 other candidates for the recently vacated District 2 supervisor seat.  

In his latest email, Scott espoused interesting statistics to support his chance of winning.  He declared that based on his experience, there will be about  15,000 votes casted in this special election.   There are 20,000 Vietnamese-American registered voters in District 2; thus, he claimed, in bold letters with red color highlight, he only needs 7501 votes to win. 

He emphasized if the Viet turnout is high, he will have a very good chance of winning the election outright.   To further remind the community to vote for him, he included a picture of himself standing next to  the convicted felon L…