Article here: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_11825893
Personally, I am so glad that Madison Nguyen won. She is a hard worker who has done a lot for her district since her election in 2006; at least, she was until the recall campaign took over her time and energy as she fought to keep her seat on the city council. All over semantics: "Little Saigon" vs. "Saigon Business District."
Short version: A Vietnamese group wanted to name an area of the city officially designated 'Little Saigon.' Nguyen refused to back this name, instead choosing 'Saigon Business District.' The city council initially voted to name the area 'Saigon Business District,' but after much protesting from the Vietnamese (including a hunger strike by dimwit Ly Tong) the council decided to withdraw the name and allow the Vietnamese to put up signs at their own expense calling the area whatever they wanted. This is enraged the Vietnamese that they started a campaign in April 2008 to recall Nguyen from office, which in addition to costing the city extra money for a special election also killed Nguyen's productivity for the past year.
Now, Nguyen is not my council person. (She's District 7, I'm in District 10.) But it absolutely aggravates me that so much fuss and fluster was wasted over naming an area 'Little Saigon.' San Jose does have a very large Vietnamese population, but they're still less than 9% of the city population. The area they want to designate as "Little Saigon" does have a lot of Vietnamese businesses, but I couldn't say for certain they were even a majority of the businesses in the area. (I rarely spend time in that area of San Jose.) The fact that the Vietnamese pushed and pushed this issue for the past year may have proved the effectiveness of the group in the political short term, but in the long term, on a city-wide basis, it hurt them far more. When they brought up accusations that Nguyen was actually a communist because she supported the name 'Saigon Business District' and accused her of working with the Viet Cong and Ly Tong refused to eat until the name was changed ...
I mean, c'mon. It's a short hop and a skip to Crazy Town. Now that the recall movement has failed, the Vietnamese community (young AND old) are going to have this whole debacle hanging over them for years to come in local politics. Was it worth it?