Herrera Rebuts Own Answer at Vietnamese Roundtable

Wading into the politics of San Jose’s Vietnamese community can be a hazardous endeavor. Several of the candidates running for mayor already know that. Madison Nguyen, the city’s vice mayor and lone Vietnamese candidate, faced a 2009 recall election over her opposition to naming a business district Little Saigon. Councilman Sam Liccardo made a verbal gaffe at his campaign kickoff party last fall when he cited the city's immigrant roots spanning from Jalisco to Hanoi and elsewhere. Namedropping Hanoi, which was once the capital of communist North Vietnam, brings back bad memories for some. Liccardo later said he cited the city for alliterative purposes. The latest faceplant, however, came at a candidate forum hosted last weekend by the Vietnamese Roundtable. NBC reporter Vicky Nguyen served as moderator and posed a question about San Jose forming a sister city relationship with Vietnam. Councilmember Rose Herrera was first to answer and stunned some observers, many of whom fled the communist regime and came to California, by saying she supports the idea and would do anything to promote more economic development. The next four candidates, including county supervisor Dave Cortese and Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, took a U-turn and distanced themselves from any partnership with a country that remains under communist rule. Herrera is seen as a dark horse in the mayor’s race—more likely to nab votes from Cortese and the vice mayor—so disenfranchising a significant set of East San Jose voters could have been catastrophic. But in an unorthodox move, Herrera showed the poise, if not the mortification, of a public speaker who knows they said something inappropriate. Herrera asked the moderator if she could offer a rebuttal—to her own comments—and attempted to set things straight.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Sam Liccardo was trying to rally support when he mentioned Hanoi. San Jose Inside regrets the error.

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5 Comments

  1. Here we go again, this is such a common trait among Chuck’s council. “stick my foot in my mouth” then lie, deny or just ignore my incompetence. I know she is a “dark horse” but an idiot too? May God help us all, this council just needs to do the right thing and walk away. Set things straight by not bringing this city down more that you have already.

  2. Keeping costs under control, starting to restore services, crime down 9% from 2012 to 2013, $1 billion in private-sector building projects under way, nabbed the new US Patent & Trademark office and the Samsung Semiconductor Americas HQ – yeah, sounds like the current Council is really “bringing this City down” to me! Perhaps “retired” should take a look out from under his or her dark cloud once in a while! (Shane Patrick Connolly)

    • Shane,

      Had you stated from 2012 to 2013 9% + officers at SJPD left for other jobs due to Measure B I might believe you but to say 9% of crime in the city is down is crazy. Maybe because SJPD does not even investigate property crimes anymore. SJPD was at 1400 officers / currently under 800, go figure.The city and the new Patent office is another joke, they are getting space at city hall for free and rent will be picked up by who? Yes, tax payers of San Jose.

      And now, on April 2nd San Jose City Councilmember Rose Herrera testified at the Council Rules Committee that up to 100 former police officers would return to San Jose if they would receive a 90% retirement. This retroactive pension increase, currently banned by Measure B, would require a new Charter Amendment. And yes TWO ex officers stated the would consider returning, that’s 2!

      Wow, how do I get one of this marijuana medical cards or what ever you put in your pipe.