Mayor Finds New Ally in D4 Candidate?

‘Tis the season for people to ponder making a political run, and a newcomer to the scene intends to shake up San Jose’s City Council. Fly has learned that Tam Truong, a 30-year-old detective for the San Jose Police Department, picked up filing papers from the City Clerk’s office this week and plans to file them on Monday to challenge District 4 Councilmember Kansen Chu in the fall. Truong was one of more than 100 officers who received pink slips in the spring, but he managed to escape the axe.

What makes Truong such an intriguing candidate, aside from being young and well educated, is who he intends to align himself with. Apparently, Truong approves of the way Mayor Chuck Reed is going about pension reform and balancing the budget, and he would rather work with the mayor in the council chambers than wait for another round of pink slips. A source tells Fly that Reed does not plan to give Chu his endorsement.

“The majority of police officers—you can see their voting records for the union—we believe there is something that needs to be done,” Truong says about agreeing with the mayor. “We voted to give back 10 percent last time, and especially young police officers, they want their jobs.”

If elected, Truong, who was born in Vietnam and came over to the United States as a young boy, might give the mayor a crucial vote in his final two years in office. That would be huge considering some of the most important agenda items voted on this year, including the Dec. 6 pension reform ballot measure vote, were split at 6-5, with Reed’s bloc (and wild card Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio) just edging out more labor-aligned officials such as Chu, Ash Kalra, Nancy Pyle, Xavier Campos and Don Rocha.

But there is a question of how exactly Truong gets elected and replaces the incumbent Chu. Voters in District 4 might be fed up with Chu, but Truong will most likely need the support of the Police Officers Association—some of whose members wouldn’t spit on the mayor if he was on fire—to get enough votes.

“When I run, I believe I represent the public interest. Kansen Chu, right now, I think he’s out of touch with what the public wants. I think the pubic wants fiscal reform,” Truong says. “I’m representing my district and my community—not just the police department alone.”

Truong has been in law enforcement for almost eight years after graduating from Silver Creek High School, receiving a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State and a master’s degree from Phoenix University. He apparently studied the idea of running against Chu for about two to three months. But aligning himself with the mayor, at least for now, might be one to think about a little longer.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. It seems Troung reminds a lot of people of Jimmy Wah, who always wanted pictures of Walter Brennan in Good Morning Vietnam.  Wonder if Tammy is fascinated with Chuck Reed?

  2. O NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Not another disgruntled employee.  Smell the coffee and doughnuts retired.  Thanks to the POA everyone is disgruntled.  We have once again knelt down and kissed the Reed Ring.  We as members got the message time and time again.  “If you can leave…leave.

    • Really…Abandon Ship?…..why? We have a POA president who just resigned. . Did he abandon ship? Is he testing for a job at another agency? Did he leave his job as president early? Did he cut and run, like he told POA members to do when he was president? No…say it ain’t so.

      The new POA president says he is stand up guy. He talks tough when he’s behind a podium and the people he is talking about aren’t in the room. Has he ever told POA members to leave SJPD…and the sooner the better? When is he abandoning ship? He must have the best interest of his members In mind when he is lobbing city council members for the IPA benefit ?  He wouldn’t use, what influence he has with the city council, to assist the IPA…would he? What could he expect in return? The IPA to turn blind eye to POA business? Or does he have a different agenda? Why give up 10% pay without a fight and get nothing in return except that it “may” prevent additional layoffs. Tough guys don’t give up like that. Jimmy Hofa is rolling over in his grave.

    • at least he has not faked a disability retirement, YET.  Time will tell.  But then the secret round table of the retirement board will never tell us.  Halloween has passed so what will be his New Year gift?

      Just watch, because with 8 yrs. on the PD his retirement is very, very small so why leave so soon. He could make a lot more going to another PD. Not even vested, there is some evil force going on here!  He will take a big hit in pay.  What is his sick, vacation and overtime payout? Cant be that much, sick time alone would be under 800 hours which will hurt him.  Guess he hopes to pick up the nice city council sick time.  Did Chuck recruit him?

      I hope you win because you have lost over 1000 (falling) brothers and sisters at the PD.

        • An sjsu cadet is not law enforcement experience.
          Also he could never have received a layoff notice if he had 8 yrs with the department as someone posted earlier. None of those guys had more than 4+ at the time notices went out.

    • Officer b, you took the words out of my mouth… I smell a “RAT” just like that faker Constant.  Someone check to see if this guy has a Workers Comp Injury or has applied for a Disability Retirement….  I can smell Alviso from City Hall!

      Old Frank

  3. Of course the mayor isn’t going to endorse Chu. Chu is not one of his puppets. He is not able to dangle Chu’s strings. No vote or support, here for truong.

  4. I agree leave to greener pastures but join the evil forces?  You should all leave or retiree before you have nothing left.  I really enjoyed my $10.80 an hour when I joined the PD only to get shot at my first year.

    By the way the 8th officer involved shooting last night this year alone, hope it was not you because the officers life has been changed forever and his family if he has done the same.

    Stood over 3 dead officers, some times you never forget!

  5. Well you certainly relish your repeated stories of being shot at, standing over dead officers etc etc etc. (Mr. Retired) People know its a dangerous job.  You seem to be the only one who has suffered any trauma. Thanks Hero noted!

  6. Never heard of him… that said , “A vote for Truong is a vote that’s wrong!”

    That said… watch your backs boys and girls there is another rat in your midst. Rest assured is this got doesn’t win or if someone in the pd speaks out against him he WILL file a complaint ala Pete the rat and his mole wiley

  7. Here is a man who will publicly abandon his friends. The people who protect him what will he do in office.  He is not saying he will fix the problems. He is not saying he will save money. He is saying what reeds wants.  Not a new idea not a fair plan but he is going to turn his back on every cop and join the mayor.  That is a serious personality flaw.  He is not saying he can do a better job or bring something new to the table. My guess Reed approached him to run to defeat Chu.  How does a cop already have the mayors support in three months with no public service.  This is pure politics the placing of a candidate to ensure votes are secure. Reed is afraid is ball park is in jeopardy.  Reed is destroying the city and now he wants to pick the next council person.

  8. Do not endorse this traitor even if he does work at the same PD.  The fact that Truong would turn his back on his fellow officers means he would also turn his back on his fellow citizens given the proper motivation.  When personal advancement takes precedence over principle, you end up with chameleons in positions of power.

  9. This morning’s Merc ( 12-18)internal affairs mentions
    “The Chu challenger is Tam Truong, a 30-year-old San Jose police detective whom IA spotted having coffee Friday morning at Flames with Mayor Chuck Reed”

    Maybe this is not political cherry picking just a Detective conducting a follow up?  Is Truong a financial crimes investigator?

    • Thought political issues were off limits to use work time for….maybe Troung was off that day from work or it would be a violation on his and Reed’s part.

  10. I know links to other blogs are not allowed.  I will say that there are new questions about the relationship between Lew Wolff, Rick DiNapoli, and Chuck Reed from the time Wolff needed San Jose based lawyers to represent him.

    There are some questions.

      • Sorry Pal, what Reed and Figone are doing to the City and it’s employees “IS” over the line. 

        By Figone censoring the City Council while they truly wish the hard working City Employees a Happy Holiday Season is over the line, as you say. 

        Figone appears to have issues with all City staff, and thinks being nice to people of whom she and Reed have “kicked in the teeth” already is over the line. 

        Alot of things are over the line in of the this world, but there is a parallel to a dictatorship, when you tell people one thing and then do the complete opposite that is untrue or illegal while under color of authority. 

        This is just what Figone and Reed are doing, along with Humpty Dumpty to the Citizens of San Jose and it’s valued employees. 

        Now it seems that Reed is violating campaign rules and ethics by encouraging (singling out) a “PAID” member of SJPD under his employ to run for Council.  Seems like a strange thing to do? and is OVER THE LINE! 

        The Mayor has “never” taken me out for Breakfast and promised me a Council Seat…

      • Josh:  You should be ashamed of yourself. You call yourself a journalist?  Journalists are usually the primary defenders of free speech.  It is offensive speech that needs protecting, you guys always say.(So has the US Supreme Court, by the way)  SJI censorship of speech is on the rise lately.

        Let the users/bloggers decide what they find offensive, and comment appropriately.  If you set yourself up as the sole determiner of what will and what will not be published in these threads, we might as well all just stop contributing.

        • You’re free to comment, and we’re free to keep the discussion on track. No matter how much someone’s pay is docked and benefits are cut, comparing the City Manager and Mayor to Nazis, a group responsible for the murder of 10 million people, is insane. Please comment all you like, but I will not budge on this point. And call me crazy, but I think most SJI readers would appreciate not to see Hitler and the Nazis trotted out any time people disagree with one another.


        • “but I think most SJI readers would appreciate not to see Hitler and the Nazis trotted out any time people disagree with one another.”

          Of course they wouldn’t “appreciate it” Josh, but you miss the point entirely. The entire essence of free speech is that it’s allowed no matter what is said, no matter how distasteful or offensive to most of us. Edward R. Murrow and William O. Douglas are rolling over in their graves re your censorship position. Were you publicly funded, the ACLU could get an injunction sgainst your censorship in a heartbeat. Ever hear of Skokie, Josh?

          So now you are the SOLE arbiter of allowable speech on SJI.  That’s BS (you previously emailed me that I can use “BS” but not it’s full word equivalent), Josh; and the fact that you don’t recognize it as such is astounding for a purported journalist.

          Perhaps you should go to work for Deb Figone censoring councilmembers’ holiday greetings and such.

  11. Oh no. Another Judas in our midst. He must of drank the Kool Aid.  8 years on the PD and his ears are still wet behind the ears.  No one will endorse this Schmuck and his only ally is Mayor Greed. Good luck Rookie.  You’re going to need it and a lot more.

    El Conquistador

  12. Well, what about the scenario drawn by the mayor and his malignant sidekick, Victor Ajlouny, mentioned as part of this package deal by the local daily paper Sunday?

    First, it conjures up connections with and between Ajlouny, mayoral aide Jose Salcido, the Deputy Sheriffs Association, the Berryessa Republican club, and the leadership elements of the Berryessa Citizens Advisory Council.

    Second, the mayor is re-playing the same ethnic divisions (a Vietnamese-born candidate to confront a Taiwanese-born candidate) as he did in an earlier D4 election.  Seeking to divide the D4 Asian American community for personal political purposes is something that only the mayor and Ajlouny would think of as clever politics.

    Third, it leaves room for community leaders from among the Hispanic American residents to join the race, the mayor and Ajlouny having put the D4 council seat in play.  This possibility will be fun to watch, and ambitious Latinos should take a good look at it.

    Fourth, while it is not unusual for the mayor to shift his positions, some of us in Berryessa remember how bitterly he denounced anyone daring to campaign against him in his final council race in 2004 on the ground that incumbents simply shouldn’t have opposition. It appears that he now embraces a broader definition of democracy.

    Fifth, it will give us an opportunity to decode the daily paper’s dedication to the mayor’s pension reform positions.  We’ll know soon because the paper operates in such a heavy-handed way no one can misread the signals.  Look for disparaging adjectives attached to the names Kansen Chu or Tam Truong as the paper prepares for its regular smear approach to politics.

    Sixth, whatever happens will illustrate to some degree how the mayor has lost touch with the residents of D4…the old guard worships him even if he spits in their faces, but new and emerging community leaders may have a different view on that.

  13. hey Tam Truong, while your pulling papers to kiss the mayors behind why don’t you turn in your resignation papers for the PD as well.  Apparently you don’t like working there as well.  If you cared about public safety you could have applied for a more responsible police department.

    • you do not want to be a police officer.  Sure don’t want you investigating my case as a detective.  Heck it took you 3 years tat most to apply to be a detective. (sad but that is how the PD works)  If you want to leave put in your papers now then try to kiss ass later.

      I do not want you to investigate real crimes, If you are not even interested in being a police officer with (wow 8 years} most still call you a rookie who no longer wanted to work midnights or not have weekends off or could not get a vacation day off, so you applied to the Investigations Unit and I bet you got it because you speak Vietnamese. Public remember, detectives except for a few have FSS or SSM.  And with no new hires you are stuck on your lousy shifts for years.  You have no experience to run this city, except to kiss the mayors ring.

      So go try and win your district and kiss up to the mayor.  Good luck

      No vote here and hope many will follow.

  14. I have the Mayor’s support to challenge union running dog Chu.  Victor has promised me the seat as long as I can rule from Korea and hire Victor at 28,000 thousand a month to run my council office from Omaha,

    Same deal he had with Reed.

  15. It is truely pathetic that someone who actually wears the blue uniform (not that poser P.Constant) would actualy agree with what this worthless Mayor has done to Public Safety here in San Jose. Makes you wonder where this City will end up , I Think its a safe bet that we will end up just like Oakland .

  16. According to the Merc’s IA Young Troung was seen having coffee at the Flames with Reed.

    Was this during Troung’s work day, and if so was this during his 30 minute lunch or his 15 minute break? 

    If it was during either of his authorized breaks did Truong stick to the alotted time or run over by a little or a lot? 

    If this meeting occurred outside of breaks that are authorized to PD employees during the course of their 10 hour day then what exactly was being discussed?

    Even if this meeting did occur during a break during a work day there are CITY and PD Policies that are in play regarding ENGAGING IN POLITICAL ACTIVITY ON

    According to this website , the Merc and City Manager Deb Figone, there are City Charter (laws) that govern the type of contact and communication that can occur between the Mayor/Council and City Employees.

    Perhaps everyone is jumping to a conclusion here based on Troung’s interest in public office and his aledged support of the Mayor’s pension reform. All of that may be true and yet Detective Truong COULD be a very professional, upright and trustworthy employee who would NEVER cross the line as is suspected by some. 

    Maybe Det. Truong, who investigates sexual assaults, was interviewing Suspect Number One in the serial Chuckings being perpetrated against City Employees and the taxpayers!

      • Certain Union meetings during work hours are protected.  I checked and Troung is not on the POA Board of Directors. He – according to this blog and Merc’s IA – holds views that would be contrary to the POA (union’s) objectives so the idea suggesting that Troung may have been having a “union meeting” with Reed is the “NO GO!”  Pretty weak sauce…

  17. JMO

    could care less what you think! I never said it was o.k. Im just beyond frustrated with the direction( Lack there of) that this City is headed. This Mayor and City Manager have destroyed this once promising city . son as I can break even on my house ….Im out of this B——!

  18. Criticizing a mayor, or any member of any executive branch, for looking to find another ally on the council is truly naive.  Taking that approach, Obama should not be allowed to campaign or raise $$ for anyone running as a Democrat or Socialist for a seat in Congress or the Senate. Did these same folks criticize Gonzo when he backed union-backed candidates for council seats?

    • Reed is a politician, we expect nothing less.  Truong on the other hand is a turncoat and a traitor aligning himself with a politician that despises police and fire personnel.  Reed cloaks his disdain under the guise of pension reform but in reality he views public safety workers no different than whomever cuts his lawn, a necessary evil to be paid as little as possible.  To have a police officer curry favor with Reed is the main thing that sticks in his fellow officers craw.

  19. I would rather know where Detective Troung is coming from before he runs for office than to be duped as in the past by a retiree who glad handed colleagues for their endorsement later to throw them under the mayors chauffeured limo.

    • Pete Constant very much glad handed the POA and his former co-workers but then turned 180 degrees away from supporting them once in office.  What makes you think Truong won’t do the same?  Isn’t it the very nature of politicians to bend and sway at the slightest political breeze?  Don’t most politicians lick their fingers and hold them up to test the majority opinion winds before making any decision?  Truong will be more of the same.  He is already brown nosing those that he thinks will help him.  Once he sees that he can’t get elected by alienating the POA and labor groups, he will snuggle up to them just enough to catch some of their votes and get into office.  Then in the words of Robert the Bruce’s father in Braveheart “All men betray…”

  20. If you were a cop you would have never endorsed that faker retiree.  Worse we endorsed him a second time at the request of our now executive level POA.  We are nothing but sheep.  Our vote won’t count anyways.  Working for the IPA working for the Mayor what is the diff.  Eveyone is looking for a City Exec. spot.

  21. I support Council Member Chu 100%! He is and always has supported our entire community. He cares deeply about this City and its citizens. We are both blessed and lucky to have him!

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