Chu Campaign Bought Lots of Food, Drinks

Semi-annual campaign disclosure documents show that San Jose Councilmember Kansen Chu spent a total of $123,786.19 for his District 4 primary race against San Jose police detective Tam Truong. Chu won the race with more than 54 percent of the vote.

Of the five district races, Chu’s expenses came in second only to his council colleague Rose Herrera. Those expenditures seem to have allowed Chu to treat his staff and volunteers (or himself?) to a number of meals in the final weeks of the campaign.

In total, campaign forms show that Chu bought 64 meals between May 20 and June 30, with no dates documented, for a total of $1,660.07. No candidate comes close to the number of dining entries Chu listed on his expenditures, which ranged from water for volunteers to meals at Round Table Pizza, Burger King, Donut Basket, Hunan Taste, Ma’s Restaurant and Togo’s, amongst others.

Truong’s campaign forms show he raised $8,550 in the last filing period, for a total of $62,070. He spent a little more than $28,000 in that period for a total cost for expenditures of $62,468.52.

Truong did give himself a $2,500 loan on Dec. 19 of last year, but he also spent $2,500 of his campaign money on “Yes on Measure B” literature. With the pension reform measure passing by a wide margin, it seems this might have been an imprudent use of funds.

The biggest cost of Truong’s was a $10,000 payment to Vic Ajlouny’s consultant company, Eagle Communication.

Matt Miller contributed to this report.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. I don’t understand why this is being reported so negatively. I volunteered for Kansen and he had LOTS of enthusiastic volunteers to feed who just finished making calls and walking precincts for his campaign.

    • Marcos,

      The reporting wasn’t intended to be negative. The disclosure forms just raised questions, such as: Why does Councilmember Chu have so many meals expensed in comparison to other candidates, who often had just two or three, during the same time period? And, if you contributed to his campaign, would you feel pleased to know that was how the money was spent?

      Thanks for reading,


  2. JK,
    I contributed to Kansen’s campaign, and I’m fine with it. Volunteers deserve to be fed after walking the district all day, and working long hours.

  3. How about this.  Did he file honest returns?  If so why does it matter what he spent money on as long as they were legal!

    Did he have a transparent election process, and not kiss up to Chuck?  Then he is a great council representitive for all of san Jose.  He follows the city rules and is much appreciated.

    Sorry Chucks what-a-be lost.

  4. Pretty much shows that he thinks of the people first.  Instead of spending on signs that litter up neighborhoods he spent it on people that helped him… SOunds like a caring individual…

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