Faulty Ballots Mailed Out in District 4 Special Election

The special election race for San Jose’s District 4 council seat has taken a turn for the confounding. Another batch of error-laden absentee ballots went out Monday, only this time Santa Clara County’s Registrar of Voters—the agency responsible for a slew of ballot misprints in last year’s election—isn't to blame. A little black diamond noted next to each D4 candidate’s name indicates that they accepted the voluntary spending cap. But that’s not accurate for Vietnamese publisher Manh Nguyen, who’s openly admitted that he didn’t accept the cap. Who’s to blame? The county ROV says not them. City Clerk Toni Taber seems to have sent mixed messages about how to file the Form 500—a document that notes whether or not a candidate agrees to the spending cap. Attorney Lan Diep charged Nguyen with breaking city rules by not filing the form, which would presumably invalidate the $95,000-plus Nguyen raised as of last month. Diep referenced a similar misstep by Dave Cortese in the mayor’s race last year, when the county supervisor returned nigh $10,000 in donations because he waited to file a Form 500 after opting in—then out—of the spending limit. But Taber told Fly that candidates eschewing the spending limit don’t need to file a Form 500, which may conflict with Cortese’s case. Meanwhile, fellow D4 contender Bob Dhillon’s litigious past came to a head outside of a candidate forum Monday night, when scores of angry protesters propped up signs calling the twice-failed council candidate “Dhillon the Villain.” Opponents say Dhillon, who didn’t return calls for comment, hijacked leadership at San Jose’s Sikh Gurdwara Sahib, the nation’s largest Sikh temple, as well as created a rift by suing congregation members for libel. Dhillon also had a hand in running an illegal nightclub, one that cast him as a defendant in a city lawsuit to shut the place down—all while he served as chair of the Planning Commission.

UPDATE: The City Clerk's Office sent out a press release Wednesday admitting the slip-up. The black diamond shouldn't have been printed next to Manh Nguyen's name as it was on official and sample ballots, the statement reads. The city will mail errata letters to all households of registered voters and will post a notice at each polling station.


Protesters gathered outside a candidate forum on Monday.

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  1. Bob Dhillon has sued so many his fellow Sikh Brothers. It is good community is speaking up now. We don’t want his dirty Gurdwara politics in San Jose City Hall.

  2. Mostly sikh community feels and says that he has used so much funds illegally, without asking Gurdwara members in the court for his own purposes. He has filed lawsuits against innocents sikhs and used Gurdwara’s (Non-profit organization) money to harsh them. He is already using his connections in the city officials to kill the democratic right which city officials are not aware of it. He interprets wrong way and convince them that is our culture. He admitted in the court that he can not read and write Punjabi and how he is the general secretary of the Gurdwara. By the way the holy book (Guru Granth sahib) is written in Punjabi (Gurmukhi), the Gurdwara’s by laws are not allowing any body to stay longer than four years (two terms by election) and he and his companion are holding since long long time and he is holding general secretary position since 7 years without election.

    Is he running the election for city? What a joke!

  3. Finally people are speaking against evil. Kudos to San Jose inside writing this article. All the Punjabi/Indian Media is Bob Dhillon’s slave.

    • Subject: Satnam Petroleum Community Meeting

      Date: Thursday, December 7, 2006

      Time: 6:30 PM

      Dhillon was planning commissioner

      he got 1,000 dollars from owners of Satnam Petroleum

  4. Owner of illegal night club and leader of Sikh Temple (Gurdwara). Shame on the Sikhs living in the area and not raising the issue which is against Sikh tenants. District 4 residents won’t let him in San Jose City Hall.

    • They have been trying to make the issue known, but Dhillon shoots down all article/interviews they do to make the issue known. He blocks it from being released/delivered to the temple and locations.

  5. Ballad of a Landlord
    San Jose District 7 City Council candidate BOB DHILLON has been sending surveys to renters and homeowners in his district, asking a few relatively simple questions. The renters’ survey asks how long recipients have rented, what kind of challenges they’ve faced and if they support rent control. No big deal. But Dhillon has a little of his own history as a landlord. Local political observers may remember him as a city Planning Commission nominee whose application for that post was initially rejected in 2000 because he’d been slapped with more than $7,000 in fees for code violations on one of his rental properties. Dhillon later got a seat on the commission, and still has it today. But Dhillon doesn’t see much irony in the connection. Dhillon says his tenant was to blame because he was using the yard to store old cars and then, when neighbors complained, compounded the problem by building a fence around the cars–another violation. But the tenant claimed to have an approval for the fence, Dhillon says, and later stopped paying rent. “The tenant was hostile, and I had to evict him, but the eviction took longer than the time the city had given me to correct the problem.”

  6. Bob Dhillon is a hypocrite. He is using the American democratic system to be elected, with unfettered access to the voter list and phone numbers of voters in District 4, while denying members of his own religious institution, the Sikh Gurdwara – San Jose, the same access to the temple membership list, to hold open and fair elections. He is doing this to prevent members from electing a new board of directors at the temple, even though he has lost numerous court cases attempting to prevent elections.

    In reality, Bob and his colleagues were never elected to the temple board. Now he is claiming to be a champion of the fair democratic election process by running for District 4, while all the time he is thwarting the same democratic election process in his community. Bob is afraid that temple members will learn the real truth once he loses his grip on power. He is afraid that they will also learn that he had abused the temple resources and has continued to oppress his political foes by filing meritless and frivolous lawsuits, in an attempt to chill dissent and free speech.
    Bob Dhillon has been controlling the largest Sikh temple in the United States for the past 30 years. Bob and his cronies tried to make sure that there would never be elections at the temple by tempering with the by-laws and electing themselves without notifying the members and creating a perpetual crony system, but their efforts were thwarted by some members. Additionally, Bob has been using the temple’s donation box as a source of revenue for legal fees without the approval and knowledge of the congregation. To this date, he has never provided full accounting for all of the legal fees and costs associated with the various lawsuits which he has used to mire down his political opponents.

    Would you want to vote for a candidate who uses congregation donations of a place of worship to fund frivolous lawsuits, to settle personal vendettas without congregation’s approval?

    If Bob Dhillon is treating his own community unfairly, how will he treat such a diverse and wonderful community in District 4 of San Jose? The answer is, he won’t. Bob Dhillon is a bad choice for District 4 and he does not deserve your vote.

  7. Bob Dhillon damaged the sikh community as you write highjack Gurdwara for his personal benefit. He did not finish his term as planning commissioner, was forced to resign. There was 17 million dollar bid to finish gurdwara building where he spend 32+ million dollars. He is refusing independent audit for construction cost and also refusing management audit, instead whoever speak up against him he file libel lawsuit. How he can be good council member when he is not good community person.

  8. I’ve seen a few comments about where Bob got his list from… The accusations that the list came from the Gurdwara is wildly innacurate.

    I wanted to work on his campaign, but personal issues got in the way. (Sorry I didn’t return the calls Bob, but between my day job, I can’t really balance a campaign and spending time with my family) I was there early enough to see how he generated his list of Indian residents.

    The county will sell you a list of people, as well as what country they came from. (Can’t remember if it was a voter list or a census list) We went through the list that came from the county. From there we selected everyone that came from India. It has column that lets you know what country a person came from. Very simple to do.

    Bottom line is, in regard to the source of the list coming from the Gurdwara is a flat out false accusation.

  9. Nobody accuse him for getting voter list from gurdwara, you did not read the comments carefully, he has been accused of not releasing the list to his own community. Sikh community is thank full to metro news for bringing the truth about his character of litigious past. he is my way or highway type person divide sikh community. He filed lawsuit on fellow members and board members of sikh gurdwara and been accused of mishandling the funds from non profit religious organization. he had been accused of spending lot of gurdwara money to keep himself in power not holding the election as per bylaws.

    • Balbir;

      Tarlochan says above:

      He is using the American democratic system to be elected, with unfettered access to the voter list and phone numbers of voters in District 4, while denying members of his own religious institution, the Sikh Gurdwara – San Jose, the same access to the temple membership list

      Seems to me Tarlochan’s insinuation here is that Bob was using the Gurdwara list to campaign with. PS I’ll just sort of respond to everyone here.

      Jaspal see above.


      The list costs money. You can buy it here.

      $92 dollars.

      Hang on, reading your other comment below…

      Phew, that’s some history there. I can’t discuss anything in your comment below because I have no knowledge of any of it. I’m only here to clarify where Bob’s precinct list came from. I can assure everyone, it wasn’t from the Gurdwara.

      • Dear Robert Cortese,

        The facts speak for themselves about Bob. Let Bob respond to me message.

        I never said nor implied that he used the Gurdwara voter list to reach out to people in his district, but then again, what guarantee do you have that he didn’t? If he did, would he tell you about it?
        Do not try to be naïve. We have spent almost $200,000 in trying to get the Gurdwara voter list and have been fighting court against him for the last four years. I am willing to pay you $500 if you can go to Bob Dhillon and bring me the complete Gurdwara voter list.

        I openly challenge Bob Dhillon to debate this issue with me in a public forum at the Gurdwara, Berryessa Community Center or some other venue any time before the elections day. And yes, he can bring his best crony along!

        By the way, the “Ballad of a Landlord” is not written by me, but by San Jose Inside columnist some years ago. I just sent the excerpt of the news out to some friends.

  10. So Mr. Robert is agree to have a voter list from county or city to run the election campaign and Bob Dhillon got voter list from county and sought it out to convince the voter to cast their votes. Basically it is our right. Mr. Robert why there is no privacy.

    Mr. Robert no body wrote in the comment upto now “Bob got the list from Gurdwara” Who and where is that comment.

  11. It’s impossible to believe that Bob didn’t utilize the resources he has (such as the voter list at the gurdwara) especially considering the amount of shrewdness he possesses. He is full of lies and runs a full
    Blown dictatorship at the gurdwara. He can do absolutely anything that benefits his own interest.

  12. Bob dhillon was asked to audit the construction project of the gurdwara, which was completely under his control at the time. He cheated the sikh community out of lots of money, and when time came to expose his lies, he got rid of any committee member that had come to know his true motives. Currently, he is using every trick in the book to stall fair elections at the gurdwara. Despite losing all the court cases he slapped community members with, he still won’t release the voter list that the opposition can use to campaign with to expose him. People are too smart to stay quiet anymore. The truth will prevail, slowly but surely.

  13. Dear Robert Michael Cortese, with due respect, I think you missed the whole point and jumped to conclusion without reading the comments. Bob Dhillon has the used the American democratic system to get the voter list whether it is provided by the county or the city, but he denies Gurdwara member their own list even for election purposes. The bylaws of the Gurdwara say that the membership list will be kept secure and private, but it can be used for the “prudent cause” of the Gurdwara. Election is a prudent cause. Calling the General Body meeting and contacting other members for important issues is a prudent cause as well.

    This issue has been fiercely debated and decided by the court in a class action lawsuit and Bob Dhillon and his cronies lost the case against the Gurdwara when Bob orchestrated that case with the help of his cronies to stop the Gurdwara membership list from getting distribtued to other member after he lost the court case back in July 2011. Hon. Judge Derek Woodhouse had ordered elections and distribution of voter list by July 22, 2011. The hopes of the Sikh commhity were dashed when someone filed a class action suit against the plaintiffs and the Gurdwara. They even tried to sue the plaintiff for 14 million dollars during the trial to intimidate them, but Hon. court knew better and threw that case out.

    The point is this exposes the hypocrisy of Bob Dhillon who one the one hand using the American system and voter list to run for city elections, but refuses to give the same right to his own temple members when the court has already ordered that the voter list must be distributed to plaintiffs and any other members. He filed a motion of stay which was denied by the Hon. court on March 3, 2015. He has filed another appeal to block it again. Bob Dhillon and none of his cronies have ever been elected by the General Body. The court has found his testimony unconvincing.

    The fact is that Bob Dhillon and his committee really wanted to lose, not win the case against the third party interveners so that the plaintiffs would not be able to get the voter list. In fact, the interveners and Gurdwara fought in a tandem against the plaintiffs and defended each other in a very long class action case trail, but the the plaintifff have repeatedly won the case. Hon. Monahan wrote in his decision that even though the Gurdwara filed the proper papers in defense, but it also wanted the same thing what the interveners (who sued the Gurdwara) wanted. What a treachery!

    And who is paying for all the cases? Bob is using money from the Gurdwara donation box and the plaintiffs, who are ordinary working people, are paying from their own meagre saving and asking family members and other members to help them. Is that fair?

    Bob Dhillon has victimized thousands of Sikh families in this area by denying their rights to elect the Gurdwara committee using a democratic system as enshrined in the bylaws and cheated all the registered voters of the Sikh Gurdwara who have to pay multiple times since 2009 to renew their membership and stay in the line to do so and still not be able to vote even once. Is Bob Dhillon promoting democracy or oligarchy?

    • Did you see in this comment by this individual that Bob Dhillon sought to have him as a campaign manager? I have read other comments of this self appointed analyst of the city, and he claims he has worked for many campaigns as a technical person donating material, yet no record exists of the contribution. Why? Indeed, he went on a tirade about the community with no information. Perhaps he has the same agenda Bob Dhillon has had for years, bully.

      “Phew, that’s some history there. I can’t discuss anything in your comment below because I have no knowledge of any of it”
      ” I’ve seen a few comments about where Bob got his list from… The accusations that the list came from the Gurdwara is wildly innacurate.”

      “I wanted to work on his campaign, but personal issues got in the way. (Sorry I didn’t return the calls Bob, ”

      “Bottom line is, in regard to the source of the list coming from the Gurdwara is a flat out false accusation.”

      As I said, first he announces to the world that he is a willing mouthpiece for Bob Dhillon, then he accuses the community of lying, then, after several replies, he admits he knows nothing.

      The fellow in question is the expert of everything in his own mind and has the gall to attack our community and then admit he knows nothing. Glad he finally made that comment which was a true response that encapsulates his writing on all things. A vote for Bob Dhillon is a vote for ignorance, so displayed by his own defender.

      • I never said I was his campaign manager or his mouthpiece. Look down at this comment..


        I did say I wanted to work on his campaign, but personal issues got in the way. I did say I was there when the campaign voter list was created.

        Typically in Christian based religions there are no elections, just appointments. So there was a cultural misunderstanding on which “Voter List” you folks were referring too. Even on this comment where I quoted Tarlochan;

        He is using the American democratic system to be elected, with unfettered access to the voter list and phone numbers of voters in District 4, while denying members of his own religious institution, the Sikh Gurdwara – San Jose, the same access to the temple membership list

        that whole statement is wildly ambiguous. Voter list? Phone numbers in District 4? Any reasonable person is going to think that you guys were talking about the county list.

        On the whole though, your comment is completely uncivil. Why attack me? I just lay out facts. Yet the more you guys attack commenters here, the less of a case you make for yourselves.

        You discredit yourself with your uncivilized diatribes. See how Tarlochan and I worked things out below? This is how civilized discourse works. You ask questions, come to reasonable conclusions. You don’t throw out wild accusations and insults.

        Have a good day.

  14. From what I know about Bob Dhillon, he doesn’t even believe in the American voting system. If he did, he would apply it to the gurdwara that he has taken over without following proper procedures. He is doing everything in his power to prevent the congregation of San jose sikh temple to have a right to vote for the gurdwara committee of their choice. He is misusing the congregation’s money and the American court system by filing lawsuit after lawsuit against people who speak against him. He is the finest example of hypocrisy that I have ever seen. He will only run in any election to serve his own selfish motives. Please keep him out of the city, and of the gurdwaras.

  15. Any person who does anything illegally, especially running a night club, should not represent Sikhism. This man can never have an open debate on Sikhism or its history. What ever he does is to feed his ego. Even on the gurdwara website the intro says many times that the gurdwara was “bob dhillons” dream. When in fact many families and people have put their sweat and money into creating such a big institution that we are all proud of. It was not one mans job Bob! He puts up a front of being the innocent bystander, but in fact his shrewdness is unmatched. He doesn’t deserve to be in any elected position.

  16. Thank you sanjoseinside for exposing this selfish man. Even in the city elections, they supported Mrs. Rose Herrera at first, then when she lost, their whole “crew” was often seen commenting on social media that next time they must support the person who will be a winner so that they can build up their reputation and “contacts”. Then they jumped onto Mr. Dave Cortese’s bandwagon. When he too lost the election, they can now often be seen honoring and inviting Mr. Sam Liccardo to their events. They don’t stand for anyone’s principals or ethics. Bob dhillon and his crew only stand for people that can serve their purpose. These types of people can not be trusted. No ethics, no loyalty.

  17. The guy in the picture is holding up a sign that says “Bob! Give us Gurdwara Voter List.” Maybe the litigation they refer too did not work out for them and they are a bunch of sour grapes. The District 4 election is not a place to air your dirty laundry.

    • Actually they’ve won the case, and all other cases that Bob has slapped innocent people with. This is just a peaceful protest, which every American has a right to, to warn people of Bobs character and misdoings, since he is running for the district 4 elections. The decision is solely yours who you want to vote for, but you can’t really take away anyone’s freedom of speech. They have a right to protest.

        • Dear Jonathan Higggins, there is no personal vendetta here at all.

          The fact is Bob Dhillon has disenfranchised and deprived our entire community of their voting rights for our own community and Gurdwara affairs by creating every conceivable hurdles while he is contesting elections for the city of San Jose while living in a free and democratic country. Why such a double standard?

          It is a religious, social and legal issue for the Sikh community. Most of our American friends are well-intentioned, but they do not know how deeply Bob Dhillon has divided and damaged our community and created a great tension in our community. It is a daunting task for me to just explain how badly Bob Dhillon has treated his own community. This is the reason my message have been long even though I try to keep them brief. Please read 2-3 of my earlier messages. You will get a complete picture.

          The voter list distribution has been ordered by the court. Bob Dhillon and coterie are not forthcoming and giving the complete membership list. We got list of roughly 1882 names of out of roughly 6500 members. Would Bob feel good if he only gets roughly 25% of the voter list of District 4 and not the complete voter list for these elections while his opponents have the complete list? Would it be fair?

    • Robin, I am glad you brought the issue and I thank you for doing so.

      We did get the partial voter list, only 1882 out of roughly 6500 members. It is not a case of sour grapes; we just did not get all the grapes that we were supposed to get! He is hiding most of the grapes from us that we were supposed to get as per the court order. Well, there is a mischief behind all this by mischief-in-Chief, Bob Dhillon. There is no court stay at this time about the membership list. Bob Dhillon and his cronies are in violation of the court order.

      I think I need to explain the issue which is much deeper than it looks. When Bob and his coterie elected themselves in a small room on April 17, 2011 without notifying the members, it shocked out community. Being one of the founding members of the Gurdwara and former committee member who had worked with Bob for many years, I tried to talk to Bob Dhillon about this illegal action and asked him to undo what they did. He refused. Then about dozen members gave him a written and signed notice to correct the illegal action. He and his committee refused to correct it. Then as a last resort we had no other option but go to court and we won. The Judge ordered the Gurdwara Committee to give us the voter list by July 22, 2011 and to any other member under certain conditions and after submitting a written request. Of course, Bob did not like that idea. Giving the voter list is like giving up the control and power for him. He is a power hungry man. Otherwise how can someone control a non-profit corporation for 30 years without ever getting elected!

      Bob colluded with a 3rd party of four (one lady was Bob’s relative and three other ran their liquor stores and do not even live in Santa Clara county and had all their information on the internet and yet they were worried about their privacy!) who intervened and filed a class action lawsuit to block the voter list and got a stay. The case went to trail and continued for almost three years and we finally won. We asked the original Judge to lift the stay and he did. Then Bob Dhillon filed a motion of stay with another Judge and his motion was denied 8 days ago. He has filed an appeal now. It is Bob Dhillon who is denying his own community members their democratic rights by blocking the voter list of their own place of worship so that free and open elections can be held. Why not ask Bob about this?

      One would ask why we did not get the complete list. Well, it is because of the mischief of Bob Dhillon. He changed the member registration form in the middle of the trial to which we continued to object in which he added some check boxes and asked people if they want their private information to go to any member – Yes or No. Then he created another boxes asking them if they did not want it to go to anyone, did not they want to to go to a 3rd party mailing house – Yes or No. So he simply wanted to spoil the game. And their are a lot of bogus Opt outs because it was all orchestrated by Bob and his cronies in spite of our objections.

      You must have seen another banner saying,


      It is a message that Bob certainly understands. I hope you also understand the rest of the story.

      • Tarlochan:

        I think other readers need clarification. I have some questions, and some of this might be cultural misunderstanding (on our part). Don’t look at these questions as any disrespect towards you. Just 2 simple Yes/No questions.

        1. Does the Gurdwara hold elections on jobs in the Gurdwara.

        2. If the above is Yes, the “Voter list” you refer to, is this the list you’re accusing Bob of not sharing with the community?

        • Robert, “Yes” to both of your questions.

          Gurdwara is supposed to hold elections, but Bob and his company are creating hurdles and simply appointing his cronies and not holding open and fair elections. That is why he gave us only partial voter list. I hope this clarifies the issue.

          • Thank you. I have a clearer picture now. I think for myself/others there was some confusion because we thought you were saying Bob should turn over the list he got from the county.

            And thank you for being civil in the discussion.

  18. Robin and Jonathan, Please reread Tarlochan’s first paragraph(reproduced below for ease). If you still are not clear, please ask. Also, since Bob is yet not convinced by every/all court decisions, may be you can persuade Bob to provide the *temple voter list* and let the gurdwara elections be held to democratically elect a management body. It is just that simple. No, personal vendetta :)

    Tarlochan writes: Bob Dhillon is a hypocrite. He is using the American democratic system to be elected, with unfettered access to the voter list and phone numbers of voters in District 4, while denying members of his own religious institution, the Sikh Gurdwara – San Jose, the same access to the temple membership list, to hold open and fair elections. He is doing this to prevent members from electing a new board of directors at the temple, even though he has lost numerous court cases attempting to prevent elections.

  19. There is a saying that thief can quit doing theft but cannot quit cheating. Bob Dhillon has a history of unethical doings to make money. No one needs to listen no one but just go to Santa Clara Superior Court website and see how many people sued him and how many he sued. He is misusing justice system for his benefit. No average income person can afford it and he is using to suppress them. There is another saying that 100 days of thief and one day for Saint. 100 days are over and now the day of justice is coming ~ be careful

  20. This is all about to educate District 4 voters, kind of experience people having from Bob Dhillon. Running illegal night club in his own district when he was sitting as planning commissioner, Robert probably saying Bob was creating jobs, but city was not issuing him license so he was having no other choice but run illegally. City refuse to issue him license and came back sue him to shut down the club. come on Robert, did not make sense.

  21. I would be very happy, if a Sikh elected official would come into the city of San Jose. However, that elected Sikh should be prime example of Sikhism. Humble, patient and compassionate. If someone is going to represent Sikhism in the city, he should do it according to the ethics of our forefathers. Unfortunately, it’s very disheartening to know the Bob Dhillon doesn’t possess of these qualities.

  22. Guys, I listen/observe the entire debate between all the candidates, and I didn’t even find any good comments or solid things that he will do as counsel. How you vote? He is not even belonged to that district, but he wants to represent them??? I personally believe he is looking for another place to work/chill since Sikh Temple going out of his hand sooner later.

    In his debate, he didn’t even know about some of the questions how to answer. To nerves, no knowledge about actual actions and serving the community, but need power…………………… please think of these matters

  23. Sikh Community does not have faith in Bob Dhillon!

    Sikh members lost the “Right of Freedom of Speech” in the Gurdwara due to him. Bob Dhillon speaks whatever he wants and whenever he wants. The community is put under the fear that he will file a legal case against whoever will question him. It is shame, he is not even elected and took control.

    Bob Dhillon is having control of money (Guru’s Golak) of Gurdwara. He uses money for suppressing feelings and emotions of others. Whosoever opposes, Bob dis-reputes them by putting names on the Board.
    The Gurdwara belongs to the Sangat (community). Bob Dhillon won’t get the opinion of other people before doing anything. He has divided his own community, what he will do for District 4?

    Bob Dhillon does not believe in American Voting System. Why the Sikh Congregation had to go to Superior Court against Bob Dhillon to get Registered Voters List of Gurdwara? It is a slap on American Equal Rights Voting System. Democrats, Republicans and other parties have easy access to such voting lists.

    If Bob Dhillon is not fair for his own people, what can people of District 4 hope for?

  24. Thank you Robert for providing the information about getting the list. That access is for every body to get the complete list not partial list. It is absolutely not a bunch of people issue. San Jose Sikh gurdwara is the biggest Sikh Gurdwara in united states among other Sikh Gurdwaras or Sikh temples, but due to mismanagement, San Jose Gurdwara management is giving the wrong message to other gurdwaras not to follow the by laws or election process by holding useful resources including voter list. Most of people are not participating in this kind of protest but they are aware of it.
    Each and every one knows in Sikh Community, Bob Dhillon is running the show.

  25. Balbir Singh Dhillon and other on this forum has said this seems to be a personal vendetta. I searched your name and found you had to sell your store because sales to a minor. You were a Board of Trustee on Evergreen/San Jose city college while selling to minors. Here is the San Jose Mercury Article about your liquor license suspension.

    Ernie’s Food and Liquor will change hands; new owner appeals to resume alcohol sales after suspension
    By Jennifer Squires – Santa Cruz Sentinel
    Posted: 09/08/2010 06:46:57 PM PDT0 Comments | Updated: 5 years ago

    SANTA CRUZ – A Soquel Avenue convenience store that lost its liquor license earlier this month will be sold and the new owner is trying to reinstate alcohol sales at the business, authorities reported.

    Ernie’s Food and Liquor lost its liquor license Sept. 1 because store employees were caught selling alcohol to minors three times between September 2009 and March and also sold alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person, according to the state Alcohol Beverage Control and Santa Cruz police.

    The store could have stayed open and continued selling groceries and tobacco, according to ABC spokesman John Carr. But Wednesday, the store was shuttered and an announcement of the pending transfer of the store and its liquor license to Samra S. Boota, dated Tuesday, was posted in the front window.

    Ranbir and Balbir Dhillon of San Jose had operated Ernie’s since 1996 and own several other convenience stores in the region. They could not be reached to comment.

    Boota, the new owner, will have to go through a vetting process with ABC and the city planning and police departments before alcohol sales may resume, according to Carr. If community members protest the store’s reopening the process could last months, but barring complaints, the formalities could take as little as 45 days to complete.

    Police will investigate the new owner’s background before making a recommendation about Ernie’s license.

    “They need to make sure they’re following the law,” Santa Cruz police Lt. Larry Richard said. “We shouldn’t have to come in and give them notice.”

    There are more than 100 alcohol vendors in the city, the majority of which are concentrated in the downtown area.

    The Santa Cruz police alcohol enforcement officer started investigating Ernie’s on Aug. 1, 2009, after the police department received several complaints about the business selling alcohol to minors, according to Santa Cruz police spokesman Zach Friend. Santa Cruz police did several surveillance and minor decoy operations through the fall and winter, some in conjunction with ABC officials.

    Under state law, alcohol vendors risk losing their licenses if minors get alcohol at the establishment three times in three years. Ernie’s owners were warned, but didn’t receive shorter suspensions or fines because the alcohol sales to minors occurred in a short span of time, according to Carr.

    “They all got lumped together because they all happened within a six month, seven month period,” Carr said of the violations. “Every time there’s a sale to a minor they are advised to what the rules of law are.”

    Carr said the new owner wouldn’t be subject to extra enforcement because of the store’s prior problems.

    “Every new owner deserves a clean slate,” he said.

  26. I agree with Robin that District 4 election is not the place to play your dirty laundry. I would not like to say anymore about Harjot Singh Khalsa’s insurance practices, Jaswant Singh Hothi’s Liquor practices, Billa Sanghera’s Lottery practices, Jai Singh Fraud practices, Gurmail Singh Bath family practices, and many others at the protest. Lets keep your dirty laundry out of District 4.

    • Dear Harbans Singh– Come on and say about my insurance practices. Who is blocking you? This is independent forum. Bob Dhillon was my customer for long time. Ask him about my insurance practices. I donated the money when he ran for city council first time in 2002. He sued me without any reason except to collect money in 2010. I had to spent over $ 50,000 to defend me while he spent all Gurdwara Sahib money on case. Oh by the way they came to my office to collect $ 1000 for donation to Gurdwara Sahib in 2009 and sued me in 2010. All the people commenting in this forum helped Mr. Bob Dhillon’s election in 2002. He has to think why his community is against him.

    • Dear Mr. Harbans, I don’t see you providing a single reason to support Bob Dhillon. May be there is none left.
      I agree with you that we need to keep something out of District 4. And here it is

      – keep out an incompetent candidate who has no idea of the issues of the residents
      – keep out a candidate who does not believe in a free and fair democratic process
      – keep out someone who has no faith and respect of his community which he claims to represent
      – keep out someone who claims achievements and funds of others in his community as his own but with zero accountability.
      – keep out someone whose only idea of facing a valid protest is to cook up irrelevant info on non-candidates
      Yes, we need to keep all this out. Keep Bob out.

      • None of you posting on this Forum or in the protest picture live in District 4 so don’t need to give you a reason.

        • Dear Mr. Harbans, I live here in District 4 and just amused by your response.
          You sound like Bob Dhillon himself “Don’t need to give you a reason” is what Bob says to his own community for all his misdeeds. Its your choice to toe his line to perfection but voters won’t appreciate it. You seem to suggest that let Bob wreak havoc in District 4 first before someone checks his credentials. I don’t think such an argument will have any takers.

          • Harbans- Please provide your real identity. Whole Bay are Sikh community knows about the people who are commenting on this post. There are many voters of district 4 who wanted to protest but they are scared from law suits and did not come but you will see the election results, Bob Dhoillon won’t be able to break his record of 4.1% votes from last elections.

        • Save District 4 from Bad Leadership of Bob Dhillon as his bad track-record in Sikh Gurdwara leadership.

          Dear S. Harbans Singh Jee, please keep BOB Dhillon out. You support Sangat and save District 4. .

          Sikh Gurdwara Sangat suffered a lot. The way he misused Police power in Gurdwara against congregation, we don’t want District 4 people, our relatives and friends, to suffer the same way.

          It was a torture for Sikh congregation to see Police many times in the Gurdwara for no valid reason. The Sikh Sangat believes in Guru Granth Sahib which is our protector, savior and the Supreme power.

          Sikh Sangat goes to listen to Gurbani or for prayers and instead finds Police, on Sacred occasions.
          Please support the community and unite with Sangat. And remember, we all are answerable to Waheguru/Almighty for our every deed!

          Unite with Sangat to inform our relatives and friends in District 4 to say
          “No Vote for Bob Dhillon!”

          Bob Dhillon will prove Bad Leader for District 4 as he did for Sikh Gurdwara leadership.

    • Half of the current gurdwara committee has cases against them that have not been brought to the surface yet. Anyone living in San Jose for the past couple of decades is well aware of what their personal and professional lives were/are. So yeah, let’s not “air out dirty laundry”, especially since none of the above mentioned individuals are running for elections. Your comment and personal attacks show your “personal vendetta” so just relax and let’s all unite to keep Bob Dhillon out of office so he can’t misuse his positions any longer to harass people and serve his selfish purposes. It’s time for this power driven person to retire now.

    • Khalsa, Hothi, Jai Singh, Gurmail Singh

      did any of you serve as Planning Commission Chair in 2006 and in 2015 take 1000 dollars for your campaign?

      Bob, you sold your vote!

  27. Click on the above link and look at the number of court cases for San Jose Gurudwara….thanks to Bobby Dhillo…

  28. Its a real shame that Bob Dhillon is a candidate here. But he can’t fool the voters anymore. Kudos to the free press for exposing his deeds to public. I see his cronies will attempt fake support for Bob and use community resources to attack individuals but all in vain. No place for such characters in democracy.

  29. Bob Dhillon is running for the City Council from District 4 and he has the right to do so, but the problem is he is absolutely undemocratic in his own community and place of worship, the Sikh Gurdwara – San Jose which is a non-profit corporation. In spite of serious objections and opposition to his working style by the congregation, he does not quit that unelected position that he has been holding for the last 30 years with the help of cronies and family members.

    Bob Dhillon does not allow ANY opposition member to address the congregation from the podium. If someone dares to ask any questions, Bob Dhillon and his cronies call the police police immediately and try to get that person arrested. It has happened many times over the last 6-7 years. If someone tries to raise a voice against him, he either files a lawsuit against that person or revokes his membership. He uses funds from the donation box for frivolous lawsuits against his own community members. Bob Dhillon is NOT suitable for any city or public position. We love to have a qualified Sikh Representative in the city hall and the city needs a qualified and capable leader for this job, but Bob Dhillon just does fit the bill. Just say “NO” to Bob Dhillon.

    • In last sentence, one typo, the correct version would have been “Bob Dhillon just does not qualify as a Sikh Community leader. Just say “NO” to Bob Dhillon in District 4 Elections!

    • Maintenance Manager Sikh Gurdwara – San Jose, from contribution form

      Dhillon is taking money or expecting money from employees

  30. I’d been considering voting for Bob Dhillon based on his comments in a recent Mercury News article (in favor of zero based budgeting), but considering the ill-will he has created amongst his own faith community, I’ll reconsider that vote. One of many reasons I don’t like voting early.
    Thanks to all for your input.

    • Dear CM, thanks for your honest expression and opinion. I think any fair-minded and God-fearing person would think the same way.

      As the Punjabi saying goes, “you cannot have friendship with the tail and enemity with the horns.” Bob Dhillon should apologize to the Sikh Community for misusing Sikh religious place as a launching pad for his political ambitions and muzzling the voice of holy congregation and opposition. He has used the picture of the Sikh Gurdwara – San Jose in the background in advertisements for endorsing political leaders. He has no right to do it. Bob Dhillon does NOT represent the Sikh community and the Sikh Community does not recognize him as their leader. While his “buddy” politicians have almost unrestricted access to the stage in the holy congregation, no members of the opposition is allowed to discuss even those matters which are strictly related to the Gurdwara and Sikh issues.

      Lately, he has been inviting many city political leaders at the Gurdwara and honoring them with “Siropa” (robe of honor) without getting a prior consent from the community and committee. To put an end to such “undeserving honors,” the Gurdwara Committee wisely decided many years ago not to bestow such rare and religiously significant honors on just about anybody without the prior approval of the Gurdwara Committee in order to preserve the sancity of this Sikh religious tradition and institution. It is part of the meeting minutes and Bob Dhillon should know about this. Bob Dhillon’s dictatorial behavior in forcibly controlling the Gurdwara for the last 30 years and not allowing fair elections and not distributing the entire membership list to Gurdwara management committee candidates or members is a slap on the face of American democractic values, the very democratic values that he is trying to use to get elected on District 4. Bob, you cannot have it both ways!

  31. This has been one of the most visited posts in recent history.

    The discussion by a wannabee “campaign honcho” claiming that the Sikh community were liars about Dhillon, admitting he was been recruited to work for Bob, and when cornered, he admitted he had insulted the entire Sikh community with his ignorance.

    Then we went into a long discussion about Bob Dhillon’s hijacking of Gurdwara, and a relentless group of posts about how every Sikh in San Jose has either been disciplined by some state agency or is a terrible citizen. What was their crime? They object to Dhillon’s ruthless Putin like approach to the community.

    What does this say?

    Obviously if you live in District 4, vote for someone else. Say no to Dhillon, no to his ally, the self appointed expert on all things San Jose (I am sure if you wrote about Hillary Clinton’s email, he would claim to have been her expert at the State Department), and no to his political terror squad, and say yes to any of the other candidates.

  32. “ROBERT MICHAEL CORTESE Mar 11, 2015 @ 6:09 pm
    I’ve seen a few comments about where Bob got his list from… The accusations that the list came from the Gurdwara is wildly innacurate.
    I wanted to work on his campaign, but personal issues got in the way. (Sorry I didn’t return the calls Bob, but between my day job….”

    ROBERT MICHAEL CORTESE Dec 3, 2014 @ 1:57 pm
    Prediction here…
    Bob Dhilon has been making a TON of political moves in the last 2 years that I’ve known him. The Desi’s would love to see a more moderate to conservative representative. He has the connections, the political collateral, money, and the manpower to win it.

    So are we not surprised how this “unbiased commentary” about the Community concerns about Dhillon got started.

  33. “Typically in Christian based religions there are no elections, just appointments. So there was a cultural misunderstanding on which “Voter List” you folks were referring too” Huh? Is this an admonishment that we Brown people just better understand our place? Sounds like a guy uncomfortable with the “changes” in San Jose”

    • Bobby, I wish you would put aside whatever hate you feel for me right now.

      Truth is I love Sikh’s. I love Indian people and culture. I think their influence to American Society has been a good one. You want proof?


      One of your own was attacked. For 3 months I peppered Evergreen with wanted posters, tracking, hunting down the sleazebag that did it. You know why? Indians are good, beautiful people. Myself, I might not know what it is to be one, but I’m willing to learn. I’ve always been willing to learn.

      Question though, where were you for that kid Bobby?

      I think your people deserve representation in council. Ash Kalra is leaving. They represent enough of San Jose now where there should permanently be someone of Western Asian descent on council. You got a problem with Bob Dhillon, you take it up with him. I’m not working for him. You can say whatever lies you want about me, it’s your karma at risk, not mine.

      My discussions with Tarlochan show I’m at least willing to peacefully ask the right questions without throwing insults. Again, show some restraint in your discussion. Be appropriate and straightforward. Let’s meet in person to discuss it.

      • You sound like a wannabee about everything. Just let the professionals handle things. Let us look at your postings all over and tell me you never have zinged people. Spare us, we are doing find without you.

          • “The proposed project is the acquisition of 59 acres of the Agnews East Campus by the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) for the construction of a K-12 school campus. The project site is located on the east side of Zanker Road between Center Road and River Oaks Parkway in North San José. The site is developed with the Agnews Developmental Center, a former State hospital that was permanently shut down in July 2011.”

            gee what an expert, not!

      • “I love Sikhs” he is missing the “some of my best friends are sikhs,” “a happy people” wow, how patronizing can you get?

  34. Actully elections are also held in Christian based religion, but does Bob care? A Pope is elected by a Papal conclave which is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a new Bishop of Rome. Pope John Paul used to call them the “Princes of the Church.” I guess each Church has its own rules about election or selection process, but I am not knowledgeabe in that area.

    The Sikh Gurdwara that Bob Dhillon is controlling has formal bylaws and operating as a non-profit corp. Bylaws mention election or selction. Initially there was only selection by the General Body because the congregation was small and everybody had the spirit to serve, but later the committee got polarized. They wanted elections and passed multiple resolutions to that effect. When member registration was started in 2009 and people paid to become members, the goal was to hold formal elections as soon as possible. Bob Dhillon and his cronies kept promising on the stage and in the media there will be election after the new Gurdwara opens and wanted people to wait until then. Lo and behold! only one week after the grand opening, on April 17, 2011, Bob Dhillon and cronies elected themselves in a small room with the help of their family members and friends, without notifying the General Body which was roughly 3200 strong at that time. Not only that, even after serving 25 years, Bob and his cronies (many of them had served 15 yrs. or more) amended the bylaws to create a “voluntary retirement plan” for themselves and created a revolving door for themselves and their cronies as if this was a sort of “entitlement.” So I am not sure where Bob will fit in the American democratic system.

    • Actully elections are also held in Christian based religion, but does Bob care? A Pope is elected by a Papal conclave which is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a new Bishop of Rome.

      Yah I know that, but it’s not a general election.

  35. I have been a long-time resident of San Jose who owns a home near the Sikh temple. I was quite interested in, and tried to keep abreast of, the factional conflicts among the members of the temple at the time. The fact that the passions around this issue are still so high comes as something of a surprise to me. I am curious to plumb this controversy to its depth and I invite those who know about the matter to contact me for this purpose. Perhaps a meeting would help the community to reach a more nuanced on the matter. I modestly look forward to such an exploration.

  36. WOW! The article was about yet another election ballot error, one of many that have come to light in recent years. But instead of comments about what seems to be the third world level of incompetence of government officials running the elections, we get a “Singh-along” about the perceived evils of Bob Dhillon. The usual response to such incompetence is the termination of the person(s) responsible. Why do these people still have their jobs? Do they have compromising photos of the persons with the authority to fire them? We have department heads who can’t get the ballots right, and are the second slowest is the entire state to finalize election results, and apparently they are being given yet another chance to screw it up.

      • Cousin Cortese: I am not sure ballot design is the issue. It’s lack of attention to detail (poor proofreading), supported by a public employee union culture that just OK is good enough. After all, you can’t fire them unless they kill a supervisor on government property AND get blood on the rug. The attitude is WTF, sloppy. Attitude comes from the top. These foul ups have been too frequent, under leadership that talks the talk but does not walk the walk. It’s way past the time for heads to roll. Oh, excuse me, I forgot that employee morale is low…because everyone is expected to to do their job properly.

        • You’re right, it’s still down to human proofreading. Here’s my guess how they do it.

          Designer gets a spreadsheet with all the candidate info and is told, “Turn this into a ballot” Spreadsheet is probably accurate.After much human effort in photoshop or some other page layout program, the ballot is printed and sent off for more human proofreading.

          So 2 points where humans can screw it up, let’s reduce that.

          My way:

          A general layout would be created using Latex:

          The spreadsheet is read into Latex, and is converted into a ballot. No human design error.

  37. Mercury News editorial: Lan Diep is best choice in San Jose District 4
    Mercury News Editorial
    Other qualified candidates — Rudy Nasol, Alex Torres and Bob Dhillon — have broad volunteer experience through school boards, city boards and commissions or both. But none of these has that leadership spark. Dhillon has been in and out of controversy over the years, most recently filing an unsuccessful libel lawsuit against someone who criticized his leadership of the Sikh Gurdwara Sahib San Jose.

  38. The Berryessa Citizens Advisory Council (BCAC) has hosted District 4 Candidate Forum on Monday, March 9th 6PM at the Berryessa Community Center.
    Among all the candidates one was Bob Dhillon who has control of san jose sikh temple from last 30 years.He doesnt even let elections to be held. case for elections are in the court, and community’s millions of dollars has been wasted . Majority in Sikh community blames that he misuses the sikh temple and its funds . If anyone stands against management decisions, then personal attacks are made on him and his families . Most of the members in management comitee have criminal records. He uses the Sikh Temple to file law suits against people.
    Thats why people of sikh Community protested against him at Berryessa Community Center March 9th.

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