Dirty Political Trick Strikes Emotional Nerve

Offensive mailer ires Vietnamese voters

By Jessica Greene
|  Monday, May 17, 2010  |  Updated 12:26 PM PDT
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Dirty Political Trick Hits Home for Vietnamese-Americans

San Jose officials are calling for an investigation after someone sent out a political flyer aimed at discrediting City Council candidate Magdalena Carrasco by including a flag of Communist Vietnam.
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San Jose officials are calling for an investigation after someone sent out a flyer aimed at discrediting a City Council candidate by including a flag of Communist Vietnam.

About 800 Vietnamese-American households received the mailer, which claimed to be from the campaign of Magdalena Carrasco. It shows Carrasco next to an image of the Vietnamese flag -- which would offend Vietnamese-Americans, who make up about 10 percent of voters in District 5. Carrasco calls the flyer disgusting and Mayor Chuck Reed has called for an investigation.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed says it's obvious those responsible were trying to smear Carrasco's image at the expense of the Vietnamese community.

"These fliers are a form of identity theft, mail fraud, they're also unethical and violate local law, state law and probably federal law," Reed said, "so we have to find out who's behind this and hold them accountable."

Carrasco's manager says the campaign learned of the flyer on Saturday when upset Vietnamese-Americans began calling.

"My condolences actually go out to the Vietnamese community for having to put up with something like this." Carruso said. "This is really reaching a new low in San Jose campaigns."

Two of Carrasco's opponents have condemned the mailing.

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