Thanks to Dan the Mantern's two-week-long extended vacation, we're left helpless and alone. Luckily for us, the Intern Formerly Known as Mark (IFKM is a bad acronym) saves the day, helping us scrutinize stories like Microsoft entering the T-shirt market, the Knight Rider show cancellation, the first Vietnamese House Representative, and other kooky, borderline-tabloid stories we found on the World Wide Den of Filth.
In today's episode of What's Happening With Those Asians, we discuss an important milestone in Asian American history: Louisiana has elected the United States' very first Vietnamese-American House Representative. It's an uplifting story of triumph over adversity and the power of American democracy, as well as...wait, one second...there's a wall at the end of this tunnel. Two major factors contributed to Joseph Cao's victory in the election:
- His opponent, nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, is currently facing 16 criminal counts of racketeering, bribery, money laundering, and obstruction of justice, and an FBI raid of his house recently uncovered $90,000 in cash stashed in one of his freezers. So voters had to choos between a Vietnamese-American and an accused criminal. Can you say "lesser of two evils?"
- Cao actually admitted that a large part of his victory was due to a low voter turnout. "We were hoping for a low turnout, because it would provide us with the greater chance of winning...based on the demographics of the district, a high voter turnout would have gone to our disadvantage." Subtext: If more voters actually voted in the election, more Louisiana voters would choose a criminal over Cao.
Hmm, maybe this election isn't as much of a win as we, the Asian American community, had thought. Not that we're complaining; we need more Asians in places of political power. Yu/Tang 2012 anyone?!
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