The McCarthy era never ended for many who live and work in the Vietnamese community of San Jose.

A fraudulent political flyer made headlines last month when it was mailed to San Jose residents, depicting Magdalena Carrasco, a City Council candidate, next to the communist flag of Vietnam. For Vietnamese Americans, it is the flag of their archenemy -- the communist regime -- and was very upsetting.

Vietnamese newspaper Calitoday reported that the District Attorney's office is investigating who was behind the flyer, and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce has put up a $5,000 reward for anyone with information regarding the mailer.

Now, according to, allegations of communism are creeping up in another race between two Vietnamese-American candidates. Minh Duong and Patrick Phu Le, who are running for City Council in District 7, are using anti-communist rhetoric against each other.

Not long ago, these two were united in an unsuccessful attempt to recall Madison Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American elected to San Jose City Council. San Jose Councilwoman Nguyen was herself accused of being a communist last year, when she got into hot water over what to name a Vietnamese business district. She was able to survive the massive recall campaign against her.

Now, Vietnamese media are following the mudslinging contest between Vietnamese-American candidates Duong and Le, who are vying to replace Nguyen.

“Duong accuses Le of mishandling the recall campaign’s finances, resulting in a fine imposed on them by the city,” according to Bolsavik. “Le in turn takes to task Duong’s public statement that he used to sell food stamps for cash. Selling food stamps for cash is a crime.”

Duong then got hit with a complaint by the local firefighter’s union for a flyer showing him standing with uniformed firemen. Although it wasn't released by his own campaign (it was paid for by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce PAC, which has endorsed Duong), it was criticized for being untruthful. “The firefighters aren’t amused because they’ve endorsed Nguyen,” notes the

In return, Le’s father, a devout Buddhist and religious rights activist in Vietnam, was accused by anonymous sources of being a communist.