April 21, 2015

Phung Jefferson for Judge

Editor’s Note: As our mission here is to support AAPIs in any & every way, we feature Phung Jefferson, a private attorney running for Clark County District Court Judge for Department 2. Filing for candidacy begins an often long road of many steps for all in US politics and we want you to publicize & support all AAPIs in this work. Note her June 10 primary election and Nov 4 general election dates so read, volunteer & publicize! Below is her biography which we share with you.

Phung Jefferson

My name is Phung Jefferson and I am running for Nevada Clark County District Court Judge in a nonpartisan race. I have a strong commitment to upholding the principles of equality and justice. There is no greater honor than being allowed the opportunity to serve our local community.

I was born in Nha Trang, S. Vietnam in 1970. My Vietnamese mother, American father and brothers arrived in the United States in 1976. I became a U.S. citizen at the age of 9 in 1979. I earned my Bachelor of Science from UNLV and Juris Doctor at Western State College of Law, in Fullerton, California. I opened my own private law practice in 2003 and argued an appeal for the Nevada Supreme Court shortly thereafter. This appeal resulted in a Court opinion which became controlling legal authority in Nevada [Hudson v. Jones, 138 P.3d 429 (Nev. 2006)].

Throughout my career, I have represented clients in jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and hearings. I have served as legal council in many different areas, including criminal proceedings, family law matters, civil defense cases, and personal injury claims. I work hard to ensure that all clients I represent are provided with a deep understanding of the intricacies of their case, feel their interests have been presented accurately, and are able to fully communicate their needs.

In my spare time, I try to do my part to help to enrich our local community by providing free seminars regarding important topics such as domestic violence and how to plan for a career in law.

My heritage and my life experience have given me a unique perspective and a great deal of understanding. I am grateful to my family for providing me with a strong work ethic and a firm dedication to upholding that which is right. Please feel free to visit my webpage at www.phungjefferson.com.

Editor’s Note: We’ve also featured another AAPI in running for Clark County Judge, Judge Cheryl Moss.

Obama Will Win

President Barack Obama will be reelected tonight.  It’s as simple as that.  Mitt Romney couldn’t handle Obama’s hard earned grassroots strength.  The way things look right now, Obama will take Ohio and Florida — two states Romney simply could not afford to lose.

This is huge — and Asian Americans will have played a major role in Obama’s victory.  One case in point:  the battleground state of Nevada (one-seventh Asian American).

More on this later.

— Gautam Dutta

Don’t Buy the Hype

With less than 2 weeks to go until Election Day, media talking heads are saying the presidential race is “very close” or “tied.” From a national poll perspective, such statements are true. But from the electoral college perspective (which of course is the only one that matters), they are blatantly false.

While Romney certainly could pull the upset, despite media reports to the contrary, Obama is a heavy favorite to win re-election. Consider: Electoral Map The electoral map strongly favors Obama. He already has in the bank many more electoral votes than Romney. As far as the battleground states, with the lone exception of North Carolina, Obama has led or been tied in every one since early summer. He currently leads in Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Winning these 7 states give Obama 281 electoral votes, 11 more than he needs to win. In fact, he could afford to lose New Hampshire and either Iowa or Nevada and still win re-election with 271.

Furthermore, Obama is tied in Colorado, Florida and Virginia — losing any one of these 3 states would be fatal for Romney. Even in North Carolina, Obama trails only slightly. If he wins there, it’s a near-2008 blowout.

Romney’s Momentum Stopped

The Romney campaign obviously wants to create a winning self-fulfilling prophecy. Romney clearly won the first debate with Obama, significantly closed the gap and got back in the game. Had Romney lost that debate, the race would have been over. However, Obama won the next 2 debates. The Romney camp keeps babbling about momentum they lost lost long ago. By definition, polls are snapshots of the RECENT PAST, not the PRESENT.

Media Bias

The media has an incentive to say the race is close because it’s exciting. It means higher TV ratings and readership. The media also can be lazy. It’s easier to report on one meaningless national poll than on several state polls where the race will be decided.

Obama’s Ground Game Romney backers claim that they’ve learned from 2008 and have a much better ground game. They probably do — but that’s because the McCain campaign’s ground game stunk.

But even the most optimistic Republicans admit that Obama’s operation is formidable. Most neutral observers think Obama’s ground game is superior than Romney’s, it’s only the degree that’s in question. Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia are frequently cited as the states where Obama has the biggest advantage in this department.

Early Voting

Related to the ground game is the early voting already taking place in many battleground states. Every day in states where polls are open and Obama is leading means that he is winning, because he’s banking votes that Romney will have to make up on Election Day. By all accounts early voting is going very well for Obama, including in the most critical state of Ohio.

Colin Powell

Obama just scored the biggest endorsement of the election season with Colin Powell. Powell, although he endorsed Obama in 2008, would have surprised few had he remained neutral or endorsed fellow Republican Mitt Romney. While there are only a tiny sliver of undecided voters left, and endorsements may not sway that many, you can bet that Romney would have given one of his dancing horses to get Powell’s backing.

Richard Mourdock

Just when Republicans thought Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin was in the rearview mirror, along came Richard Mourdock to reinforce the perception (or reality) that Republicans are at war with women’s rights. You would think that after Akin, any Republican running for U.S. Senate, particularly in a tight race, would avoid using the four-letter R word. Oops. Romney, who not only endorsed Mourdock but cut a TV commercial for him, half-heartedly distanced himself from Mourdock and refused to ask that the TV spot be pulled. The timing couldn’t be worse for Romney.

Again, it’s not over until it’s over, but anyone discouraged about Obama’s chances shouldn’t be. Barring some huge late October or early November surprise, or serious voter suppression and/or fraud, Obama is on the path to victory. But he still needs your vote, your donations and your volunteering in a swing state.

Question of the Week: Who’s Reaching out to AAPIs?

Asian Americans could swing the vote in battleground states like Nevada and Virginia.  How aggressively are the Obama and Romney campaigns reaching out to Asian Americans?

— Gautam Dutta

Sen. Reid Remarks on Miranda Du for US District Court in Nevada


Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the nomination of Miranda Du to the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Today the Senate will consider the nomination of Miranda Du to the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, in Las Vegas.

I was pleased to recommend the nomination of such an experienced litigator and proud Nevadan.

Ms. Du has an enormous love for the state of Nevada, and a tremendous dedication to public service.

She also has an inspiring personal story that proves the American Dream is alive and well.

Although 9 percent of Nevada’s population is Asian-Pacific American, if confirmed Ms. Du will be the first Asian-American federal judge in the history of the state.

Ms. Du left Vietnam with her family by boat when she was just eight years old.

She lived in refugee camps in Malaysia before she came to America with her family when she was almost 10.

She didn’t speak English when she enrolled in an American school for the first time. But even as a third-grader she was quick to learn, and picked up the language right away.

Although her family initially lived in Alabama, where her father worked on a dairy farm, Du eventually moved to California.

There she continued to indulge her love of learning. She received her Bachelor’s degree in history and economics from the University of California, Davis and her law degree from UC Berkley.

It was after law school that she moved to Nevada. She joined McDonald Carano Wilson, a very well-respected law firm in my home state, and made partner in 2002.

Ms. Du is currently the chairwoman of her firm’s Employment & Labor Law Practice Group.

She specializes in complex civil litigation and employment law.

And she has appeared before federal and state courts in all phases of litigation, including appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Du has the support of a bipartisan coalition of Nevada officials, including the governor, the lieutenant governor and the mayor of Reno – all Republicans.

Republican Governor Brian Sandoval wrote the Judiciary Committee to say Du “has exhibited great character and is well respected in the legal community.”  He gave her his full support.

Republican Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki called Ms. Du “intelligent, inquisitive, reliable and dedicated.”

And the Republican Mayor of Reno, Robert Cashell, said Du “will be a great addition to our federal bench.”

In addition to being an experienced litigator, Ms. Du is also an outstanding citizen. She is very involved in the Northern Nevada community.

She currently serves on the Nevada Commission on Economic Development and the board of directors of the Nevada Women’s Fund, a group dedicated to strengthening the Nevada community by empowering women.

She has also served as a court-appointed special advocate representing abused and neglected children and mentored high school students in Reno.

She is a fine example for those students. And I’m confident she’ll make an outstanding federal judge.


Nevada Senator Harry Reid Recommended Miranda Du to Nevada District Court

*Ed Note: This press release was sent to us by Sen. Reid’s staff. If confirmed, Miranda Du will become Nevada’s first Asian Pacific American federal judge.


Du was recommended by Reid and would be Nevada’s
first Asian Pacific American federal judge

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today announced that Nevada attorney Miranda Du has been nominated by President Obama to serve as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, in Las Vegas.  Du is currently a partner at McDonald Carano Wilson LLP in Reno and was recommended by Reid.  A refugee of Vietnam who immigrated to the United States when she was nine years old, Du would be the first Asian Pacific American Article III judge in the history of Nevada.

“Miranda Du is an experienced practitioner with extensive litigation experience and a deep understanding of, and dedication to, the Nevada community,” Reid said. “From a young age, Du has met every challenge she’s faced and exemplifies the immigrant success story.  I’m confident she’ll make an outstanding federal judge, and I look forward to her swift confirmation.”


Miranda Du is a partner in the law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson LLP, in Reno, Nevada, where she specializes in complex civil litigation and employment law.  She joined the firm in 1994 following law school and became a partner in 2002.  Du has appeared before federal and state courts in all phases of litigation, including appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She received her J.D. in 1994 from the University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law and her B.A. in 1991 from the University of California at Davis.