** Update to the story. Earlier this year I met with Gary Davis, at his request to discuss some of the things that happened in the past. He and I are on good terms at this point.
January 25, 2018
This is one of those things you hate to bring up because it’s about drama, but you need to because people are saying things about you and you want to get your side of it out so people can judge for themselves and not believe what they hear. But you know afterwards it is still drama? Well, I have always been one to want to get my side out there when someone is saying things that aren’t true. It’s just how I am. Are there two sides to this story? Of course there always is. I can prove much of what I said. Others can’t.
As some of you know there is a competing media outlet, the Elk Grove Tribune, that was started in the fall of 2016 by then mayor Gary Davis, because he didn’t like that what I was saying about him and then mayoral candidate Steve Ly. Of course Davis denied that, but on the about section of their site and page it clearly states what it is, “We are not a one-man blog with one person’s opinions.”. Pretty obvious who that is about. It’s actually flattering and motivating when you know someone has targeted you in that way.
Shorty before the election of 2016, I was contacted by Jaqueline Cheung, a local blogger. She wanted to come work for EGLF and write stories and articles. I said okay that’s fine. We exchanged messaged about things, Gary Davis, Steve Ly. I was honest about my feelings about both people. She said Davis wanted to pay her and I said I wouldn’t pay her but would help her promote her blog and other stuff. At the time EGLF had about 12,000 followers and she had less than 2000, as did the Tribune. Now EGLF has over 31,000, the tribune over 3000 and her blog 2000.
Over the next few months she wrote a few articles, less than 5, and I helped share contest posts, that were more beneficial to her than me because EGLF had more followers. But it was all good, except in my opinion there were becoming too many demands. I needed to share posts a certain way and say certain things. In my opinion, it was too much considering it was more of a benefit for her. She numerous times tried to tell me how to run my business, and things I should do. The success speaks for itself at this point and even back then. Not that we don’t all need advice but no one likes to be told they aren’t doing something right when the proof shows they are.
Then in May of 2017, she again said Davis was trying to recruit her and wanted to pay her. she said wasn’t interested. She said she felt he had an “ulterior motive.” That’s a direct quote. I have every message she sent me and it can all be proven.
Later in May she was getting ready for the KCRA A List she wanted to do a contest and also encourage people to vote for her. In the course of less than 3 days I received over 70 messages on Facebook from her regarding the posts and how to do them, what to say. At one point I received 20 in a row without responding. Some stuff was changed in the posts. My phone was blowing up. May 24, 2017, I finally had enough I sent her this message:
“This has got way way out of hand. Way too many messages asking me to do this and do that. I work with over 100 local businesses and I get more messages from you in a day than all of them combined in two months. it benefits you more than me. I don’t mind helping people out, I do it all the time. People ask me to help promote things. And too much advice about I should change the name of the business, change the website, change the logo. Give writers access to the website.
You talk about writing articles. I haven’t seen it yet. You’ve done a couple and that’s it. It should be “hey Doc can you share this post…”. I’ll tag your page and that’s it. There’s very little benefit to me in all this so far.”
Yeah I was brutally honest. I never more replied back to any of her messages. She did send me a message apologizing and said I was right and she wanted to make it right. I ignored all of them. I was done. Too much drama. She did send me a few more messages over the next few weeks. The last one was in July of 2017. I never replied back to any of them. Then shortly after that she announced she was going to work for Davis and the Tribune. Fine no problem. I found it interesting considering the things she said about Davis. Then in September when the Best of Elk Grove fiasco happened, my name came up as some how being involved with all of it. Nope. I had zero involvement in any of it. I was told about it and contacted about it after the fact. Even before that happened I had already planned on doing my own version. I have emails and messages to prove it from months earlier. When this happened and they shut it down, I stepped in to start my own and then my name was brought up on the Tribune and Jax made comments about me. Screen shots below and my reply. There was actually a second comment where Jax said neither the Tribune or EGLF should be involved in it. She was more concerned with being Best Blogger and had that prominently in many of the posts after the contest. As I said before, during and after, it’s a title that I find important.
While nothing I said was an attack on anyone, my comments were deleted and I was banned. . Which is fine. I understand. I am a competitor, but then don’t mention my name if you don’t want a response. Up that point, I had not mentioned either name.
So since then the Tribune has become the anti Doc Souza – EGLF page and people go there and say things about me and about EGLF and the page supporters. I have been called racist, the people who follow the page have been called racists and white supremacists. They don’t understand who actually follows the page if they think that. It’s very, very diverse, just like the city and most people see through their claims. Just the other day someone posted on the City of Elk Grove page that I was a racist and that the city should have nothing to do with me because I said Elk Grove is not a racist city. I said there are racists here, but the whole city is not racist. Somehow that was a racist comment. It shows the character of the people involved when accusations like that are made publicly. When in doubt, shout racist. You’ll hear more of that this year during the mayoral campaign when I criticize Tracie Stafford. They will say it’s because I am racist. No, she’s just a terrible candidate for mayor.
What I will find interesting is what the Tribune does. Davis is or was a Ly supporter. Jax appears to be supporting Stafford. She endorsed her in 2016. Her and husband posed for a photo with Stafford at her campaign kick off in November 2o17. Not really very professional for the media. I endorsed Kevin Spease in 2016, but didn’t pose for photos and post them on my page as part of the news story.
Then last week with all the drama of the recent racial incidents in Elk Grove, I was at a meeting with the city about the naming of the Elk Grove Civic Center. Davis and Jax were there along with Dan Gougherty from Elk Grove News. Dan and I don’t agree on too much as far as politics, but there is a mutual respect there and we say hi and chat. He’s a good guy. Same with the Elk Grove Citizen people. No issue there. So things were very cordial. A couple of days later I made my video in Old Town before meeting with Sharie Wilson of Dream Girls, for almost an hour to hear her side.
One of the things I saw in the Old Town was the personal issues between the various business owners and how that just caused more drama. I have posted on my personal page and EGLF, comments about the Tribune and joking around about the writing and other things, but that was after I was mentioned on the Tribune page multiple times about the Best of Elk Grove and other topics. Then during the recent issues in Old Town that led to the march on MLK Day, I felt the Tribune was being unfair to the some of the other business owners in Old Town, especially the antique store. When people defended the store owners or criticized the Tribune, they were removed. So in a post on the other Antique store owner’s page, I said, I suggest that those of you not already banned, go to the Tribune page and voice your opinion, and gave a link to the post. I also said if you have been banned, you can go to Jax’s personal blog page and gave a link to that. Then last week Jax told a friend of mine that I was harassing her and cyberbullying her, something about I told people to go to her house. I never told anyone to go to her house, nor would I ever do something like that. 100% lie. Yes, I made posts about her and the Tribune. Should I have? Probably not. None of it is cyberbullying. That’s ridiculous.
She also said I mistreated her and Ashley Newell and didn’t pay them. No one was mistreated. I have all the messages. There was never payment offered. They understood that it would help them reach more people by having their posts shared on EGLF. The simple fact is that those stories they share do not bring in readers or revenue. Paying someone to review a restaurant didn’t make sense to me or the businesses. That’s just economics. I can show the views of the various stories shared. And they’re not restaurant reviewers anyway. They take some photos and do a post. Same as I do.
I have also heard from others that she is contacting various people in the city and making disparaging comments about me. Even after all that, I decided this was stupid to continue this drama and I sent Jax and Davis an email on January 18, after my video in Old Town and after I met with Sharie Wilson.
Too much back and forth and negativity all around that is not productive to anyone or the community or to either of our news sites. Enough negative issues going on in the city with the recent events, that people don’t need this drama too. After what I have seen and heard the past week about the stuff in old town, and talking to all the parties involved, it’s stuff like this that festers and causes more drama and stress for everyone. After doing my video this morning in old town and then talking to Sharie Wilson today for an hour about what she has been through and talking to other old town business owners too, it’s just not good.
We will likely be seeing each other at events and who knows where else around town, so it’s better to call a truce and be done with it that have what happened in old town last week and be a big mess.
I would like to find some type of agreement where both sides eliminate the negative talk about the other side on the respective forums. If anyone mentions EG tribune or you in a negative way, I will delete it. If anyone mentions EGLF or me in a negative way, I would like you to delete that. I also think that you should change your “about” on your page, since it’s obvious that is about me. “One man’s blog…” Personally I don’t really care, but I don’t think it benefits you at all to have that there, unless you just want to be the anti-Doc or Anti- EGLF, but that’s not going to help you in the long run. When I started EGLF, I wanted to be the anti-EGO (Elk Grove Online), and that was a waste of time and energy for me. But that’s your choice.
I did not hear back. Makes you wonder what the agenda is then. Is it to continue the attacks behind the scenes? I’ll tell you what I think to your face. I won’t go run to other people. I’m under no illusion or desire to be friends with either of them. This was just about a truce.
Since then I have heard more negative stuff said that has been said. This brings into question the idea that anyone who disagrees is a racist now. They don’t even understand what the term means. It ultimately makes those people look worse for saying those things and it diminishes the true racism that is out there. It’s become a common fall back point for people. Accuse someone of being a racist, try and discredit them. It’s the new thing, I don’t like someone or what they say, so I will try and hurt them. All of this is just part an agenda to not actually bring people together, but push them farther apart. What we need is for people to ignore the political agenda of some people and the extremes on both sides and sit down and talk and get to know each other. Find common ground and go from there. If all you do is point fingers and make demands, then nothing will ever change. Some of us will be doing that this later this spring and the ones that want to just complain and call names can stay out. There’s a reason the community meetings didn’t achieve more, too much name calling and too many people with an agenda. Time to move forward in a different way. Start with small community gatherings. Everyone is welcome. Bring your favorite food dish. Sit down, talk and share. Leave politics and race out of it. Just meet and talk. Then when you see something that was said by them, you will know where they are coming from and not assume it was something else.
My offer to the Tribune still stands. Ball is in their court. Way too much drama, but my side is out there, so when you hear comments from some of the people involved, you’ll know my side and you can always reach me and contact me. I met with all sides of the Old Town Elk Grove issue and heard them all and gave them all a chance to share their side of things. I really have no desire to meet with Davis or Jax about it. I made my offer and it stands.