After two months of personal attacks, airing of dirty laundry, and wasting the time of the city council, and that of the community, it is time to let the voters and residents of Elk Grove decide who should be the next mayor.
The choices will be current mayor Steve Ly, and challenger Bobbie Singh-Allen. There is a third person running, but let’s be honest these are the two selections. In past elections there have been several candidates who helped split the vote. This time there are essentially only two candidates.
For the past 2+ months we have seen what started out as a spat between Steve Ly and a former campaign staffer turn into what is commonly called a “shit show”, as the Hmong community, women and Elk Grove residents are being used as pawns in their dispute. Really this falls on the shoulders of Ly and his former campaign staffer. They created this mess. A personal dispute turned ugly.
Last night the city council voted 4-0 to send the dispute to the Grand Jury. That sounds ominous, but it really isn’t. The Grand Jury will investigate and possibly find that Ly may have violated the city code of ethics, but he will not be removed from office either way. It doesn’t appear any laws were violated. The city council members were critical of Ly and what some see as a pattern of behavior of intimidation by those associated with Ly for the past several years. Several women have come forward with their stories. Jaclyn Moreno’s story is the most compelling because it involved a campaign staffer and Ly had knowledge of that behavior and kept him on until there was another incident that led to a parting of ways.
Some of what happened is political. Politics is not for the faint of heart. it can get dirty. It’s not uncommon for political opponents to work behind the scenes. Office holders, political parties and community leaders often try and recruit people to run in various elections. That’s the game. Everyone has an angle and is jockeying for position. Every elected official has had discussions with others about who should run, who to support, etc. If they deny it then they are lying.
There have been disparaging comments about the Hmong community that has caused a lot of problems. Every culture has their own ways of doing things that outsiders may not understand or agree with. I personally have little knowledge or understanding of the Hmong culture. I am not familiar with their “clan” system. It is up to the Hmong people to change their system if they choose to do so. We would not have seen these comments about other cultures. So if you’re going to be critical of one culture for the behavior you don’t like, then you better criticize them all.
Back to the voters. It really comes down to that. It is their call. In 2016 and 2018, I felt there were better candidates for Mayor in Kevin Spease and Darren Suen, but the voters felt otherwise. I still believe that is true. Steve Ly has not shown any leadership in the past 4 years. Everything that gets done is because of the other 4 council members. They control what happens. No one person can claim any credit or be blamed for something.
As a conservative in California, I am used to not agreeing with voters, i.e. Props 47 & 57, the gas tax, and electing Governor Newsom to name a few. Voters are apathetic and easily swayed. They don’t do research. How many can name our 4 council members and mayor? Probably very few. Yet they will choose 3 this November. Do your research.
There’s one other point that should not be ignored. 2 years ago local progressives basically made a deal with the devil when they joined with Ly to form Team Elk Grove. I said then that was a joke because Ly is not a progressive or liberal, and that it would come back to bite them. Their alignment was one of convenience. Progressives needed a voice on the council and Ly needed the extra support. Ly did their bidding on the council, pushing for by district voting, and then rallying them to support him on other issues, with their frequent targets being Stephanie Nguyen and Darren Suen because they aren’t “progressive” enough for them.
The interesting thing is that many of the progressives were aware of what Ly’s campaign staffer had done in 2018 and they said nothing. Even after the incident with protesters at CNU, they still said nothing.
They put their political life ahead of their values. They didn’t want to rock the boat. They supported someone that did the same things they have been highly critical of others for doing. That is hypocrisy. For several weeks they were silent as all this dirty laundry with Ly was being aired. Did they not believe the women? If this was one of the other council members we would have seen Op-Ed pieces on other media pages, letters to the council and they would have been clamoring for the council to take action immediately. But they didn’t want to lose their lone voice on the council. They were remarkably silent until a couple of weeks ago when Jaclyn Moreno shared her story. Then others spoke out too when at that point there was no choice. They had to speak out, but it was already too late. Their opportunity to call out one of their own had passed nearly two years earlier. Instead, they were silent. This was at the height of the #metoo movement. The perfect opportunity, but the call out culture doesn’t react as fast when it’s one of their own. That is what happens when you sell your soul to make a deal with the devil.
I don’t know if Steve Ly has a thing against women. I think he has a thing against anyone who disagrees with him, men or women. I think if you cross him then you are on his list, and he will try to get back at you when he can.
He has proven he is a hypocrite. He knowingly kept an employee on his staff that was alleged to have said some pretty damaging things and three months ago he made some disparaging comments about me and my character with help from the progressives. That’s a lot of hypocrisy that Ly and the progressives have to own, as well as others that supported him.
There’s a reason that no one on the city council supports him. There’s a reason that other school board members and even other local elected officials don’t support him. Officers from EGPD didn’t endorse him the last two elections. The Elk Grove Chamber didn’t endorse him either. Do your homework. Talk to other people. The voters will decide who the next mayor should be, as it should be. If you don’t like someone, then vote them out.