Elk Grove City Council Member Owes Notorious Political Operative, Lobbyist $4,000

August 5, 2015 | No comment on when debt will be paid   A lobbyist and political operative known as much for his and his clients f...

August 5, 2015 |

No comment on when debt will be paid  

A lobbyist and political operative known as much for his and his clients frequent run-ins with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), and his use of unorthodox giveaways during political campaigns, is owed thousands of dollars by an Elk Grove City Council Member.

According to financial disclosures filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office last week, Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Ly has disclosed he owes Sacramento-based Democratic lobbyist and political operative Richie Ross of Ross Communications $4,000. Ly racked up $10,000 in services by the Democratic heavyweight in his successful bid for Elk Grove's Fourth district seat last year.

While a successful campaign carrying debt is not unique - Ly also owes Capitol Campaigns $10,000 - Ross has run afoul with the FPPC on how he had handled debts owed to him by one of his politician clients.

In that case, former California Assembly Member Paul Fong (D - San Jose) owed Ross $100,000 dating to 2008 that Ross never attempted to collect. Although Ross never collected the debt for his consultants services, between 2009 and 2013 42 different bills that Ross lobbied for all received yes votes from Fong.

The fact that Ross wrote-off that debt did not go unnoticed by the FPPC who fined him $5,000 for failure to attempt collection of the debt. The absence of collection efforts, the FPPC ruled last November, effectively left Fong at the personal service of Ross' lobbying efforts.

Aside from Ross and his clients frequent conflicts with the FPPC, he has also been regularly criticized for lobbying his former campaign clients. Despite the fine in the Fong case, Ross has consistently denied any conflict of interest.

The Sacramento Bee reported that several current and former Assembly Members who Ross lobbied, including Roger Dickinson, have outstanding campaign debts with Ross.

One of Ross' favorite, and frequently criticized as sexist, strategies in campaigns are giveaways. Ross' clients have famously distributed potholders and books. Last fall Ly distributed thousands of plants to woman voters in Elk Grove that some viewed as misogynist.  

Ly's campaign currently has $16,859 in cash on hand and $14,000 in debt. Ly did not respond to an email request seeking disclosure of when he plans to repay Ross.        


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Anonymous said...

Darrell Fong got dinged big time, being called a sexist, for giving out his potholders. What a difference more astute women voters are today than back in 2006 and a lot more vocal. It was a woman who first called out Fong and it stuck.

Pat Hume did the same thing when he first ran for Elk Grove City Council in 2006 with Richie Ross as his consultant paid for by the North State BIA. In an article in the Elk Grove Citizen, after his victory, Hume was pictured with his potholders surrounding him and he even credited them for his win! Doubt if Hume would ever do that again.

Too bad Ly didn't sent a potholder as well. It backfired with Fong and would have done the same with Ly.

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is getting DIRTIER every day.

What is with our politicians...is it something in the water? Have they all lost their self respect? It just amazes me....these vultures don't care about them. Our electeds accept all those large contributions and don't know there is a pay back expected. Hel* I knew that when I was a teenager....a big favor, now you owe me. It's disgusting...they sold their soul! It's too bad we can't recall them all and seat some of those teenagers I read about at the dias.

Yawn said...

No worries. Region Builders will still keep him around because he votes the way they want. Throw a few more shindigs and check-writing parties and Ly is good to go!

Anonymous said...

For those who may on occasion send an email to a City Council member & never have it acknowledged, let alone answered with even a little old "Thank you"...sign your name as Joe Blow "Builder/Developer" and I can assure you it will be answered. We're all builders and developers of some sort so you're not telling an untruth. Some of our councils self esteem comes cheap. That $1 - $2 thousand dollar contribution is the best bang for the buck that builder/developer ever got. Poor old taxpayers wallet put out by our council to the highest bidder.

Anonymous said...

Huntington Park appointed two undocumented immigrants as commissioners, why can't we do that here in EG with out City Council? How bad could that be....perhaps better than what we now have. Besides, they receive NO pay! Maybe even prisoners.

Anonymous said...

I'm finding this, "story - not sure how I got there and who is the idiot that pioneered these fund raising techniques". Is this what the City of Elk Grove is all about...outsider developers owning electeds, Mello Roos taxes and Revenue Bonds on the way for projects that don't fit the needs of the community? Feel sorry for those taxpayers who are going to be on the hook for years to come...most likely bankruptcy in their future. Some crazy cra* for sure. You need to send your council in for a brain scan....

Kinda reminds me of the idiot who thought he could market those coffee beans some animals had left behind in the fecal matter. That's what your leaders are leaving behind...fecal matter for the taxpayers to clean up.

This is not solely directed to this Ly person...it's to the whole council that I just finished reading about on this page. You taxpayers are SCREWED!

Anonymous said...

The Donald made one insightful statement during the debate when he about bragged about how he deliberately gave money to politicians so that he could later get favors from them.

Here is the Q & A in part:

Q: You've also supported a host of other liberal policies, you've also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business related favors. And you said recently, quote, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.

TRUMP: You better believe it...

And that is basically what we have here in Elk Grove with the council members, some more than others.

Interesting to note that a freshman councilman received larger contributions than the seasoned members. I believe it speaks to how easily Ly can be bought because he is clearly in over his head and the developers, along with the rest of us, know it!

Anonymous said...

How true Anon. 9:23. That being said, he does have Mayor Davis to guide him through the Q & A period. Maybe he could use "DITTO" for his comments and wouldn't have to spend all that time searching for some off the cuff comment and leaving us wondering what the heck he just said.

Anonymous said...

I just read on the EG Citizen Facebook page where a lady posted that "Councilman Ly refuses to meet with his constituents or address their concerns unless they share his ethnicity". Can that be true?

Anonymous said...

In an article in the Elk Grove Citizen, Steve Ly is quoted as saying, “If I say, ‘Help me and I’ll pay you back.” Exactly how are you going to pay back your contributors, Mr. Ly? With your vote?


The article is about the two Steves on the Elk City Council. The other Steve now has a new justification for loaning his campaign money and then using contributions to pay himself back. This is rich!

“Detrick also repaid $57,000 of the $79,000 he and his wife loaned his campaign last year. The Council member said he decided to invest that money to get a higher rate of return than a fraction of a percent interest from a bank.”

Lesson here: Be very weary of anyone named Steve running for city council! We have now been twice burned.

Anonymous said...

What a striking disclosure, of something not before realized... It's possible to earn more on your monies somewhere other than a bank....what a Financial wizard we have at our disposal. Now, while you're working on your personal finances Great Wizard, maybe you can tell all of us poor taxpayers how we're going to pay for all those hugh projects you and your cohorts have in the pipeline. We're waiting.......

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