Independent expenditure committee files financial disclosure with Elk Grove; poised to spend on mayoral, city council races?



An independent expenditure committee that made a big splash in the 2018 Elk Grove mayoral race recently filed a financial disclosure form with the Elk Grove city clerks office.

The group, the so-called Alliance to Support the Middle Class (ASMC), filed a California Form 460 disclosure with the city on February 22. The group received two contributions totaling $10,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 340 in Sacramento.

Interestingly, the ASMC then contributed $10,000 to another independent expenditure committee calling itself the Californians For a Growing Economy and Safe Streets (CFGESS). Listed below are other contributors to the CFGESS.


CFGESS, in turn, contributed $80,978 to Republican Rich Desmond, who is running for the Sacramento County Supervisors District 3 seat that is being vacated by Republican Susan Peters. As an independent expenditure, it spent an additional $93,228 in support of Desmond. 

The District 3 seat has been targeted by Sacramento-area Democrats as a possible pick-up. Primary results from last week have Desmond currently in first place, and Democrat Gregg Fishman, who is in second, is expected to compete for the seat in the November general election.

Observers of the 2018 Elk Grove mayoral race will recall the ASMC conducted an independent campaign in opposition to Mayor Steve Ly, who was being challenged by Elk Grove District 1 City Councilmember Darren Suen. In a series of unflattering mailers and online advertising, they targeted Ly and a former assistant. 

The ads were condemned, and Suen, the presumed beneficiary, was compelled to disavow them. The ASMC campaign against Ly, which costs $55,000 had no effect as Ly easily won reelection to a second term over Suen and Tracie Stafford.

While it appears the ASMC initial actions are focused on the Sacramento Board of Supervisor District 3 race, the filing with Elk Grove could suggest it will be involved in the mayor race, the Elk Grove District 1 and 3 city council contests, or all three.

Given its history with Suen, it could be planning a campaign against Ali Moua, who is challenging Suen for the District 1 seat. Moua has reportedly been actively raising funds for his campaign.

Noting its recent track record of supporting Republican Desmond in the board of supervisors race, it could be targeting the District 3 contest. It could support Republican Kevin Spease or oppose Democrat Maureen Craft.

As for the mayoral race, although Ly has three declared opponents, only Michelle Kile is actively campaigning at this time, and it is not known how much money she has raised. Ly maintains a high-name recognition as an incumbent and will have a formidable financial advantage.

Should it involve itself in the mayoral's race, the ASMC would presumably support a well-known person with a track record. Former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis, who is reportedly exploring running for his old position, might be such a candidate.

Davis, who was the city's first directly elected mayor in 2012, held office for two two-year terms. While he was running for a third term in 2016, he mysteriously dropped out of the race four months before the general election, which opened the door for Ly's candidacy. 

Even though he supported Ly's successful 2016 campaign for mayor, in 2018, Davis turned his back on his former ally. In a robocall sponsored by Sacramento-based Region Business, Davis came out in support of Suen.  

After leaving, unlike other former Elk Grove city councilmembers who fell out of the public eye, Davis has maintained a high profile by acting as a community relations representative for California Northstate University, the Wilton Rancheria and it's proposed gambling casino and has appeared in television commercials for Elk Grove Honda. Davis also formed a group calling itself the Elk Grove Community Council that has organized community events in conjunction with the City of Elk Grove. 

Davis has also maintained a campaign committee he calls Mayor Gary Davis 2024. According to his filing on January 31, the account has $42,663. 

While the ASMC is poised to be involved in 2020 Elk Grove elections, what independent actions, if any, it takes will probably be unknown until late September or early October, just when ballots appear in voters' mailboxes. Regardless, if they do involve themselves in local elections, you can be assured it will not be in support of Ly.   

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2020. All right reserved.










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4 comments

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

As tantalizing as a face-off between Mr. Davis and Mr. Ly would be, consider these possibilities.

Mr. Detrick is leaving the District 3 seat, and he could certainly make a run. Even though he appears to have turned off his fund-raising efforts, it could be restarted. Let’s not forget after his one term as Mayor, Mr. Detrick nominated himself for another term.

Or perhaps Mr. Hume could make a run at Mr. Ly. He has said he will leave office after 2022, so what would be more satisfying from his perspective than leaving elected life as the elected Mayor, and knocking of Mr. Ly in the process.

Connie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie said...

o, what are the odds this IE learned its lesson from the last election cycle about all those hit pieces?

Darren Suen, in his unsuccessful bid for mayor, was called upon to denounce said hit pieces. I know I was not the only one who emailed him. After I got no response, I submitted a letter to the editor. Suen only denounced the hit pieces after public pressure.

As most know, the candidate is always aware of the IE – no one can keep a secret in campaigns – even though it is against the law to confer with the candidate being supported. I seem to remember that the person in charge even bragged about the forthcoming hit pieces.

No matter whom the candidate is, they all need to go on the record now that they will NOT support or condone any hit pieces from this IE that would tarnish their name as it did Suen's.

The candidate is ultimately responsible. I also go back to what Pat Hume would tell me when I tried to get him to see my point of view. He would admonish me, "Connie, whose name is on the balloons?"

Randy Bekker said...

Campaign finance reform as those have proposed. Dark money, dirty money that is hard to trace compared to just giving to a candidate. SCOTUS has ruled PAC money to be constitutional under the 1st amendment. So those against PAC money should be careful what you wish for in campaign finance reform.

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