Detrick Loans Campaign $80k as Elk Grove City Council Election Approaches; 'Wall of Money'

July 9, 2016 | According to documents filed yesterday with the City Clerk's office, Elk Grove City Councilman Steve Detrick h...

July 9, 2016 |

According to documents filed yesterday with the City Clerk's office, Elk Grove City Councilman Steve Detrick has loaned his reelection campaign $80,000. The filing shows Detrick now sits atop a mountain of cash totaling $85,842.

In an unusual move, Detrick filed his so-called California 460 Form for the period covering January 1 through June 30, 2016, yesterday. The typical practice in Elk Grove has been for City Council Members to file on the last possible day. 

But with his re-election approaching in November, Detrick's early filing is strategic. With no known opponents at this time, Detrick's loan is sending a message that is meant to dissuade anyone from running because of his huge financial advantage.

Furthermore, should an opponent decide to run, Detrick just needs to flip the switch on his campaign fundraising machine to help repay his loan, and if need be, collect excess funds. If no one files papers to run against Detrick, he just repays himself the original $80,000 

Say what you will about the big businesses, real estate developers and the construction trade unions that carry the Elk Grove City Councilmen around like change in their pocket, if nothing else, they are pragmatic. They strip away personal foibles, and in the instance of at least one of our councilmen, intelligence, and will, without exception, support the devil they know as long as they deliver the votes for their proposals and projects. 

One needs to only examine the 16-year history of pro-real estate development votes casts by the Elk Grove City Council. The city council has consistently delivered big business, real estate developers, and labor unions an exceptional return on their "investments."

Sources also tell us that Detrick's colleague, Councilman Darren Suen is employing the same strategy. Suen, who was appointed to the council by the vacancy created when Jim Cooper was elected to the California State Assembly, is seeking to run unopposed by creating an overwhelming financial advantage to discourage any challengers. 

To date, Suen, who has been wholeheartedly embraced by the same big money contributors who have funded Elk Grove politics, has succeeded in suppressing political participation as he has no announced opponents as he sits on top of $49,000 pile of cash as of December 31, 2015. Borrowing from legendary music producer Phil Spector's famed "Wall of Sound," Detrick and Suen are employing a strategy in Elk Grove's we will call the "Wall of Money."

With the filing deadline for candidates about one month away, we will see if Detrick and Suen's "Wall of Money" succeeds in suppressing opponents from entering the race. If the "Wall of Money" delivers its desired results for Suen, Detrick, and any other local politician who employs the strategy, the real loser will be the representative democracy as we once knew it. 


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