Did Elk Grove Vice Mayor Steve Ly Skirt Multicultural Festival Ban on Electioneering?

August 28, 2016 | Yesterday, Elk Grove celebrated its well-deserved reputation as one of the county's most diverse cities w...

August 28, 2016 |

Yesterday, Elk Grove celebrated its well-deserved reputation as one of the county's most diverse cities with its Fifth Annual Multicultural Festival.

Along with the presentation of the Key to the City to noted historian and longtime educator Elizabeth Pinkerton, the festival gave participants an opportunity to enjoy an array of entertainment and learn more about various members of the community. To facilitate that, the City allowed cultural and faith-based organizations to set up informational booths free of charge.

While the City and the Multicultural Committee also permitted for-profit enterprises and public service groups to have display booths, there was one classification that was expressly prohibited from the event. That classification was "booths that support or oppose the approval or rejection of a ballot measure, or the election or defeat of a candidate, are not permitted."

Not surprisingly, there were several candidates working the crowds, which as a protected free speech activity, is allowed. Among the candidates seen mingling with the audience were Maureen Craft, Jim Cooper, Steve Detrick, Tim Gorsulowsky, Michael Monasky, and Tracie Stafford. 

What was noteworthy was the presence created by Elk Grove Vice Mayor and Mayoral Candidate, Steve Ly. Unlike other elected officials and candidates, Ly, was not seen at the festival. 

While he was not there for the ceremonies, the Vice Mayor made his presence known. In front of a booth provided by Republic Services, the City of Elk Grove's contracted garbage company and political contributor, was a sign prominently displaying Ly's name along with the City's official logo. 

As part of the promotion, the Vice Mayor had a kids backpack giveaway that required registration of the parents. We wonder where that list of parents names gathered by Ly's wife and Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis' Chief of Staff Teresa Rodriguez will end up - perhaps Ly's political consultant Richie Ross for the distribution of gifts this October or as a fundraising tool for Capitol Campaigns? 

So did Ly violate the rules of engagement outlined by the Multicultural Committee? Clearly, he did.

The display of the sign in an election year where he is seeking office gave him a huge advantage over his six competitors who were banned from political advertising. Lest the Multicultural Committee be scolded, Ly's action put them in a very uncomfortable position.    

It should be noted that Assembly Member Jim Cooper did have a booth at the festival, but it was there for constituent outreach. There was nothing at Cooper's booth related to his reelection efforts, and these type of booths are allowed.

So did Ly break the law? Probably not. But did he use his position as Vice Mayor to gain an unfair advantage over his competitors while putting the Multicultural Committee in a very uncomfortable position? Without a doubt.

As we are beginning to see with Ly, he is willing to play fast and loose with the rules that govern his ethics as a member of the Elk Grove City Council. Ly is saying, 'The rules don't apply to me.'

Well at least he abandoned, for now, his illegal Vice Mayor's seal that he created several weeks ago.

As for where Ly was, his Facebook page showed him on fundraising trip in Wisconsin. 


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BillP said...

Wow, Dan! Skirting? Aren't you skirting the line between personal vengeance and objective reporting? Did Ly slight you in some way? Did he not give you some exclusivity on a certain topic? Or did he not listened to you about running for mayor 2 years ago? Let it go and let it rest. Be the objective reporter you once were and let go of your personal agenda/vengeance.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

BillP, you hit the nail on the head. The hit pieces on Steve Ly are at least two times a week. There hasn't been one article on most of the candidates Dan Gougherty mentions in the above article. Why is that? Why not educate the Elk Grove voting public on the other candidates for Mayor. Instead, Gougherty seems to be obsessed with Ly. Kinda of creepy actually. What is the payoff here for Goughterty?

Ace of Spades said...

Steve Ly is the second coming of JFK right here in The Grove! I know he's gonna come through for me while I patiently wait for NRC Manufacturing to relocate so I can go down to the Temp Agency and get a career stuffing circuit boards! I also know Ly is gonna bring the casino so I can take the extra money I have left over from my NRC paycheck and hit the craps table! Better get that executive housing ready because I'm riding on a hot streak and Ly is on his way to making all of us prosperous in The Grove. Back off EGN.

Steve L said...

Seems to me that EG News is reporting AGAIN on the Vice Mayor's inability to follow established protocols, rein in his massive ego, and act ethically. He seems to have no compass when it comes to how he should act and carry himself as an elected member of our local government. As a public servant, he should be held to higher standards. He holds our tax money in his/city's coffer.

He lacks leadership skills and regularly sets bad examples for our youth, who he claims to hold in great reverence.

Ly needs to start acting like a leader, set a good example, follow ethical standards, rein in his personal ego.

The term "skirting" was kind.

Hopefully, a hard worker with a strong moral and ethical compass and an IQ higher than a farm animal shines through before the November election.

BillP said...


This is the whole point of these comments, AGAIN and AGAIN! Most readers are tired of reading these hit articles against Steve Ly from Dan. We got it! Dan doesn't like Ly or Lie. We got it! Don't talk about higher standards when the majority of these politician's morals are in the dumpster. Ly is no different, however, spread the hit pieces around or better yet, give us information on everyone so we can determine who can do the best job for Elk Grove. When did dirty politics became the norm in Elk Grove?

I challenge anyone and everyone, let's get into a room and let's discuss these topics openly so we know who you are and let the public know who you are and your thoughts and views. It will be very surprising to find out.

Crissie said...

Steve Ly does not play by the rules. Period.
Dan is doing the right thing for the citizens of Elk Grove by keeping them informed of the MOUNTING list of slippery actions taken by Ly.

Thank you so much, Dan.

It is critical that the not-so-ethical actions of ANY candidate be presented to the voters for their use in choosing whom to vote for.

It is especially critical to keep this information coming - do not stop!

Incumbents, in particular, tend to get voted in based purely on name recognition. This should not happen!

Keep educating the voters, and keep educating the voters. Keep the info out there.

Since Ly has done all the things written about here, this can in no way be considered a witch hunt. Go Dan.

Ritchie Thatcher said...

No such thing as bad press, right?

Looks to me like we have 7 candidates. 5 of them are non-starters. Of the other 2, 1 seems to be doing fairly well. The other pushes the limits of propriety and insults residents and police officers.

The candidate is responsible to flip the script, not the press.

Steve L said...

BTW: Why is our Vice Mayor fundraising in WISCONSIN?

Seems like another questionable act by His Highness.

Hope the citizens or those who financially support his candidacy didn't pay his way.

....I would like an explanation though......Wisconsin?

Josie said...

Steve Ly's Facebook page also states that a Fundraiser is also being held in Fresno on September 25th. Mr. Lys comments and details.....

Please join me as I return to my roots in Fresno. This year, I am running for Elk Grove Mayor. Your support and contribution will be greatly appreciated.

Levels of Sponsorships:
$5,000: Event Co-Host
$1,000: Gold Table
$750: Silver Table
$500: Bronze Table


Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Re: Mr. BillP comments -

When did dirty politics became the norm in Elk Grove?

I would suggest an alternate question - Was Elk Grove politics ever clean? I'm sure some in this audience have been around long enough to recall former Councilman Mr. Rick Soares unsuccessful tactics in 2006 or Mr. Dan Briggs successful political attacks back in 2002.

If you look at our country's political history, if there is one constant, it has been dirty politics. Perhaps reading this article about the attacks on the Father of our Nation, George Washington, will enlighten.


Did you think Mr. Trump was the inventor of the insult about physical appearance? Here is an interesting article how Abraham Lincoln was attacked. As this article points out, President Lincoln was called a gorilla, and there were open calls for his assassination.


For those of us who paid attention to sixth period American History in high school will surely never forget when Senator Charles Sumner was caned to within inches of death by Congressman Preston Brook on the Floor of the United States Senate!


Yes, American politics can be brutal, and has we have seen, dangerous.

Getting back to Elk Grove politics, you suggest that Mr. Gougherty looks into the other mayoral candidates. Currently, Mr. Ly is the only candidate in the mayoral election that has held, or holds, elected office, and as such has a public record that is open to scrutiny.

(Aside - And to address Mr./Ms. "I on Elk Grove" beforehand regarding Mr. Monasky's alleged affiliation with the Communist Party, I suggest you might again look at American History. I am not referring the discredited and censured smear tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Political affiliation is one of our rights as Americans. Your style of red-baiting went out with sock hops. No, look back to 1932 when the President of the conservative-leaning University of Chicago stood with students and let stand an invitation to the Communist Party candidate for President speak on campus. I would suggest that freedom of affiliation is not a conservative or liberal value, but an American value. You have the absolute right to smear someone if you choose, but it is an ineffective argument. I just hope you don't fall into the trap of devaluing freedom of speech or affiliation that is, unfortunately, happening with the so-called "safe zones" that are popping up on American college campuses, but that is a topic for some other day.)


I realize Mr. Spease is a planning commissioner, but his votes are non-binding, and he was not elected. Besides, as many have observed Mr. Spease usually says little of consequence during planning commission meetings and usually is party to unanimous votes.

As for the other city council races, as I recall this blog has documented Mr. Detrick's numerous past transgressions and fundraising follies, and it is now up to his opponents to resurrect them if they so chose. With regards to Mr. Suen, aside from discussing his campaign fundraising activities, I cannot recall reading that much about him on this blog or the Elk Grove Citizen. Certainly nothing of a controversial nature. Perhaps he has shown some restraint in his campaign financing activities, his personal behavior and has been contemplative in his deliberations from the dais, unlike his colleagues that appearing on the ballot.

Yes, politics is a filthy business, and as much as we like to think Elk Grove is so high-minded to be immune from such bare-knuckled fights, I respectfully suggest to take a closer look.

I on Elk Grove said...


I have no issue with the commies, I'd just like an Ivan to fess up instead of hiding.

Your comrade,
I on Elk Grove

I on Elk Grove said...

Hmong population

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