Mayoral Candidate Steve Ly Skewered For 'Buffet Line' Remark at Elk Grove Casino, Mailer Opposing Gambling

October 30, 2016 |  

Mayoral candidate Steve Ly has been ridiculed by one of his rival's campaign consultant for his conflicting stances on the proposed $400-million casino resort in Elk Grove. 

The $400 million casino-resort being proposed by the Wilton Rancheria and Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming would be located on a portion of the site of the unfinished Outlet Collection at Elk Grove on Highway 99 and Kammerer Road in South Elk Grove. Construction on that shopping center stopped over eight years ago and is a source of embarrassment for the Elk Grove City Council.  

The Elk Grove City Council, including Council Member Ly, has voted unanimously to repeal an existing development agreement for the shopping center site and agree to financial terms in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Tribe that helps pave the way for approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Although a slight majority of people speaking at two City Council meetings have voiced support, a sizable group of voters have vocally opposed the casino citing societal and economic concerns. 

Seizing on comments Ly made at the September 28, 2016, Elk Grove City Council meeting where the City agreed to financial terms with the Tribe in the MOU, was Tab Berg, campaign consultant for Elk Grove Planning Commissioner and mayoral candidate Kevin Spease. Berg noted that while Ly sent the mailer saying he opposed the proposed casino, but willing to patronize the business.

"I'd be the first on in line for the buffet line," Ly said according to Berg's press release. The quote was also reported in a story by the Sacramento Bee.

The Bee's September 28 story by Peter Hecht said: 

I’m conflicted. That’s my honest-to-god feeling,” said council member Steve Ly. He said he wasn’t a fan of casinos, but added: “I’ll be honest. I’d be the first to line up for the buffet.”

To satisfy conflicting constituencies, last week Ly's glossy four-page color mailer boldly proclaimed "As a father, I oppose the new casino."

"Ly is playing political twister on the casino issue,” Berg said. “He was for the casino before he was against it. Then he voted for the casino, before telling voters he opposed the casino."

Inside Ly's I oppose the new casino mailer he further muddles his position by claiming he and his City Council colleagues made lemonades out of lemons. He goes on to rationalize his positions by claiming the City of Elk Grove will receive about $3.4 million annually for the next 30 years to mitigate the effects of the casino on roads, law enforcement, and other city-provided services.

“Steve Ly is apparently on both sides of the casino issue, voters don’t generally like that kind of double dealing,” Berg said. “The only thing Steve Ly has made clear is that he will be the first one in line for the buffet, maybe he wasn’t just talking about food.”

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