During the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce PAC-sponsored mayoral forum on Sept. 29, Singh-Allen expressed concern about some of the mayor’s campaign contributions.
“When you combine about $50,000 in campaign contributions, it does not build confidence and that $50,000 comes from, not only directly from the investors of (California Northstate University), but the (university’s) faculty and staff, as well. That is not acceptable and that is not good governance.”
California Northstate University proposes to build a $750 million to $800 million, 13-story hospital in the Stonelake neighborhood, adjacent to its current campus, by late 2022.
As a controversial project, CNU’s proposed hospital site has drawn both support and criticism from Elk Grove residents since its announcement by the university’s administration in December 2018.
A review of the contributions Ly received in the first half of 2020 shows $6,000 from Alvin Cheung, president and CEO of California Northstate University. The mayor also received $18,000 from Cheung last year.
Ly recently told the Citizen that he has yet to declare support or rejection of the CNU project.
“I have received contributions from doctors or folks that have maybe (taught) at CNU,” he said. “I haven’t verified (Singh-Allen’s) statement that an X amount of dollars comes from these individuals.
“I think what’s important here is that I have made it clear from the get-go that I support the concept of a hospital in Elk Grove. I have never made it a clear statement that I support the CNU project. I think it’s premature to make a statement along those lines, when the applicant has filed an application to be considered by the City Council.”
Pablo Espinoza, Singh-Allen’s campaign manager, on Oct. 26 inquired about a $10,000 contribution to Ly’s campaign from Mouying Lee, a computer programmer in Montague.
“Mr. Lee is the center of a report by the Los Angeles Times around the illegal marijuana-growing operation in Siskiyou County,” he wrote.
Ly responded to Espinoza’s inquiry about Lee and his contribution to the mayor’s campaign.
“I have a lot of contributors and the truth of it is they made a contribution; it’s legitimate, it’s well-documented,” he said. “I’m not aware of any sort of activities other than the fact that they made legitimate contributions.”
Espinoza also questioned whether Ly reported the funds that were paid to hire professionals to safely place face masks in envelopes that were mailed to Elk Grove residents.
Ly said that this purchase was reported on Form 460 of his campaign financing, under the name, 4 Guys Print & Mail.
Included on pages 19 through 22 of that form, which was received by the city clerk’s office on Oct. 22, are 15 listings for payments to that McClellan-based business – those purchases total $116,750.
The mayor mentioned that he does not make an issue of any of the contributions that Singh-Allen has received, including money from developers.
“I think it’s important for us to stick to the issues, stick to what is good for the city of Elk Grove,” he said. “And the truth of it is, political contributions have been ruled by the Supreme Court as free speech. For clarity, it is not a contribution to the candidate as an individual. It is a contribution to the campaign. As a part of our First Amendment (rights), I think it is important to recognize that.”