In the past month, a variety of anti-Alex Lee ads have been circulating. These ads have criticized Lee for engaging in “monkey business,” said that his “bills go down in flames,” and called Lee a “Socialist Democrat.” The ads also accused Lee of having “joined with Republicans” following his alleged “failures with Democrats.”
The ads increased as June 7’s primary election grew near. The candidates in the primary aside from Lee are: Bob Brunton, Kansen Chu, Lan Diep, and Teresa Keng.
As for who is sending out the ads, one group is the Housing Providers for Responsible Solutions, Sponsored by Housing Providers. This group alone has spent a total of over $1 million on ads since May 6th, with $211,424 being spent on ads against Alex Lee specifically. They include mailers, digital ads, and even Youtube ads.
When asked why he believes these ads have targeted him specifically, Lee stated, “I am the only candidate in my race as well as state legislator that is corporate-free.” He added, “I can’t be bought into this system; I can’t be paid off; I can’t be influenced, so they try to get rid of me.”
Lee also commented on his initial reaction regarding the ads: “I’m not worried about it. I’m just concerned about the effect it has on our democratic system.” He added that “the more nasty and negative campaigns become, the more people get really turned off by it.” Regarding the substance of the ads themselves, Lee said, “I think our voters understand when they are being lied to and manipulated but it doesn’t make anyone feel good about the process.”
If reelected, one way that Lee plans to combat issues such as this is working on publicly financed elections. In doing so, Lee holds the hope that one day “regular people will have much more say in elections.”
Note: At press time, the groups behind the ads did not respond to a request for comment.