In the game he loves, a foul will cost you a shot, but in the business of ballot initiatives that could change where the Kings play, billionaire Chris Hansen’s latest foul has cost him and two associates $50,000.
“In general for penalties, we try and be consistent with people who’ve engaged in similar behavior said Gary Winuk with the Fair Political Practices Commission.
The fine was levied as a penalty for breaking state election law.
Hansen failed to declare himself a major donor and create a proper campaign committee in the effort to force a public vote on Sacramento’s new arena.
“We have accountability back into the system and transparency,” said Joshua Wood with DowntownArena.org.
The fine comes from a complaint filed by Wood’s pro-arena group with the FPPC, state’s political watchdog.
In August the FPPC had to sue to unmask Hansen as the money man behind paid signature gatherers in support of, but not tied to efforts by a group called STOP.
Back then Hansen said it was a decision he regretted. Now, he claims it was a decision he never made.
In new filings with the FPPC he said that notice of the complaint was the “first time” he learned how his money had been spent.
“Our hope is that he will honor that commitment and that STOP will not get those signatures,” said Wood.
Wood is talking about a pledge issued on Hansen’s Seattle arena page Monday.
It’s a pledge to keep Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, or STOP, from using the signatures he claims to have unwittingly funded.
STOP is the primary group petitioning for a public vote on projects like an arena.
For its part Monday, STOP had its ups and downs.
One up? The release of a list of endorsements.
One down? A ‘You Tube’ recording of a group member painting their effort as more filibuster than full of integrity.
“If we prolong the decision for this arena then the NBA will not feel Sacramento’s worthwhile,” said Mike Edwards.
“In our opinion there is no local support for this effort and without Chris Hansen’s money, his signatures…this issue goes away,” said Wood.
Late Monday afternoon STOP spokesperson John Hyde said if Hansen takes any steps to prevent signatures from being added to his group’s petition effort, it would be illegal.
He also said that the comments by Edwards posted to YouTube only represent Edward – not STOP.
Over the last few months Edwards has presented himself as a STOP board member and been quoted as such by various media outlets.
His identification as such has never been questioned in FOX40 stories.
Monday night John Hyde said Edwards has never been a board member.