In a YouTube video of a STOP signature gatherer, you hear the gatherer tell a potential signee that if he doesn’t sign the petition to get the downtown arena issue on the ballet, his taxes will be raised.
“Last year, the city raised taxes to pay for basic city services, yet now they’re asking citizens taxpayers the public to pay for a quarter billion dollar subsidy to an arena without so much as a public vote,” said Tab Berg, STOP’s political consultant.
Today, STOP – or Sacramento Taxpayers Against Pork – responded to claims their workers are lying to get signatures.
“They are trained and they are told to stay within the parameters of the discussion. And I think, even in that video, she largely stuck to the core of the issue, which is should voters have the right to vote,” Berg said.
Even after the NBA voted to keep the Kings in Sacramento, STOP and pro-arena forces – like Crown Downtown – are locked in a war over whether the city’s subsidy to build a downtown arena needs to be taken to a vote.
“I think a meaningful debate would be very good for the community. Obviously, we didn’t have an opportunity to do that because the proposal was agreed upon over three days during a holiday weekend,” Berg said.
The group is pushing to get 33,000 signatures by December to force a citywide vote.
Signature gatherers, like the one seen in this video, are independent contracts paid by STOP and get paid for every “qualified” signature they get.
STOP maintains the encounter seen in the YouTube video was a bit of setup.
“They were lead there by an activist, they were responding and it was a give and take,” Berg said.
It’s estimated STOP has gathered roughly half of the signatures it needs to force a vote on the downtown arena. Berg believes they will gather enough to do just that.
If you think that you were duped by signature gatherers, downtown arena supporters have set up a website you can visit to get your signature off the petition- http://downtownarena.org/withdraw-your-signature/