What’s in a name?
A lot for Sacramento Taxpayers Against Pork.
With STOP’s Tuesday revelation that it now has possession of 18,000 names controversially collected by Chris Hansen, group members have 18,000 more reasons to believe the public will get to vote on city subsidies going to a new arena for the Kings.
“It’s a big day. And it’s a big day not so much because we have the petitions. It’s a big day because the voice of Sacramento will be heard,” said Julian Camacho with STOP.
Pro-subsidy advocates DowntownArena.org see things very differently.
“Hansen has the legal ability, if the signatures are his and we believe that they are, to get them back — regardless of what’s taken place to date,” said Joshua Wood with DowntownArena.org.
According to Wood, the taint associated with the Hansen-funded signatures comes not only from the billionaire’s secret funding of the effort while he was working to steal the Kings from Sacramento, but also from STOP’s supposedly mistaken message while folks were being asked to sign on.
“That’s what we mean by a bait and switch – you have misinformation, you have lies. All of this working together to completely taint the ballots that STOP today is claiming,” said Wood.
STOP has always maintained that members were unaware of the Hansen-funded campaign supporting their petition, but that voters who believe in what they’re doing shouldn’t be denied.
“My advice to Chris Hansen would be go see the FPPC. That would be a legal issue,” said Camacho.
The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, or FPPC, had to sue reveal Hansen as an actor in this drama in the first place.
Hansen himself Tuesday claimed in a letter that STOP has again benefited from something of his without his knowledge, saying a political consultant gave the petitions to STOP behind his back.
He’s asking STOP not to use the signatures.
Wood’s group is working to see that STOP and Hansen follow through.
“He can stop this. The question is whether or not he’s complicit in this whole thing. And how we’ll be able to tell is by whether or not he truly gets them back or if this is just more words,” said Wood.
“That kind of rhetoric is nonsense … let the FPPC decide. These people don’t seem to realize or haven’t read the elections code,” said Camacho.
What will a likely June vote on an arena subsidy mean to the Kings new owners and the city poised to build for them? No one with the ownership group or the city was willing to comment on that just yet.
STOP says it has not officially received the latest letter from Chris Hansen.
Tuesday afternoon the group’s post office box had not bee checked.
The lawyer STOP was working with last week was cc’ed in Hansen’s letter, but STOP and that lawyer severed ties over the weekend.