Reporting Steve Large
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Fair Political Practice Commission filed a lawsuit Thursday afternoon to reveal who is funding the efforts to stop the downtown Sacramento Kings arena.
A complaint to the FPPC showed Southern California law firm Loeb & Loeb, who represented the Maloof family through the sale of the team, paid an undisclosed $25,000 toward a new political effort to stop the Kings’ arena by putting it on the ballot.
The firm then said it would reveal the source of the funding by noon Thursday, but never did.
“We sent them a letter specifically requesting compliance, based on the information we already have….and they haven’t done so, so we are going to compel that through the court process,” said FPPC Enforcement Chief Gary Winuk.
If the lawsuit is successful, Loeb & Loeb will have to disclose where the funding originated.
“They have not given a reason, but — again — there’s an active signature gathering effort underway. The public has a right to know who’s funding it,” said Winuk. “It’s our job to make sure the public gets that information.”
DowntownArena.org has accused arena opponents of breaking the law by not disclosing whose money they are spending.
“Why’s it so important for them to hide it? They’re going to great lengths to try and not disclose it? That usually, in politics, means there’s a reason,” said Joshua Wood of DowntownArena.org.
Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork is hoping to collect enough signatures to put the arena up for a vote.
“The public has a right to know that information. For our agency, it’s not important whose funding it; it’s important that the public has that information. We are going to go to the mat to get that,” said Winuk.
The FPPC disclosure lawsuit is only the second in the organization’s history. The first was filed in 2012 to disclose who was behind an Arizona group’s funding of some California ballot measures.