SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The campaign to put a Sacramento Kings arena subsidy to a vote is closer to fruition as enough signatures have been gathered to put the measure on the ballot.
While the city clerk’s office has verified Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork has enough signatures to put the issue to a vote, the measure itself hasn’t been verified.
In a statement, Shirley Concolino wrote “I feel compelled to remind the community that simply reaching this threshold does not conclude the petition validation process.”
That’s because STOP submitted several different versions of the arena subsidy petition to the city, each with its own inconsistencies that still need to be validated by the city.
Arena supporters say for that reason, the petitions have misled voters voters and should be disqualified.
“There were significant flaws with the petitions,” said pro-arena activist Josh Wood. “Literally, there is a legal stench emanating from them.”
The city clerk has not make a decision, but if she strikes down the petitions down, law professor Mary-Beth Moylan says the validity of the petitions will likely end up before a judge.
“Are they substantially the same? Would the voter reading them understand them in the same way?. That’s going to be the standard that is applied,” she said.
Which means the STOP campaign may be over to overcome mistakes they made with the petitions.
“They seem to have technical irregularities or disparities, but I didn’t see any version that seemed to be so out of compliance that it would warrant invalidation,” she said.
But there are not guarantees. There are recent cases that cite a city clerk is allowed to disqualify petitions, because the necessary election information was not included when a voter signed.
So in the end, it will likely be left in a judge’s hands.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson released a statement saying “I have serious concerns about the integrity of the process. Plain and simple, this initiative is a Trojan horse. For Sacramento, there is a great deal at stake.”
Sacramento Kings president Chris Granger also released a statement:
“As we have stated in the past, we love Sacramento and are committed to doing all we can to support the City’s efforts to develop an entertainment and sports complex that will help revitalize our downtown. The Kings appreciate the support we have received from the community and know that the organization is fortunate to have the best and most loyal fans in all of the NBA. We share the many concerns expressed by the Mayor, The 4000 and others in Sacramento regarding the anti-arena campaign and are prepared to work to support their leadership.”