Sorry, neglected this weekend story out of Sacramento yesterday:
As elections officials took custody of 34,000 signatures demanding a public vote on the proposed subsidy for Sacramento’s new NBA arena, the two sides of the arena issue got into a squabble Friday over who should bear the costs of validating the petitions…
Earlier Friday, the pro-subsidy political committee formed by Mayor Kevin Johnson threw its first official jab, demanding that STOP pay the cost of validating the signatures. STOP’s president said his group wouldn’t pay.
On the face of it, this sounds insane — if groups that petition for ballot measures had to pay the cost of validating them, that would be a huge monetary hurdle — but the Sacramento Bee reports that the city “is responsible for the cost of validating the signatures but can ask one of the parties involved in an election to pay.” That’s clear as mud (is that “ask” as in “require” or “ask” as in “mother, may I?”), but so far no formal request has been made, anyway. The cost of the petition count is expected to be about $100,000.