There were a bunch of developments in the Sacramento Kings arena saga this week, and fortunately Sactown Royalty has summarized most of them for us. But I’m still going to summarize them even more, because that’s how the Internet rolls:
- The counting of petitions to put the arena deal up for a public vote in June, already complicated by such matters as the mayor’s pro-arena group trying to demand that the petitioners pay to have the petitions counted, got even more complicated with the report (also from the same pro-arena group, the crazily named The4000) that the petitions were issued in five (or maybe eight) slightly different versions. This is either a major crisis that will require going back to the beginning and doing a recount, or a minor issue that in past petition cases hasn’t caused any problems at all, depending on who you ask. Or, more likely, grounds for a lawsuit.
- If you’re wondering how the petition validating is going otherwise, Mrs. Lincoln, of the first 8,518 signatures to be checked, 67.7% were deemed valid, somewhat ahead of the 62% validity rate needed for the ballot measure to go through.
- There could be an initial ruling soon in a lawsuit claiming that the city illegally offered under-the-table inducements to the new owners of the Kings to help get them to buy the team, with the plaintiffs currently trying to depose city councilmember Kevin McCarty on the subject. Which seems like a reach, but we’re talking about a battle here that’s currently turning on petition typos, so really, anything is fair game.
- Meanwhile, Craig Powell of Eye on Sacramento writes that the city is trying yet another tack to get around a possible June vote, by pushing up the sale of arena bonds to 14 days before voters would go to the polls. That could be difficult — as the Sacramento Bee has previously noted, petitioners could always go to court to try to delay the bond sale until after the vote, and “it’s also difficult to imagine that the bond could get through the legal and underwriting process with a ballot measure pending” — but we’ve certainly seen these sorts of shenanigans before.
In sum, then, the arena battle is still a great big steaming mess, and everyone could save a lot of time and legal fees by choosing a simpler method of resolving it. Like, say, arm wrestling.