Throughout this entire effort, those behind these petitions have misrepresented their real agenda, acted to deceive the public about who is really behind the campaign and dissembled about the very nature of the petitions. For these reasons, the ballot initiative is not what it purports to be but in fact is a Trojan Horse of ballot initiatives designed to do great harm to Sacramento.
First, STOP misrepresented to the public about their real agenda, which is to kill 4000 jobs, squander a once in a generation opportunity to transform our downtown and force the Kings to leave Sacramento. Rather than an up or down vote on the arena, as other California cities have done, STOP purposefully designed an initiative that would rig the ballot process so that even when the public would actually have the chance to vote up or down on the arena, it would be so late in the process that the entire project could be imperiled.
Second, STOP was found guilty and a contributor was fined $50,000 for trying to deceive the public about the fact that the money funding this effort came from sources that are opposed to Sacramento. More than 90% of the money behind this initiative came from entities outside of the City who have explicit agendas in opposition to the best interests of the community, including a Wall Street hedge fund manager who wants to move the team to Seattle.
And, third, after dissembling to the City that there were just two versions of the petitions with typos differentiating them, we now know that there are at least nine different versions of the petitions where there are significant differences in terms of the information presented to the voters in violation of the legal requirement that voters be provided with the same information.
The legal stench emanating from the defects in these festering petitions is as malodorous as it is odiferous.
In light of the failure to provide voters key pieces of information and whose omission would appear to be just the latest in a series of efforts to hide the true purposes of this ballot initiative from the public – to kill 4000 jobs, blow up the transformation of the downtown and force the Kings to leave – it is high time to put a stop to STOP’s juking and jiving, dissembling and deceiving.
In particular, given the legal stench wafting off of these petitions, we believe it is critical for the City to protect the public by making sure that the flawed petitions are rejected. This is why today’s news has no significance as anything more than a procedural step. Counting flawed petitions is completely different than flawed petitions counting.