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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Katy Grimes

The quiet Arena lawsuit moves forward

Last week a judge ruled against the lawsuit to place the proposed public subsidy for the new basketballarena before Sacramento voters.

Local media heralded the decision.

But there is another Sacramento arena lawsuit taking place in Sacramento Superior Court. I’ve attended the court proceedings. And I’ve written about it.

The lawsuit accuses city officials of making a secret deal to provide an extra $80 million of public money to help the investors’ group beef up its offer against a well-funded Seattle group that wanted to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle, which lost its NBA team to Oklahoma City in 2008. Plaintiffs’ attorney Patrick Soluri said city officials have committed fraud because they have not fully informed the City Council and the public about details of the deal.

The city subsidy, according to the lawsuit, is actually $338 million — not the $258 million the city claims.

Most other media seem to be ignoring it, or incorrectly reporting the importance of the lawsuit, and allegations of fraud by city officials, and illegal gift of public funds.

This is serious. It’s not about being Kings arena deniers, as… Read More

Katy Grimes

Media army of fools in Sacto arena deal

Nearly every member of the media in Sacramento is openly advocating for a new basketball arena to be built in downtown. And they are supportive of a massive public subsidy to offset the cost for the owners of the Sacramento Kings. Besides gross incompetence, this is also willful negligence.

A group of citizens and taxpayers known as STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork), and Voters for a Fair Arena Deal, are fighting the public subsidy of the proposed new arena. According to the lawsuit filed bySTOP, the city subsidy is actually $338 million — not the $258 million the city claims.

STOP has tried to get the details of the arena deal and purchase of the Sacramento Kings to be made public.

Beyond the legal challenge to the city’s… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacto City Clerk rejects petition to put arena subsidy to a public vote

In another twist in Sacramento’s arena derangement syndrome, a petition drive to put a public subsidy for the proposed Sacramento basketball arena project to a public vote, has been rejected by the Sacramento City Clerk.

Friday, the city clerk announced that she rejected the petitions, along with 34,000 signatures, on the grounds some of the petition versions did not comply with election code.

“Due to technical issues identified in the submitted petitions, I find the petition noncompliant with significant provisions of the California Elections Code and the Sacramento City Charter, and therefore insufficient to move forward,”Shirley Concolino, Sacramento City Clerk, said in a press release.

Yet, just last week,theSacramento County Registrarcertified there were enough… Read More

Kevin Dayton

Regional Sports and Entertainment Facilities in the Urban Core Attract Costly Political Meddling: Sacramento Kings as a Case Study

Any fiscal conservative who joins a bipartisan coalition to advance a common cause needs to be wary about becoming one of the Left’s “useful idiots.” A classic example is now unfolding in Sacramento, where sports fans and corporate interests are clamoring for exceptional efforts – including a $258 million public subsidy – to retain the region’s one major league professional sports team, the Kings of the National Basketball Association.

Emotionalism and financial self-interest are overwhelming critical thinking about mundane issues such as opportunity costs, municipal debt finance, property rights, regional transportation planning, and the role of government in redistributing capital. And the selected location for the new arena was a strategic error that may send the Kings packing to more lucrative pastures.

Either by design or by default, the new arena is planned for downtown Sacramento, rather than a suburban site or even next to the current arena. As a result, the arena and anticipated development around the arena are being subjected to costly political meddling, led by downtown’s State Senator Darrell Steinberg and his political… Read More