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STOP initiative rejected by Sacramento City Clerk

12:26 PM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
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Rendering of arena presented during Sacramento City Council meeting Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2014. It shows the arena as seen from 5th and J streets.
 PDF Document: Arena Petition Examination

SACRAMENTO - STOP, the proponents of the petition drive to require a vote on city financing of a downtown sports arena, were informed their petitions did not meet all the legal requirements for placing the issue on a citywide ballot Friday morning, according to a release from the Sacramento City Clerk's office.

In the release, City Clerk Shirley Concolino was quoted as saying, "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."

In Concolino's letter to STOP, she cited several election code violations that prompted her to throw out 6,824 signatures.

Of those, 6,719 were thrown out because the petition they were on did not include a "notice of intent" paragraph.

She also said that 105 of the signatures were disqualified because they were circulated on a petition dated 10 days earlier than the City received the notice of intent.

Concolino also claimed that all petitions were in violation of the Elections Code because they either inserted language onto petitions that is not allowed or omitted an enacting clause.

It is assumed STOP will file a lawsuit in a Sacramento civil court to challenge the Clerk's decision. Sources say Brad Hertz, a well-known election law lawyer based in Los Angeles, was expected to work with the group.

The City is also prepared to defend the Clerk's decision. Sacramento election lawyer Steve Churchwell said Judges "jealously guard the process", meaning leniency is given to the proponents.

It'll come down how big STOP's petition mistakes were.

By Nick Monacelli, nick@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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