SACRAMENTO - A Sacramento judge has thrown out a challenge brought by two groups seeking to have rejected arena vote petitions validated.
The Sacramento City Clerk originally rejected the 23,000 signatures gathered by Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) and Boters for a Fair Arena Deal, citing multiple flaws in the way the petition was printed and circulated.
The petition sponsors challenged the clerk's rejection in Sacramento Superior Court. Judge Timothy Frawley ruled against them.
STOP issued this statement after the decision:
Today's decision allows the city to silence 23,000 certified voters and all Sacramento citizens who demand a voice on their city's future. At the same time; its example diminishes the civil and constitutional rights of all California citizens.
It is deplorable that our city's leaders have put special interests ahead of the voters who elected them. They make a mockery of democracy. They may get away with it for the time being, but voters will not soon forget the arena subsidy scandals. We call on Sacramento's disenfranchised voters to express their outrage to their City Council; and we call on our elected representatives to begin listening to their constituents. It is not too late for the city's arena deal to receive the public scrutiny and debate that it deserves.
The deadline to place the city of Sacramento's subsidy to arena developers to a public vote in time for the June ballot is March 7.
Thursday, Craig Powell with Voters for a Fair Arena Deal, said, "Appeals are a long shot in the best of circumstances. Given the time and cost, we decided to pass."
Two lawsuits, one challenging Sacramento's use of eminent domain in the arena project and a second claim accusing city officials of term (financial) sheet sweeteners have not been resolved.