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Seattle investor behind drive against Sacramento arena subsidy

August 16, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • A fan cheers the Sacramento Kings during a home game against the Phoenix Suns at the Sleep Train Arena in January.
A fan cheers the Sacramento Kings during a home game against the Phoenix… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

The financial backer of a petition drive that would force a public vote on a Sacramento basketball arena subsidy was unveiled Friday.

Chris Hansen, a  member of an investor group that tried unsuccessfully to have the Sacramento Kings moved to Seattle, is the contributor who paid signature-gatherers on the initiative challenging the competing Sacramento arena project, according to documents released Friday.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission had sued the Los Angeles law firm Loeb and Loeb to force disclosure of those giving money to hire signature-gatherers for an initiative.

Papers filed Friday show Hansen, a hedge fund manager who was part of the Seattle group, contributed the $100,000 to the petition drive on the Sacramento arena project.

Hansen’s group dropped out of competition this year when the National Basketball Assn. blocked the move to Seattle.

In May, the Maloof family sold the Kings to a Sacramento investor group that hopes to move the team into a new sports arena in downtown Sacramento.

Hansen could face fines of up to $95,000 for not disclosing his involvement in financing the petition drive, according to Gary Winuk, chief of enforcement for the FPPC.

“The FPPC moved swiftly to ensure that the public had knowledge of this campaign activity so they can assess for themselves how it impacts their electoral choices,” Winuk said.

State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D- Sacramento) issued a one-word response to the disclosure: “Unbelievable.”


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