A Sacramento group says investor Chris Hansen has not responded to its request to prevent signatures, secretly gathered to authorize a public vote on a publicly subsidized arena there, from being turned in. The group is now calling on Seattle city leaders to lean on Hansen, claiming that Seattle’s NBA future may be put at risk.
After Hansen failed in his bid to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, it was revealed this month that he contributed at least $80,000 to pay signature gatherers who were trying to get the public subsidy for a new Sacramento arena on the ballot. The California Fair Political Practices Commission said the group behind the petition violated state law by refusing to disclose the donation.
Hansen apologized and said he regretted the decision. Downtownarena.org said that wasn’t good enough. In an open letter dated Aug. 19, it called on Hansen to make sure the signatures were not turned over to the campaign to stop the arena.
Downtownarena.org said Thursday that Hansen had yet to respond. It claims Hansen is "jeopardizing any chance of Seattle having an NBA team for a generation,” although it did not explain how.
“A simple phone call asking for the signatures which he purchased to not be handed over to the anti-Arena campaign could limit the collateral damage of his actions,” read a statement from the group. It is calling on Mayor Mike McGinn, city council members and business leaders to ask Hansen to comply.
“Seattle deserves an NBA team, but Mr. Hansen is the primary person standing in the way of that possibility,” said the group.