This afternoon, The Sacramento Bee released the results of a poll of 400 Sacramento residents, mostly dealing with Kevin Johnson's performance in office, but there were also a couple relating directly to the ESC. The results are not terribly pretty.
Sort of like Paris Hilton. She gives the impression of hotness, but upon further review, you have scabies. But I digress.
Question 6 asks the respondent's opinion of various local politicians, and Mayor Johnson actually starts off pretty decently. Combined, his "strongly favorable" and "somewhat favorable" numbers combine to be 51%. "Somewhat unfavorable" and "strongly unfavorable" combine to reach 40% 6% had no opinion, and 1% had never heard of him. The poll also reveals that Councilman Robert Fong's middle name is "King."
I am not making this up. Anyway, so far, so good.
Once you get to question 24, things are a little cooler toward the mayor. "If the election were held today, would you..."
"Definitely re-elect" and "probably re-elect Johnson" total only 41%. "Probably someone else" and "Definitely someone else" total 46%. 13% remain undecided, and there is hope in that. Or the opposite of hope. I can't really see the future.
A side note: I need to blast whomever wrote and approved question 33. It is written in such a way that it clearly leads the responder to a particular response. Unsurprisingly, his re-electability numbers plummet to 35% to re-elect, 55% to get someone else, and 11% undecided. I will assume the 2% who moved out of "undecided" from question 6 must be very up for grabs, and are likely the type whose opinion aligns with the last opinion they heard. As you will see, this isn't the only question that smells funny.
Make your own Paris Hilton joke.
Questions 34 & 35 really get to the meat of the issue as far as development downtown is concerned.
#34 asks whether the respondent is in favor of or opposes "Creating a public-private partnership that would finance a new downtown arena and allow the Kings to stay in Sacramento."
The problems here are obvious. Using the word "arena" instead of "entertainment and sports complex" is somewhat leading, but tying the Kings directly to it, as though they would be the only one using it is the icing on the cake. The results are about what you'd expect:
43% "strongly favor" or "somewhat favor" this concept, 51% "somewhat oppose" or "strongly oppose" it, with 37% falling into the "strongly oppose" category. I would guess two-thirds to three-quarters of that group are likely intractable on the issue. 6% of the overall response was "no opinion."
The final question of concern is #35, which asks if you favor or oppose "Privatizing all downtown city parking operation (sic) for 50 years to provide funding for an arena for the Sacramento Kings. (Italics mine.)
Again, the "a" word, and tied solely to the Maloof property. You can guess the results.
22% "strongly favor" or "somewhat favor" the notion, 71% "strongly oppose" or "somewhat oppose" it. This issue is a little more complex than the question makes it seem, although in fairness, I doubt results would improve with the details fleshed out. The problem is still making it seem as though the only beneficiary is the NBA team.
I think Kevin Johnson has some decent things to work with, but if he can't round up more private funding, and this thing ends up going to the ballot, it's absolutely dead in the water. The good news is, there's still time to get things in place, KJ has some very bright people hammering away at it, and I still feel confident that the NBA wants a franchise in Sacramento. I also think the mayor would gladly take a beating in his re-election ballot if he can manage to leave an ESC has his legacy.