Legal briefs say STOP's efforts violate city charter

Legal briefs filed Friday claim STOP's anti-area efforts attempt to change the city charter.

The group attempting to force a vote on the new downtown arena is facing a new challenge from the city, The4000 group and unions.

Legal briefs were filed yesterday in the Sacramento Superior Court, according to The Sacramento Bee, that claim the efforts of Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP) and Voters For a Fair Arena Deal (VFAD) to put the city's $258 million contribution toward the new downtown arena on the ballot violate the city charter.

From Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee.

"City officials argued that the anti-subsidy effort, led by two taxpayer groups, represented an unconstitutional attempt to change the city charter by stripping the City Council of its power over municipal finances. "Proponents have no right to demand an invalid measure be on the ballot," city attorneys wrote. "The Sacramento City Council has full authority over the city's fiscal affairs."

"That argument was supported in a separate court filing by the Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Council; the Greater Sacramento Urban League; and a religious group called Sacramento Area Congregations Together."

According to the Bee, the legal briefs also point out the wording flaws of STOP's petition and highlight the $100,000 contribution Seattle's Chris Hansen made to STOP's campaign and how the group did not throw out the thousands of signatures gathered with his money even though he requested it.

Last month, the city clerk rejected STOP's petition to put the city's arena financing plan on the ballot due to multiple wording errors that violated election code. STOP subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city. A judge is expected to rule on the lawsuit in the coming week.

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