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Get me a doctor.

I must be coming down with something, because I was nodding and muttering "Yes, yes" under my breath while reading Marcos Breton's Sunday column in The Bee:

Why did this column let you have it with both barrels? Because I -- like a lot of other people -- was prepared to support the downtown arena. And then you guys walked away, making assertions that are disputed to this day.

I still don't get it and don't feel good about it. Here was Sacramento willing to try raising the sales tax for you -- something other California cities wouldn't do for their pro teams -- and you failed to appreciate the significance of that commitment.

Then you walked away for reasons that still ring hollow. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I'm telling you how it is.

If you're confused as to why so many people are upset with you now, it can be spelled out it in one word:

Confusion.


Breton hits the nail directly on the head when describing why Sacramentans are so angry about this whole disaster. We were not kept in the loop. And if you want people to willingly tax themselves, they should damn well be in the loop, especially such a politically-savvy population.

Eighty percent of Sacramento does not hate the idea of public funding for an arena. Far from it. But 80 percent of Sacramento did feel highly uncomfortable or downright opposed to a plan they were told little to nothing about.

How do you counteract these problems?

  1. Be honest. It should probably go without saying, but yeah. Don't lie, don't be vague, don't backtrack. We see through it.
  2. Have a deal in place before starting a campaign. You can build up all the goodwill in the world. But if a week later you walk away from the process, um, things aren't going to happen for you.
  3. Don't treat voters like idiots. People will not vote for something they think is shadowy or tricky. They won't. You're better off laying it all on the table, even if some points are less than flattering. You stand a much better chance of getting support that way than by leaving everyone on edge.
It's not complicated. Hopefully, the Maloofs can decide they can wait until 2008 and try it again, eliminating the infinite mistakes they made this time.