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The Campaign Begins

The campaign to get the arena measures passed has begun in earnest, as both sides are meeting with newspapers, appearing on the 6 o'clock news, and ratcheting up to noise machine. It's only going to get hotter in the next two weeks before we settle in for the long haul to November.

One thing is clear to me so far: the Maloofs, city, and county have their sh*t together. Darrell Steinberg, we know, is a fricking genius - everything he touches is gold. But even Roger Dickinson sounded like Kennedy on KCRA this evening. Dave Walker hammered Dave Tamayo of opposition group People United. The Bee's most recent update sounds like an advertisement. Every California newspaper website is running the AP's glowing story. Everyone is touting that this deal is better for the taxpayers than any of the last four NBA deals. Everyone's stoked Sacramento is saving our Kings.

This is the peak. Measures see their greatest success when there are first entered into the public consciousness. From there, most suffer some attrition as opponents poke holes in the arguments in favor. You've got to start off BIG to finish ahead when proposing a tax or bond measure.

But for the first time ever, the buzz is positively cheerful with regards to this thing. We've been through the cynicism, the negativity, the Maloof-bashing. You can only call the Kings' owners "billionaire playboys" so many times before it wears thin as an arguing point. And they've met the demands that "this ignores all our other woeful problems in Sacramento" by dedicating almost $600 million to community projects, which can include public safety boosting, transportation projects, and social services, all depending on what the individual communities need.

A big advantage could be the timing of the election: a week into the regular season. The season begins right around November 1, and decision day comes November 7. There's only one other time of year Sacramento is more pumped about the Kings: mid-April, when the playoffs start. As long as the NBA (listen to me, Stern!) doesn't schedule a Kings game on Nov. 7, the timing is GREAT.

Also, another advantage is the marketability of the Kings, themselves. Who would tell Kevin Martin or Ronnie Price to get the hell out of town? No one. And don't even think about shipping this guy out:

Ron-Ron says vote YES. You going to disobey him?