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Arena Deal Opponents Step Up Rhetoric

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Whatever the scenario, anytime you ask the public to front hundreds of millions of dollars, you're going to find controversy. You can't even pass a bill to improve paved roads without finding significant debate over what truly constitutes a pothole these days.

Now that the Kings have announced a deal with Sacramento to stay in the city for the next three decades, including a significant portion paid by the Maloofs, critics are gearing up to poke holes in the agreement.

Some, including Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee, say that the Kings have misled the public, by exaggerating their part in funding the project. He says that total dollars promised by the Kings don't account for interest payments, and that when that's factored in, the team is actually fronting only 11 to 13 percent of the total, not the more publicized 26 to 30 percent. He says...

"Their description of the Kings' contribution is wildly inflated. The project's promoters either don't understand basic economics, or they are trying to fool the public."

For its part, the Sacramento Bee editorial board is calling for all the facts to be presented to potential voters as soon as possible. They back Weintraub's claims saying:

"Backers of this deal are claiming that the Maloofs are paying a third of the arena's cost. As Daniel Weintraub explains on the front page of this section, that is a dubious claim at best."

Even to incite controversy, newspaper editorial pages don't jump to words like "dubious" and talk about "creative" approaches to math without some questions being out there. And wherever there are questions and voting and money being tossed about, politicians aren't too far behind - surprise!

This means more press conferences. Assemblyman Dave Jones has announced that he'll hold a press conference Monday morning at 11 to oppose public funding.

This is NOT going to be a layup.