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Leading Off: Chris Hansen's ploy to stop Kings arena was dirty politics at best

Published: Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013 - 12:16 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 4, 2013 - 8:20 am

Living in the Sacramento region, we've grown accustomed to the world of politics – especially the sometimes dirty politics surrounding campaign contributions and political action committees.

Still, we were shocked – to put it mildly – about Friday's revelations that Chris Hansen was the mystery donor behind the signature-gathering effort to force a vote on the use of public funds for a new Kings arena.

Yes, that Chris Hansen, the man who secretly made a deal with the Maloofs to buy the Kings with the intention of moving them to Seattle.

Yes, that Chris Hansen, who in defeat congratulated Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and "Sacramento's dedicated fan base" and later said during a radio interview he regretted trying to lure the Kings to Seattle.

Five weeks after the NBA board of governors nixed his plan to buy the Kings, Hansen contributed $100,000 on June 21 to the petition drive to put the arena funding plan on the ballot next June.

Even in Sacramento, that's outrageous.

Hansen's donation violated state law because the disclosure was two weeks late – and it came only after the state's Fair Political Practices Commission sued Loeb & Loeb, the Los Angeles law firm that served as a conduit for the donation, demanding the donor's name.

Sacramento voters have a right to know who is paying the professional signature gatherers – a local activist who truly believes the public-funding plan should be put to a vote or an outsider using his wealth in a back-door effort to thwart the arena plan and eventually snatch the Kings.

Hansen comes off as a rich, spoiled kid who isn't used to losing and doesn't know how to handle rejection.

It's time for Hansen to grow up – and stay away.

What to do, watch

Baseball, Cleveland at A's, 1:05 p.m., O.co Coliseum, CSNCA: How will Oakland fare with Bartolo Colon on the DL?

Weekend poll

Will you watch Fox Sports 1, a new 24-hour sports network?

• Yes, the more the better.

• No, don't need it.

• I'll take a look.

Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Follow The Bee's sports Facebook page: facebook.com/ sacbeesports

Call The Bee's Tom Couzens, (916) 321-1097. Follow him on Twitter @tomcouzens.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Tom Couzens



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