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Originally published September 17, 2013 at 8:09 PM | Page modified September 17, 2013 at 8:22 PM

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Group fighting arena in Sacramento gathers Chris Hansen-funded signatures

A Sacramento group trying to force a vote on the city’s planned arena for the NBA’s Kings said Tuesday it had received 18,000 signatures from a consultant who was paid by Chris Hansen.

Seattle Times news services

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The Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday the campaign trying to force a public vote on a new arena in Sacramento has obtained 18,000 petitions funded by Chris Hansen.

Hansen and two political consultants were fined $50,000 last week for failing to disclose an $80,000 donation to a California firm that was attempting to gather signatures to force a vote on Sacramento’s planned $258 million subsidy for a $448 million downtown arena.

Hansen’s offer of $625 million to buy the Kings and move the team to Seattle was rejected May 15 by the NBA. The league chose the bid of $535 million submitted by technology executive Vivek Ranadive’s group, which said it would build a new arena in Sacramento.

Hansen said last week he had agreed to pay the fine and said he didn’t want any of the signatures gathered with his funds to be used.

But Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork announced Tuesday it had received the signatures from an Orange County political consultant, according to The Bee.

STOP said the consultant, Brandon Powers, “arranged to have the signature petitions delivered to STOP.”

STOP needs 22,000 signatures from city residents by mid-December to qualify its ballot measure for the June ballot, The Bee said.

Hansen sent a letter to STOP on Tuesday asking the group to “do the right thing and return the signatures to me or destroy them. STOP did not pay for these signatures, nor does it have any legal right to them. If you wish to continue your efforts to qualify the measure, I request that you do so without the benefit of the signatures collected with my funds.”

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