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Hundreds Apply To Reverse Their Support For Arena Ballot Campaign

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - News of Seattle investor Chris Hansen's involvement in STOP, a Sacramento grassroots campaign against the arena public subsidy, may be backfiring.

Arena supporters from the group Crown Downtown delivered hundreds of petitions Tuesday to the city clerk's office from people who now want to withdraw their signatures from the push to put a public subsidy of the downtown arena to a public vote.

It was revealed late last week that Hansen funneled $100,000 to help pay for the signature-gathering campaign.

"Basically anyone who was lied to or misinformed or now with the fact that there's Seattle money from Chris Hansen coming in, people have been wanting to remove their names as well," said Mike Tavares, founder of Crown Downtown.

More than 20,000 signatures would be required to send the arena measure to the ballot. The organization says it has now turned in an estimated 2,000 signatures against the Hansen-funded push.

Tavares issued the following open letter to Hansen on Tuesday:

"Dear Mr. Hansen,

First, we would like to express our utter shock and disappointment at the recent revelations regarding your role in the effort to kill Sacramento's Downtown Arena project. Today Sacramentans feel hoodwinked and tricked by Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork (STOP), Loeb & Loeb, Taxpayers for Safer Neighborhoods, yourself and your combined efforts to deceive voters.

And, while we appreciate your apology, it would mean nothing if you allowed the signatures obtained utilizing the funds you provided to be submitted by those seeking to STOP our downtown arena from being built. So, we are formally asking you as the true owner of the anti-arena petition signatures to not allow these petitions to be given to STOP as an in-kind contribution to their campaign. We know you have the ability to meet this request.

As the organization that filed a complaint which lead to discovery of your involvement in this issue, we hope you will show that your regret is more than just mere words. Refuse to allow STOP to use your signatures.

We truly wish Seattle the best and hope that one day soon your desire for an NBA team will be fulfilled because you and Seattle deserve a team, just not ours. But, we also hope you will keep your new commitment to stay out of the Sacramento arena effort. You can do this by not allowing the signatures which you truly own to be submitted.

It's not too late to alleviate your mistake. If action is taken swiftly, we can consider this situation no harm, no foul.

Mike Tavares
Crown Downtown
DowntownArena.Org Executive Committee"

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