By R.E. Graswich
This time, it’s all about truth and consequences.
The third Sacramento arena debate between John Hyde and I will focus on three key issues:
Did STOP ever stop to consider what would happen if the Kings were driven away by a whimsical initiative process?
Has the city fallen into the extortion trap sprung by so many other pro teams in other communities?
Are funding decisions really best left to a June election process that in recent years has drawn only about 35 percent turnout?
The debate, moderated by former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness, will tackle these issues with honesty and candor. If you attended the first two debates, you know we don’t play games.
The event runs 7 to 8 p.m. at Belle Cooledge Library, 5600 South Land Park Drive. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
I can’t overstate the honesty and candor components. The worst and most dangerous part of the Sacramento arena discussion has been the lack of both honesty and candor.
It began with hedge fund manager Chris Hansen secretly and illegally funding STOP to help his chances of stealing the Kings for Seattle. It continued when Southern California anti-labor operatives jumped on STOP’s bandwagon for selfish interests.
This past week, we had the spectacle of Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty using STOP to promote his political career.
Working with political allies, McCarty spread the rumor that the city had secretly “sweetened” the terms for the Kings in the prospective arena alliance.
When he was finally deposed under oath, McCarty admitted there were no secrets or sweeteners. McCarty had to confess that the term “sweetener” was his own.
It was all an invention to make McCarty sound like the guardian of the public trust.
The McCarty manipulations exemplify what STOP has become – an opportunity to co-opt a passionate issue for selfish interests.
Let me close by giving credit to my worthy adversary John Hyde. He worked for STOP and dropped them as a client, yet remains honest about his position on the initiative process and arena.
At the debate next Tuesday night, you might just be looking at the last two guys in Sacramento who fight because they really believe what they are saying.