With a judge unwilling to overlook their mistakes, two Sacramento taxpayer groups lost their legal fight Wednesday to force a vote on the city’s planned $258 million contribution toward a new downtown Kings arena.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley, in a strongly worded decision, ruled the two groups had filed signature petitions “infected with errors” that violated state election laws. He also sided with city attorneys who argued the proposed ballot measure would violate the city charter because it sought “to restrict the City Council’s future power to manage its financial affairs.”
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Jessica Levinson, an election-law expert at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said the ruling was remarkable in its decisiveness. While election law does excuse some errors in the signature-gathering process, Frawley went out of his way to note the seriousness of STOP’s errors, she said.
“This is not a judge saying … this is a close call,” she said. “This wasn’t a, ‘You forgot to indent this paragraph.’ ”
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