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September 9, 2013 at 3:07 PM
Chris Hansen and members of a Sacramento political committee trying to block efforts to build a new arena there have agreed to pay a $50,000 fine to settle violations of California rules on campaign contributions.
Hansen was accused of making an illegal $100,000 contribution to a group seeking a vote on public financing for a new arena, said Gary Winuk, enforcement officer for the California Fair Polictial Practices Commission which investigated the case. The contribution was not reported, as required by state law.
Winuk said the Commission will meet Sept. 19th to consider the proposed settlement agreement. He said that as a condition of the settlement, Hansen and the two others have already submitted the check for $50,000.
Hansen made the $100,000 contribution to help fund paid signature gatherers working on a proposed ballot measure to require voter approval of public subsidies for sports facilities in Sacramento.
Hansen released a detailed statement Monday saying that the donation was made without his consent.
“I would just like to reiterate my commitment to stay out of Sacramento’s arena efforts. In this regard, I would also like to highlight that I will take steps to prevent any signatures collected by GoCo from being submitted to the opposition. As it was never my intent to directly fund signature gathering efforts, I completely agree with numerous Kings fans who have taken the time to write me and suggest this course of action.”
Hansen agreed to the settlement along with political consultant Brandon Powers and treasurer Lysa Ray of Citizens for a Voice in Government, according to the Commission.
May 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM
Mercer Street opens: Mercer Street and Broad Street are now open to traffic, says the Seattle Department of Transportation. Crews getting ready for the demolition of the east half of the Highway 99 bridge over Mercer got their work done earlier than the expected Monday 5 a.m. completion. The rerouting that was to go into effect then has started. That means:
- Mercer Street is reduced to two eastbound lanes between Fourth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North.
- Local access maintained at Taylor Avenue North.
- The sidewalk on the north side of Mercer Street is closed between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. The sidewalk on the south side of Mercer Street will remain open.
- Broad Street open to two-way traffic.
Aurora Avenue is expected to be closed until about 1 p.m. Sunday. There are maps here that may help.
Warm weather: Today and tomorrow, but rain and lower temperatures moving in on Tuesday.
Hoops hopes: In denying the move of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, the NBA let escape one tiny ray of hope for fans of a future Sonics team: The professional basketball league might consider expansion. Would that be to Seattle? How interested is Chris Hansen now in bringing a team to Seattle? Times reporter Bob Condotta takes a look.
Powerball winner: On winning ticket for the Powerball jackpot of almost $600 million was sold in Saturday night’s drawing. Given that the ticket was sold in Florida, we’re not expecting riches to flow nearby.
January 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM
The Sacramento Bee reported today of a potential new snag in the sale of the NBA’s Kings to a group that would relocate them to Seattle.
The Bee says a bankruptcy trustee who controls 7 percent of the Kings says the team’s limited partners are being denied their legal right to match a Seattle investment group’s purchase offer for the team.
A Seattle group led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced Monday it had a binding agreement to purchase 65 percent of the Kings, including a 53 percent share held by the controlling owners, the Maloof family.
The other 35 percent is held by four different entities, including a 7 percent share that is in bankruptcy.
The Bee reported that “the assertion by trustee David Flemmer could present a major legal challenge to the Maloof family as it attempts to complete its just-announced sale of the team to a group that intends to move it to Seattle.’’
Flemmer, the Bee reported, is the court-appointed trustee overseeing the 7 percent share of the Kings owned by team limited partner Bob Cook. The Bee reported that Flemmer said Cook and other minority owners have “first right of refusal” to buy the club. He said that right is guaranteed in the partnership agreements governing ownership of the team.
Flemmer said that means the limited partners should be allowed to match the deal agreed to by the Maloofs and Hansen, according to the Bee’s story.
Flemmer plans to assert the limited partners’ rights at a hearing next Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, according to the Bee.
“Bankruptcy is a tool; this tool can be effective,” Flemmer told the Bee. “We are very, very, very concerned that there’s a deal being cut that’s going to (ignore) that right.”
The Bee reported that a source close to the Maloofs said recently that the family doesn’t believe the limited partners have a right of first refusal.
Flemmer is holding an auction for Cook’s 7 percent share of the team to pay off his creditors. If the limited partners are denied the right to match Hansen’s offer, that diminishes the value of the Cook share, he said, according to the Bee.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is attempting to assemble an ownership group that can make what he calls a “competitive’’ counteroffer to the agreement reached by Hansen’s group, which is paying $341 million for a 65 percent share of a team valued at $525 million, the most ever-paid for an NBA team.
It’s uncertain how the latest developments would impact Johnson’s efforts.
January 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM
There are several new developments this morning regarding the potential sale of the Sacramento Kings to a group that would move them to Seattle.
First, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said he has received approval from the NBA to present directly to the league’s Board of Governors in April a counteroffer to the reported offer from the group led by Chris Hansen. The BOG has to approve any sale of a franchise.
The Sacramento Bee also reported this morning that entertainment company AEG remains interested in helping build an arena in Sacramento. That’s considered a key in the city’s efforts to build an arena, which would be a necessity for the city to keep the Kings under new ownership.
Also, USA Today’s Sam Amick reported today that the Board of Governors is thought “eager to approve” a move of the Kings to Seattle, but also details the confidence that Johnson feels in keeping the Kings in Sacramento.
January 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM
A new report this morning surfaced suggesting that a deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group that would relocate them to Seattle is done.
But this afternoon another report said there was a buyer who made an offer that would keep the team in Sacramento.
Matt Steinmetz, a longtime NBA reporter and sports talk show host for Comcast SportsNet in the Bay Area, reported this morning that the transaction is “a done deal.’’ Steinmetz reported that the Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has agreed to sell the team to a group led by Chris Hansen for $525 million.
A Maloof family spokesman told The Times that he could not comment on the report. “Nothing has changed with our position that we will not comment on rumors or speculation about the Sacramento Kings franchise,” the family said in a statement.
Meanwhile, CBSSports.com reported this afternoon that Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24-Hour Fitness who finished second in bidding for the Warriors, has made a formal offer to buy the Kings and keep the franchise in Sacramento.
“Definitely, there’ve been conversations,” Mastrov said from his northern California office. “Definitely, there’s interest in acquiring the team and keeping it in Sacramento.”
The Sacramento Bee also reported that Dale Carlsen of Sleep Train Mattress Centers Inc. said he has talked to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and is interested in participating in a bid, and has contacted other potential investors.
The Bee reported that a limited owner in the team, Richard Benvenuti, said he had not been told of a deal.
An NBA spokesman told The Times that the league had no comment on the report. Hansen couldn’t be reached, and his representative declined to comment.
Steinmetz reported that under the terms of the deal, the Maloof family would have “no stake or decision-making’’ in the team and “are out’’ of any involvement.
An NBA source had told The Times on Thursday that a sticking point in the negotiations was that the Maloofs wanted to retain a small percentage of the team and to have some say in how the team is run.
Reports began to surface late Tuesday night that the two sides were working on a deal, possibly for more than two weeks. The Times has confirmed that negotiations have been ongoing.
The NBA has an annual deadline of March 1 for teams to apply for relocation. It’s thought Hansen’s group would like to have the sale completed so it can apply to relocate the team and play in Seattle next season It would play at KeyArena for two years while a new arena is constructed.
Hansen has a deal with the city of Seattle and King County to build a new arena in Sodo once he and his investment group secure a team.
Plans to build a $490 million arena were approved by the City Council and the King County Council last October.
Seattle has been without an NBA team since 2008 when the Sonics were relocated to Oklahoma City by new owner Clay Bennett.
Hansen has spent the last year laying the ground work for an arena deal and attempting to buy a team to move to Seattle.
After reports surfaced Wednesday of a possible deal to buy the Kings, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said he would attempt to find a local buyer to keep the team there. There has been no additional word on those efforts.
February 29, 2012 at 5:41 PM
The Sacramento Bee reports that city officials there will release details Thursday of the basketball arena deal reached earlier this week, and it includes a $255 million contribution from the city.
The official price tag of the arena was also bumped up from $387 million to $391 million, the paper reported.
Meanwhile, our own Arena Advisory Panel, appointed two weeks by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constatine, is meeting this evening to scrutinize the public-private partnership put forward by San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen for a Sodo basketball and hockey complex.
Hansen has said he and a group of private investors will contribute $290 million toward a $490 million state-of-the-art, 18,000-seat sports and entertainment venue. The public contribution would be capped at $200 million and would be repaid through taxes and rent generated by the arena.
The Kings have been considered the team most likely to relocate to Seattle if an arena deal is approved.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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