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Chris Hansen Funded Anti-Kings-Arena Effort

7:50pm: Hansen has issued a statement saying that he made a mistake in donating to STOP, and won't contribute further funding to any anti-arena efforts. Hansen added that the decision was his alone, and wasn't made on behalf of his potential Seattle ownership group. Tony Bizjak has the details in a series of tweets.

6:06pm: The FPPC has confirmed that Hansen was behind the donation to STOP, according to Bruski (via Twitter). There's no evidence that the Maloofs had any involvement, according to the FPPC's Gar Winuk (Twitter link via Kasler).

Hansen actually donated $100K to the anti-arena effort, rather than the $80K previously reported, according to Steve Large of CBS Sacramento (Twitter links). The Bee's report has been updated with that $100K figure as well.

5:40pm: A report last week revealed that a law firm which had previously represented the Maloof family had provided funding to an ongoing petition effort against a new Sacramento arena. However, it wasn't the Maloofs who were behind the $80K in funding from the firm of Loeb & Loeb. According to Carmichael Dave of KHTK 1140 (via Twitter) and Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee, Seattle investor Chris Hansen was the mystery donor.

According to the Sacramento Bee's report, Hansen made the $80K donation to the anti-arena effort about a month after the NBA elected to keep the Kings franchise in Sacramento rather than sell it to Hansen's Seattle-based group. The donation was made to a group known as STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork), which has attempted to gather signatures for a petition demanding a public vote on the proposed Sacramento arena.

The reports of Hansen's involvement in the donation come shortly after a lawsuit was filed by California's FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) against Loeb & Loeb, demanding to know the identity of the donor. The contributor should have been disclosed last month, but wasn't, according to the Bee report.

The secretive $80K donation to STOP may have hurt the group's efforts as much as it helped, with the Bee noting that two political consultants quit the petition campaign last week, saying they were "taken aback by the secrecy surrounding the donation." Additionally, city officials say that about 1,700 people who initially signed the petition now want to have their names removed. STOP must accumulate 22,000 signatures by December in order to put the issue on Sacramento's ballot for next June.

Aaron Bruski of Pro Basketball Talk (Twitter link) hears from a league source that if the allegations against Hansen turn out to be true, they won't be viewed favorably by the NBA. In his public comments following the league's decision on the Kings, Hansen was contrite about playing the role of a "predator," attempting to relocate another city's team.

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