Chris Hansen fined over donation to block Kings arena in Sacramento

Downtown Plaza in Sacramento is the proposed location for a new arena for the NBA's Kings.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO -- Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and a political committee have been fined $50,000 for not reporting his role in funding a petition drive to block the construction of a basketball arena in Sacramento.

Hansen earlier this year was part of an investment group that unsuccessfully tried to get the Sacramento Kings basketball team moved to Seattle.

When that didn’t work, Hansen contributed $100,000 to a group called Citizens for a Voice in Government, which the same day spent $80,000 on a petition drive to force a public vote on the Sacramento arena financing.


Hansen and the committee failed to properly report his contribution, the state Fair Political Practices Commission alleged Thursday as it approved a civil judgment in which Hansen and the committee will pay $50,000 in fines.

Hansen earlier this month issued a statement in which he said the donation to the petition firm was made without his consent.

Commission officials said the case was significant.

“The public has a right to know who is funding campaign activity,” said Gary Winuk, the commission’s chief of enforcement, on Thursday. “ This was a great example of why such relevant information needs to be disclosed so the public can assess who is behind a message and decide how it impacts their electoral activity.”


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