Sacramento political consultant Rob Stutzman is on the verge of tossing a wrench into Joe and Gavin Maloof's efforts to move the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim.
By early this week, Stutzman expects to have collected roughly 11,000 signatures needed to challenge by referendum Anaheim City Council's $75 million deal to upgrade that arena where the Kings would play, and help the Maloofs with the cost of relocating.
"What we're doing is very real and matters legally," Stutzman said, adding that he can gather the requisite number of signatures with "one arm tied behind my back."
He does, however, need a little more money. But assuming he gets it--and there are some wealthy people who have an interest in his success--the referendum would place the Anaheim financing deal on hold until the next election, likely in June 2012, long after the next basketball season is over.
Stutzman's effort comes as lobbyist Darius Anderson and billionaire Ron Burkle press to try to keep the Kings in Sacramento.
Stutzman said he is not operating on their behalf. But he said he received a call a few hours before Anderson announced last week that he and Burkle were intervening, alerting him to the development. Because a referendum could delay a move, Stutzman's effort could help the Anderson-Burkle play.
"The upshot is that it all kind of works hand in hand," Stutzman said.