A Sacramento Superior Court judge rejected a request from a watchdog group Monday to extend the deadline for a sample ballot argument against a proposed city of Sacramento sales tax increase.
Mayor Kevin Johnson earlier this month failed to meet the deadline to turn in an argument against the sales tax.
Judge Michael P. Kenny's ruling means the sample ballot will now go out without an opposing argument against the proposed sales tax increase.
Kenny said Eye on Sacramento failed to identify a "ministerial duty" that would require the city clerk to extend the deadline.
"I think you're asking for too much," he said.
Craig Powell of Eye on Sacramento argued that the clerk abused her discretion because she failed to extend the deadline.
"We're extremely disappointed," Powell said after Kenny's ruling. "The interests of voters and taxpayers â¦ have been compromised."
Opposition campaigns against sales tax increases are often underfunded, so sample ballots are one of the few places where voters can learn both sides of the issue, Powell said.
Sacramento County joined the city in opposition to Eye on Sacramento's request. Election officials said the delays would create election problems, including possibly not getting ballots to overseas voters.
An extension would have to be granted to allow rebuttal arguments against an opposition argument, city and county attorneys said.
Trying to circumvent that process would have required the judge, in effect, to rewrite the elections code, they said.
Call The Bee's Brad Branan, (916) 321-1065. Follow him on Twitter @ BradB_at_SacBee.
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
â¢ Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
â¢ Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
â¢ Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
â¢ Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
â¢ Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
â¢ Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
â¢ Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
â¢ Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
â¢ Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.