Senate leader targets Microsoft over Kings deal
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg is none too happy that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is part of an effort to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle.
The Sacramento Democrat is sending a letter to Fred Klass, director of the state Department of General Services, asking for details on all the taxpayer money California state government spends on Microsoft products and services.
"I am troubled that a company and a CEO that has for so long enjoyed a prosperous and beneficial working relationship with the State of California and its taxpayers would blatantly engage in activities which are clearly and measurably detrimental to our State's job and revenue base," Steinberg wrote.
Although Steinberg doesn't have direct authority over the state's technology contracts, he clearly intends to turn up the heat.
"I cannot stand idly by while a prominent out-of-state company that has significantly profited from business with the State of California actively attempts to acquire and remove one of my State and my region’s leading private assets," he wrote.
The family that owns the Kings has agreed to sell the basketball team to a Seattle group. However, it could still be rejected by the NBA's Board of Governors, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is racing to put together a counteroffer to keep the team in California's capital.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Sacramento Kings fans show support for their team in February 2011. Credit: Steve Yeater / Associated Press