The mayor and council—who are controlling this lawsuit—have a substantial and undeniable political interest in avoiding a referendum here. They have outspokenly supported the controversial Q deal against a vigorous public outcry, and know that a referendum will bring this issue (and their support of it) under heavy scrutiny in a cycle where they are all (the mayor and all 17 council members) up for reelection. They also know—given Clevelanders' rejection of a similar "Sin Tax" arena subsidy at the ballot in 2014 that was more defensible because taxpayers arguably had a legal obligation to fund the renovations at issue—that they are likely to lose this referendum.Both attorneys Subodh Chandra and Peter Pattakos were stunned when Scene reached them by phone after a joint press conference by Mayor Frank Jackson and Council President Kevin Kelley announcing the suit earlier this month.
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