Don Perata un-endorses Wilma Chan?

chan.jpgSome names have disappeared from the endorsement list on the Web site of Wilma Chan, the former Assemblywoman facing off against current Assemblywoman Loni Hancock in the June 3 Democratic primary to succeed state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata — names including Perata himself.

Compare the old, cached version to the current version.

perata.jpgPerata earlier had granted a dual endorsement to both Chan and Hancock in this 9th State Senate District race, both of whom generally have been his allies in the Legislature. Perata had been singing Chan’s praises for years, including right after she helped him nail down a judicial ruling cementing his right to seek a final four-year term in 2004.

But now Perata’s name and face are gone from Chan’s endorsement list, and I’ve got a copy of a letter Perata sent to Hancock last week praising her as “far and away the best person for the job.” Perata’s political consultant returned my e-mail message this afternoon confirming the letter’s authenticity, but wrote that he couldn’t break out of a meeting to discuss with me who Perata actually now endorses.

spearman.jpgAlso gone from Chan’s endorsement list is Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson — a notable name, given Chan’s base of support in the island city she calls home — and Oakland School Board member Alice Spearman. There’s not much ambiguity about why they’re gone from the list; both Johnson and Spearman apparently sent letters to Chan last Thursday expressing their support for Hancock and demanding that Chan remove their names from all Chan campaign materials immediately. “Any failure to abide by my request will force me to take immediate legal action,” Spearman wrote. Ouch.

johnson.jpgSpearman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but Johnson told me tonight she had endorsed Chan “a couple of years ago” yet recently decided Hancock’s the better choice; she said she sent the letter to Chan on Thursday and talked with her Friday, and that all was amicable as Chan assured her that her name would be removed from the campaign’s Web site and literature.

Two Chan campaign staffers haven’t yet returned phone calls and e-mails about this; watch for updates if and when they do.

UPDATE @ 4:40 P.M. WEDNESDAY: I talked with Wilma Chan today about another story; she said she didn’t want to comment specifically on this, but has “found the endorsement process to be very transactional… I think the most important part is bringing your message to the voters and letting them choose between two candidates.”

UPDATE @ 3:22 P.M. THURSDAY MAY 22: Re-dual-endorsed!

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Juan

    Great article!!! It is time that someone called Wilma Chan on her inappropriate actions in light of her negative campaigning. What Wilma does not realize is that her “win at all costs” mentality is out of touch with the current political environment. We need leaders that (i) can unify a fractured nation and (ii) carry themselves with integrity, honesty and class. Wilma has yet to embody any of these traits and voters are begining to notice.

  • Sarah

    Let’s look at hypocrisy of Loni Hancock who took huge donations from the oil companies (Chevron) and the pharmaceuticals. It’s probably because Wilma Chan went up against these special interests to protect consumers. Wilma has more integrity in her little pinkie than Ms. Hancock.

  • Heidi

    I heard Wilma say this Chevron thing at an event and I checked into it. One Chevron employee made a small donation. Wilma took money from Enron, PG&E and Edison right as they were screwing us on our utility bills. You can look it up for yourself at http://www.followthemoney.org.

    On top of that I got a push poll from the Chan camp distorting Loni’s record with bogus assertions. She seems intent on a win at all costs campaign of lies. This is yet more proof that we can’t trust what she says.

  • BlueTooYou

    Please check your facts:
    Alice Spearman has done a dual endorsement of Chan for Senate and Hancock,
    Beverley Johnson was an endorser of Chan, then a dual endorser then as of May 8, unendorsed. Her name has not be listed as an endorser since.
    Don Perata has done a dual endorsement of Chan.
    Don’t believe the web pages or blogs, spin, or gossip, Call the three politicians and ask them yourself.