…and other post-election political money tidbits.
State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, this week reported that the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians donated $25,000 to the legal defense fund he set up in response to a federal corruption probe launched against him in 2004. Not a moment too soon; as of May 17, the once-vigorous fund was down to $273. The East Bay Express’s Robert Gammon reported in December that federal prosecutors were snooping around for reporters’ notes, and the Chronicle’s Matier & Ross reported in April that prosecutors were asking for more time in which to wrap up the case.
Lest you ever wonder how important a party endorsement is in a primary, consider that from May 7 through this past Tuesday’s election, the California Democratic Party put almost $153,000 into helping Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley — whom the party endorsed at its convention in March — defeat former Assembly Majority Leader Wilma Chan of Alameda in the primary to Perata in the 9th State Senate District. Hancock defeated Chan by 12 percentage points Tuesday.
Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington put a final $20,000 into his own campaign for the 14th Assembly District on May 29, just a few days before the election; that’s on top of $7,200 he’d contributed to his campaign and $22,000 he’d loaned it earlier. He finished a distant third Tuesday, behind winner Nancy Skinner and second-place finisher Tony Thurmond. Skinner had contributed $3,600 to her own campaign and loaned it about $30,700.
The Perata-organized (and later, Perata-abandoned) effort to recall state Sen. Jeff Denham soaked up $550,000 from the California State Council of Service Employees; more than $488,000 from the Democratic State Central Committee of California; $300,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and $110,000 from the Perata-controlled Leadership California committee (see it all here) before going down in flames Tuesday with just 24 percent of the vote. About $1.06 million of that went to Palisades Media Group for television and radio ad buys; the next biggest expenditures were about $78,000 to the firm of Sacramento political consultant and longtime Perata associate Sandi Polka (as well as $9,000 to Chris Lehman and more than $7,300 to Paul Hefner, both Polka associates); about $87,500 to Emeryville-based Pacific Print Resources, which produces campaign mailers; about $36,600 to CBS Outdoor, presumably for billboards; and about $26,600 to the firm of Shawnda Westly, another Sacramento campaign consultant.