Campaign finance update: Perata and Prop. 14

Oakland mayoral candidate and former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s Hope 2010 ballot measure committee in the past week has moved another $70,000 ($20,000 last Wednesday and $50,000 yesterday) into Californians for a Cure, the committee formed by the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and cancer research doctors to push the proposed tobacco-tax-for-cancer-research measure Perata helped put forth. That’s atop $40,000 last month and $150,000 in November. The proponents have until May 17 to collect the 433,971 valid signatures of regsistered voters required to put the measure on November’s ballot.

In other news, Oakland A’s co-owner and Los Angeles-based real-estate developer Lew Wolff is among several Bay Area-connected notables who’ve ponied up in the past week for the campaign supporting Proposition 14, the “top-two primary” ballot measure leveraged onto this June’s ballot by state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria – now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nominee for lieutenant governor – as part of the deal he struck for his vote on the state budget last year.

Wolff gave $5,000 on Friday. Other recent contributions include $10,000 last Wednesday from Denise Watkins, a Pleasanton education activist and wife of former Seagate CEO Bill Watkins; $5,000 last Wednesday from former state Controller and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly; $5,000 last Wednesday from Symantec Corp. Chairman John Thompson of Woodside; and $10,000 on Monday from Aart De Geus, Chairman and CEO of Mountain View-based Synopsys Inc. Though not from the Bay Area, the $20,000 that the California Chamber of Commerce gave yesterday ain’t chicken feed, either.

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.