Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Don Perata' Category

Perata launches first TV ad of mayoral campaign

Former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata over the weekend launched the first television ad of the Oakland mayoral campaign:

Perata campaign spokesman Rhys Williams wouldn’t discuss the ad buy’s size: “We don’t disclose strategy to other campaigns – directly or via press – but it will be on air enough for all Oaklanders to have an opportunity to see it.”

Meanwhile, mayoral candidate and Oakland Councilwoman Jean Quan – whom a poll last week showed running a close second to Perata – is busy pounding the pavement (and getting her purse snatched) as well as putting a lot of direct mail in the field.

One recent mailer, a “Meet Jean Quan” piece, is a positive piece touting her record and promising to cut the mayor’s salary by 25 percent, make no back-room deals, be accessible to the public, support local schools with a volunteerism drive and get more police officers out from behind desks and onto the streets.

The other recent mailer, “Which way, Oakland?”, goes negative on Perata, noting that he was the subject of a years-long FBI investigation, helped engineer the Raiders deal that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, paid his son with campaign funds and has collected a tidy sum as a consultant to the state prison guards union.

That piece latter directs readers to www.notdon.org, a “Anybody But Perata for Mayor of Oakland” site that says it’s “an independent website not affiliated with any political officeholder or candidate or political campaign.” The site is run by Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor, an Oakland-based columnist perhaps best known for his work in the now-defunct UrbanView newspaper and then in the Berkeley Daily Planet; he also runs the “How Very Jerry” website collecting about 75 pieces he wrote about Jerry Brown’s Oakland mayoral administration.

Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Don Perata, Jean Quan, Oakland | 1 Comment »

Perata’s tobacco tax qualfied for 2012 primary

The California Cancer Research Act, a tobacco-tax-for-cancer-research ballot measure that Oakland mayoral candidate and former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata helped launch and fund, was certified yesterday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen for the Feb. 7, 2012 presidential primary election ballot.

As I’d reported when they submitted the petition signatures at the end of June, Perata and his allies – including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids – hope the high voter turnout of a presidential election year will help the measure, even as it’s attacked by the tobacco industry and anti-tax groups.

But the way I see it, the 2012 Democratic presidential primary isn’t likely to be heavily contested, as incumbent President Barack Obama presumably will seek a second term; the Republican presidential primary is much likelier to be a hot fight, with more press, advertising and voter turnout. And Republicans are far less likely than Democrats to vote for taxes of any kind.

The Attorney General’s official title and summary of the initiative is as follows:

IMPOSES ADDITIONAL TAX ON CIGARETTES FOR CANCER RESEARCH. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Imposes additional five cent tax on each cigarette distributed ($1.00 per pack), and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products, to fund cancer research and other specified purposes. Requires tax revenues be deposited into a special fund to finance research and research facilities focused on detecting, preventing, treating, and curing cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and other tobacco-related diseases, and to finance prevention programs. Creates nine-member committee charged with administering the fund. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increase in new cigarette tax revenues of about $855 million annually by 2011-12, declining slightly annually thereafter, for various health research and tobacco-related programs. Increase of about $45 million annually to existing health, natural resources, and research programs funded by existing tobacco taxes. Increase in state and local sales taxes of about $32 million annually. (09-0097.)

To qualify, it needed 433,971 valid petition signatures, which is 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2006 general election. But an initiative can qualify via random sampling, without further verification, if the sampling projects a number of valid signatures greater than 110 percent of the required number; this initiative needed at least 477,369 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it did so.

Posted on Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
Under: ballot measures, Don Perata, taxes | 1 Comment »

Perata likes Jerry Brown, local columnist doesn’t

Don and JerryOakland mayoral candidate and former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata gave $15,000 on Friday to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown’s campaign. Don’t worry – even with his own campaign to run this year, the Don isn’t strapped for cash, seeing as how the consulting firm he runs with his son has pulled down almost $349,000 from the state prison guards’ union since the start of last year. (On a related note, I’d not noticed before that the California Correctional Peace Officers Association’s Truth in American Government Fund – one of the two CCPOA funds that paid Perata consulting – also made a $50,000 civic donation in January 2009 to Avalon Village, an Alameda nonprofit providing concierge-like assistance to seniors living in their own homes. Perata’s Hope 2010 ballot measure committee, supporting the tobacco-tax-for-cancer-research initiative he’s helping to put on the 2012 ballot, gave $50,000 to Avalon Village this March; Avalon Village and another agency to which Hope 2010 gave money are headed by a former Perata aide and possible past paramour.)

Meanwhile, the Perata campaign continues its grassroots organizing: The candidate tweeted this morning to thank the 107 volunteers who took part Saturday in a cleanup of East Oakland’s Sobrante Park area, carting away 5,280 gallons of trash. The next Perata community cleanup is scheduled for 10 a.m. this Saturday, July 31 at Shiloh Church, 3295 School St.; others are set for every Saturday in August.

But his electoral rivals are pounding the pavement as well. City Councilwoman Jean Quan held a community meeting in East Oakland on Saturday and a house party in North Oakland on Sunday; City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan is holding a fundraiser this Wednesday evening at Everett & Jones Barbecue, 126 Broadway.

In other Jerry news, Oakland columnist J. Douglas Allen-Taylor has launched a “How Very Jerry” website collecting about 75 pieces he wrote about Brown’s Oakland mayoral administration, first for the now-defunct UrbanView newspaper and then for the Berkeley Daily Planet. Says Allen-Taylor in introducing the site:

Just like Jerry Brown, too many high-placed Democratic officeholders too often abandon the traditions and philosophies of the Democratic party when carrying out their official duties these days, hoping that progressives will keep quiet in the November elections to keep from giving aid and comfort to conservatives and Republicans.
But if we always keep quiet, how will this pattern ever end?

Oakland is my home town. I love the city and its people too much to keep quiet when its public officials abuse the power we have given them. And so I choose not to hold my tongue about the years of the Jerry Brown Administration in Oakland.

The columns speak for themselves, and no other explanation is necessary.

It is possible that this website might help the campaign of Republican Meg Whitman who, if anything, would be a worse California governor than Jerry Brown, in my opinion. That cannot be helped. Voters should always go into the booth with their eyes open. If Jerry Brown is to be our next governor, at least Californians should not be able to say that we have not been properly warned.

Posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Don Perata, Jean Quan, Jerry Brown, Oakland, Rebecca Kaplan | 7 Comments »

Don Perata looks for a few good phone-bankers

Former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata is stepping up his Oakland mayoral campaign, issuing an appeal for volunteers to work the phones for him.

Perata has been building his visibility with a series of cleanups (including this one, wherein KTVU inexplicably seems to think 66th Avenue is downtown), trying to create an engaged, hands-on image to contrast with that of current Mayor Ron Dellums.

Perata’s electoral rivals aren’t letting any grass grow under their feet either (and, no, that’s not a marijuana reference).

City Councilwoman Jean Quan is rallying her campaign volunteers at an office-warming party at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, July 14) at 3237 Grand Ave. And City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan is taking part in a public-safety issues forum at 7 p.m. this Thursday, July 15, in the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Ave.

Read Perata’s Facebook appeal, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, Don Perata, Jean Quan, Oakland, Rebecca Kaplan | 3 Comments »

Don Perata keeps doling out the dinero

So, here I was, researching some names and background to see why former state Senate President Pro Tem and current Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata’s “Hope 2010 Cure Cancer” ballot measure committee – ostensibly supporting the tobacco-tax-for-cancer-research measure he’s pitching for November’s ballot – gave a $50,000 “civic donation” in March to Avalon Village, an Alameda nonprofit providing concierge-like assistance to seniors living in their own homes.

And up comes this story posted just hours ago by the East Bay Express’ Bob Gammon, the dean of Perata watchers, so I’ll let him do the talking. In short, this and another agency to which Hope 2010 gave money are headed by a former Perata aide and possible paramour.

Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, ballot measures, campaign finance, Don Perata, Oakland | 1 Comment »

Campaign finance: Arnold, Anthem & much more

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Dream Team ballot measure committee put $500,000 last Friday to the campaign for Proposition 14, the “top-two” open primary measure forced onto the ballot by state Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, now Schwarzenegger’s nominee for lieutenant governor – and a measure wildly unpopular with both the Republican and Democratic establishments. A day earlier, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave $257,328.40 to support the measure.

Palo Alto physicist Charles T. Munger Jr., son of Warren Buffett’s billionaire investor partner, last Tuesday put another $370,500 into his “Voters First Act for Congress” ballot measure, bringing his total out of pocket since October to just over $3.1 million. The proposed constitutional amendment would remove authority for setting California’s 53 Congressional district boundaries from the state Legislature, and would give that authority instead to the same Citizens Redistricting Commission that will soon be setting state Legislative boundaries (as required by 2008’s successful Proposition 11). He’s the only major donor to the campaign, and had until last Monday to gather and submit 694,354 registered voters’ valid signatures; county voter registrars and the Secretary of State’s office are now in the process of verifying them.

Anthem Blue Cross has been the target of a lot of political scorn since it announced insurance premium hikes of up to 39 percent a few months ago, but it’s still doling out money in Sacramento: The insurer last Thursday gave $2,000 to Garrett Yee, a Demcoratic primary candidate in the East Bay’s 20th Assembly District (the seat from which Alberto Torrico is term-limited out this year); $1,900 to incumbent Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana; and $1,000 to incumbent Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres.

Republican gubernatorial candidate and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner put another $196,680 into his own campaign last Monday, bringing his total out-of-pocket spending to $19,396,680 so far.

Former state Senate President Pro Tem and current Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata’s Hope 2010 ballot measure committee last Tuesday put another $40,000 into Californians for a Cure, the committee formed by the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and American Heart Association to support the proposed tobacco-tax-for-cancer-research measure Perata helped author. This brings Hope 2010’s total ante to $320,000 so far. They have until May 17 to gather valid signatures from at least 433,971 registered voters in order to place the measure on November’s ballot.

Former state Controller and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Steve Westly gave $5,000 last Wednesday to Californians for a Fresh Start, the committee pushing a proposed ballot measure for November that would replace the separate eight- and six-year term limits on future state Senators and Assemblymembers, respectively, with a 12-year limit on combined service in either or both chambers. The lion’s share of that measure’s financial backing (at least about $871,000 so far) has come from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO.

On the celebrity watch, television producer (“Alias,” “Lost”) and movie director (“Cloverfield,” “Star Trek”) J.J. Abrams and wife Katie McGrath of Pacific Palisades – who gave $50,000 last November to state Attorney General Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign – gave $13,000 last week to Democratic state Attorney General candidate Kamala Harris’ campaign. Harris’ campaign also picked up $1,000 last Wednesday from San Francisco Giants former president and general managing partner Peter Magowan.

Posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, 2010 governor's race, Abel Maldonado, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Attorney General, ballot measures, campaign finance, Don Perata, Kamala Harris, redistricting, Steve Poizner | 4 Comments »

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.

Posted on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, ballot measures, campaign finance, Don Perata | No Comments »

Campaign finance update: Perata and booze

Oakland mayoral candidate and former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s Hope 2010 ballot measure committee gave $20,000 last Thursday to 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 tobacco-tax-for-cancer-research measure Perata helped put forth.

Hope 2010 reported having $721,835 in the bank at 2009’s end, but as reported earlier, the committee has been spending directly to promote the measure (and, though he’d surely say it’s not the intent, to get his name into Oakland voters’ mailboxes).

And the alcohol industry is anteing up big time for the Stop Hidden Taxes ballot measure committee, formed by the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers’ Association both to oppose a proposed ballot measure to lower the Legislative vote threshold for budget bills from two-thirds to a simple majority, and to support the chamber’s proposed measure to increase the Legislative vote threshold for state levies and charges (including alcohol levies!) from a simple majority to two-thirds.

The past week has seen contributions of $25,000 from the San Francisco-based Wine Institute (above the $25,000 it gave earlier this month); $20,000 from beer giant Crown Imports LLC of Chicago; $20,000 from the California Beer & Beverage Distributors Issues PAC; and $25,000 from MillerCoors of Milwaukee. The Wine Institute’s $25,000 had just come in as contributions of $2,500 each from Cline Cellars in Sonoma; J Vineyards & Winery in Healdsburg; Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Healdsburg; Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards in Kenwood; Newton Vineyard in St. Helena; Pax Wine Cellars in Santa Rosa; Ridge Vineyards/Lytton Springs in Healdsburg; Rombauer Vineyards in St. Helena; Sonoma Wine Company in Graton; and ZWine Company LLC in Napa.

Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Under: 2010 election, ballot measures, campaign finance, Don Perata | 1 Comment »

Perata’s campaigns overlap in Oakland

My friend Bob Gammon of the East Bay Express had an interesting piece today about how former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata seems to be benefitting from some – ahem – synergy between a statewide ballot measure he’s pushing and his Oakland mayoral bid.

I’d noticed it too: a mailer went out recently urging support for the ballot measure, which would raise tobacco taxes to fund cancer research. It went addressed to “Dear Fellow Oakland Voter.” And it went out with Perata’s photo and name all over it.

Perata 001
Perata 002

Gammon, the duke of Perata-watchers from waaay back, notes:

Perata’s use of the cancer-measure committee’s funds in this manner makes little sense unless his true aim is to boost his mayoral campaign, experts say. Indeed, the cancer-research initiative, which would raise taxes on cigarettes, hasn’t even qualified for the ballot yet. Doug Heller, executive director of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, which keeps close tabs on the state’s initiative process, noted that the proposition will probably face potent opposition from Big Tobacco because it proposes to raise California cigarette taxes by $1 a pack. In other words, it’s foolhardy, Heller said, to spend money now on a local mailer when the tobacco industry will spend millions in the summer and fall attempting to kill the initiative. “Every dollar will be precious in this campaign,” Heller said.

Campaign finance reports also indicate that Perata is muddying the waters between the cancer-research measure and his mayoral campaign in ways that raise legal and ethical questions. Under California law, it is illegal for a candidate to use funds from a statewide ballot-measure committee with no contribution limits to support a campaign for an office that does have donation limits. Nonetheless, Perata has hired at least three consultants to work on both campaigns, raising questions as to whether they are being paid by the cancer-research committee to work on his mayoral campaign, in violation of state law.

I talked this evening with Perata spokesman Jason Kinney.

“I don’t know about the number (of mailers), but I know it went to all voters in the November 2008 election in Oakland,” he told me, saying they’re “the people he (Perata) knows best” after representing them for so long in the Legislature and, before that, on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Perata has done the same – targeting Oakland first with mailings urging support for certain statewide ballot measures – in the past, Kinney noted. He said the Bay Area tends to be both a rich hunting ground for the petition signatures needed to put a measure on the ballot, and also a place packed with liberal voters more likely to support tax increases for what they see as just causes.

Of course, he wasn’t running a concurrent campaign for Oakland mayor when he was stumping for those other measures. And he hadn’t paid his longtime political lieutenant, Oakland City Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente, a hefty consulting fee on those earlier measures, either.

Kinney said Gammon’s story was “fairly insulting to Don personally” because funding cancer research long has been a cause “near and dear to his heart” – both his parents died of cancer, and he and several staffers are survivors.

So when it came time to raise awareness for this measure, “he started in Oakland, where his base is,” Kinney said. Future mailers will go elsewhere around the Bay Area, he added, and will be handed out at farmers’ markets, churches and other public gathering places across the region.

Perata always has been a grandmaster both at raising a lot of money and at shuffling it among his many committees and causes, yet a years-long FBI probe turned up no criminal activity and Fair Political Practice Commission investigations have brought nothing more than the occasional slap on the wrist or outright dismissal. He knows how to use the system to his advantage.

How Oakland voters feel about that remains to be seen.

Posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Under: ballot measures, Don Perata, Oakland | 3 Comments »

Don Perata is on the move

Veteran political consultant and 1999 San Francisco mayoral candidate Clint Reilly; former state Controller and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Steve Westly; San Francisco attorney Jeremiah Hallisey; and former state lawmaker Patrick Johnston will co-host a $300-a-head cocktail reception for Oakland mayoral candidate and former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 at Credo, Reilly’s new Italian eatery at 360 Pine St. in San Francisco. (Yes, Perata dumped that pledge to limit his contributions to $100 per person a while ago.) “As President Pro Tem he proved that he can accomplish great things. Oakland needs his leadership,” the organizers say.

Sooner yet, Perata will woo a crowd of predominately black voters as the Alpha Rho and Sigma Iota chapters of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity will host his campaign pitch and community question-and-answer session at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Omega House, 1448 14th St. in West Oakland. Omega Psi Phi is among the nation’s biggest African-American fraternities, founded in 1911; the Alpha Rho chapter is at UC-Berkeley, while Sigma Iota is an Oakland-based graduate chapter dedicated to community service.

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Under: Don Perata, Oakland | 1 Comment »