Indian tribe boosts Don Perata’s legal fund

…and other post-election political money tidbits.

perata.jpgState 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.

hancock.jpgLest 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.

worthington.jpgBerkeley 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.

denham.JPGThe 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.


Political Haiku, Vol. 2

Perata can’t pick
between successors, backs both.
Vote Lonma Chancock!

DNC decides
to seat delegates in half.
Clinton’s goose is cooked.

Still McNerney waits,
his superdelegate vote
so soon safely moot.

Schwarzenegger comes
to Oakland to flog budget.
Dellums begs for cops.


The Perata-Chan-Hancock endorsement follies

Here’s one of the latest mailers sent out by former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, D-Alameda, who’s running against current Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, in the Democratic primary for the 9th State Senate District seat from which state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, is term-limited out later this year (click to enlarge):



A ringing endorsement at the eleventh hour? Or a re-dual-endorsement?

Perata just a few weeks ago sent Hancock a letter praising her as “far and away the best person for the job.” Perata’s political consultant confirmed that letter’s authenticity.

So, Perata on Chan: “That’s why I support Wilma Chan… I hope you’ll give her your vote…”

And, Perata on Hancock: “(F)ar and away the best person for the job.”

Which is it? Too bad Perata can’t seem to make a choice. I’ve been writing about this for weeks, and it makes no sense to me. So, go make your own choice: Compare Chan’s and Hancock’s records and policy stances, and base your vote on that, not on slick mailers bearing endorsements that really don’t amount to much of anything at all.


One editorial, four endorsements?

9th State Senate District candidate Wilma Chan put out a mailer recently touting her endorsement by the Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times, the Tri-Valley Herald and the Alameda Times-Star:


But in case you were wondering, yes, all those newspapers are owned by the same chain. And yes, all four of those quotations came from a single editorial.


Dual-endorsed, un-endorsed, re-endorsed

Remember last week’s item about how state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and two other people seemed to be “unendorsing” former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, withdrawing their previous dual endorsements and throwing their support only to Assemblywoman Loni Hancock in the 9th State Senate District‘s Democratic primary race?

Apparently one of those three has now re-dual-endorsed Chan. Chan’s campaign today forwarded me an email sent to Chan last Wednesday, May 14 (two days after my blog item) by Oakland Unified School District Board of Education member Alice Spearman of Oakland:

spearman.jpgToday was the first time I had a chance this week to review the letter I gave to Loni. The letter scanned and sent to me was a revised copy, which I did not entirely read after bring told there was a typo. Therefore I am giving a dual endorsement in this race. I did not remember giving you a verbal endorsement this past summer, but there was a good chance so early in the race that I did and I am a woman of my word. I would/will not enter into any legal action because of this mix up. Please accept my apology.

Spearman’s earlier, May 8 letter to Chan had said:

I am writing you to make it very clear that I have not, and will not, endorse you in the State Senate District 9 race. I have given my sole endorsement to Loni Hancock. I am asking you to immediately stop using my name as an endorser and remove my name from all of your campaign materials. Any failure to abide by my request will force me to take immediate legal action. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

See? Clear as a bell.


Lytton Indians strike back at Loni Hancock

(A hearty hat-tip to Oakland environmental and land-use attorney Stuart Flashman, who noticed this and posted a comment about it elsewhere on this blog.)

hancock.jpgDemocratic voters in the 9th State Senate District recently received a mailer — see it here, pages 1, 2, 3 and 4 — accusing Assemblywoman Loni Hancock — who’s opposed by former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan in the June 3 state Senate primary — of having lowered educational standards, supposedly making it harder for children to reach their chosen career. The mailer was paid for not by Chan’s campaign but rather by Education Leaders for High Standards, an independent expenditure committee.

Check the Secretary of State’s office and you find Education Leaders for High Standards was created May 14 and has no visible support from anyone in the education community, be it teachers, administrators, parents or what have you. Rather, the committee’s entire $49,000 bankroll — of which it spent $47,900 on this mailer — came from one source: the California Tribal Business Alliance independent expenditure PAC.

That PAC, in turn, has received $75,000 each from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians (Tehama County’s Rolling Hills Casino); the United Auburn Indian Community (the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln); the Pala Band of Mission Indians (San Diego County’s Pala Casino); the Pauma Band of Mission Indians (San Diego County’s Casino Pauma); and the Viejas Tribal Government (San Diego County’s Viejas Casino).

AND… wait for it… $164,000 from the Lytton Rancheria of California in San Pablo.

The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, you’ll recall, operates the San Pablo Lytton Casino (formerly known as the Casino San Pablo card room), which sits both in Hancock’s current Assembly district as well as the state Senate district she aspires to represent. Hancock has been an outspoken opponent of the Lytton Band’s plan to vastly expand and outfit the casino with house-banked, Nevada-style slot machines; public criticism and opposition from state and federal lawmakers eventually convinced the tribe to abandon the plan.

But it seems Hancock and the Lytton Band still haven’t kissed and made up. Expect some unkind words in return when Hancock, backed by local elected officials and anti-casino community activists, holds a news conference about this at noon tomorrow at Oakland City Hall.