Former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has a new lobbying client: his native city of Alameda.
City Council members voted 5-0 Tuesday night to award Perata a $90,000 lobbying contract, according to Michele Ellson, editor of The Alamedan (a great source for the island city’s news). In an earlier piece, Ellson laid out the city’s rationale: It believes it needs a higher profile in Sacramento as it pursues state and federal money for projects such as development of Alameda Point, construction of bike and walking trails and equipment of the city’s public safety departments.
State records show Alameda had hired Perata in a more limited capacity in June. Ellson reports Assistant City Manager Alex Nguyen said the city hired him to help defeat a bill that would have eliminated Alameda’s seat on the new ferry board.
Perata’s other lobbying clients include the California Infill Builders Federation, Hawkins Development, Intelligent Sign Network LLC (an Oakland business run by longtime Perata ally and donor John Foster), Mallard Farms (an Alameda-based company owned by financial advisor and mortgage broker Randy Wong), the Oakland Raiders, Ramsell Corp. and SSA Marine.
Perata, 68, now of Orinda, led the state Senate from 2004 to 2008, and unsuccessfully sought the Oakland mayor’s office in 2010. A years-long federal corruption investigation of Perata and his associates ended in 2009 with no charges filed against anyone.
Earlier, he was a state senator from 1998 to 2004; an assemblyman from 1996 to 1998; a 1994 primary candidate for state controller; and an Alameda County Supervisor from 1986 to 1994. But he was born in Alameda, and began his political career with an unsuccessful bid to be its mayor in 1975.