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.


East Bay Assembly candidates raise big bucks

The eight state Assembly candidates in two sharply contested East Bay primaries raised nearly $625,000 between March 18 and May 17, the dates of the most recent campaign finance reporting period.

In the Republican Assembly District 15 primary, where four candidates are battling it out for the chance to go up against the Democratic nominee in November, retired entrepreneur Robert Rao of Livermore has proven he is a man of his word.

Rao said at the start of his race that he would write as many checks as necessary to run a competitive operation. To date, he has given or loaned his campaign $$479,069. He reported $82,683 in the bank as of May 17 and $136,670 in unpaid bills.

Among the other three challengers in order of fund-raising prowess in the last period:

Judy Biviano Lloyd, businessowner and Danville resident: $77,254 in contributions, $177,350 in the bank and $88,650 in unpaid bills. (Total contributions since January other than loans: $114,723)

Abram Wilson, mayor of San Ramon (no web site): $42,313 in contributions, $46,620 in the bank and $101,065 in debts. (Total contributions since January other than loans: $52,938)

Scott Kamena, optometrist from Livermore: $28,276 in contributions, $54,375 in the bank and $67,761 in debts. (Total contributions since January: $78,958)

The four Assembly District 14 Democratic candidates are furiously racing to next week’s finish line, too. Continue Reading