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Opinion About Don Perata From Other Sources


Oakland Tribune Columnists Give Devastating View Of Perata's Performance At the Tribune Editorial Board Endorsement Meeting

Perata Appeared Either "Lazy" Or "Tired." "His Attitude Was That He Had Already Won The Election." "We Were Shocked By [His] Evasiveness, Use Of Faulty Facts, And Ignorance Of Some Of The Major Issues Facing The City."

Anybody But Perata Website
October 18, 2010

Last week, the Editorial Board of the Oakland Tribune dealt a blow to the mayoral candidacy of Don Perata, saying that "Oakland deserves better" than Perata as its next mayor ("We Recommend Kaplan For Oakland Mayor").

This week, two members of the Tribune's editorial board, columnists Tammerlin Drummond and Dave Newhouse, give their individual reasons for rejecting Perata, painting a dismal picture of Perata's performance at the editorial meeting.

According to the columnists, the Tribune editorial board held close to a three-hour conference with who they considered the four top candidates in the Oakland mayoral race—Perata, Councilmembers Jean Quan and Rebecca Kaplan, and political science professor Joe Tuman—and Perata did especially poorly.

"The candidate who surprised me the most, but in a negative way, was Perata," Newhouse wrote in a Monday column. "He's considered the front-runner, but his attitude that day was that he already had won the election. Unlike the other three, he leaned back in his chair, offered vague answers, and was sometimes uninformed on city policy. He had to be corrected by council members Quan and Kaplan."

Newhouse continued that "Perata seemed lazy [during the editorial board conference], as if he was going through the motions. He was a hands-on politician in Sacramento, so this new demeanor was disturbing. Ron Dellums was talked out of retirement into running, and we've seen how that turned out. Maybe Perata thinks like Jerry Brown, that Oakland is a steppingstone to something higher. Or Perata is just tired." ("Four Mayor Hopefuls On The Hot Seat.")

Tammerlin Drummond's assessment of Perata's performance at the editorial meeting was equally devastating.

"During the interview," Drummond wrote on Sunday, "we were shocked by Perata's evasiveness, use of faulty facts, and ignorance of some of the major issues facing the city. Perata wrote the opposition to the Measure X $360-per-year parcel tax, which would raise the funds to avert more police layoffs.

"Yet when asked how he would find the money to retain the officers," Drummond continued, "Perata had no reasonable alternative. He said vaguely that he would lay off unnecessary employees in other city departments -- fixating on KTOP cable TV, whose budget is minuscule. He then insisted that Police Chief Anthony Batts present his strategic plan to the City Council -- completely unaware that the chief had already done so.

Drummond concluded that "Perata didn't offer up a single fresh idea and didn't even make an effort to appear prepared. Regardless of his standing in the polls, we felt that Perata's poor knowledge of the issues, combined with his history of ethically questionable dealings, made him a poor choice for mayor." ("Newspaper Endorsement An Educated Decision, Not A Science.")

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Saying "Oakland Deserves Better,"Oakland Tribune Rejects Don Perata For Mayor

Anybody But Perata Website
October 12, 2010

In an editorial in which it endorsed Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan as Oakland's next mayor, the Oakland Tribune has dismissed the candidacy of former State Senate President Don Perata.

The Tribune selected political science professor Joe Tuman as its second choice for mayor and Oakland City Councilmember Jean Quan as its third. The Tribune said that "Perata did not make our cut" to be recommended for mayor.

The Tribune editorial gave a harsh view of Perata's mayoral qualifications.

"We found Perata's poor grasp of the issues appalling," the editorial said. "He has repeatedly dodged tough questions while blaming others for the city's problems rather than offering constructive solutions.

"He has no viable plans to avoid the looming layoffs of 122 more police officers. He also would not commit to reopening pension negotiations with the police union, which supports his candidacy.

"Perata was a major player in the horrible 1995 Coliseum deal that still costs taxpayers $10 million a year on a debt that stands at $150 million after 15 years of payments. Moreover, he has a history of ethically questionable dealings. In this election, he violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the law by surpassing the voluntary campaign spending limits."

The Tribune editorial concluded that "Oakland deserves better" than a Don Perata as its mayor.

[To Full Editorial]


25 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Vote for Don Perata
Read this if you're still thinking about making the ex-senator one of your three choices for Oakland mayor.

East Bay Express
October 13, 2010

1. He's Lazy. Don Perata appears to be no more interested in putting in the hard work needed to solve Oakland's problems than the current mayor. Oakland desperately needs a fully engaged leader with viable plans for fixing the city, but Perata has offered no detailed proposal for how to do it. And he's been a no-show to a vast majority of mayoral debates so far, leaving voters to wonder what he believes in. And when he does show up, he usually acts as if he doesn't want to be there, offering rambling criticisms of city government and empty bromides about what he would do if he wins.

2. He's Corrupt. Perata's dizzying career of pay-to-play financial dealings convinced the FBI's public corruption squad that he was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. They investigated him for more than five years and then, when local prosecutors declined to file charges, took their case to Sacramento. The ex-senator claimed he was the victim of a right-wing conspiracy orchestrated by the Bush White House, but it was newspaper stories about Perata in the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and East Bay Express that prompted the FBI to launch its probe. The vast right-wing conspiracy actually spared the senator — by making his case look politically inspired when it was not.

3. It's All About Don. Perata has attempted to portray himself as a down-to-earth politician. But records show he has spent more than $1 million of his campaign funds in the past decade on living large — throwing lavish parties, dining at upscale restaurants, relaxing at expensive hotels, and showering gifts on himself, his friends, and his donors.

[To The Full Article (and the other 22 reasons)]

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Fresh Face Or Old Guard?

Jean Quan, Rebecca Kaplan, and Joe Tuman hope to defeat Don Perata on Nov. 2 and end Oakland's love affair with career politicians.

By Robert Gammon
East Bay Express
October 6, 2010

Oakland voters may once again elect a big-name, career politician as their mayor in 2010. Recent polls show that Don Perata, the former president pro tem of the California Senate, state Assemblyman, and county supervisor, is leading the race even though there's scant evidence to suggest that he'll be any more successful than Oakland's last three mayors.

Indeed, there's ample reason to believe that Perata could make the city's problems worse. After all, he was the behind-the-scenes architect of the 1995 Oakland Raiders deal, perhaps the biggest financial debacle in city history, and one that is costing Oakland $10 million in debt payments annually through 2025. Perata also has a long history of putting the needs of his friends, his family, his donors, and himself above those of taxpayers. His ethically questionable financial dealings over the years prompted a five-year, public-corruption probe by the FBI.

Perata, 65, also seems no more interested in governing than Dellums. His campaign slogan is: "I Believe in Oakland," yet he has skipped the vast majority of the mayoral debates so far, and when he does attend, he mails it in. He repeatedly ignores questions and instead launches into long-winded, rambling critiques of city government without offering viable solutions for fixing what's wrong. At last month's Chamber of Commerce debate, he acted as if he didn't want to be there, often mumbling his answers into the microphone and forcing spectators to shout: "Speak up!" or "We can't hear you!"

Still, political mythology can be more powerful than reality. And the mythology surrounding Perata is strong. Over the years, he has fostered a reputation for being both a tough guy who cleans house and a political pragmatist who gets things done. But a closer look at his long political record shows that his true genius is raising campaign funds and rising to power — not bettering the lives of taxpayers. Several years ago, this newspaper conducted an exhaustive analysis of Perata's legislative record in Sacramento, examining every bill he ever introduced. It turned out that he had one of the worst records in the capital for getting his legislation passed into law.

As the leader of the Senate, Perata also failed to address California's systemic budget problems, including the unsustainable public employee compensation and pension benefits that are now helping bankrupt the state. Among the public employee unions he protected from budget cuts was the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Then when he was termed out of office, the prison guard's union promptly hired him as a "political consultant." Records show that the union has paid him more than $400,000 since early 2009, while mounting no political campaigns — other than funding hit-piece mailers attacking two of Perata's main opponents in the Oakland mayor's race.

[For the Full Article]

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Oakland's Campaign Reform Law Needs Overhaul

By Tammerlin Drummond
Tribune Columnist
Oakland Tribune
October 4, 2010

THE OAKLAND Campaign Reform Act was supposed to prevent big money from having undue influence in local elections.

Passed in 1999, it set a voluntary spending limit that is now $379,000 for mayoral candidates.
Independent expenditure committees -- political groups that spend $1,000 or more, are limited to a $95,000 max.

At the time, the law's drafters, which included the League of Women Voters and other civic organizations that promote better government, were concerned that a political group might exceed the $95,000 spending cap to attack a particular candidate.

A candidate in that instance, it was felt, would have a tough time defending himself if he were held to a $379,000 ceiling.

So, they included this provision: in the event an independent expenditure committee spends more than $95,000, all of the candidates would then be free to exceed their $379,000 ceiling.

Somehow, no one envisioned the flip side, that an independent expenditure committee could break the cap, setting off the trigger that would in turn enable a candidate it supports to circumvent spending limits.

Yet this is precisely what has happened in the Oakland mayor's race.

All 10 candidates initially agreed to comply with the voluntary campaign spending limits.

As of June 30, former State Senate leader Don Perata had spent most of his allowable money. He had just $55,000 he could spend with still four months to go before the Nov. 2 election.

But then, out of the blue, an independent expenditure committee called the Coalition for a Safer California sent a letter to Oakland's Public Ethics Commission.

The Sept. 16 letter claimed that the group had spent more than $95,000 in the mayor's race. Which, if true, meant the limits on all the candidates were off.

The Coalition, it just so happens, was created by Paul McKinney, who has worked on Perata's campaigns in the past. The group has received $155,000 in contributions from two independent committees controlled by the state prison guards union. The unions had paid Perata $409,000 through the June 30 filing period.

The only candidate who benefits from spending limits being lifted is Perata.

Perata confirmed Thursday that he has now exceeded the spending limit. He told this newspaper that City Attorney John Russo told him that, as far as he was concerned, the independent expenditure cap had been broken. Russo's spokesman Alex Katz immediately denied Perata's claim that the city attorney had given Perata the go-ahead to exceed spending limits.


[A]s fishy as the whole thing might appear, no evidence has been presented to support allegations by Perata's opponents that he colluded with the Coalition so he could blow through the spending cap, a charge that he has denied.

[For The Full Column]

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Say Good-Bye To Your Dues, Don Perata Needs More Money!

Unit6Times Illustration

[Anybody But Perata website note: The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) prison guards union has given more than $400,000 to Don Perata since Perata left the State Senate last year (see "Perata Stays On Prison Guards Payroll", "Perata Pockets $50,000 More From Prison Guards", "Perata Picks Up Pretty Penny From Prison Guards" and "Don Perata Still Making Bank From Prison Guards Union"). But all of the prison guards aren't happy with the situation. Unit6Times is an independent organization within CCPOA, and they have a different take on CCPOA's relationship with Don Perata.

[The following blog entry was written in February of this year.]

From the Unit6Times Blog
February 10, 2009

Perata Campaign Is Nearly Broke

The mayoral hopeful has spent more than $100,000. But he could be saved by an increase in donation limits.

Oakland City Attorney John Russo is recommending that the city raise its campaign donation limits from $600 to $1,200 because there will be only one election this year instead of two. His recommendation is good news for ex-state Senator Don Perata, whose mayoral campaign ended 2009 nearly broke after spending more than $100,000 — primarily on consultants. By contrast, his competitor Jean Quan had nearly $60,000 in the bank as of January 1.

[Read the entire story authored by Robert Gammon of the East Bay Express]

On a separate note, Avalon Village is NOT a retirement community, but a type of Insurance Plan. This is how the non-profit organization that administers the plan views itself.

The first “senior village” is open in the Bay Area, bringing to the West Coast a popular new model of care for the elderly. This village is not a place but a membership program that helps people stay in their own homes by providing support – everything from the medical to the mundane.

The concept was developed by a group of elderly neighbors in Boston trying to line up in-home services their insurance didn’t cover.

Here’s how it works: Avenidas Village members pay an annual fee – singles pay $750, couples, $900. This buys them access to services that are often discounted for members: someone to cook, clean, do the laundry, fix the air conditioner, pick up groceries, make doctor’s appointments, help them dress or get in and out of bed when they’re laid up. It can even provide limited nursing care.

[Click here to read the promotional story about Avalon Village]

Read the entire article here to see why CCPOA is giving money to an organization, which Don Perata is an executive board member. It seems this is another “non-profit” shell organization used for political contributions. I thought paying Don Perata for his consulting was enough, but I guess we have to fund his campaign in other ways. Does anyone really believe Don Perata will get us a contract when he is Oakland Mayor?

[For The Original Blog Entry]

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"If Not Fixed, [Oakland's Campaign-Finance Law] Could Lead To A Kind OF Coup D'etat In The Upcoming Mayoral Election"

Email Originally Sent to ClevelandHeightsNeighbors@yahoogroups.com,
GrandLakeNCPC@yahoogroups.com, and
September 29, 2010

I apologize up front: I try to avoid using our neighborhood Yahoo groups for discussions that have partisan political overtones.

Unfortunately, to address an impending crisis in Oakland's rules meant to safeguard our democratic processes, it's unavoidable that one mayoral candidate is going to get mentioned.

Oakland's campaign-finance law is in a major crisis and, if not fixed, could lead to a kind of coup d'etat in the upcoming mayoral election (similar to how the Supreme Court decision in Bush v Gore in 2000 felt like a judicial coup d'etat of the presidential election).

The following paragraph from the East Bay Express is the quickest summary I know:

"A new legal opinion from the Oakland City Attorney's Office will effectively allow ex-state Senator Don Perata to exceed the city's spending cap in the mayor's race and not have to worry about potential consequences until well after the election. The opinion, coupled with the city's cumbersome process for investigating campaign finance violations, also likely means that voters won't know for sure whether Perata has broken any laws until after theyÕve cast their ballots."

The city council's Rules Committee meets tomorrow at 10:30 in city council chambers to decide whether to put this issue on the agenda for the full council for Tuesday's city-council meeting.

As I'll try to explain below, this is an important issue, with which the full council needs to deal ASAP.

You can encourage the Rules Committee to bring this issue to the full council...

So what's the back story here? It's pretty amazing to me; it's so Kafkaesque.

There's a "what-were-they-thinking!?" loophole in Oakland's campaign-finance law that says: if independent expenditures in a particular race are too high, then the campaign-spending limits are lifted for all candidates in that race.

So the Coalition for a Safer California (a Sacramento-based political group closely tied to mayoral candidate Don Perata) did just that: They announced that they had exceeded $95,000 in expenditures on the mayoral race and that, therefore, mayoral candidates can now spend as much as they want.

Just coincidentally, Perata is the only candidate that would gain from this. He had by August already raised more than he would typically be permitted to spend.

All of the other candidates have pledged to comply with the campaign-spending limits, regardless of the outcome on this loophole.

What's ironic, even perverse, is that this loophole was meant to protect a candidate's ability to respond to a well-financed NEGATIVE campaign by an ADVERSE independent group. Here Perata is taking advantage of a pro-Perata group's spending to allow Perata's campaign to spend even more!

Perata and the Coalition for a Safer California have asserted that what the Coalition did is "independent" of Perata's campaign. However, that doesn't pass the "Oh, really?" test for at least two reasons:

*Not only had Perata already raised more than he could legally spend (without some "independent group" spending enough to trigger the loophole), but

*By August, Perata's campaign had already spent 85% of its legal limit for the campaign!

Perata's campaign would never have spent almost all of its money with three months of campaigning to go unless it was dead certain that an independent group would bust the campaign's limit and allow Perata to spend all he wants.

So that's the bizarre story. Unless the city council finds a way fast to address this, Oakland is effectively without any campaign-spending limits for this year's mayor's race.

If you want to read more about the background, you can go to http://www.notdon.org/. Note: This is an explicitly anti-Perata site. However, they've archived the full text of newspaper articles concerning this topic. So even if you don't agree or like their slant, they are a good one-stop-shop source for relevant news coverage.

Jim Ratliff

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Open Letter To the Mayor, Oakland City Council, City Attorney, And The Public Ethics Commission

Oakland Local
September 29, 2010

Open Letter to the Mayor, Oakland City Council, City Attorney, and the Public Ethics Commission:

The Oakland Campaign Reform Act of 2008 was devised to promote good government and to protect Oaklandís electorate from the undue influence of money in the choice of our elected leaders.

Former Senator Don Perata has shown by his actions that he will not abide by those laws, even while he is running for the office of Mayor of Oakland, the position sacredly charged with guarding both the letter and the spirit of those laws.

Months before his TV ads were aired he had almost topped out on the spending limits he had agreed to stand by. Now his friends and employers (organizations that he consults for on an ongoing basis) have overshot the ìindependent expendituresî limits that were also established by the voters, thereby providing Mr. Perata with the excuse to spend even more money.

Out of the 9 other candidates for mayor, eight of them have pledged to continue following the law as Oaklanders intended it. Only Don Perata has thumbed his nose at his promise and at Oakland voters.

Thatís why the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club joins with other Democratic Clubs and good government organizations to demand that: 1) the City Council, along with the City Attorneyís office, immediately enact legislation that corrects the loophole which is now being used to break the spending limits agreed to by all candidates, and 2) demand that the Public Ethics Commission move quickly to enforce all applicable laws.

The Wellstone Club has watched with horror while services in our federal, state, and local governments have decreased while ever more obscene amounts of money are poured into federal, state, and even local campaigns.

The effect of those dollars is the opposite of democracy. As more and more voters perceive that elections are just auctions to the highest bidder, fewer and fewer people choose to vote.

Oaklanders made a statement with this legislation that they did not want their city put on the auction block, and they do not deserve to have their desires ignored and their choices thwarted even by Don Perata.

Pamela Drake, Local Politics Chair, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club

[For The Original Article]

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Perata Thwarts Campaign Spending Limits— Big Surprise, Huh?

By Stephen Buel
East Bay Express
October 1, 2010

Oakland Mayoral candidate Don Perata once again demonstrated his low regard for the rule of law by announcing that his campaign has exceeded Oakland's campaign spending limits. The Oakland Tribune reported that Perata said he based his decision on guidance from a variety of city officials, including the city attorney. "John Russo told me that as far as he was concerned, the cap had been broken," Perata told the paper. But a spokesman for Russo said that is not true, and the Trib report diligently noted that the city attorney's recent legal opinion on the subject would seem to confirm that. Perata is exploiting a loophole in the city's toothless contribution limits that allows any candidate to spend whatever he wants once an independent outside campaign committee has done so. "Independent" allies of Perata who just happen to get their money from the same places he does say they have — ooopsy!!! — exceeded the spending limits. The former state senator says, er, well, this is all, like, some kind of total coincidence.

[To Full Blog Entry]

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Mayoral Race Campaign Spending Limits: Maintaining An Honest Campaign (Opinion)

By Susan Mernit
Oakland Local
September 30, 2010

Neighborhood groups are up in arms about the inconsistencies on the City of Oakland's laws on campaign spending in elections. Apparently, the way the rules are structured, having one candidate, such as Don Perata, exceed the city's spending cap in the race for Mayor has the effect of removing the cap from the race. This pretty much seems to guarantee a scenario where EVERY candidate with the cash can spend over the agreed-upon campaign spending limits, and we could very well end up electing a mayor whose first months in office could include being investigated--and convicted-- for breaking campaign finance laws.


Don Perata's supporters, of course without Perata's consent or knowledge, he says, triggered this whole thing when they announced they'd spent more than $95,000 in expenditures marketing their candidate--and therefore all budget restrictions were broken. The group is called The Coalition for a Safer California, Perata's their man, and it conveniently creates a way for Perata to spend more of what he's raised (since he reportedly hit his spending limit in August 2010).

Sounds like just the guy you want to buy, I mean vote for, as Mayor of Oakland, right?

Sounds like just the fella to deal with Oakland's debt and bankruptcy--maybe his friends in Sacramento can find some more loop holes when we have to deal with our looming--and crushing--budget deficits?

Doesn't sound so good, does it? Not only can we lose our mayoral race spending limits, we risk voting in the rule-breaker whose MO is to try to buy the election.

Is this going to build a better Oakland? If Don Perata was the man of integrity his campaign manager claims he is, he'd follow the rules and set the example.

[For Full Story]

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Rebecca Kaplan Wins Mayoral Debate

By Robert Gammon
East Bay Express
September 24, 2010

Rebecca Kaplan may be running third in the polls, but the energetic councilwoman appeared to be the clear-winner in last night’s big mayoral debate. Kaplan exuded a passion and love for Oakland unmatched by the eight other candidates on hand, and she repeatedly drew the loudest applause from the large, standing-room-only audience at the Kaiser Center. She also exhibited what politicos call “that vision-thing.”


By contrast, Don Perata, the frontrunner in the race, probably should have stayed home. Indeed, if his performance was any indication, it’s no wonder that the ex-state senator skipped all but one of the debates in recent months. If you had attended last night’s event and had no idea who the candidates were, you might very well have written off Perata as some old fart who had no chance of winning. He was that bad.

The veteran politician, for example, repeatedly failed to answer questions posed to him by the debate panelists — Randy Shandobil of KTVU-Channel 2 News, Tammerlin Drummond of the Oakland Tribune, and Alex Gronke of Oakbook. Instead, Perata launched into rambling answers in which we decried Oakland’s problems, but offered no real solutions for how to solve them. For example, when both Drummond and Gronke pressed him on how the city will be able to afford more police officers without raising taxes, Perata criticized the recent police layoffs, talked about the need for more cops, and then skipped the part about how a broke city would be able to pay them. One audience member sitting near this reporter blurted out: “That’s pathetic; he doesn’t answer the questions.”

Audience members also repeatedly shouted to Perata to speak into the microphone because they couldn’t hear what he was saying. Indeed, it looked throughout the event as if the ex-senator didn’t want to be there. He sat expressionless for the most of the evening, with his hands crossed at his chest, and then would mumble something into the mic, forcing audience members to shout: “Speak up" or "We can’t hear you.”

[For the full blog entry]

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An Open Letter To Don Perata

By Rashidah Grinage, Director PUEBLO
Published In Oakland Local
Community Voices
September 24, 2010

Don: It's really great that you believe in Oakland, and you want us to believe in Oakland, too!

But, Don, – you might be surprised to discover that we do believe in Oakland--- – an Oakland that does not relinquish oversight of its police to Internal Affairs, and an Oakland whose police department no longer requires the City to spend several million dollars for Independent Monitors who report to a Federal Judge about their progress, or lack thereof, in implementing mandated reforms.

What we don’'t believe in is a Mayor who would turn the police accountability clock back over 40 years because he is beholden to the Police Officers' Associations throughout the State who have pumped buckets full of cash into his campaign for Mayor. And we don't believe that after Federal oversight expires, that there should be no civilian oversight of the police, putting Oakland residents further behind BART riders in their ability to hold officers accountable for their actions.


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CCPOA Political Consultant, Don Perata, Goes Green?

Unit6Times Illustration

[Anybody But Perata website note: The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) prison guards union has given more than $400,000 to Don Perata since Perata left the State Senate last year (see "Perata Stays On Prison Guards Payroll", "Perata Pockets $50,000 More From Prison Guards", "Perata Picks Up Pretty Penny From Prison Guards" and "Don Perata Still Making Bank From Prison Guards Union"). But all of the prison guards aren't happy with the situation. Unit6Times is an independent organization within CCPOA, and they have a different take on CCPOA's relationship with Don Perata.]

From the Unit6Times Blog
September 27, 2009

Talk about the ultimate hypocrite. I think the Ultimate Hypocrite Award for 2009 goes to former Senator Don Perata. Just when we thought we heard it all, we’re thrilled once again. If it wasn’t bad enough CCPOA President Mike Jimenez went “Balls to the wall” to the Democratic Party, by hiring this political con artist as a consultant. Now, we have learned that Mr. Perata publicly desires to legalize marijuana. Identified through KCRA.com that Don Perata plans to back a pot legalization measure on California’s 2010 ballot.


If I were a Board of Director (BOD) for CCPOA, I would have many questions for Mike Jimenez and the Executive Council (EC). If this doesn’t inspire even the closest ally of Mike’s to question why we are paying Don Perata so much money, than the BOD is worthless and CCPOA should be decertified! After all, our union dues have provided countless dollars to Mr. Perata through the Truth in American Government (TAG) fund. I’d like CCPOA to explain these payments to the general membership. Also, is there a Political Action Committee (PAC) that overseas these payments? If there is a Committee tasked with oversight, Mike Jimenez, his little dog Perry, and all the other road “poodles” ought to bring a copy of the minutes that approved these transactions. I believe they don’t exist. If they do exist the entire PAC Committee should be replaced immediately for approving such large contributions that have no benefit to the membership!


What absolutely offends those at Unit6times.com is that Mr. Don Perata not only takes our hard earned money, but he supports the most liberal thinking in all of the country. Furthermore, this political con artist will say anything to get elected. He seems to be trying to get elected by using the Jerry Brown political playbook. Take CCPOA’s money, be Peace Officer friendly, support law enforcement, and talk a big game. Well, we’re here to tell you Mr. Perata, you lack the sincerity seen in Jerry Brown. I will also say Don Perata ought to get his own platform. It seems he will say or do anything to get elected. In April, at the time of the deaths of the four Oakland, California police officers, Mr. Perata saw an opportunity to advance his career by appearing law enforcement friendly...

Mr. Perata is obviously betting that his new philosophy towards law enforcement will propel him to win the future election for Mayor of Oakland. Mr. Perata will say or do anything to get elected. Weather your for or against the legalization of marijuana, I would suggest everyone stray away from voting for this con artist. After all, legalizing pot and advising law enforcement at the same time simply does not mix. Could this be the real reason behind Mr. Perata failing to attend Friday’s news conference in San Francisco where he was scheduled to voice his support for the ballot measure...?

Unit6times.com has one last thing to say to CCPOA’s President Mike Jimenez and the Executive Council (EC)- since the BOD won’t. You all must be “high” on some really good stuff if you think you can justify this con artist’s presence within our organization! Hiring Don Perata as a consultant is worse than hiring a parolee. The only difference between the two is that Don Perata has never been “convicted” of any wrong doing.

[For The Full Blog Entry]

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Op-Ed: Oakland Politics - Inside Out

By Clinton Killian
The Oakbook
September 13, 2010

The most recent polls have shown that Don Perata is the frontrunner in Oakland’s mayoral race. It’s a good showing for an outsider like Perata. What’s that? You haven’t heard? It’s true. Don Perata is the outsider in this election.

Yes, Perata has branded himself an outsider running against City Hall. He stated that the problems the city faces are due to lack of leadership of the current City Council, misdirected policies, and failure to make hard decisions for the good of the city of Oakland.

These are jaw-dropping claims. First, as the insider’s insider of Oakland politics for more than a decade, Mr. Perata can hardly be considered an outsider. From the state takeover of Oakland Unified School District to the current composition of the Oakland City Council, Perata’s fingerprints are all over the city.

Just look around. As a county supervisor, he was the person who cobbled together the deal to bring the Raiders back to Oakland. He then moved to the State Assembly and the State Senate, where he became President Pro Tem, helping to shape our local political landscape while holding the 3rd most powerful job in California’s government.

Now Perata is running against a $360 public safety parcel tax, which is supported by the Oakland Police Officers Association, his earliest endorsers. Nonetheless, the cops are sticking by their man. I wonder what that’s all about.


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Labor Unions Should Not Endorse Don Perata For Mayor-An Enemy of Environmental Agenda

By Charles Smith
AFSCME Local 444 delegate
September 12, 2010
[Note: AFSCME is the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO]

Oakland candidate for Mayor Don Perata has a anti-working people's record in the city of Oakland.

Labor Unions Should Not Endorse Don Perata For Mayor-An Enemy of Environmental Agenda.

With today’s economy going south, Unions under attack and Public Workers being blamed for the bankrupt Federal, State and County governments we cannot afford to alienate the voters by indorsing a candidate who takes pride in passing himself off as a mobster. Don Perata is no friend of Labor, more importantly he is no friend of the residents of Oakland. Organized Labor must distance itself from opportunistic, unscrupulous politicians such as Don Perata.

Don Perata conspired to and succeeded in removing an environmental Board of Directors at EBMUD. Both AFSCME Locals 2019 and 444 (over 1,500 members) had endorsed and worked on the environmentalist’s election campaigns.

After they were elected Perata fabricated lies about the progressive members of the Board which resulted in their defeat in the next election. As a result of their defeat EBMUD management returned to the “good old boys’” style of management which negatively impacted our members. Perata did this act of skullduggery to help developers get water for the Dougherty Valley development.

Don Perata negotiated the return of the Oakland Raiders which resulted in higher taxes for the residents of Alameda County, fans forced to buy the right to buy tickets (personal seat license), TV blackouts of the Raider home games and a team that never fails to disappoint.


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How To Read A Chip Johnson Column, Part 3

Oakland Local
By Pamela Drake
September 7, 2010

According to Chip Johnson, Don Perata would like to be your mayor and the first thing he would like to do is eliminate the Public Ethics Commission.

Who woulda thunk it?

The most ethically challenged guy this side of Tammany Hall figures one of Oakland’s biggest problems is the Ethics Commission. Do you remember that the other problem he thinks we have is the Citizen Police Review Board? Well, when your best friend is the head of the police union and the other is the head of the prison guards’ union, I guess payback should equal less review and less citizen involvement.

Remember that police costs in this city are 50 percent of our budget so he thinks it would work better if we cut the oversight on what they do and how they do it. That could save us money unless anybody makes a mistake and we get sued for lack of oversight. Maybe nobody told him that that’s already cost us big in the past.

Chip’s column is a really fun read though. Most of us who have perused his columns for the last few years are clear on his biases and whom he supports, even promotes, but this column was an over-the-top endorsement piece. So that’s why reading the comment section was so entertaining.

[To The Full Blog Entry]

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Video Undermines Police "Probe" Of Kaplan And Quan

By Robert Gammon
East Bay Express
July 14, 2010

Video of the Johannes Mehserle verdict protests appear to undermine the decision by Oakland police to “investigate” Councilwomen Jean Quan and Rebecca Kaplan for allegedly obstructing police business. In this piece from Bay Citizen, a joint venture of the New York Times and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Kaplan is clearly shown yelling at an anarchist who had thrown an object at police, while Quan is urging others to form a line separating the angry anarchists from police:

As the Express has previously reported, Kaplan and Quan also were attempting to create a buffer between marching police officers and peaceful demonstrators who were still at the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street. The councilwomen helped slow down the advancing police line, thereby giving peaceful protesters a chance to leave the area, once police had declared the protests an “unlawful assembly.”

In other words, the so-called police "investigation" appears to be nothing more than a political stunt aimed at hurting the councilwomen’s chances in this year’s mayor’s race — while helping the police union’s favored candidate, ex-state Senator Don Perata. The probe also smells of political payback, since both Quan and Kaplan had been outspoken about police not contributing to their pensions, while Perata has steadfastly remained in the cops’ union’s corner.

[To East Bay Express Article]

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The Perata Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

By Robert Gammon
East Bay Express
June 29, 2010

If the events of recent days are any indication, Don Perata’s candidacy for mayor is off to a very shaky start. Not only have the major dailies noted the many ties between the ex-state senator and a shadowy political group that blanketed the city with two political hit pieces over the weekend. But the glossy mailers sent by the Perata-linked group — Coalition for a Safer California — are full of ridiculous errors that raise serious doubts about the intellectual capacity of Perata’s close associates, while offering potential insight to how a Perata mayor’s office would function.

For starters, the mailers urge Oakland residents to call councilmembers and voice their concerns about the cops’ layoff plan before a “Tuesday, June 29th” vote. But the council already voted for the cops’ layoff plan on June 24 — before the mailers had even arrived in peoples’ mailboxes. In fact, there is no City Council meeting on June 29 (today). It was canceled last week, before the mailers hit Oakland.

In addition, the mailers target Councilwomen Rebecca Kaplan and Desley Brooks, criticizing them, along with Councilwomen Jean Quan and Pat Kernighan, for the Oakland cops’ layoff plan and the city’s financial woes. However, Kaplan and Brooks voted against the cop layoffs on June 24 — again, before the mailers arrived in Oakland.

In other words, if the purpose of the mailers was to convince residents to put pressure on the council to not vote for the cop layoffs, then the hit pieces completely missed the mark. Pathetic and amateurish are two words that immediately come to mind.


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"I Have Formed An Opinion About Don Perata"

By Robert Gammon
East Bay Express
June 16, 2010

[From The Anybody But Perata Website: Over the years, Oakland reporter Robert Gammon—first with the Oakland Tribune and now with the East Bay Express—has written some of the most powerful and devastating exposés of former State Senator Don Perata. Many of those articles are reprinted on this website. For his work, Gammon has come under frequent criticism that he is not objective when he is writing about Perata. In response to a recent reader comment on one of his Perata articles, Gammon explained that he does, indeed, have an opinion about Don Perata, and why he has written so critically of the former State Senator.]

When I first met Don Perata in 1999, I didn’t know him very well, and so I had no opinion about him. He seemed like a nice guy. But over the years, I’ve uncovered numerous facts about him that, taken together, have allowed me to form an opinion. It’s safe to say that he’s not an ideologue. His supporters call him “pragmatic.” But in truth, I have discovered that his main priorities in politics appear to be:

1. Attaining and consolidating power.

2. Making sure big campaign donors get what they want/need.

3. Making sure his family and friends get what they want/need.

4. Living large.

On occasion, he may do something that at first glance doesn’t appear to further any of those priorities, but when I dig a bit deeper, I usually find that one or more of the above is actually in play. Take the blog post I wrote a few weeks ago about Perata steering large sums of money to two East Bay nonprofits. On the surface, it might have appeared that he was just giving money to worthy charities. No big deal, right? But on closer examination, the money came from his cancer initiative — which he claims is of the utmost importance — and the nonprofits have nothing to do with cancer research. So why would he give away so much money from an initiative that’s he has said is so vital? Well, it turns out the two nonprofits are run by his ex-girlfriend.

Now, I can play a fantasy game and act as if I don’t know any of the things I’ve discovered about Perata over the years. But I think that’s dishonest. So does that make me “biased” against Perata? It’s a loaded word, and it’s often used to mean that people who are “biased” can’t be trusted to tell the truth. The Republican death panel claim is again the perfect example.

I can say this: I have formed an opinion about Perata, and it’s based on what I have learned about him over the years. But as a reporter, I don’t disregard facts nor do I tell lies. Period.

[Link to the full Gammon comment]

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A Conversation With Don Perata (Community Voices)

From Oakland Local
Posted on May 2, 2010 by Pamela Drake

If you can spare a couple of hours on a wintry evening in spring, why not go have a “conversation” with Don Perata who’s running for mayor in November? That’s what I did last week.

It was held in a back room of the Youth Employment Partnerships building. A group of up to 20 folks sat in folding chairs while the “Don” sat perched on a table at the front of the room, microphone in hand.

The talk he gave was quite general and vague. At his last conversation, he offered to abolish the Citizens’ Police Review Board (and the Public Ethics Commission), and received more publicity than he, perhaps, had expected which may have accounted for his reticence this chilly evening.

Most of the audience lobbed soft ball or very general questions at the candidate. Curiously, one audience member with many questions and comments remarked that he was from Mississippi and didn’t know much about Oakland. The moderator and Perata staff person would offer a mic to the speaker and then grab it away saying, “this is my mic” so that they seemed to lean precariously over the mic while trying to focus on their concerns.


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Don Perata—A Democrat Using Republican Talking Points

From the Living In The O Blog
Posted on April 9, 2010 by Beck

Continuing my series on mayoral candidate blogging, today I’ll be looking at Don Perata’s blog. Before I get into the content, I have to point out that Perata is either courageous or stupid – he’s allowing comments on his blog. Kerry Hamill, who ran for Council against Rebecca Kaplan in 2008, did the same thing for a short time but soon disabled them when negative comments started flowing in. Any guesses to how long before Perata disables comments on his blog?

There have only been a handful of blog posts posted so far. The first ones were about the campaign, but the last four have been about policy issues. Two of the posts were about prison issues – recidivism and summary parole. Those are important issues, of course, but there’s much more that can be done at the state level about them. One of the two Oakland posts was about the most recent parking debacle, when the City was found to be ticketing cars in low-income areas but not ticketing them in the hills for the same violation. Can you guess where Perata stood on that?


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Mayoral Candidate Perata's Scandalous History With Mercury Insurance

From the OaklandSeen.com website
Posted on March 30, 2010

Mercury Insurance is spending millions of dollars to pass Prop 17 this June.

The controversial proposition would allow insurance companies to charge higher rates to drivers who allowed their insurance to lapse anytime during the previous five years. This surcharge is currently illegal in California because it pads the profits of insurance companies on the backs of people without steady incomes, people who loose their jobs and temporarily stop driving and environmentally-minded people who attempt a car-free life-style.

So what is Perata’s role in this scheme?

Back in 2004, Mercury tried to pass legislation similar to Prop 17. Its strategy was to buy off the California Senate Pro Tem at the time: Perata. Mercury lined the politician’s pockets in two ways. First, by contributing extensively to Perata’s campaign. Second, Mercury and Perata arranged for contributions to go directly into Perata’s non-campaign personal bank account.


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Perata's Friends Left Holding The Bag

[Note From The Anybody But Perata Website: This article, written by the late Tribune columnist and reporter and former Oakland School Board member Peggy Stinett, shows a good example why we believe Don Perata should not be elected mayor of the City of Oakland...]

By Peggy Stinett
Originally published in the Oakland Tribune
March 5, 2003

WE GO to church to hear the good news. And this weekend at Allen Temple Baptist Church there was a special meeting to get all factions together in the Oakland schools budget deficit quarrel. They got good news.

State Sen. Don Perata confessed he had made a mistake in calling for school Superintendent Dennis Chaconas to be fired as part of a state loan that would have a state administrator run the Oakland schools.

He did it because he lost his temper, Perata said.

It must have been a humbling moment for the senator, and for that he gets high marks. It takes a big person to admit to a big mistake.

"Every once in a while you do something you wish you could take back," he said.

Unfortunately, Perata has left a few people behind him holding the bag. And these bags are not from Macy's where you can take things back when you change your mind.


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You can contact the Anybody But Perata For Mayor website at admin@notdon.org