Keyword: perata

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Jean Quan wins Oakland mayor's race

    11/11/2010 9:02:44 AM PST · by SmithL · 13 replies · 1+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 11/11/10 | Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer
    OAKLAND -- City Councilwoman Jean Quan won the final tally Wednesday in Oakland's ranked-choice mayoral election, capping a dramatic eight days in which she came from behind and surged to victory because she had more second- and third-place votes than rival Don Perata. When first-place votes were initially counted after the Nov. 2 election, Quan had just 24 percent, and Perata had 35 percent. But Quan proved to be a more popular second and third choice among supporters of the other eight candidates, and in the end, she had 51 percent to Perata's 49 percent. Alameda County Registrar of Voters...
  • Oakland ranked ballot: Least-hated tops most-liked

    11/09/2010 12:44:22 PM PST · by SmithL · 3 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 11/9/10 | Chip Johnson
    Throughout the campaign, candidate Don Perata said that he didn't understand the ranked-choice voting system being used for the first time in the Oakland mayor's race. Unfortunately for the former state senator, his two closest rivals in the race understood Alameda County's new voting system well enough to turn a near-certain victory for Perata into a possible defeat. Because if voter trends hold until the final count, it is likely that City Councilwoman Jean Quan will become Oakland's 46th mayor in January. On Tuesday, Quan held a news conference and said she remained cautiously optimistic but acknowledged the race was...
  • Some DMV workers extend their furlough

    08/25/2010 7:48:42 AM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 8/25/10 | Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
    We've all heard of Furlough Fridays - well, at the San Francisco office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, they had a "Missing Monday" when nearly two-thirds of the staffers didn't show up. In all, 20 of the 34 staffers at the Fell Street DMV office who had been forced to take Friday off without pay took Monday off as well. DMV spokesman Armando Botello said the department had to bring in workers from other jurisdictions to help out with the "higher than usual absences." Naj Alikhan of the Service Employees International Union, which represents the workers, said he hadn't...
  • Perata money machine in full operation

    01/13/2010 7:56:43 AM PST · by SmithL · 2 replies · 180+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 1/13/10 | Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
    The well-oiled Don Perata political money machine is revving up again in Oakland. First up: a $25,000 check to City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente to help organize labor behind a Perata-backed state ballot initiative for cancer research. Next: Perata's decision to lift a self-imposed $100 individual limit for donations to his campaign this year for Oakland mayor. The former state Senate leader has long been known for his prowess in raising and spending money, be it for local school initiatives or statewide bond programs. He's also known for spreading much of that money around to consultants close to him...
  • CA: Analyst: Perata cigarette tax would burn First 5

    12/04/2009 6:09:35 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 9 replies · 578+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 12/4/09 | Josh Richman
    A new Legislative Analyst's Office report predicts California's early-childhood education program will lose $45 million per year under a cigarette-tax-for-cancer-research ballot measure proposed by former state Senate president and 2010 Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata. The education program, First 5, would lose about $8.66 million in the Bay Area, including about $2.2 million from Santa Clara County, $1.7 million from Alameda $1.1 million from Contra Costa and $785,000 from San Mateo, according to a breakdown provided by Alameda County First 5 CEO Mark Friedman — and that's why early-childhood education advocates could end up joining tobacco companies and anti-tax groups...
  • Perata, health groups launch tobacco tax initiative

    11/16/2009 8:18:19 PM PST · by SmithL · 9 replies · 533+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 11/16/9 | Josh Richman
    OAKLAND — Former state Senate President Pro Tem and 2010 Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata joined cancer research and health advocates Monday to launch a ballot measure that would hike cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack. "This is the right measure for the right time," Corey Goodman, a UC San Francisco professor and former biotech entrepreneur, said at a news conference in the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, adding the half-billion dollars per year this measure could raise would help move scientific breakthroughs "from the bench to the bedside" to save lives. Perata said he conceived of the measure...
  • With probe over, Perata primed to lead Oakland

    05/29/2009 7:41:57 AM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 266+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/29/9 | Chip Johnson
    With the dark cloud of a lingering federal probe behind him, there is nothing standing between former state Sen. Don Perata and the Oakland mayor's office but time, opportunity and blue skies. On Wednesday, the FBI closed the books on a five-year investigation into whether Perata's business dealings drove his legislative decisions. Perata announced his plans in March to run for mayor of Oakland in 2010. So far, his toughest competition, former City Manager Robert Bobb, is currently the state-appointed director of the Detroit public schools and lives in the Washington, D.C., area. The federal investigation was the darkest hour...
  • CA: Ex-Calif. Senate leader cleared in kickback probe (PeRATaGate & FBI probe poops out)

    05/27/2009 12:46:45 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 12 replies · 435+ views
    ap on Sac bee ^ | 5/27/09 | Don Thompson - ap
    Federal prosecutors on Wednesday declined to file corruption charges against a former California lawmaker, clearing the way for his campaign for Oakland mayor next year. ... The announcement ends an investigation into former state Senate leader Don Perata that stretches back to 2004 and extended to his family and circle of political associates. ... Federal prosecutors released a statement saying only that they were declining to file criminal charges but did not say why. They said they could not "disclose our deliberative process."
  • Feds drop 5-year probe of Perata - no charges

    05/27/2009 10:49:33 AM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 521+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/27/9 | Susan Sward, Lance Williams, Chronicle Staff Writers
    SACRAMENTO -- Former state Senate leader Don Perata, who has been the target of a five year-long FBI corruption investigation, will not be charged with any crimes, sources told The Chronicle today. In declining to indict the 64-year-old Oakland Democrat, federal prosecutors in Sacramento put an end to a wide-ranging FBI probe into whether Perata had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars of kickbacks in return for actions he took as a legislator and as president pro tem of the Senate. Perata announced in March that he would run for mayor of Oakland in 2010. The government's decision not to...
  • Will Garamendi run for Tauscher's seat? {Will PeRATa become Mayor of Oakland?}

    04/05/2009 9:14:23 AM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies · 371+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/5/9 | Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross
    The race to replace outgoing East Bay Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher could get a lot more interesting. Lt. Gov. John Garamendi - who lives in Walnut Grove, which sits on the northeast edge of the district - tells us, "Several people have asked me to run. Of course we'll check it out." . . . Perata play: Don Perata's decision to go public with his plans to run for mayor of Oakland didn't exactly come as a surprise - it did, however, instantly reshuffle the deck in that city.For starters, City Attorney John Russo, City Council President Jane Brunner and...
  • Perata Running for Oakland Mayor

    03/31/2009 9:12:24 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 14 replies · 635+ views ^ | 3/31/09 | Carla Marinucci
    It's official: former State Senate Pro Tem Don Perata is making the move to run for Oakland mayor. Chronicle comrade Chip Johnson has the scoop today, talking to Perata after last week's services for the four slain Oakland cops. And Perata said that was a catalyst for his decision to take on the tough job which has also been occupied for two terms by state Attorney General Jerry Brown.
  • CA: Perata asks for federal probe of U.S. Attorney in Sacramento

    03/11/2009 6:23:16 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 2 replies · 337+ views
    Capitol Weekly ^ | 3/11/09 | John Howard
    Former Senate Leader Don Perata filed a formal request with the U.S. Justice Department Wednesday for an investigation into the conduct of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento, who he contends abused their authority by resurrecting a lengthy ethics investigation of Perata. The request was submitted by George O’Connell, Perata’s lawyer and a former U.S. Attorney in Sacramento, with the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General. The office, among other things, conducts investigations into complaints against Justice Department personnel, including FBI personnel. The request was filed with Inspector General Glen Fine. O’Connell’s action stems from the...
  • CA: Perata investigation moves to Sacramento; his attorneys cry foul (PeRataGate Lives!)

    03/04/2009 7:00:26 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 15 replies · 472+ views
    Sac Bee ^ | 3/4/09 | Denny Walsh
    Former state Senate leader Don Perata and his attorney have mounted a furious campaign against a decision by Sacramento federal prosecutors to review corruption allegations that San Francisco federal prosecutors declined to pursue. The Sacramento review violates a deal, called a tolling agreement, between defense attorneys and the U. S. attorney's office in San Francisco that stopped the clock on the statute of limitations while the parties discussed the matter, the defense attorneys insist. That agreement does not extend to the Sacramento U. S. attorney's office and the statute of limitations now precludes prosecution, the attorneys claim.
  • Roll through a red, fork over the green

    03/02/2009 7:39:08 AM PST · by SmithL · 16 replies · 962+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/2/9 | Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
    Like a lot of California drivers, Dave Soss just got a $490 lesson on how the state budget really works. It all began when Soss, who lives in the East Bay, was ticketed Feb. 1 for rolling through a red light while making a right turn in Emeryville - and was hit with what he called a "mind-blowing" penalty.For starters, there was the $100 base fine. Most of that goes to Emeryville, and the leftovers go to Alameda County. Then comes the real hit:-- A $100 state penalty - $70 of which is divvied up among a dozen programs, including...
  • Fair practices panel cracks down on political 'slush funds"

    01/15/2009 4:48:02 PM PST · by SmithL · 1 replies · 190+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 1/15/9 | Josh Richman
    The California Fair Political Practices Commission enacted a new regulation today banning the kind of political committee fund transfers that former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata engaged in recently. Perata, D-Oakland, just after Election Day moved $1.5 million from his Leadership California committee — which had raised funds ostensibly to recall a state senator and to oppose a legislative redistricting reform ballot measure, among other things — into his legal defense fund, with which he's battling a years-long FBI corruption probe; he moved another $400,000 in early December. Long before these transfers, the FPPC had been considering cracking...
  • CA: Perata moves another $400,000 into his legal defense fund (PeRataGate .. Year 4 and counting)

    12/24/2008 8:56:27 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 380+ views ^ | 12/24/08 | John Wildermuth
    Mickey, Donald, Pluto and Goofy are helping to keep Don Perata out of jail and they may not even know it. The Walt Disney Co. is one of a number of well-known groups and companies that has pumped money into the former Oakland state senator's "Leadership California" fund, which was put together in 2005 to raise money "to support or oppose state and local ballot measures and other lawful purposes." In the past year, that "other lawful purpose" has been stoking the cooling boiler of Perata's legal defense fund, which has paid out about $2 million to attorneys charged with...
  • Perata shifted $1.5 million from PAC to his legal defense

    12/10/2008 7:44:23 PM PST · by SmithL · 7 replies · 415+ views
    Oakland Tribune ^ | 12/10/8 | Josh Richman
    Contributors to Don Perata's political action committee this year might have thought their money would bankroll the attempted recall of state Sen. Jeff Denham or opposition to a legislative redistricting reform measure. But a day after the Nov. 4 election, and with only a few weeks left as state Senate President Pro Tem, the Oakland Democrat moved $1.5 million from Leadership California into his own legal defense fund, formed to counter a years-long FBI corruption probe. This sum dwarfs the California Democratic Party's $450,000 contribution to Perata's legal fund over the past year, which had caused an outcry from some...
  • Only job Perata ever wanted - Oakland mayor

    11/14/2008 8:06:13 AM PST · by SmithL · 16 replies · 377+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 11/14/8 | Chip Johnson
    State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata hasn't thrown his hat into the ring for the 2010 Oakland mayor's race, but he certainly performed a very nice jig around it in a radio interview this week. In a half-hour segment on KQED-FM's "Forum" show, the lame-duck East Bay senator was asked about his future - and said Oakland's top post had been a goal for much of his political career. "Ironically, the only job I've ever wanted was to be the mayor of Oakland," Perata, 63, who lives in the city, told host Michael Krasny. "And it may be the...
  • CA: Perata backs tax on cars, oil to bridge growing budget gap (at least it isn't diapers&bullets)

    11/05/2008 3:58:10 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 20 replies · 705+ views
    Sac Bee ^ | 11/5/08 | Jim Sanders
    California faces a massive deficit even higher than projected in recent weeks - $11.2 billion this fiscal year -- Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said Wednesday. Without immediate intervention, the nightmare could total an additional $13 billion next fiscal year, according to Perata, citing numbers he said came from the governor's office. The Oakland Democrat said the budget gap cannot be bridged by cuts alone, and that he supports raising revenues by restoring vehicle license fees and taxing offshore oil production. Together, the two tax proposals would generate about $7 billion per year - though considerably less in the...
  • CA: Perata says state may face 'another $15 billion to $18 billion deficit' (Big 5 to convene)

    10/07/2008 8:19:42 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 21 replies · 517+ views
    Capitol Weekly ^ | 10/7/08 | Anthony York
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will meet with legislative leaders Wednesday to try to find ways to fill an immediate hole in this year’s budget that could be as large as $5 billion, according to estimates from Senate Leader Don Perata, D-Oakland. Perata said the deficit could swell to $15 billion or more by the middle of next year. The bleak outlook comes amid a weakening state economy and an unprecedented meltdown on Wall Street, which has pinched corporate and municipal credit. “The options are all bad,” Perata said Wednesday. “I am not very optimistic we will get a tax increase,” which...
  • Possible California Budget Deal in State Senate

    09/13/2008 4:52:49 PM PDT · by concentric circles · 5 replies · 200+ views
    California Progress Report ^ | September 13, 2008 | Marty D. Omoto
    Senate Democrats Working With Republicans Toward Budget Agreement Though No Final Deal Yet - No Tax Increases, Borrowing or Spending Cap Will Be In Plan With the California budget crisis continuing into its 74th day without a State budget, a possible budget deal is coming together in the State Senate, with Senate Democratic and Republican leaders agreeing on the broad outlines that could mean a budget agreement and a vote on a revised budget plan next week, possibly as early as Tuesday (September 16th). No details are available and nothing is final - and the situation is fluid and could...
  • Perata offers budget with sales tax hike

    08/28/2008 11:08:41 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 146+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 8/28/8 | Matthew Yi,
    Sacramento - -- The state Senate will vote today on a budget by Senate leader Don Perata that's similar to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest spending plan for California that's 60 days late. But whether Perata will get two Republican votes needed in addition to unanimous support from Democrats to meet the two-thirds requirement in the Senate remains unclear. One significant issue is the Oakland Democrat's proposal to increase the sales tax by a penny per dollar for three years. Republicans have said they will not support any tax increases to help erase the $17.2 billion budget gap that includes $2...
  • A budget vote, only 48 days into the fiscal year

    08/14/2008 5:35:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 116+ views
    SacBee: CapitolAlert ^ | 8/14/8 | Kevin Yamamura and Jim Sanders
    Cancel those Sunday plans: The Assembly and the Senate have tentatively scheduled floor votes on a budget bill that day. It does not mean a deal is imminent. Lawmakers want a floor vote by this weekend to meet a deadline set by Secretary of State Debra Bowen for placing measures on the November ballot. Many see the deadline as a moving target, however, and believe the vote Sunday may be the first in several floor exercises before a final deal is struck. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, said lawmakers plan to vote Sunday on a modified version of the...
  • Perata's talk of budget compromise goes poof

    08/14/2008 7:56:42 AM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies · 69+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 8/14/8 | Jim Sanders and Kevin Yamamura
    Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata began Wednesday saying he had made enough concessions to secure a budget deal with the governor and called for Republicans to sign on. But the day ended with little progress, as Perata concluded that negotiations remained at "impasse." So goes the topsy-turvy world of California's budget standoff amid a $15.2 billion deficit. "We're huddling now and trying to see what our next step will be," Perata told reporters Wednesday afternoon. Hours earlier, Perata described a compromise with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that would temporarily increase the state sales tax by 1 cent and restrain future...
  • CA: Perata says he has budget deal with Schwarzenegger, needs GOP votes (including "spending cap")

    08/13/2008 11:37:52 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 19 replies · 132+ views
    Sac Bee ^ | 8/13/08 | Jim Sanders
    Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said today that Democrats have negotiated key points of a compromise state budget with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and that he considers negotiations over. "I think we've, frankly, gone about as far as we can go," the Oakland Democrat said. Perata said the compromise plan includes a major concession by Democrats - a spending cap to limit annual state expenditures. Republicans have been insisting on a spending cap as part of any budget pact. "The question continues to be, are there Republican votes for it?" Perata said of the compromise plan. The ball is in...
  • ALAMEDA COUNTY: Man charged in Perata carjack, and shooting of boy playing piano

    08/12/2008 7:51:30 AM PDT · by SmithL · 13 replies · 67+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 8/12/8 | Henry K. Lee
    2 others also indicted in theft of senator's red Dodge Charger - An Alameda County grand jury has indicted an Oakland man on charges that he carjacked state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and, 12 days later, fired the shots that paralyzed a 10-year-old boy practicing the piano, authorities said Monday. In addition to Jared Adams, 25, two other defendants were indicted in connection with the Perata case, court records show. The indictment, handed down late last month, allows prosecutors to take the case directly to trial. On Dec. 29, carjackers stole Perata's state-issued red 2006 Dodge Charger as...
  • Perata says sales tax idea is only 'a start'

    08/05/2008 3:28:21 PM PDT · by SmithL · 30 replies · 188+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 8/5/8 | Aurelio Rojas
    Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata today welcomed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed 1-cent sales tax hike as "a start," but declared budget negotiations are at an impasse and said he does not expect a quick resolution. Perata's comments, following a Senate session, were his first since Schwarzenegger proposed the temporary sales tax increase over the weekend in an effort to bridge the state's $15.2 billion deficit and bring an end to the 36-day budget standoff. "I'm glad the governor has come around to saying publicly what we've known all along - that we have to have taxes in order to...
  • Top California Democrat Faces Probe at Key Time

    08/04/2008 7:57:40 AM PDT · by Brilliant · 11 replies · 77+ views
    WSJ ^ | August 1, 2008 | JUSTIN SCHECK and BOBBY WHITE
    The Democratic majority in the California Legislature is counting on a veteran leader, Don Perata, to see the party through a fight with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the state's $15 billion budget deficit. But a federal corruption investigation of Mr. Perata could stymie his efforts to get the job done... San Francisco federal prosecutors have been investigating whether payments made by lobbyists and others to Mr. Perata in the past four years were improper. Prosecutors have indicated to defense lawyers that they're close to wrapping up their probe, said people close to the defense, who added that they expect...
  • Cashing in - Culture of corruption not just in Washington (California's PeRaTaGate)

    08/02/2008 9:46:11 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 129+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 8/2/08 | Editorial
    This week's exhaustively detailed indictment of Republican Sen. Ted Stevens for allegedly failing to disclose $250,000 in gifts from an oil magnate in his home state of Alaska is dismaying enough. But the stench is hardly limited to Stevens and San Diego's own convicted congressman – Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe. There are abundant signs that corruption in Congress goes beyond just trading votes for contributions to actual bribery. Yet public outrage remains disturbingly muted. Unfortunately, this indifference is also the norm in California. Consider the case of Senate President Don Perata. The Oakland Democrat is the focus of...
  • Perata cancels vote on $10 billion tax increase for California budget

    07/29/2008 6:00:12 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 81+ views
    Halfway to Concord ^ | 7/29/8 | Bill Gram-Reefer
    The Sacramento Bee reports that California State Senator Don Perarta has called off a budget vote, largely because he can’t find more than 25 votes to pass a $9.7 Billion tax increase. Meanwhile, the California Democratic Party has donated $250,000 to help Don Perata pay off his legal bills, as the Senate Democratic leader continues to rack up expenses fending off an ongoing FBI corruption investigation. Time to blow up the box, Arnold.
  • Perata probe drags on without charges - 44 months, no charges

    07/28/2008 7:42:08 AM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 87+ views
    Oakland Tribune via CoCo Times ^ | 7/28/8 | Josh Richman
    It has been 44 months since a federal corruption probe of state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata became public knowledge, and 43 months since federal agents searched his and his son's Oakland homes. Witnesses have testified before a federal grand jury. Thousands of pages of documents have been gathered under dozens of subpoenas issued to public agencies and private companies. Perata's legal defense fund has spent about $2 million, much of that either transferred from one of his campaign accounts or given by the state Democratic party. Almost four years on, some wonder whether it's time for the federal...
  • Perata: 'This is an act of war'

    07/24/2008 8:59:25 PM PDT · by SmithL · 17 replies · 134+ views
    SacBee: CapitolAlert ^ | 7/24/8 | Kevin Yamamura, Shane Goldmacher
    An indignant Don Perata made fun of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his brigade of "13 armed escorts" today. The Senate president pro tem was mocking Schwarzenegger as out of touch with the average Californian at a rally protesting the plan to temporarily slash the pay of state workers to $6.55 an hour. Visibly fired up, the Oakland Democrat declared he had only one question for Schwarzenegger now that the governor had revealed his plan to conserve cash during the budget crunch by cutting workers' pay. "Who in the hell do you think does the work around here?" he shouted to...
  • FBI investigating Perata's links to Washington lobbyist

    07/20/2008 8:24:35 PM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 124+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 7/20/8 | Susan Sward, Lance Williams
    The FBI is investigating state Sen. Don Perata's role in the hiring of a Washington lobbyist to push for a road project sought by a major Perata contributor, documents show. At the urging of the powerful Oakland Democrat, local agencies in 2000 hired former Georgia congressman Dawson Mathis to lobby the Federal Aviation Administration regarding a multimillion-dollar expressway that today links Oakland International Airport with the Harbor Bay Business Park in Alameda. The park's developer, Ron Cowan, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Perata and other politicians, and for years he had sought this access road. Mathis' hiring...
  • Perata takes "textured" approach to foes

    07/14/2008 7:43:51 AM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 95+ views
    MediaNews via CoCoTimes ^ | 7/14/8 | Steven Harmon
    SACRAMENTO — Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has what experts say is a textured approach to dealing with his Republican foes on the budget. The Oakland Democrat simultaneously plays villain and confidante, foe and pal. He's a partisan flamethrower who takes his rivals to breakfast. Take last week, when Perata's opening budget negotiation move — demanding higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations — had the effect of casting Republicans as heartless country clubbers. Even as he attacked Republicans for failing to empathize with the little guy, though, he promised the wine would be flowing freely as budget negotiations...
  • CA: Perata May Be Indicted Soon (PeRATaGate)

    07/10/2008 9:11:28 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 13 replies · 94+ views
    East Bay Express ^ | 7/9/08 | Robert Gammon
    Prosecutors will probably soon ask a federal grand jury to indict state Senate boss Don Perata on public corruption charges, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. An indictment would culminate a four-and-a-half-year federal probe of California's second-most-powerful politician. The FBI, the US Attorney's Office, and a federal grand jury have been investigating whether the senator took bribes or kickbacks in exchange for providing official government favors to close friends, business associates, and major campaign donors. It's not clear who else may be charged along with the Oakland Democrat. But based on public records and interviews, the feds also...
  • CA: Democratic Party foots $250K of Perata's FBI bill (PeRATaGate)

    07/08/2008 8:56:43 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 6 replies · 102+ views
    Sac Bee ^ | 7/8/08
    The California Democratic Party has donated $250,000 to help Don Perata pay off his legal bills, as the Senate Democratic leader continues to rack up expenses fending off an ongoing FBI corruption investigation. The party made the quarter-million dollar donation on July 1, according to campaign filings. The money comes just in time for Perata, who, according to a May disclosure, had only $273 cash on hand in his legal defense fund and $250,000 in unpaid bills. Jason Kinney, a spokesman for Perata on legal issues, said the donation -- and the continuing expenses -- are "no indication of anything."...
  • EDITORIAL: Perata's power play

    06/30/2008 7:49:40 AM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 120+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/30/8 | Editor
    Redistricting reform is years, if not decades, overdue in California. Unfortunately, the reason that it's overdue is that while voters have the most to gain from an honest reappraisal of the state's legislative boundaries, the politicians in power keep doing everything they can to prevent such reform. It's no wonder, then, that the California Legislature can't seem to pass a redistricting reform bill with any teeth. Still, watching Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, and other partisans prepare a pre-emptive attack on Proposition 11 is both disappointing and disturbing. Perata held a closed-door meeting last Friday with fellow insiders...
  • Dan Walters: Denham recall drive motivation still hazy

    06/23/2008 7:54:50 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 76+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 6/23/8 | Dan Walters
    The abortive effort to recall Republican state Sen. Jeff Denham this year will occupy a niche in the history of California political oddities. The Democratic leader of the Senate, Don Perata, launched the recall drive last year after Denham joined other Republican senators, save one, in blocking passage of the state budget for weeks, contending that it was dangerously out of balance. The supposed rationale for the recall drive against Denham, a second-termer whose district sprawls over a multicounty swath of Central California farmland, was that he had betrayed promises to be a moderate. And Perata dumped hundreds of thousands...
  • CA: Senate leader ends recall campaign against GOP lawmaker

    05/07/2008 5:36:36 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 16 replies · 113+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 5/7/08 | Don Thompson - ap
    In an abrupt political reversal, Democratic state Senate leader Don Perata said Wednesday he is ending his campaign to recall a Republican senator. How much good Perata's sudden announcement will do is unclear. The recall against Sen. Jeff Denham of Merced already is on the June 3 ballot and pamphlets have been sent to voters. In a statement, Perata said he was ending the recall campaign "in the spirit of putting politics aside to solve problems." Perata had orchestrated the recall because Denham had angered him during last year's budget stalemate, which lasted roughly seven weeks after the start of...
  • { peRATa } Senate leader defends recall effort against GOP lawmaker

    05/01/2008 4:48:49 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies · 60+ views
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/1/8 | DON THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer
    State Senate leader Don Perata on Thursday said the recall drive he is backing against a Central Valley Republican will help Democrats pass a budget with tax increases if it succeeds. If Sen. Jeff Denham of Merced is replaced by the lone Democrat on the recall ballot, it would leave Democrats just one vote short of the two-thirds majority they need to pass the budget in the Senate. "If I have an opportunity of picking up a Democrat who would support a balanced approach to solving the budget problem, I'm going to do that," Perata, the Senate's president pro tem,...
  • Probe of Perata extended again

    04/30/2008 8:07:26 AM PDT · by SmithL · 7 replies · 75+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/30/8 | Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
    Already almost five years in the works, it doesn't appear the federal corruption probe of state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata will end anytime soon. For the second time this year, the U.S. attorney's office has asked defense attorneys representing Perata and some other potential defendants for an extension of the legal deadline for filing charges. Additional time would allow prosecutors to wrap up their work, sources close to the case tell us. As for why a target of a federal investigation would go along with a request for more time? "Because then (the feds) say we have no...
  • Recall effort mirrors state budget tiff { peRATa attacking Republican over Budget}

    04/28/2008 8:13:29 AM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 55+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/28/8 | Jeff Denham
    State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and the Democratic Party are working overtime to recall a Republican state senator in a costly effort that would replay last summer's raucous state budget battle. The state party already has spent more than $600,000 to put the recall measure on the June 3 ballot and target Sen. Jeff Denham, a 40-year-old Merced almond grower and businessman who was re-elected to his Central California seat in 2006 with nearly 60 percent of the vote. But that was before Denham angered Perata, D-Oakland, last year by refusing to become one of the two Republicans...
  • Editorial: Perata should split politics, Capitol work

    04/23/2008 12:02:37 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 63+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/23/8 | Editor
    Dear Senator Perata: Last week, you sent a terse letter to several Democratic senators that suggests you have little regard for the line that separates government service and political activity at the Capitol. This page is not so naïve as to think that high-level legislative staffers will never be expected to dirty themselves with politics. Obviously, if you obtain an appointment courtesy of a political machine, the machine will expect you to do some moonlighting to help maintain its primacy. Yet as president pro tem of the state Senate, we'd hope you'd agree that the operations of state government should...
  • CALIFORNIA: Dem leaders vow budget deadlock over education

    04/21/2008 3:40:54 PM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 107+ views
    MediaNews via CoCo Times ^ | 4/21/8 | Steve Geissinger, MediaNews Sacramento Bureau
    SACRAMENTO — The Legislature's Democratic leaders vowed during a student protest today to fight $1 billion in higher education cuts, setting the stage for a summer-long deadlock over the deficit-plagued state budget.Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, made the comments to a crowd of hundreds outside the Capitol that included contingents from California state universities San Jose and Hayward, and UC Berkeley. The chanting, sign-waving demonstrators also included students from Bay Area community colleges."We need to raise taxes to preserve education,'' Perata said.The Senate leader, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, and other Democrats...
  • Drive to recall Denham goes beyond budget bad blood with Perata

    04/15/2008 11:13:00 AM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies · 104+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/15/8 | Aurelio Rojas
    His name doesn't appear on the ballot, but state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata is the indisputable driving force behind the recall of Sen. Jeff Denham, the first of a California legislator since 1995.Ostensibly, the Democratic leader's effort to unseat a Republican who was easily re-elected in 2006 stems from last year's 53-day state budget stalemate. Denham joined his GOP colleagues in voting against the spending plan.But beyond the bad blood over the budget, a successful recall would move Democrats, who hold a commanding 25-15 lead in the Senate, to within one vote of being able to pass a...
  • Perata wades into mudslinging battle

    04/07/2008 7:58:26 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 34+ views
    MediaNews via CoCoTimes ^ | 4/7/8 | Steven Harmon
    SACRAMENTO -- Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has seen it before: his name, side by side with the description, "arrogant, corrupt political boss." The Oakland Democrat took the charge in the Proposition 93 ballot measure wars earlier this year, sharing the heat with Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, as symbols of power-hungry politicians in their effort to extend term limits. The same political team that brought down Proposition 93 is again accusing Perata, forever linked to the FBI investigation that hovers over him, of yet another power grab. But this time, they may not be able to keep...
  • Editorial: Voters should say 'no' to Denham recall

    03/22/2008 2:34:12 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 254+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/22/8 | Editor
    Holding an election to recall state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, may seem like a juicy political move for some Senate Democrats. But it also will be an unneeded distraction at a time when the Legislature can least afford one. Democrats say they are going after Denham because he voted against last year's budget, flip-flopped on support for schools and voted against a flood control bond, etc. Yet as we all know, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata isn't trying to unseat Denham to enforce policy purity, or crack down on hypocrisy. (If that were the case, dozens of recalls would...
  • Perata's bizarre comments muddy school funding debate

    03/18/2008 9:45:41 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies · 101+ views
    Halfway to Concord ^ | 3/18/8 | Bill Gram-Reefer
    This guy is nuts. Termed-out Democratic Senate leader, Dom Perata, laid out some insane claims yesterday in his whistle stop tour of the Bay Area to drum up support against education cuts during California’s budget crisis. Perata was flanked by local democrat soldiers, Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier, who will be unopposed in the Democrat Primary for Torlakson’s seat, along with termed out Senator Tom Torlakson, who will be running for DeSaulnier’s seat; kind of a Contra Costa County two-fer. When informed businesses are importing foreign workers that can actually read English while the government run schools fail to teach American kids...
  • CA: State senator from Central Valley to face recall election (Republican state Sen. Jeffrey Denham)

    03/18/2008 4:36:15 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 15 replies · 482+ views
    Republican state Senator Jeffrey Denham will face a recall election later this year after the secretary of state certified the petitions seeking the vote. Denham's 12th Senate District includes all or parts of Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, and Stanislaus counties. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will schedule the recall election, which will be held between 60 and 80 days from Tuesday. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, a Democrat from Oakland, has supported the recall effort. He has been critical of Denham for refusing to support last year's state budget during a lengthy deadlock. Opponents needed to collect 31,084 valid signatures...
  • CA: Another dam water bond; DiFi rips Dems (Perata and Nunez for blocking progress)

    03/06/2008 5:33:14 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 126+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 3/6/08 | Michael Gardner
    SACRAMENTO -- A new water bond has risen from the ruins of two weeks of backbiting and false hope. Good thing too. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, an influential Democrat, has sent a letter accusing Democrat leaders of blocking progress on negotiations over how to respond to California's water crisis and subtly threatening to back a GOP/pro-business bond if they don't get their act together. State Sen. Mike Machado, a Linden Democrat who has been actively pursuing a deal and working with Republicans regularly, submitted a $6.8 billion compromise Thursday. Significantly, Machado's announcement included words of encouragement from Sen. Dave Cogdill,...