After weeks of ruining his reputation and assembling angry editorials, Don Pertata announced yesterday that he was finally abandoning his foolish attempt to recall state Senator Jeff Denham. Denham, you may recall, voted against Perata's budget last summer, and the Senate President retaliated by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in a petty stab at forcing him out of office. But on the Capitol steps Wednesday morning, The Don declared that we cannot afford such bitterness and rancor in the weeks leading up to what may be the most contentious budget battle ever. In any case, he said, the point was made: many of Perata's pet bills were passed, and Perata suggested that their success was due to his willingness to play hardball. According to the Sacramento Bee, Denham representative Kevin Spillane retorted that the recall was still on the ballot, and Perata's never been able to bully Denham in any case.