Perata Takes Prison Guard Cash; Will He Give Them a Raise?

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Our most profuse apologies for not flagging this sooner, but the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (i.e., the prison guards' union) has given Don Perata more than half a million dollars to fight Arnold Schwarzenegger's November redistricting reform ballot initiative. And wouldn't you know it, the same union is pushing for a new salary increase that would cost the state $800 million over the next two years.

You may recall that California is facing the worst budget crisis in its history, with a roughly $17 billion deficit. Schwarzenegger has denounced the donation as a quid pro quo stinkeroo, and the Sacramento Bee, which broke the story, has called on Perata to give the money back and shitcan the pay raise. We know the prison guards have been working for two years without a contract. But did they really think they could spread a little money around, angle for a raise during the worst budget crisis in state history, and nobody would notice? And what's up with you, Don? The state Senate president refused to talk to the Bee about the donation, which only makes him look like a schmuck. Good thing you're not running for reelection, because then you might have to answer a few questions.

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