It's official. Former state Senate President Don Perata is running for mayor of Oakland. The Teflon Don broke the news to Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson, who then proceeded to bury it in a story about Ron Dellums not being allowed to speak at the police officers' funeral. Perata, who has hinted strongly that he planned to run for mayor next year, said the cop shootings finally persuaded him to do it. "I wasn't trying to be coy, but this just galvanized it for me because you can't stand there and do nothing," Johnson quoted Perata as saying. "People know what I have done to ban assault weapons and other things I've done, so they ought to know that I'm running for mayor."
There had been much speculation that Perata would run and win - if he wasn't indicted. But Perata apparently now doesn't care if the indictment comes or not. The five-year federal corruption probe of Perata recently transferred to the Sacramento US Attorney's Office after San Francisco prosecutors declined to file charges against him.
Perata must be confident that his high-priced defense team will be able to convince Sacramento prosecutors to lay off too, or that he'll be able to weather the storm if charges are finally brought against him. Such confidence is understandable considering that both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune published editorials earlier this month in his favor. There's nothing like having the city's two main dailies in your corner when you're trying to affect the opinions of prosecutors or future jurors. That's especially true, since the federal probe has always appeared to be based, at least in part, on stories published in both papers about Perata's many shady dealings.