A political group with close ties to Don Perata used $25,000 in donations from the owners of the Oakland A’s to help fund two last-minute, hit-pieces against Councilwoman Jean Quan, campaign finance records show. A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher, who desparately want to move their team to San Jose, made the large donations to the Perata group after the ex-senator said that the A’s planned relocation to San Jose was a done deal. Quan and Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who are both running for mayor of Oakland against Perata, have advocated strongly for keeping the A’s from leaving.
The two latest hit-pieces from the Perata group, Coalition for a Safer California, slam Quan for the Oakland police layoffs and blame her for past financial problems in the Oakland public schools and for the city’s current financial troubles. As the Express noted Friday, the mailers do not mention Perata’s close allies, Councilmembers Jane Brunner and Ignacio De La Fuente, even though they were the driving forces behind the police layoffs — not Quan.
In addition, Brunner has been president of the city council for the past two years when the city’s finances have worsened. And both she and De La Fuente led negotiations with city unions over the years that resulted in unsustainable city employee compensation, benefits, and pension packages.
Finally, the mailers also don’t mention Perata’s close ally and former top aide, Kerry Hamill, who was president of the Oakland school board in 2002, when the district discovered it had overspent its budget. In other words, if Quan’s record makes her unfit for office, as the Perata group contends, then the ex-senators closest political allies are unfit as well.
Perata has maintained that he has not coordinated with Coalition for a Safer California. Doing so would be illegal. But the group is run by Perata’s longtime friend, Paul Kinney, and is financed by many of the ex-senator’s longtime best donors and friends, along with his primary employer — the California prison guard’s union. A’s owners Wolff and Fisher donated $25,000 to Coalition for a Safer California last month. Wolff said his contribution had nothing to do with Perata’s stance on letting the A’s leave Oakland.