Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata, who was treated for prostate cancer earlier this year, is helping sponsor a statewide initiative that would fund cancer research. According to the Trib, the initiative would raise the state tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack. Along with the ex-state senator, the initiative is being sponsored by health advocates and researchers, plus the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association. Earlier this year, Perata turned his last statewide campaign committee, Leadership California, into Hope 2010, in anticipation of the measure.
Besides the popularity that comes with taking on big tobacco, the initiative will provide Perata with a high profile during next year's election season. It also will likely help him raise money for his mayoral race, while allowing him to employ himself, his family, and his close friends in another statewide campaign.