Sunday, November 13, 2005

CA State Senator Don Perata Poised to Increase Power In Legislature...and I'm Glad To See It

Perata at crossroads in new political era
State senator may enjoy new prominence in election's aftermath
By Steve Geissinger, SACRAMENTO BUREAU, Oakland Tribune

SACRAMENTO With Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reeling from defeat of his special election, Senate leader Don Perata of Oakland has the chance to live up to his unofficial title as the most powerful Democrat in a Democratic-leaning state.

But will he? Can he? Analysts say the stage is certainly set for Perata to be a power broker like his predecessor, John Burton of San Francisco, as the state heads from a divisive special election toward a turbulent gubernatorial election year.

And Perata is beginning to make the right moves and say the right things in a new political era, they said.

“Let's not wait for 2007 (after the gubernatorial election),” Perata said at a Capitol news conference. “Let's make next year count.

“I have the willingness to do what I need to do to make the Legislature work with the governor,” he said.


A couple of notes. First, the reason I didn't link to the Sunday November 13th Oakland Tribune article is that the Trib has a terrible web-keeping habit of not appropriately maintaining their online article archives. So, within just a few months, the link would be "dead." As an aside comment, the Tribune's website is terrible and does its great reporters and columnist a terrible dis-service. And I do mean "dis."

As for Senator Perata, in all of the 12 years I've known him, he's always been very nice and given me, as a young columnist with The Montclarion, total access to interview him when I was writing between 1993 and 1996 and he was an Alameda County Supervisor. Then, when I headed the effort to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland, the newly-elected California Assemblyman was helpful in writing a letter of support, when Joe Haraburda, the head of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, wouldn't even write a letter of support for a set of reasons I consider childish to this day.

By contrast, Perata has always acted like a friend. Personally, Perata's even prepared letters of recommendation for me. So, I'm always happy to help him.

I also think he will be more successful than John Burton. Burton had a reputation for making inappropriate comments. For personal example, I attended a fund-raiser held at Delancy Street in San Francisco about five years ago, and upon walking past Senator Burton said "How do you do you Senator." Now, I'd never met Senator Burton, and I seriously doubt he knew who I was by face. But that didn't stop him from saying "Fuck off" to me. I'm serious. It's a main reason why I voted for Arnold Schwartzenegger in the Calfornia Recall Election. I believed the California Democratic Party, led by Burton, had become far too big for its britches, and forgot that it served the people and not the other way around. I never considered Perata part of this boorish behavior.

In my experience, Perata's not petty. This is also vastly different from Oakland Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, who's running for Mayor. Ignacio, whom I invited to represent The City of Oakland on a panel on stadium naming rights in 2004, took time to publicly insult me in a recent SF Chronicle article on the Oakland Raiders PSL problem. Why did he do that? I think it's because he knew that I was backing Don White for Mayor of Oakland, and not him.

What Ignacio didn't know is that I did it because Don White's a good friend of my stepfather's family, came to my stepdad's funeral in March of this year, and gave me his ear. Since then, White's dropped out of the race because fomer-Congressman Ron Dellums annouced that he was running for Mayor.

If Ignacio had asked me -- we were both at a fund-raiser for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom earlier this year -- I'd have told him. But Perata never has to concern himself with me, or anyone else, because I've never seen him treat anyone that way. God bless him.

More on The Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders

Click on the title of this post to see the new report.

Was VP Dick Cheney The Person Who Really Outed Valerie Plame? A Washington Post Article Seems to Imply Just That

If you click on the title to this post, you can read the Washington Post's article on the information presented in "Scooter Libby's" diary, and how it appears to point to Vice President Dick Cheney as the real source of information reporting that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative.

Note that I do not say "agent" but "operative" seems to imply the same role as "agent" and yet is broader. I don't think the law specifically states that one has to use the term "agent" to "out" a CIA person working in a covert fashion. But I digress. There does appears to be a series of smoking guns in this case, and with the combined work of a lot of bloggers and newspaper writers, it will be found.

If it does point to Cheney, should he be removed from office? Has that ever happened before? And will he have to serve time? A lot of important questions with potentially dire answers for the Vice President.