A Sacramento group with close ties to Don Perata has spent at least $137,000 trying to get the ex-state senator elected mayor of Oakland, according to new filings with the California Secretary of State’s Office. The reported expenditures by the group, Coalition for a Safer California, which is run by Perata’s longtime friend, Paul Kinney, and is funded by some of the ex-senator’s best donors, appears to be the most that any outside group has ever spent in an Oakland mayoral election.
Through September 30, Coalition for a Safer California reported spending $55,500 for TV ads that it says have run or will run on local cable TV and KTVU-Channel 2, and $41,600 for a mailer on Perata’s behalf that presumably will be sent to Oakland voters. The group also reported paying Kinney $40,000 for “consulting” work in its effort to help Perata win the Oakland mayor’s race, and $10,000 for fund-raising. The group reported paying consultant Stephanie Shakofsky for the fund-raising. Shakofsky is the former
girlfriend wife of Oakland City Attorney John Russo, and two knowledgeable sources say she also was romantically involved with Perata for a time as well.
The reported spending by the group also appears to lift the spending caps in the mayor’s race, thereby allowing Perata to spend as much money as he wants in the election. The move is a boon to Perata because he was closing in on the city’s $379,000 cap for mayoral campaigns several months ago. Perata told reporters last week the he had gone over the cap as a result of the Coalition for a Safer California’s spending.
The group also reported raising $80,000 from July through September. It said it received contributions from longtime Perata donors: James Falaschi ($25,000), co-owner of most of the buildings in Jack London Square; Jon Reynolds ($10,000), co-developer of the massive Oak-to-Ninth housing development; T. Gary Rogers ($10,000), former CEO of Dreyer’s Ice Cream; AB&I Foundry ($7,500); and the billboard company, CBS Outdoor ($7,500).