Thank Thyself 

Billboard hailing Don Perata brought to you by ... Don Perata!

Just when you thought state Senate boss Don Perata couldn't get any more audacious (see "Living Large," Feature, 5/23), you look up and find one of his giant new billboards staring you in the face. At least two have popped up recently in Oakland — one on Telegraph Avenue near the Highway 24 overpass, and another near northbound I-880 at High Street.

The billboards, giant thank-yous to Perata for his work on last year's $20 billion statewide transportation bond, are owned by Clear Channel but were purportedly financed by an organization known as Rebuilding California. State campaign finance records show that Rebuilding California is a political committee controlled and operated by Perata. He established it in 2005 to support the bond measure. In other words, the senator is publicly thanking himself for all his hard work. All this from a guy whose spokesman, Jason Kinney, repeatedly referred to him as "modest" in a recent interview.

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