After Dave Newhouse’s A’s/Warriors panel with Oakland mayoral candidates at the beginning of the month, it wasn’t clear if anything would come of their responses. According to East Bay Express scribe Robert Gammon, it appears that something happened, as Lew Wolff and John Fisher gave a combined $25,000 to Don Perata’s campaign two weeks ago, perhaps a reward for his “candor.” Just to refresh your memory, here’s what Perata said about keeping the A’s in Oakland:
“I probably know a little more about this stuff than most people. I was part of two Raider deals that both failed. We got held up; we really did — by both (the A’s and Raiders). We got rid of the Coliseum board and then politicized it. … In retrospect, it was a disaster. I don’t think the A’s are going to stay here. We can’t play in this game, putting up the money. We haven’t been smart with our franchises.”
Gammon also got some follow-up from candidate and current City Council member Rebecca Kaplan.
Perata appeared uninterested in talking about keeping the A’s in town, according to several attendees. “He was very evasive,” said Kaplan, who was at the meeting with Quan, Perata, and fellow mayoral candidate Joe Tuman. “He basically conveyed that keeping the A’s is not very important.”
So, is it simply a matter of A’s ownership supporting Perata after the position was made public? Or was there a sort of quid pro quo there? Of course, Wolff denies any sort of link between the donation and the stance. Was the donation made because they truly feel that Perata is the best candidate? R-i-i-i-i-i-g-h-t. Though it should be mentioned that many longtime Perata friends, those who’d support a JLS ballpark, also donated serious money to Perata’s campaign affiliated, police union-funded political group. FWIW, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed was reelected in June and virtually no one noticed.
The rather prolific (at least recently) White Elephant Parade looked up contributions by both teams, and found that the Giants donated nearly double the amount of the A’s during the same 2009-10 state legislative session.
For Wolff and Fisher, $25,000 is a trifle, especially compared to the land bill they’ll face as San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency checks the couch cushions for change needed to buy the rest of the Diridon ballpark site.