Graft within the Coliseum Authority? You don’t say?

Matier and Ross lifted the covers on a potential conflict of interest within the Coliseum Authority in today’s Chronicle. According to the report, a campaign for a cigarette tax headed by former State Senate President and recent Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata paid $37,500 to Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente. IDLF would then rally support for the initiative, Proposition 29, on this June’s ballot.

The conflict of interest could come from both men’s roles in relation to the Coliseum Authority. IDLF is on the Authority board, which will decide on a vendor for a new 10-year management contract for the complex. Perata is a lobbyist for SMG, the incumbent operator and one of three bidders for the next contract.

Naturally, both Perata and protege De La Fuente deny that there’s any conflict. Whether you think that these types of transactions can be properly siloed or were done deliberately to hide the details from the public, it looks at least a little suspect. Both pols are grizzled veterans and have been associated with shady Oakland dealings in the past including the Mt. Davis deal, so it’s not as if there’s no history there. To keep things from blowing up, it would be best if  IDLF recused himself from voting on the matter. Or he could return that money.

A contract to manage the Coliseum complex is peanuts compared to the potential of Coliseum City. If there’s something to this conflict of interest allegation, god knows how corrupt the Coliseum City deal could be.

33 thoughts on “Graft within the Coliseum Authority? You don’t say?

  1. Peanut butter and jelly. Politics and corruption.

  2. @eb

    I suppose you could say, peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat?

  3. I understand Perata getting around but how does IDLF get reelected? No one legit challenge him for his council seat? Where is he moving to after this, Board of Supervisors? Sounds like a call Nancy O’Malley to find out why she hasn’t done anything about this.

  4. Isn’t Perata the guy who received money and endorsements from Wolff/Fisher? I believe so. What does this story mean? I don’t know. More confusion I suppose.

  5. I guess this could slow down the potential to timeline for the potential development. Either way, something is going to go there, eventually.

  6. Virgin America and Atlantic are awesome. Hands down my first choice when flying anywhere. A buddy and me have made it a yearly ritual to attend the Giants’ Virgin America Promo days to snag as many of the vouchers as we could to assemble group trips with friends. The Giants have made it tougher to obtain more than one voucher per fan, but there are ways.

  7. Might want to throw a capital G on God homie.

  8. I think the Virgin news underscores what many of us have been preaching for years: the Giants will be fine re corporate support and sponsorships EVEN WITH the A’s in San Jose. The Bay Area corporate pie is huge! And even if the bulk of the corporate wealth is located in Silicon Valley/lower Peninsula, a vast majority of the Giants support is located on the Peninsula and SF proper.

  9. Tony, The A’s are after a piece of the Peninsula pie as well.

  10. The A’s are after a piece of the Peninsula pie as well…ok, and? For the record, the Giants have taken a huge piece out of the East Bay pie with AT&T Park located where it is; easy BART/Muni, ferry access to points east. But of course that doesn’t bother you one bit huhTed. Your line of thinking on this whole matter never ceases to amaze me. Again, for the umpteenth time, FACT! Not to many Silicon Valley corporations do business with the Giants in the first place, so why not allow the A’s to prosper with sponsorships and fan support right where they belong…in Downtown San Jose! By the way, do you really expect Burlingame-based Virgin to jump ship on the Giants when the A’s move to San Jose? Boy this is way to easy…

  11. “The A’s are after a piece of the Peninsula pie as well.”
    .
    As well they should be. Let’s take the Giants training wheels off, and let them compete on merit.

  12. @Jeffrey – And THAT’S one reason why I said the deal was fragile.

    Update: The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the NBA is fronting $3+ million for pre-development costs (EIR), which should calm things down.

  13. Judging from some folks I know on The Penninsula, the A’s already compete for fans there.

  14. Tony, what percentage of LA corporations do business with the Dodgers? How about NY corporations and the Yankees? I am not sure that league wide 15% is a small number? It doesn’t bother me that the Giants put themselves into the position they did because they did so by staying in their home town and they did it without taking anything away from another team. I don’t expect Virgin to jump but the dollars from other companies on the peninsula could be split. Palo Alto and Menlo Park are right up the road.

  15. @Ted,
    LA and NY are irrelevant to the corporate support discussion because both those markets are shared territories, not unfairly and insanely gerrymandered like the Bay Area. The Giants stayed in their hometown and they did it without taking anything away from another team? That made no sense whatsoever. The reality is that the Giants themselves tried to relocate to San Jose, and in the process they took away the “shared status” of SCCO from the A’s. Fast forward to the present: was at HP Pavilion in downtown San Jose on Monday and guess what Ted?..AT&T Park was no where in sight! Its 50 miles to the north/NW! Time to revert SCCO back to its pre-1992 shared status so that the A’s can relocate to MY HOMETOWN! Go A’s and Go San Jose! (Having profound civic pride in my hometown is a wonderful thing)

  16. “Companies on the Peninsula could be split up.” Welcome to America and capitalism! Love it or leave it!

  17. Last fact for the night: those 15% of Silicon Valley corporations that stated they did business with the Giants also stated they would stick with them even with the A’s in San Jose. No “splitting” with A’s in San Jose! Imagine that: companies choosing who they want to support…got to love our country and its freedoms. Good night!

  18. Tony, you called 15% of all SCC corporations a small number which means that you must think that most MLB teams do business with more than 15% of corporations in their area. MLB enforces territorial rights for all teams, that is a fact of MLB and if you find it to be un-American so be it. I think you just don’t approve of this particular split of territorial rights.
    Every company in the Bay Area can choose to support the A’s right now, no one is stopping them.

  19. @Ted,
    Territorial rights are enforced by MLB and CAN ALSO BE ALTERED/CHANGED by MLB. That is a fact and if you don’t like it so be it. Yes, 15% is a small number when your talking about nearly 300 Silicon Valley corporations that were surveyed. Goes to show you that the Giants claims to Silicon Valley in terms of corporate revenue is way overblown. A bulk of their corporate revenue comes from the mid/upper Peninsula, SF proper and the East Bay. Bottom line is that the ENTIRE Bay Area pie is big enough for both teams, and from MLB’s perspective having its franchises in the regions two largest cities is best for all of baseball. Don’t like it, so be it!

  20. “MLB enforces territorial rights for all teams, that is a fact of MLB and if you find it to be un-American so be it.”
    .
    MLB enforces territorial rights for all teams vs. new teams moving into their markets. The Giants are the ONLY team in MLB with protection against intra market moves. You have yet to put forth a convincing economic or moral rationale for this special treatment.

  21. Tony D., Why do you think 15% is a small number? Do you know what the league average is? If it really was such an open and shut case you would think that MLB would have taken the Giants TR from them by now.

  22. @Ted “Tony, you called 15% of all SCC corporations a small number which means that you must think that most MLB teams do business with more than 15% of corporations in their area.”
    .
    It’s not 15% of all SCC corporations, it’s 15% of the SVLG – in other words, big corporations. Yes, I think it’s reasonable to assume most MLB teams outside of New York or LA do business with substantially more than 15% of the big corporations in their area, for the simple reason that they wouldn’t survive if they didn’t. Most metros don’t have anywhere near the corporate base that the Bay Area does. If you’re working in Cincinnati and you’re only getting 15% of the larger businesses in your area, I think you’re in trouble.
    .
    Putting two teams in what is basically one metro (SF/Oakland) and ignoring the other, wealthier metro in the region is just monumentally stupid. Clearly MLB can only maximize the market for baseball in the Bay Area by letting the A’s move to San Jose.

  23. Bartleby, that isn’t true, the A’s have TR to Alameda and Contra Costa counties that protect them from the Giants moving to those counties. The Giants were purchased with SCCTR rights as an asset, the Giants rights to SCC were reaffirmed when the team was sold and at least once more. These rights belong to the Giants and they are a valuable asset. I think it would be morally wrong to take them away from the Giants.

  24. Honestly Ted, the last thing that anyone should be preaching about regarding territorial rights is morals.

  25. Bartleby, I have no reason to believe that is a reasonable assumption. SVLG’s member companies include Foothill/De Anza CC District, San Jose Evergreen CC District, Goodwill and other colleges and non-profits as well as a lot of companies that are based outside of the Bay Area.
    SF/Oakland is one metro? Come on. If that is the case wouldn’t the A’s be pulling a fair amount of that SF metro money?

  26. ML, Bartleby brought up the morality issue and I responded to his question, I agree that it really has no place in the discussion.

  27. “These rights belong to the Giants and they are a valuable asset. I think it would be morally wrong to take them away from the Giants.”
    .
    It’s a ridiculous argument. The Giants benefit from supposed rights that would be illegal in most other contexts. At the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves were “valuable assets” of their slave owners. Are you going to make an argument that freeing the slaves was “morally wrong” as well?

  28. @Ted “I have no reason to believe that is a reasonable assumption. SVLG’s member companies include Foothill/De Anza CC District, San Jose Evergreen CC District, Goodwill and other colleges and non-profits as well as a lot of companies that are based outside of the Bay Area.”
    .
    That’s just disingenous. The vast majority of SVLG member companies are large corporations that are either based in the South Bay or have major facilities there (e.g. Microsoft).
    .
    “SF/Oakland is one metro?”
    .
    Yes. OMB defines SF-Oakland as one MSA and San Jose as another. Further, ML and Jeffrey have repeatedly posted a map showing that the all-important twenty mile radius of AT&T Park and a ballpark in Oakland overwhelmingly overlap.
    .
    “Come on. If that is the case wouldn’t the A’s be pulling a fair amount of that SF metro money?”
    .
    As I’ve said before, if the A’s built a new ballpark in Oakland they could easily draw fans from SF. They’d have a harder time drawing corporate customers because they’re on the wrong side of the bridge. They could draw enough to damage the Giants, but not enough to sustain a privately financed ballpark.

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