Chip Johnson has the scoop. Don Perata can't stands it no more, so he's throwing his hat into the ring to become the next mayor of Oakland. From an outsider's perspective, Perata would have to be considered a favorite against Dellums (if he runs again) and anyone else in the City Council.
The fascinating thing about this news is that Oakland could go from a lofty, anti-details mayor to a guy who built the most powerful political machine in the East Bay. Perata's tenure as State Senator has been filled with controversy, as a seemingly endless FBI investigation is well into its fourth year. It looks increasingly like Perata will emerge from the ordeal poorer but politically unscathed.
Would this longtime power broker be able to get a ballpark deal done in Oakland? Absolutely. His organizing and fundraising skills are legendary. Perata's critics would be quick to point out that he was one of the initiators of the deal to bring the Raiders back to Oakland, and that could make anyone leery of supporting a new ballpark plan. Of course, if you're Oakland partisan who would support Perata in any efforts to retain the A's, you're gonna have to wait until 2011 to truly get going on a deal. It was Perata who, during the Jerry Brown administration, said the mayor's support is critical to a ballpark getting built. Then he threw his political weight behind Forest City and the Uptown development was approved.
How deliciously ironic that a man who, through his actions, helped push the A's out of town, yet could end up being the only guy in Oakland who could save them from moving.