Shady Loans Taint Don Perata's Mayoral Bid

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    Don Perata currently has a slim lead in the polls.

    Oh, Oakland. What have you done this time?

    The Oakland mayor's race is getting dirtier by the day, with new findings by the East Bay Express that candidate Don Perata may have violated the law -- again.

    At issue is a $50,000 loan from a company that Perata owns. That loan was made to his campaign, but Oakland limits corporate donations to just $700.

    It's a familiar story. Back in 1998, Perata broke the law with a $90,000 loan to win an election. Hey, it worked once, why not try it again?

    In the 1998 case, Perata was only found guilty of wrongdoing after the election. That's likely to happen again. Although ethics complaints have been filed in this latest case, they probably won't be resolved until after November.

    There's also a twisted mess of campaign funds that may add up to additional violations. At least one employee of the mayoral campaign is being paid by a campaign to tax cigarettes. It's a strange shuffling of funds that looks suspicious, particularly given Perata's shady track record.

    When asked to explain the arrangement, a Perata staffer told an EBX reporter, "none of your business."

    Perata currently has a slim lead in the polls.