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Another $400,000

CapAlert reports that on December 5, Don Perata took ANOTHER $400,000 from his unused campaign account and moved it into his legal defense fund.

The latest transfer means the Oakland Democrat has now taken a total of $1.9 million raised in an account earmarked for ballot campaigns and used it to shore up the legal fund he created to fight an FBI corruption probe.

The transfers are legal, though California’s campaign watchdog agency is considering stricter regulations of ballot accounts like Perata’s […]

The FBI has been investigating Perata since 2004, inquiring about his business dealings and those of his family and close friends. Both Perata’s and his son’s homes were raided by FBI agents four years ago.

No charges have ever been filed, though Perata has tallied up more than $2.1 million in expenses fending off the investigation.

His defense fund was $250,000 in debt as of the end of September, as the former leader faced the unwelcome prospect of being out of office – and without leverage over potential donors.

So Perata has transferred $1.9 million (out of the $2.7 million he had amassed) from the ballot committee to ease his legal debt load.

Once the election ended, Perata had no use for that $1.9 million in his campaign account as a termed-out legislator.  However, there was plenty of use for it BEFORE the election, when Prop. 11 was being outspent 10 to 1 and losing by less than 2 percentage points.

Again, the alibi that he needs this money to fight off a “fishing expedition” from Bush partisans at the US Attorneys office doesn’t scan at all.  Those prosecutors are all resigning in a month.  If he’s done nothing wrong, what use could he possibly have for $1.9 million dollars over the next 30 days?  Or are the expected Obama US Attorneys going to continue this partisan witch hunt?

By the way, the rank and file in the CCPOA is pretty pissed off about what amounts to theft of their political donations.

On PacoVilla’s Corrections Blog, a Web site popular with state correctional officers, one user wrote: “Not only did we (CCPOA) back the wrong horse (No on 11) but now we’re paying for Perata’s corruption defense and from (CCPOA spokesman) Lance (Corcoran)’s comment … it sounds like we’re very happy to be privileged to do so.”

By the way, there’s still $600,000 or so left in that account.  So don’t be shocked when Perata drains that out too.