Almost a half million dollars in political contributions have been used to help Democratic Senate leader Don Perata fend off a federal corruption probe. Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez gave his chief of staff 100,000 dollars originally collected to campaign for ballot measures. Is it all legal? Should contributors have been told? On Reporter’s Notebook, has South Central Los Angeles gone undercover?
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Democrat Don Perata of Oakland is president pro tem of the State Senate. He’s also been under federal investigation for four years. FBI agents have raided his home. E-mails and other documents have been subpoenaed. The Sacramento Bee says Perata’s legal expenses have added up to almost two million dollars. Now, the paper reports that the state Democratic Party has helped him out with 450,000 dollars from political contributions. Some party members are saying that money was supposed to be spent on campaigns against Republicans.