When the paper first started this column - around the same time Peralta won his first election, in fact - it was just an outlet to inject a little humor into local politics.
For a couple of years in the very beginning, we ran a competition that assigned point values to those feel-good photo ops that all politicians take part in, things like groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings and, of course, handing out oversized checks whenever they secure funding for a local group or cause (our personal favorite!).
We diligently tallied the points all year long, and then at the end of the fiscal year we would name an overall winner.
One day, Peralta was visiting the office and he mentioned that his staff purchased a large dry-erase board that looked like a giant check that he could use over and over again, just to rack up points in our silly competition.
We're sure that he was (mostly, as it was a pretty prestigious award at the time!) joking, but it let us know that people in positions of power were actually paying attention to what we put into print every week.
Rest in peace, Senator Peralta.