SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – The campaign for a November ballot initiative that seeks to raise income taxes on most Californians to fund public schools is phasing out a TV ad that criticizes a rival tax measure pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The Proposition 38 campaign, financed by wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger, plans to replace the commercial with one that promotes the benefits of its own proposal, spokesman Nathan Ballard said Monday.
The negative ad began airing last week in response to the governor’s campaign commercials, some of which mislead voters by saying Sacramento politicians could not touch the money Brown’s initiative would raise.
KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier
Brown crafted his initiative, Proposition 30, with support from Democratic legislative leaders. If voters approve, it would free up billions of dollars from the state general fund that they could dole out for a variety of state programs.
Brown’s initiative would increase the state sales tax by a quarter cent and boost income taxes for people who make more than $250,000 a year to prevent $6 billion in cuts to schools and colleges.
The state PTA, which supports Proposition 38, last week called on both campaigns to immediately stop airing the ads in question and to cease personal attacks.
Ballard said Munger’s campaign had made its point and was moving on.
“We value the input of our allies and partners,” he said. “But you know, at the end of the day, this is the Yes on 38 campaign, not the No on 30 campaign.”
The new commercial for the Munger initiative retains its claim that Sacramento can’t touch the $10 billion a year it would raise because the additional tax revenue would be sent directly to school districts.
A spokesman for Brown’s Proposition 30, Dan Newman, said the governor’s campaign has no plans to pull its current commercials and would continue its “purely positive campaign.”
Last week, the campaign criticized Munger and her brother, Charles Munger Jr., as “billionaire bullies” out to destroy California’s schools. Charles Munger Jr. has given millions of dollars to a committee that opposes Proposition 30 and supports another measure to stifle fundraising by unions.
Brown’s campaign also announced that he would appear Tuesday at a rally for his initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles. It will be his first public campaign appearance for Proposition 30 since August, despite saying its passage was his top priority this year.
Although vote-by-mail ballots were sent out last week, Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle that he has been busy raising money and felt it was too soon to begin campaigning.
“It’s definitely a very close and challenging race, and I’m going to spend the next three weeks doing everything I can to make sure we put it over the finish line,” he told the newspaper.
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