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Jerry Brown tax campaign takes in $1.2 million from big donors

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In just a couple of weeks, California Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign to convince voters to raise taxes has raked in $1.2 million from deep-pocketed donors.

The first contributions to the campaign on Dec. 14 were a pair of $25,000 donations from Californians To Protect Chiropractic Patient Rights and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. They were followed by larger contributions by other major players in state politics, including $100,000 from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, $500,000 from a hospital industry PAC and $250,000 from a PAC for building trade unions.

There is no limit on the size of donations to ballot initiative campaigns. It requires about $4 million to gather enough signatures to place one on the ballot.

Brown announced his tax plan earlier this month on Twitter. It calls for a series of increases in the rates on high earners and a half-cent increase in the sales tax. The higher levies would run for five years and generate as much as $7 billion for state coffers.

The state faces an estimated $13-billion deficit next year. Brown will unveil a budget next month to plug part of that hole and include deeper cuts should voters reject his tax proposal in November. One hazard for him is several other competing tax initiatives also headed to the ballot then. If voters are confronted with too many tax proposals, they may vote down all of them.

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-- Nicholas Riccardi

Photo: Jerry Brown at a press conference in Sacramento on Tuesday, discussing his first year back as governor. Photo credit: Autumn Cruz/Associated Press

 
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