Proposition 30 campaign takes aim at Molly and Charles Munger [Updated]
A group of education and Democratic political leaders are urging Molly Munger to reconsider her campaign tactics, saying she could bring down Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax proposal on the November ballot.
Backers of Proposition 30, Brown’s plan to temporarily hike levies on upper incomes and state sales, sent a letter to Molly Munger on Monday urging her to reconsider her plans to draw sharp comparisons between her tax plan, Proposition 38, and the one pushed by Brown.
“If you launch these Prop. 30 comparison attack ads, you will be the second Munger spending millions against our students and schools,” the letter states. “In the end, the Munger family could be known as the millionaires who destroyed California’s schools and university.”
Munger has invested $31 million of her own money for the Yes on 38 campaign. Her brother, Charles Munger Jr., has dumped $22 million into a committee aimed directly at taking down the governor’s tax-hike plan.
[Updated at 4 p.m. Oct. 8: The Yes on 38 campaign dismissed the letter Monday. "As much as we appreciate the strategic advice given here, we reserve the right to draw a comparison between Prop. 30 and Prop. 38 because we believe Prop. 38 is much better for schools," said spokesman Nathan Ballard.]
Thus far, the Yes on 38 ads do not mention the governor’s measure. But over the weekend, Molly Munger told KNBC-TV that the campaign would begin to air commercials that directly compare her measure to Brown’s initiative.
“I think that is part of the communication … to make the distinction between 30 and 38,” she said. “We’re going to be trying to communicate that, absolutely."
Munger said that despite efforts from Proposition 30 proponents to prevent her from directly comparing her measure with the governor’s, that became untenable when Brown’s team released its first ad last week, which she called “utterly deceptive.”
Munger’s plan would raise income taxes across the board for 12 years, raising about $10 billion per year for schools, proponents say. Unlike Brown’s measure, Proposition 38 would do nothing to stop more than $5 billion in cuts that will go into effect unless Brown’s measure is passed.
Polls show Proposition 30 with slightly more than 50% of voters' support in recent public polls, while Munger's has yet to top 50% in any survey. Brown said he crafted his measure to limit funded opposition and acknowledged that any tax plan was vulnerable to a No campaign.
-- Anthony York in Sacramento