Gov. Jerry Brown closes Proposition 30 campaign with statewide blitz
Gov. Jerry Brown raced across California Monday in a last-minute bid to shore up support and stoke enthusiasm for Proposition 30, his proposal to raise taxes and head off billions of dollars in cuts to public education.
As detailed in Tuesday's Times, the five-city swing, stretching from San Diego to San Francisco, underscored the precarious position of the governor’s tax measure in the final hours of the campaign -- and its importance to his governorship.
At several stops, he vilified an Arizona-based nonprofit that gave $11 million to a committee opposed to his tax plan. Under orders from the state Supreme Court, the group revealed Monday that it has ties to groups associated with the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who have poured tens of millions of dollars into conservative causes.
“The billionaires aren’t going away. They’re getting more powerful and more involved,” Brown told supporters at a union hall in Sacramento. “They had to launder this stuff five times it was so dirty, and it still stinks.”
Brown, who campaigned on a promise to repair California’s finances, has redoubled his efforts in recent weeks to pass Proposition 30. Recent polls showed the proposal slipping below the 50% threshold, typically the death knell for tax initiatives.
The governor spent the weekend in Los Angeles, where he rallied union workers at a canvassing drive, made calls with volunteers at a phone bank and took to the pulpit at four churches. In between events, the governor embraced Twitter with gusto, encouraging his more than 1 million followers to vote and highlighting support from labor leaders, lawmakers -- even Oakland native and 90s rapper MC Hammer.
Underscoring the lengths to which the governor is going to win over voters, he dispatched his dog, Sutter, to campaign events.
--Michael J. Mishak and Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown kicks off his campaign
for Proposition 30, a November ballot initiative that would temporarily
increase sales and income taxes, during a visit to New Technology
High School in Sacramento in August. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press