The battle between two rival tax plans on the November ballot escalated Tuesday as Molly Munger and supporters of Proposition 38 used a new campaign ad to take aim at an initiative backed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Munger is backing an across-the-board income tax hike to raise money for schools. Brown, meanwhile, is the chief architect of Proposition 30, which would temporarily hike taxes on upper incomes and sales to help patch the state's budget.
Until now, the two sides had avoided mentioning one another in paid advertising. But that all changed Tuesday with the launch of a new commercial paid for by Munger.
The animated "Yes on 38" ad shows money flowing into a schoolhouse on one end, and back out the other. "Prop. 30 sends money in here, but let's politicians take it out here," the ad states. "That's why Sacramento is behind it. ... Don't be misled by the politicians. To really help our schools, vote yes on 38."
In a statement sent to reporters Tuesday, backers of the governor's initiative targeted Munger and her brother, Charles, who has given more than $22 million to a committee that is opposing Brown's plan.
"The Munger family has doubled down today, spending millions on a destructive campaign that would deny our students the education they deserve. If the Mungers do not reverse course immediately, the Munger name may soon be synonymous with devastating cuts to California's schools and universities," said Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Assn.
[Updated 3:21 p.m.] According to the disclaimer on Molly Munger's ad, it is not funded out of the "Yes on 38" committee, which is backed by the California PTA. Instead, it is paid for by a separate committee sponsored by the Advancement Project, a nonprofit civil rights group for which Molly Munger serves as president.
Neither PTA President Carol Kocivar nor "Yes on 38" spokesman Nathan Ballard were immediately available for comment.