The feud between Gov. Jerry Brown and millionaire lawyer Molly Munger took another twist Thursday night, as one of Munger's closest allies called for a truce between the two sides.
Carol Kocivar, president of the California State PTA, said Brown and Munger should meet sometime next week "to reach agreement on ways to de-escalate the recent situation."
Brown and Munger are each pushing their own tax-hike plans on the November ballot, and their campaigns have flirted with open warfare in recent days. Political observers say the rivalry could drag down both ballot measures and lead to billions of dollars in budget cuts.
Kocivar supports Munger's tax measure, Proposition 38. Her new statement represents her strongest words yet on the feud, which escalated when Munger began running advertisements directly criticizing Brown's tax measure, Proposition 30.
"We are deeply concerned about the escalation of back-and-forth political maneuvering, personal attacks, and accusations and reactions in the press from both Proposition 30 and 38 proponents about the latest TV ads," Kocivar said. "All of us need to take a step back."
So far, Munger has shown no interest in ratcheting back her rhetoric. During the summer she brushed off suggestions from two Democratic U.S. senators who feared a negative campaign battle.
[Updated 7:50 p.m.: Brown's campaign, which has ramped up its criticisms of Munger's campaign tactics in recent days, dismissed PTA's call for a meeting.
"Why would we meet with her?" said Dan Newman, a spokesman for the campaign. "We're minding our own business, running a positive campaign and not mentioning any other initiative -- while she's spending milions in false attack ads against us."]
[Updated 8:40 p.m.: Munger's campaign, on the other hand, said "Molly would be happy to meet with Governor Brown." However, spokesman Nathan Ballard said Munger would not drop her advertising critical of Proposition 30.
"If the Prop 30 campaign takes down their misleading ads, then we would certainly consider taking down our ad responding to them," he said.]
Molly Munger blasts Jerry Brown's tax plan in new ad
Siblings launch multimillion-dollar attacks on Prop. 30
Prop. 30 campaign takes aim at Molly and Charles Munger
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: Molly Munger talks with reporters about her tax proposal earlier this year. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press