Tax proponent Molly Munger said Thursday she plans to fund her Proposition 38 efforts up to Election Day and has no reason to back away from an ad critical of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax campaign.
Munger has become the focal point of California political conversations this week after launching an ad Tuesday that calls Brown's campaign "misleading." She said, in an interview with The Bee, the governor's Proposition 30 campaign was pursuing an "impostor strategy" by claiming the mantle of boosting school funding and sidestepping Sacramento politicians.
Public polls have shown Brown's initiative hovering just above 50 percent while Proposition 38 has been in the low 40s. Munger, a wealthy attorney who has spent more than $30 million on her campaign and attacking Proposition 30, said her own polls show "a nearly dead heat" and both below 50 percent, though she would not provide data.
"It is not the case that 30 is romping to victory and 38 is some measly little irritant," Munger said. "They both have a lot of support, they both need to do better, and they're both very close together (in polls)."
"In that setting," she added, "is it wise for us to say, well, I think we'll just close up, we won't answer the (Yes on 30) ad? It would've been the equivalent of closing down the campaign. If you have somebody out there saying they are you, especially if they're number one on the ballot, if that's what they're doing, the impostor strategy, then we pretty much have to say, 'No, you're not us.'"
Brown's Proposition 30 would hike taxes on sales and wealthy earners to raise $6 billion annually at full implementation for schools and the state budget. In the current year, state leaders wrote the budget such that the state would impose massive cuts to education if voters reject the initiative.
Munger's Proposition 38 would hike income taxes on all but the poorest Californians to raise, initially, $7 billion for schools and preschools, as well as $3 billion for the state budget.
Update (3:35 p.m.): Yes on 30 spokesman Dan Newman responded in a statement: "That would be funny if it wasn't so tragic - she's accusing us of trying to capture Prop. 38's 'magic' that has led it to be opposed by every ed board, education leader and the vast majority of voters? No one spending tens of millions attacking Prop. 30 can call themselves an education advocate with a straight face."