The still-lagging tax initiative financed by wealthy attorney Molly Munger spent more than seven times Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign committee through September, new campaign finance filings show.
Munger's Proposition 38 reported spending $26.8 million during the first nine months of the year, compared to $3.5 million over the same period for Brown's Proposition 30. The main differences were her widespread television ads and spending far more on campaign advisers.
Brown's committee had $22.2 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30, while Munger's committee had $1.4 million. But the cash number may matter little when it comes to Munger, who has thus far has been willing to refill her campaign coffers as often as necessary.
The spending difference is less stark when counting two other labor-backed committees that spent $7.5 million this spring helping Brown quickly gather signatures for a new version of his initiative.
Proposition 38 would hike income taxes on a sliding scale for all but the poorest Californians, while Proposition 30 focuses tax hikes on upper-income earners and sales.
Most of Munger's money - $17.6 million - went toward television advertising. She spent $4.2 million qualifying her initiative for the ballot and $821,000 on polling.
Last month's Field Poll showed Proposition 30 had a bare majority of support at 51-36 among likely votes. But Proposition 38 fared worse with 44 percent against and 41 percent in support.
Munger's campaign spent $1.4 million on a coterie of campaign consultants, records show. The group includes former union leaders John Hein and Dean Tipps, strategist Andrew Acosta, communications expert Donna Lucas and spokesman Nathan Ballard, among others. Another $2 million went toward "professional services," a separate category that includes attorneys but also fiscal analyst Brad Williams, University of California, San Diego professor Thad Kousser and education expert John Mockler, who has since switched over to Brown's camp.
In contrast, Brown spent $142,000 on campaign consultants. Most of the money went to SCN Strategies (Ace Smith, Sean Clegg, Dan Newman) and Paschal/Roth Public Affairs.
Brown spent $12,400 on office expenses at Sears Lofts, an Oakland complex where he once resided and has since turned into his campaign space.
Because he had yet to run television ads in September, Brown's biggest expense was $2.2 million for signature gathering that occurred on an old version of his initiative that was scrapped when he cut a deal with the California Federation of Teachers.
The No on 30 campaign reported spending $873,000 through the first nine months of the year and had $605,000 in cash on hand. Its biggest expenditure was $448,000 on radio ads.
But the committee appears poised to spend more significantly in October, having launched television ads that are backed by multimillion-dollar donations from Munger's Republican brother, Charles Munger Jr.