Molly Munger, an attorney who has spent more than $30 million on the Proposition 38 campaign to raise taxes, launched an ad today criticizing Gov. Jerry Brown's rival tax increase measure, Proposition 30, for allowing "politicians" to "take" money away from schools.
Her proposal would raise income taxes on all but the poorest residents to generate $7 billion annually for education and early childhood programs and $3 billion for the state budget.
Brown's campaign, meanwhile, continued accusing Munger and her brother, Charles Munger Jr., of trying to damage education funding in California.
Brown's initiative has polled just above 50 percent in recent public surveys, while Molly Munger's has hovered around 40 percent support. The governor had long counted on avoiding a multimillion-dollar barrage of attack ads to help his measure succeed in November, and he believed his efforts to win neutrality from the California Chamber of Commerce were crucial. But Molly Munger's deep pockets clearly have the Brown camp concerned.
For the second straight day, the Yes on 30 campaign attacked the Munger family directly. The campaign issued a release quoting Lillian Taiz of the California Faculty Association: "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."
The latest attack ad comes less than a week after the anti-tax No on 30 campaign launched ads suggesting the governor's initiative would raise no new money for schools. That campaign is largely funded by Charles Munger Jr. Their father is Charles Munger, the billionaire investor with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Corp.
The latest Proposition 38 ad uses animation to show "politicians" taking dollars away from a schoolhouse, followed by a stamp proclaiming "Backed By Sacramento." Munger said on NBC 4 this weekend that Brown was misleading voters by suggesting his measure was the one that directly funds schools.
All three campaigns - the two backing Propositions 30 and 38, as well as the one opposed to 30 - have made a point of using "Sacramento politicians" as a foil. The campaigns are trying to take full advantage of the Legislature's low approval marks.
Though all sides label each other's claims wrong, their own ads ignore nuances in California budgeting and the state constitution that are necessary for voters to evaluate claims. The Bee last week explained why the first Yes on 30 and No on 30 ads were mostly misleading.