Money flows to support Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 - 7:05 am

Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot initiative to raise taxes collected $6.3 million in the first half of the year, with $5 million in cash on hand at the end of June, the campaign reported Tuesday.

Meanwhile, more than two dozen Democratic state legislators have contributed money to a separate fund to help pass the initiative.

Twenty-eight legislators donated amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 from their campaign or ballot measure committees from April through June 30 to bolster prospects for Brown's Proposition 30, which would raises sales taxes slightly on everyone and income taxes sharply on high-income Californians.

The lawmakers' contributions were garnered by a committee named Californians Working Together to Restore and Protect Public Schools, Universities and Public Safety, sponsored in part by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, teachers and labor unions.

"This is an important priority to protect our schools and local public safety, and (Pérez) has actively encouraged people to contribute to support the governor's campaign," said Doug Herman, Pérez's political strategist.

Californians Working Together collected $6.5 million in contributions during the three-month period, and about $3.3 million earlier in the year, bringing its grand total to $9.8 million in 2012, records show.

Senate Democrats who contributed to Californians Working Together between April and June 30 were Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, $25,000; Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles, $20,000; and Ellen Corbett of San Leandro, $19,000.

Among Assembly Democrats, $10,000 contributions were received from Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, Toni Atkins of San Diego, Wesley Chesbro of Arcata, Nancy Skinner of Berkeley, Norma Torres of Pomona, Luis Alejo of Watsonville, Bill Monning of Carmel, Isadore Hall of Compton, Holly J. Mitchell of Los Angeles, Roger Hernández of West Covina, Bob Wieckowski of Fremont, Richard Gordon of Menlo Park, Susan Bonilla of Concord, Das Williams of Santa Barbara, Mike Gatto of Los Angeles, Nora Campos of San Jose, and Felipe Fuentes of Sylmar.

Contributions of $5,000 came from Assembly Democrats Roger Dickinson of Sacramento, Alyson Huber of El Dorado Hills, Fiona Ma of San Francisco, V. Manuel Pérez of Coachella, Wilmer Amina Carter of Rialto, and Mary Hayashi of Castro Valley. Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, and Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, each chipped in $2,000.

Earlier in the year, Speaker Pérez, D-Los Angeles, contributed $100,000 from his ballot measure committee to the pro-Proposition 30 effort. Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, donated $20,000.

Californians Working Together's highest donors have been labor groups: California Teachers Association, $1.5 million; American Federation of Teachers, $1.2 million; Service Employees International Union Local 1000, $1 million; the California State Council of Service Employees, $1 million; United Domestic Workers of America, $800,000; and the California Federation of Teachers, $800,000, state records show.

Donors giving $100,000 or more to Brown's campaign committee included the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the California Cable & Telecommunications Association, Disney Worldwide Services Inc., Warner Bros., and a California School Employees Association political action committee.

A rival tax initiative backed by civil rights lawyer Molly Munger is already spending significantly, including more than $2 million on early television advertising, the campaign reported.

Munger contributed $7.8 million to the campaign through June. The measure was left with just $130,235 in cash on hand, though Munger's self-funding of the effort has made replenishment relatively easy.

"This is just a snapshot in time," spokesman Joe Arellano said. "We intend to build a competitive campaign that gives us the best chance of winning in November, and we expect to have the resources we need to do that."

Munger's Proposition 38, supported by the California State PTA, would raise income taxes on all but California's lowest income earners. It lags in public opinion polls behind Brown's measure.

Brown also reported raising $823,810 for his 2014 re-election bid in the first half of the year, bringing his cash balance to $6.1 million.

The 74-year-old, third-term governor has not said if he will run for re-election, but his top political adviser, Steve Glazer, has said he expects Brown to run again.

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