Left-leaning supporters of Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot measure to raise taxes said Tuesday they will spend more than $1 million in a side campaign targeting minorities and infrequent voters.
The supporters, who had proposed a tax on millionaires before that initiative was merged with Brown's, include the California Federation of Teachers and other activists.
"We are in constant communication and coordination with the overall Prop. 30 effort," Anthony Thigpenn of the group California Calls said at a news conference at the Capitol.
"We think that this particular grouping, again, that grew out of the millionaires tax, is particularly suited for a mission that we've taken on making sure that those that are particularly underrepresented in the elections and that are suffering most from the cutbacks and that would benefit most from reclaiming and restoring California are educated and turn out to vote," Thigpenn added.
He said the campaign, called Reclaim California's Future, will make telephone calls, walk door to door and fund a "very robust get-out-the-vote effort at the end."
Spending $1 million would add a modest but not insignificant amount to the fall tax campaign. Yet the group is far from raising that amount. It had just $35,000 in cash on hand at the end of June.
Brown's Proposition 30 proposes to raise the state sales tax on everyone and income taxes on California's highest earners. In a compromise to push the more popular, competing tax measure off the November ballot, the Democratic governor changed his tax initiative in March to include a larger tax increase on the wealthiest Californians than he initially wanted.
Opponents of the measure argue the state mismanages what tax money it already has. Among other things, they have hammered Brown for his approval of initial construction of California's controversial, $68 billion high-speed rail project.
"It's not just Republicans. It's many decline-to-states and Democrats who believe we're not getting value for our dollars, and they're right," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
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