The still-lagging tax initiative financed by wealthy attorney Molly Munger spent more than seven times more than Gov. Jerry Brown's tax 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 with $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 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 percent to 36 percent 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. In contrast, Brown spent $142,000 on campaign consultants.
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.
Through Friday, he had donated $23 million to a committee that is working to pass Proposition 32's campaign finance changes to restrict union fundraising and to defeat Brown's Proposition 30.