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Yes on Prop. 38 campaign

Molly Munger has funded most of the Proposition 38 campaign.

Ad watch: Prop. 38 ad distorts lawmakers' ability to take school funds

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Backers of Proposition 38, a tax initiative rivaling Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30, launched their first television ad Tuesday directly attacking the governor's proposal. Wealthy attorney Molly Munger has almost single-handedly financed the Proposition 38 campaign, having spent nearly $31 million so far. Her proposal would raise income taxes on all but the poorest residents to generate $7 billion annually for schools and early childhood programs and $3 billion for the state budget initially. Following is the text of the ad and an analysis by Kevin Yamamura of The Bee Capitol Bureau:

Narrator: Let's see how two ballot measures measure up.

Prop. 30 says they send new money to our schools, but fact checkers say that's misleading. Prop. 30 sends money in here (picture of schoolhouse on screen), but lets the politicians take it out here. That's why Sacramento is behind it.

But there's hope. Prop. 38 really does send new education dollars straight to our schools. And 38 keeps it there.

Don't be misled by the politicians. To really help our schools, vote yes on 38.

ANALYSIS: The ad overstates the ease with which lawmakers can raid Proposition 30 money for purposes other than education.

Proposition 30 raises $6 billion annually when fully implemented. It is true that Brown's initiative will result in state lawmakers having more money to spend on universities, social services and health care – non-K-12 items in the general budget. Brown himself has said his measure helps solve the state's fiscal problems.

But if Proposition 30 passes, state leaders are constitutionally required to give more money to K-12 schools and community colleges. It is possible in bad fiscal years for lawmakers to suspend the constitutional provision or manipulate the rules. The education community, however, often provides a powerful check against such raids.

The Prop. 38 ad distorts what The Bee called "misleading" in the first Yes on 30 ad. The Bee said last week it was misleading for the Prop. 30 campaign to claim that "Sacramento politicians can't touch the money."

But The Bee has said that Prop. 30 raises some new money for schools, just not as much as Prop. 30 backers implied with their ads.

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