Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown airing TV ads for water bond, budget reserve

With a massive campaign war chest and less than a month before Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown will start airing television ads Wednesday for a pair of ballot initiatives on the November ballot, his campaign said.

Two ads, both featuring Brown and paid for by his re-election campaign, promote Propositions 1 and 2, the $7.5 billion water bond and budget reserve measure. Neither ad mentions Brown is on the ballot.

Dan Newman, a political spokesman for Brown, said Tuesday that the ads will run statewide. He did not say how much Brown is spending.

The Democratic governor reported Monday that he held about $23.6 million in cash on hand. He has run a historically low profile campaign, with minimal spending and few public campaign appearances. Far ahead of his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari, in fundraising and public opinion polls, Brown said last month that he planned to focus on the ballot initiatives.

Brown addresses the camera directly in both spots, arguing the water bond will help the state in future droughts and the reserve account measure will help prepare for economic downturns.

“I’ve been around long enough to know that the pendulum always swings in California between wet years and drought, between booms and busts,” Brown says in one ad. “And when it’s bad, people get hurt – not enough water to grow crops, deep cuts in vital services.”

In the other ad, Brown says “With the worst drought on record, we’ve seen devastation across California – our reservoirs way, way down, land where there used to be water.”

He tells viewers: “Save water. Save money. Vote yes on 1 and 2.”

In addition to spending on the measures from his re-election campaign account, Brown re-purposed his campaign committee for Proposition 30, his 2012 ballot measure to raise taxes, for the effort.

That committee is paying for a third ad, featuring Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott, that will also begin airing Wednesday. Pimlott argues in the ad that budget cuts during the recession affected local fire service and that state reserves and improved water management will help suppress wildfires in the future.