Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown hits airwaves again for water bond, budget reserve

Gov. Jerry Brown and then-Assembly Speaker John A. Perez speak to an Assembly committee to promote his plan to create a rainy day fund at the capitol in Sacramento, Calif.
Gov. Jerry Brown and then-Assembly Speaker John A. Perez speak to an Assembly committee to promote his plan to create a rainy day fund at the capitol in Sacramento, Calif. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Gov. Jerry Brown will air a new ad Monday for the water bond and budget reserve measure on the November ballot, his campaign said Sunday, with a TV spot referencing the infrastructure achievements of his father.

“It’s been over 50 years since we built the state water project that’s been the backbone of California,” the Democratic governor says in the 30-second ad. “To stay strong, we need a reliable water supply and a stable budget.”

The California State Water Project was championed by the late Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, a legendary builder of state infrastructure in the 1960’s.

The commercial, which is similar to ads released by Brown earlier this month, will be paid for by Brown’s re-election committee, though it does not mention his candidacy for a fourth term.

Brown is running far ahead of Republican Neel Kahskari in the gubernatorial race. In a shot at Kashkari’s recent advertisement depicting Kashkari saving a drowning child from a pool, Dan Newman, a spokesman for Brown, said in an email that “there’s a classier and more productive way to run for Governor than accusing your opponent of drowning children.”

A Brown-controlled committee supporting Propositions 1 and 2, the $7.5 billion water bond and budget reserve measure, are funding two more TV ads that will begin running Monday. One features Jake Wenger, a Central Valley farmer who argues the water bond is necessary “so we’re ready for the next drought.”

The other features Laura Tyson, an economist who says the budget reserve “saves money and safeguards education and public safety when revenues run dry.” The argument is repeated in a radio ad featuring actor Peter Coyote.

In the radio ad, Coyote says, “Prop. 2 creates a rainy day fund so we have a financial reserve to prevent cuts to schools and public safety when the revenues run dry.”

The focus on education and public safety ignores one controversy surrounding the reserve measure – a bill passed this year capping the amount of money school districts may set aside for economic uncertainties if state reserves reach certain thresholds. The bill was backed by California teachers unions and opposed by school administrators.

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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