Campaigns for Prop 30, Prop 38 trade barbs

2:26 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
  • Molly Munger, the wealthy activist behind Proposition 38.
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If there was truly ever a truce between November's two major tax increase campaigns, it seems to now officially be over... with election day less than a month away.

Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 supporters fired off a testy letter Monday afternoon to Molly Munger, the wealthy proponent of Proposition 38, after news reports that suggested Munger's team is ready for a campaign of compare and contrast.

"In the end, the Munger family could be known as the millionaires who destroyed California's schools and universities," says the letter signed by ten Prop 30 backers.  That reference is to the fact that Charles Munger, Jr. -- Molly Munger's equally wealthy brother and a Republican counterweight to his Democratic sister -- has dropped big bucks into the official campaign to defeat Brown's Prop 30.

The Prop 38 campaign didn't have an immediate response to the letter.  But Ms. Munger herself may have stirred the pot in a pair of news interviews over the last few days.

"The effect of his initiative is to keep school funding at today's threadbare level for seven years," Munger told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend. "And we're supposed to be happy because he didn't cut it further."

The civil rights attorney, whose father Charles Munger, Sr. is a top business partner of Warren Buffett, continued the offensive on Los Angeles' KNBC-TV weekend public affairs program.

Monday's letter from the Prop 30 team, which included a signature from Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, allege that any kind of anti-Prop 30 campaign from Munger would "fly in the face of [Munger's] stated goals to improve education opportunities for our children."

Virtually every poll has shown Brown's Prop 30 holding on to a slim majority of support, while Munger's Prop 38 failing to break the 50 percent mark.  And with ballots being mailed to voters starting on Tuesday, this may be the time that Team Munger believes they need to make a move.

There's also a long backstory to the Brown-Munger dynamic, with the Pasadena activist being cajoled behind the scenes for months about not placing an alternative tax hike on the ballot.  Now, that cajoling has turned decidedly more caustic... and public.


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