Proponents of Propositions 30 and 38 have now poured a combined total of $117 million to convince voters to support their respective measures, both of which are intended to raise billions of dollars for schools and other programs.
Spending on behalf of Proposition 30, the tax initiative sponsored by Governor Jerry Brown that will raise an average of $6 billion for schools and other state programs, has jumped to $69.4 million, according to MapLight, a nonpartisan Berkeley-based research organization. That’s a huge increase from just two weeks ago when the campaign reported raising a total of $50.1 million. Meanwhile, spending on behalf of Prop. 38, the rival measure sponsored by civil rights attorney Molly Munger, who is also the heiress to the fortune of her father Charles T. Munger Sr., the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, totals $47.8 million.
For similarities and differences between the two measures, see this EdSource infographic.
A striking difference between spending on each initiative is that there are multiple large donors on behalf of Prop. 30, while Molly Munger, with a contribution of $44 million, and her husband Steve English, with a contribution of $3.25 million, are by far the largest contributors to Prop. 38. The total raised for the campaign on top of Munger’s and English’s contributions amounts to just over $238,000.*
By contrast, the largest contributors to Prop. 30 are the California Teachers Association, with a contribution of $11.6 million, the Service Employees International Union ($11.3 million), the Democratic State Central Committee ($5.1 million), the American Federation of Teachers ($4.4 million), and the Coca Cola Company, with just over $2 million.
The MapLight summary indicates that $53.4 million has been raised to oppose Prop. 30, with Charles T. Munger Jr., Molly Munger’s half brother, being by far the largest contributor with a contribution of $35 million. However, because his funds went to a joint fund to oppose Prop. 30 and to support Prop. 32, the measure intended to make it difficult for unions to contribute to political campaigns, it is hard to know exactly how much will be spent on each campaign.
Another major contributor to defeat Prop. 30 is an organization called Americans for Responsible Leadership, with an anonymous contribution of $11 million that has spurred frenzied legal action to force the group to disclose the donors of the funds. Yesterday, the California Supreme Court, in a rare and unexpected move, ordered the Arizona group to turn over its records that could help – within an hour.
The group refused to do so, indicating that it intended to seek a stay of the California order from the U.S. Supreme Court or, failing that, seek until at least 9 a.m. Monday to turn over records. State Attorney General Kamala Harris described the group’s legal tactics as “an effort to obstruct the process and run out the clock.”
*Numbers rounded. For exact contributions, see Maplight.org