According to all the public polls, Gov. Jerry Brown’s measure to boost funding for schools, Proposition 30, has a chance of passing while Molly Munger’s school-finance initiative, Proposition 38, has no chance.
What Munger can do, however, is allow herself to be persuaded by her media advisers – who would stand to profit handsomely – that if she just spends more of her millions on TV “comparing” her measure to Brown’s (essentially going negative on Prop. 30), that her initiative has a chance of passing.
The sad truth is, however, that if she does this – as she suggested the other day – her measure still won’t pass, but she can probably kill Brown’s Prop. 30. “Funded opposition” is the one thing Brown’s advisers have been afraid of all along.
Which is why the hubristic Ms. Munger got a letter on Monday, urging her not to go negative on Prop. 30, from Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education, Allan Clark, president of the California School Employees Association, David Kieffer, executive director of the SEIU, Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association, Willie Pelote Sr. of AFSCME, Darrell Steinberg, president pro tem of the California State Senate and others.
Here’s the key stuff:
Our goal is to improve educational opportunities for students in California. That’s why we have run a positive campaign for Proposition 30 and not engaged in negative campaigning on Proposition 38. A positive campaign from both the Prop. 30 and 38 campaigns will create the highest likelihood that students in California will benefit from the November election.
We understand you prefer your competing measure — Proposition 38. However, any actions to destroy Prop. 30 – the one measure which would prevent $6 billion in cuts to schools and colleges and universities this year and which has a viable path to passage -–- fly in the face of stated goals to improve educational opportunities for our children.
Most papers in the state have researched and considered the arguments both for and against Propositions 30 and 38. You have appeared personally before the editorial boards to make the case for your proposition. And, as you know, every single major paper has agreed that Prop. 30 is the better solution for our children at this time. The Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Sacramento Bee, the Oakland Tribune — each and every one of them have endorsed Prop. 30. And, every one of them has urged a no vote on Prop. 38. The Los Angeles Times even noted in their support of 30: “The measure requires that eighty--nine percent of the money raised goes to k--12 schools and eleven percent to community colleges…” as that provision is written into the constitution. So for you to call the Yes on 30 ad deceptive is certainly disingenuous.
If you launch these Prop. 30 comparison attack ads you will be the second Munger [along with her multi-millionaire brother Charles] spending millions against our students and schools. In the end, the Munger family could be known as the millionaires who destroyed California’s schools and universities.
Bottom line: all Munger can do by going negative on Prop. 30 is drive a stake through the heart of school financing and make her political consultants very rich.