By Tom Chorneau, SI&A Cabinet Report | http://bit.ly/Py3O7c
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 :: Anticipation for either or both tax measures getting voter approval in November has received a potentially significant setback in recent days with a developing squabble between the rival camps.
Late last week, four of the state’s highest ranking lawmakers sent a letter to the leaders of the California PTA pointedly calling for a cease of negative campaigning against Proposition 30 sponsored by Gov. Jerry Brown. The PTA was called out as the most visible, statewide education group that supports Proposition 38, sponsored by Los Angeles attorney and activist Molly Munger.
Over the weekend, PTA president Carol Kocivar responded to the letter from U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, as well as Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez.
Kocivar said the PTA is committed to a positive campaign while noting some of the governor’s supporters might not be. She urged participants on both sides to employ restraint.
Monday came the next volley – back from the governor’s camp. Ace Smith, manager of Yes on Prop. 30, issued a release still complaining that the PTA “refused to commit” to the negative ad prohibition.
“It’s fine to have different views about a solution, but the worst outcome for our kids would be a negative campaign that results in both measures losing,” Smith wrote to the Sacramento web-site, Capitol Morning Report.
Kocivar in her letter was careful to point out that the PTA has not taken a position on Prop. 30.
“We deeply respect the Governor and his commitment to addressing California’s challenges,” she said. “While we support a different measure this November, we understand that both of us have the best interests of California at heart. Similarly, we think voters understand that in a state as large as California, there is room for more than one idea about how best to fund our schools and help revive our economy.”
Recent polls have the governor’s Prop. 30 barely clinging to a majority of likely voters, and Prop. 38 running slightly under that mark.
If the spat continues to evolve, prospects for either one come November diminish greatly – especially after the opposition groups start to weigh in.