By David Siders
dsiders@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 – 9:40 am

SAN DIEGO – Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged Saturday that his tax proposal for the November ballot has a “few issues,” but he sidestepped the controversy in a high-profile speech at the California Democratic Party’s annual convention.

A growing rift between Democrats about competing measures to raise taxes was evident at the gathering, where supporters of a competing “millionaire’s tax” waved banners outside the San Diego Convention Center.

Brown referred only in passing to his tax plan, a major part of his agenda this year.

“Look, we’ve got some issues. We’ve got a tax measure, we have a little, few issues there, and we’ll be talking about that from time to time,” Brown said. “You’ll get your marching orders soon enough.”

Brown is seeking to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California’s highest earners to forestall further state spending cuts.

His political adviser, Steve Glazer, said on Twitter that Brown raised $750,000 for his tax campaign at a fundraiser following the speech, at a hotel adjacent to the convention center. Brown already had reported raising more than $2 million for the effort.

Brown believes the presence of multiple tax initiatives on the November ballot could hurt the chances of any of them passing. But the Democratic governor has been unable so far to bring his own party together around his initiative to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California’s highest earners.

Education advocate Molly Munger is proposing an initiative to raise income taxes on all but the poorest Californians. The daughter of a business partner of Warren Buffett, she has contributed nearly $1 million to her campaign.

The California Federation of Teachers and California Nurses Association, meanwhile, are trying to qualify an initiative to raise income taxes on Californians earning more than $1 million.

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