jerry-brown

Gov. Jerry Brown, in his office at the State Capitol in June. Brown has given millions to the effort to defeat Proposition 53 on Nov. 8. Manny Crisostomo mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
October 19, 2016 – 3:40 PM

The campaign against Proposition 53 has sharply picked up its fundraising in recent days, with Gov. Jerry Brown putting millions of dollars into the effort to defeat the Nov. 8 measure that would require a vote on state revenue bonds and potentially cripple the Brown-championed Delta water tunnel and bullet train projects.

Through Tuesday, the no-on-53 effort had raised $5.6 million since Oct. 12, significantly more than campaigns for or against any of the other 17 measures on next month’s ballot during that time. The infusion gives the measure’s opponents – Brown, construction unions and Indian tribes – a clear financial advantage over proponents heading into the final weeks of campaigning.

The no-on-53 campaign already is airing TV ads against the measure. Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for opponents, said the additional money will allow Brown and other members of the anti-53 coalition to step up the advertising as voters cast ballots by mail.

“There are 17 measures on the ballot and it’s really difficult to break through all that noise,” Maviglio said. “The more voters find out about it the less they like it.”

Proposition 53 supporters have raised almost $4.8 million, all of it from Stockton-area agribusinessman Dean “Dino” Cortopassi and his wife, Joan. This month’s infusion brings opponents’ contribution total to $11.4 million.

“It sounds like the opposition is panicking because they know the proposition is resonating with Californians,” said Marie Brichetto, a spokeswoman for proponents.
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The constitutional amendment would require revenue bonds above $2 billion to be approved by voters. Cortopassi has said the measure would help put the brakes on out-of-control state debt, but critics say the proposal would put vital projects at risk.

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