Supporters of two competing propositions on the November ballot are continuing their war of words.
With Proposition 38 behind in the polls, wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger launched a new attack ad slamming a competing tax measure, pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Proposition 30, which also funds public education through an income tax hike.
The ad shows Brown's proposal may claim to fund schools, but the money will probably be raided through the back-door by politicians.
Munger's brother, Charles, is also funding a separate multi-million dollar anti-Prop. 30 campaign.
The ad says, "Proposition 30 sends money here, but lets the politicians take it out here. That's why Sacramento is behind it."
Brown's campaign staff did not want this to happen. In fact, pro-Prop 30 ads have thus far stayed positive.
One ad says, "Prop. 30 stops the cuts. [Prop.] 30 will restore funding for our schools."
"I think what the Mungers have done is taken their eye off the ball. This is no longer about students and our future and funding schools. This is about winning to them," said Mike Roth of Yes on Proposition 30.
In the past, Munger's campaign has said her proposal to raise the income tax on a sliding scale is better. She has invested $31 million of her own money so far to get voters to agree.
"We think the governor doesn't have as good an idea this year as we do," Munger said on Feb. 6.
Brown's campaign did not want to reveal their next strategy but typically, negative ads don't go unanswered.
"Look, the fact is, we didn't choose this course," said Roth.
"What we have here is a civil war," said Democratic strategist Steve Maviglio.
Maviglio, who is not affiliated with either campaign, said both initiatives want to help schools with more money, but may end up doing the opposite.
"At the end of the day, a negative ad doesn't help either campaign. It usually brings both down. That could mean neither of them will pass, which is the worst-case scenario for our schools," said Maviglio.
The California PTA, big backers of Prop. 38, does not agree with the use of negative ads, and they've asked state Superintendent Tom Torlakson to talk to both sides about the tone of their campaigns.