Plumbers, private prisons contribute to Brown tax initiative


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Gov. Jerry Brown continues to raise money for his tax measure at an aggressive clip, reporting more than $630,000 in new contributions Tuesday. Support for the initiative comes from a variety of labor, business and tribal groups, reflecting the political coalition Brown hopes will neutralize funded opposition to his tax-hike proposal this fall.

The plumbers and pipefitters union gave $350,000 to back the measure, according to new reports filed with the secretary of state’s office. Brown met privately with the head of the union’s trade association in Washington last month.


Other contributions include $50,000 from the Corrections Corp. of America, which operates private prisons, and the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians, which gave $100,000 to the governor’s campaign.

The California Retailers Assn. contributed $25,000 to the initiative campaign. The retailers were one of the business groups that backed Brown’s budget proposal last year, which included larger tax increases on income, sales and vehicles.

Brown also reported $10,000 from Denver Democratic consultant Mike Stratton, who co-hosted a Washington fundraiser for the governor last month.

The governor hopes to place a measure on the November ballot that would raise income taxes on those making more than $250,000, and add a half-cent to the sales tax for the next five years. He is also trying to back down proponents of rival tax measures who are also seeking tax increases on the same ballot.


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-- Anthony York in Sacramento